Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Dressing for a pregnant weekend in the 1920s - part 2

The reason I've been away from blogging for a while this time is that I've been a bit busy having a baby! The last weeks of pregnancy i was too tired all the time to post, and then, well, I've been a bit busy with new baby. This means I never got around to posting about the second 1920s maternity dress I made for  a weekend away a couple of months ago, so here it is, finally:

This dress was based on Patterns of Fashion 2 pattern 29A, a Madeleine Vionnet dress from 1925. The dress has a natural A-line shape to it, cleverly designed with triangular insets and a pointed hem on each side, which could theoretically accommodate my bump without much adjustment.

I was very wary that this dress would not work out at all, so I made a toile from cheap lining fabric to check it would fit over made, and then made the final version from pretty cheap crushed velvet (I don't usually like crushed velvet but it actually worked quite well for this, I think), instead of the silk crepe romaine of the original.

The dress fits together with triangular inserts at neck and hips, which are then covered with a tear drop shaped decoration. This is how the dress looked pre-decoration:

Not having the skill or the time to embroider decoration straight onto the fabric, I used three applique's of gold lace sewn over black satin. I rather like the side panels, but I'm not keen on the front panel - it feels rather large and obvious, but perhaps that's because it's not a great look over a large stomach. I also found that the armholes came out rather strangely - I suspect this is due to my own clumsy attempts at adjusting the dress to my bust size, but is something worth keeping in mind for using the pattern in the future. Here's how the final dress looked on me;

It came together fairly easily when sewing, and apart from getting the cut right when scaling it up, is a fairly simple project. It did alright as a maternity dress, but quite clearly did not hang as originally intended. If I had the pattern cutting skills, making it somewhat more voluminous may have made it hang and work better - however the truth is that 1920s styles are very hard to make look good on a maternal figure. This is a reasonable pattern to use for a twenties maternity dress, and probably more flattering than many of the straight up and down styles or dresses with waistlines at the hip, which make a pregnant belly look rather like a beer belly...

I also dyed an old pair of satin shoes that started out cream but had become rather soiled and battered to match the dress. At some point I will try to post something about my experiments with shoe dyeing!

And here's how the dress looked on a dressmakers dummy with no bump; once I've lost the baby weight a bit more I'll try to post up some photos of how it looks on a non-pregnant figure;

 Another dress I wore over the weekend was made and leant to me by a friend who had worn  it during prgnancy herself (to my twenties themed hen do, as it goes). This one is from the Folkwear 256 Monte Carlo pattern (it also includes a matching wrap to go over the dress). No adaption had been made to the pattern to allow for prgnancy, but it worked pretty well. I have no personal experience of how easy the pattern is to use and make up, but it's definitely one to consider if looking for twenties dresses that will work for pregnancy:

Monte Carlo dress from the side, showing off the bump as much as possible!

Monte Carlo dress from the back, with added diamante for the ocassion

Monte Carlo dress with wrap

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