Imagine.  A blog post about VPLL.

Imagine. A blog post about VPLL.

Thank you Emily for not making me sound too silly – I was honored to work with you on this interview.

1934 DuBarry #886 – Evening Gown With Ruffles

1934 DuBarry #886 – Evening Gown With Ruffles

What appears to be a basic ruffled dress, upon construction you’ll find it’s anything but.  The drape at the front neckline gives this design just enough feminine shaping while the V-shaped back adds drama.  The bias cut of the bodice and skirt, and the pointed seam lines make for a body hugging silhouette.  And the fluttery two-tier sleeves and four ruffled godets that sweep the hem make it all just dreamy to wear.

This may be a bit more difficult than other vintage projects given the amount of pieces it takes to make up the ruffles and flutter sleeves, then add hemming all those pieces…. whew, but then it goes together nicely, and the end result is so worth the effort of those funny shapes.

Size:  32 inch bust – although it fits nicely on a 34 inch bust mannequin

Fabric:  Pre-washed rayon

Construction Notes:  1) I interlined all the bodice pieces with silk organza but not the skirt and sleeves.  2) For all hemming, I opted for a rolled hem with a zig-zag stitch.  I tugged the fabric toward me as it was going though the presser foot while pulling a bit from the back so it would advance.  It made for wavy edge which only added to the ruffle effect.

So, for what started out in my mind as just another frilly dress, I found myself smitten with each step of the construction process.   It truly is a darling dress.

Full View Front & Back

Sleeves & Ruffles

Bodice Front & Back


1929 Frock With Cape – Time To Get Your Gatsby On

1929 Frock With Cape – Time To Get Your Gatsby On

New to the Library is this darling Butterick sewing pattern #2996.  Listed as a 1920’s frock, it was actually advertised in Delineator Magazine, January 1930 dating it as a late 1929/early 1930 design.  The dress has all the feminine details such as three different hemline options, geometric seams, two piece optional cape, and a pretty tie, all making this the perfect party frock.

When making up any design for the Library, I tend to use only basic straight and zig-zag stitches in an effort to keep the dress as accurate as the tools a sewer from that era would have had to work with in her home.  The directions (or New Deltor as they were referred to), call for hemstitch detailing for the seams which would showcase the dainty geometric design.  But then I wondered how this would have been done in the 1920’s?  Our modern sewing machines tend to come with every gadget imaginable, but not so in 1929.  So, after researching my ‘The New Dressmaker’, published by the Butterick Publishing Company, 1921, they recommended the following:

“Machine hemstitching is used on blouses, dresses, lingerie, etc., to put together seams, finish hems neat, durable and gives a garment a dainty, finished look.  It is also used as a trimming either in straight rows or in a fancy design.  Prices for the work vary, but it is very expensive.  It can not be done at home as the machine required is too costly, but any plaiting establishment or salesroom of a sewing-machine company will do it.”

How charming is that?!

Front and Back of Dress

So, for the pattern testing stage, we used bias trim made of linen in a contrasting  color to showcase those gorgeous lines.

There are darts at the bust, front waistline, and along the back, as well as at the shoulders of the cape, giving this pullover dress it’s subtle shaping.  And if you omit the cape, it makes a fabulous dress on it’s own.  Although, difficult to show in photos, and having made this in a crepe-like chiffon, the dress just floats.


Front and Back Bodice






And it all finishes up nicely with a tie/knot at the neckline.

This reproduction dress pattern is now available at the VPLL web-store.

Although the web-store only accepts PayPal, this pattern is also available on the Etsy store and all form of credit card is accepted there.

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