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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

· Art Deco Vibes ·


This post has been long coming, but I think it was well worth the wait! (tough luck if you don't agree, I guess!) I finished the dress over a year ago, but I since I adore the 1930s and Art Deco so much, I knew I needed to make sure the photoshoot did justice to my passion for both. :-)  Art Deco buildings are not as uncommon in my rural area as I initially thought, but the timing just never worked out to get together for photos with Kathryn.  Also, last spring I was in the process of growing my hair out so I could wear it up all summer and I really had my heart set on having a shorter 'do to debut this dress. ;-)

Well, it all worked out wonderfully- I have shorter hair this spring AND I currently live in Chicago and, wouldn't you know, fabulous Art Deco buildings are plentiful here!  My mom and I took an "Art Deco Skyscrapers" architectural tour a few days before this photoshoot and that's how we came across this marvelous location.  The Carbon & Carbide building has been my very, very favorite building since I moved here, but I have to say... the One LaSalle Street Building is quite amazing in its own right!

I can't recommend the tour enough, and it gave me the guts to just walk into all these cool buildings that I've only admired from the outside!  Most are even more stunning in the lobbies (be sure to check out elevators in Art Deco buildings- they are stunning!) and most buildings allow photographs.  When we were wandering about on the day of the photoshoot, we also had several very friendly and informative security guards who were more than happy to tell us more about the buildings!  Score!  I could listen to architectural information all day! :-)


OK, enough of architecture geeking! (although some of you have to be fellow Art Deco enthusiasts, right? give me a shout if you are and share your favorite building!)  On to the reason you most likely are at my blog... the dress!

This rayon print has been in the stash for a while and I've been selfishly earmarking it for years.  I *finally* figured out a perfect dress design that would make me happy!  McCalls came out with a pattern in their "Archive Collection" (7053) that looked really promising- but I'm super wary of every pattern in the Archive Collection.  They're frequently kind of random and questionably authentic, but I've really loved the 6993 skirt (I used it on this 1930s dress last year) and I felt like view A from this blouse pattern had enough 30s influence to make me happy with the outcome.

I do love the finished result, although I'd caution anyone who attempts the pattern- it really didn't look like this fresh out of the envelope!  I fitted the whole bodice quite a lot more than the original and I ended up with much more of a typical kimono sleeve than the almost-dolman sleeve that shows up in the sample garment.


And just look how huge that front drape is!  I love how dramatic the 1930s were.

I originally planned to line this portion so that I wouldn't have to worry about the wrong side showing, but then I felt that it was getting too bulky and I was afraid I might have warping issues.  So single layer it is!  And I think it works quite smashingly after all. :-)



See?? Awesome elevator lobby!
You're forgiven if you're so busy focusing on the architectural details that you don't even notice my dress.


Over the past 2-3 years, I've become more and more obsessed with longer hemlines and this dress is one of my longest 1930s dresses.  I love it!  It feels so elegant, and it really helps with the lengthening illusion so prevalent in the mid 30s.

I made the skirt of the dress from a very basic 6-panel trumpet-ish skirt after seeing lots of similar examples in old catalog pages.  I think I used some old 1980s pattern?  Can't quite remember....

I'm not quite convinced that this sleeve style is a very 30s design... but the overall shape is great and my fabric is pretty forgiving. ;-)



I did love the angled bodice seaming and even if it's not super prominent due to my busy fabric... I love knowing it's there anyway. ;-)  I sewed this seam using my current-favorite lapped seam method.  Gotta love period techniques that simplify things greatly!


OK, one last shot- can you believe this building??!?!  Sooooo cool.  Opulent Art Deco gives me warm fuzzies. ;-)

As always, thanks for stopping by! (and humoring my ramblings!)

· Photos by Kathryn! ·

26 comments:

  1. Oh this dress is gorgeous, I love the fabric! When I saw the first photo I was wondering if it was the McCall's 7053 pattern. I've been considering it for a blouse I want to make out of white silk with large navy polka dots on it. It's great to see it made up and I think it's swayed me to go ahead, so thanks for sharing.
    On a side note, that building is stunning! Art Deco and Modernist architecture are my absolute favourites. I'd love to photograph some of my outfits with a backdrop like that but alas they are few and far between where I live.

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    1. Cate, thanks for commenting! I hope you do end up making that blouse- it sounds smashing! Oh, and I just recently started following your blog! Your hair is sooooo adorably 30s! I love it!!

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  2. So I'm sure you've had many people recommend going to the St Louis City Museum. HOWEVER there's also an architecture museum inside! Large sections of columns, cornices, etc, a large collection of door handles and locks! Absolutely amazing.

