A trip to the Huntington before Costume College? Of course I needed a new dress! A group of friends and I decided to visit in 1920s--a perfect era, as it was wearing a costume and not wearing a costume at the same time. 20s dresses are quite conveniently the size of everyday clothes.
While looking through the Met, I fell in love with this Lanvin dress. I think she may be my favorite 20s designer, as this is the second dress of hers I've made, and I have two more scheduled and even have the materials for those!
I decided on a different color scheme for my dress. I wanted something a little lighter and more summery. I found the perfect shade of green Swiss muslin at Farmhouse Fabrics and I dyed white Swiss muslin cream. Instead of a contrasting color--everything I could think of with the green either seemed too 1970s or too sweet (even for me!)--so I decided to use more green as the accent color. I did use a little pink in the rosette to tie in my pink parasol and custom pink shoes from Step One Dance Shoes.
And that camera I have? It does have pictures on it! Or, I hope. I've been completely horrible and haven't brought the film in to be developed yet.
I'm wearing the dress over a green silk taffeta slip made from the same taffeta that's trimming my hat, my peach silk tap pants, and besides stockings and garters, that's it! I find it very nice having the correct figure for the 20s! I did wonder if I should wear anything else, but a sheer dress with more than one set of straps showing sounded unattractive. I fortunately found this dress in a 1920 Photoplay which clearly shows a sheer dress with nothing but a slip beneath.
I was horrible, and took very few construction pictures as I was making this. In fact, I think I only took one of the neckline and a series of the rosette of doom. I'll describe what I did though. It is straightforward! The bodice is two pieces, a front and back, sewn with French seams on the right side and shoulders. The left side was sewn with a normal seam, a placket with snaps set into it after the skirt was attached and then the remainder of the seam was turned in as a mock French seam. The sleeves were sewn with French seams, and set in with, once again, French seams. So really, the whole dress is sewn twice! The skirt is two rectangles of fabric, and the trim is a straight of grain tube of green fabric with ribbon sewn on top to imitate a tunic. I at first thought there might be a tunic on the original, but the folds of the skirt were too perfectly aligned, so I believe it's just faked with trim. The skirt is sewn on normally, gathered and then right sides to right sides. There are four tiny tucks in the bottom of the bodice, easily visible in the original, which surprisingly do quite a bit of shaping.
For the green around the neck and sleeves, I bound the edges with green bias, then cut a collar piece and extension for the sleeve out of green and basted them in. I really wish I had taken pictures of this! I then sewed cream ribbon over the join. I think this is how the original was done though, and it provided a really nice finish, so I decided to do it even though I was just using one color. The lace insert is simplified on mine. I whipstitched Maline lace from Farmhouse fabrics together for the triangular insert, then sewed ribbon to more Maline lace, gathered it, and sewed it to the neckline.
The rosette, which ended up giving the dress its name, was rather straightforward. Here are my marked pieces for the parts. I sewed the layers together, cut them, turned them right side out, and placed them on the circle base--made of two layers of silk taffeta sewn together and turned right side out--and sewed them down. I think the pictures are rather self-explanatory!
The rosette is then basted to the dress, and can be easily removed if the dress needs to be washed.
For accesories, I have my pink parasol, and a yet to be made post about my early 1920s inspired hat.
For more pictures of the day, including Aubry, Megan, and Sara's lovely dresses, the photoset is here!