    I mostly love trying to guess the stories behind different houses. Things like seeing how there used to be a space for a door or a window, wondering why HALF of the house has 3 feet between windows, and the other half has 2 feet between windows. I was wandering around the greater DC area with a friend, and in one town in Maryland, we saw an Edwardian house with a connected building (a little second floor walkway connected them!!!) I guessed that it was either a dower house or a married daughter's home. The older gentleman who lived next door and was talking his trash barrels in, said that it was the mother in law's home. That's the kind of thing I love discovering.

    Although you can't go wrong with those absolutely GORGEOUS elevators! #jealous :-P

    -- Tegan

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    1. Tegan, what a fun architectural discovery! It's amazing how much building history folks will volunteer if you only look interested!

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  3. I find the Art Deco architecture amazing, and though I don't really know anything about it, I do enjoy taking a peak at it. The current Oregon State capital building was built in the 1930's after the previous one burned. So there is some Art Deco influence for you.

    Sarah

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  4. This is totally breathtaking. I LOVE Art Deco style (architecture, fashion, the whole motif) and my heart literally flutters looking at these photos. Not to mention, Chicago!!!! I love that city so very much. AMAZING job, as usual!

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  5. I love, love, love your photoshoot! You look just like an elegant lady from the 30s that has stepped in a time machine to the future and went to admire the wonderful architecture of her time during the modern day, with a modern camera (okay, now I'm rambling - possibly because my brain has melted with all the gorgeous photos and Art Deco deliciousness)!
    The dress is dreamy, and I love how much it suits you with your lovely 30s hair. I'd love to try something out like this!

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  6. Ahhh....I could look at this post ALL. DAY. LONG.
    This dress is nothing short of stunning!! Not to mention the backdrop, duh! That polka dotty rayon fabric is perfectly Art Deco, and you definitely made it into the most ideal dress. I must admit, I had never been impressed by that McCall blouse pattern, but seeing your rendition makes me want it right away! That front drape is just delicious. :)
    And seriously, congratulations on having the. perfect. backdrop. for this dress! Hehehehe, the best thing I could find in the area of Art Deco buildings would be a falling-down barn with an occasional raccoon peeking out. :D
    Thanks for sharing, as always, Lily! You are some kind of amazing seamstress!! And the way you accessorize your outfits is mighty inspirational. :)

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  7. GORGEOUS dress! And you look just right for your surroundings!

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  8. This is such a beautiful dress Lily, and that location is stunning!

    Blessings,

    Brigid

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  9. Absolutely, completely breathtaking images and outfit. The colour palette of your frock compliments that of this stunning building so well. The harmony that they create together is Hollywood worthy.

    ♥ Jessica

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  10. This is so absolutely gorgeous. I'd never thought of 1930's fashion as "wearable" but everytime I see one of your gorgeous dresses it pushes me further and further towards trying the period. And I think you have the length on this done perfectly. Love long hemlines.

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    1. Kaitlyn, yes! Give 30s a chance! ;-) I love the decade so much, but I really don't wear it half as often as I should! :-/

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  11. Lovely! What a fun 30s print and awesome location for photos. Wish we had buildings like that in my area.
    -Emily

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    1. Emily, I was so struck by your comment about the architecture but I see your point! For my part, I always consider the midwest to be appallingly lacking in either sophistication or history as opposed to the east coast, but I never thought about the fact that we do have a fair share of wonderful 20th century architecture! So thanks for the reminder to appreciate what I have- I've been taking delight in all of them ever since! :-)

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  12. What a lovely outfit and location, you really fit the time frame.

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  13. I love the dress, the photography and the architecture is stunning!

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  14. Oh what wonderful art deco goodness! I am loving your dress with its polky spots, the color, the lines of the dress all paired with the art deco designs of the building! Wonderfully done and so very well worth the wait! Huzzah!
    Blessings!
    g

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  15. I've wondered about this pattern! I've had it in my stash but haven't gotten it out yet. I will definitely be remembering your tips on fitting it more when I get it out soon! Your version is FANTASTIC!

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  16. I just don't think it gets more stunning than this dress and this backdrop! As usual your 30's sewing has me aching to get busy and make something 30's myself, so inspiring as always!

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  17. Gorgeous dress, fantastic photos, and amazing building! Swoon over this whole post!

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  18. Oh, I enjoyed this post so much. Mostly because your enthusiasm for this era was so adorably displayed. You're such a hoot! You had me laughing out loud for real. ๐Ÿ˜Š Everything is simply perfect! Love, love, love this dress. The building - holy moly. Gorgeous.

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    1. Haha! So glad I could entertain you with my silly little obsessions! ;-)

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  19. All these pictures are just perfect! Your dress is so lovely, and the building is the perfect location to accentuate it's gorgeousness. I do think that skirt length really does add that lengthening illusion like you say, it's a really delightful silhouette. ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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