Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dress from the early Thirties

Approximately. The jury is still out. Before I was married I bought this "Late Twenties" dress, and I still have it, lovingly stored in a plastic bag up in the boys' closet. I'm not meant to be a fabric conservationist. Anyway, pictures.

It's dark cream, probably yellowed with age, and it's made partly of a heavy satin-backed crepe and partly (the ruffles and false sleeve thingys) of something more sheer. I think the crepe is acrylic, from the burn test I did this morning (cue short lesson with Nat, who wanted to know why I was lighting something on fire. Different fibres burn differently). It's got LOTS of beading, sequins, and rhinestones that were originally silver but have tarnished.
Detail of the false sleeves and how they attach

Neck detail
It's got a centre panel that makes it almost princess line, but it's still fairly loose. I went looking for other extant examples and found a few somewhat like it, around 1930-32. The more normal waist and lowered hemline say early Thirties to me. Haven't gotten to the pencil skirt aggressive shoulders of the early Forties.
You can faintly see the lines of the bodice. There's a short peplum thing off the hips, and a matching set of tiered parts down the front of the skirt. The back has flat ruffles in the matching area.
Flat piece of the divided peplum thing

I guess it's like tiered flat ruffles

Bottom edge stiffened with buckram or horsehair

Back of the dress. The ruffles over the peplum are a sort of small bustle.

Full back of the skirt. The skirt itself is four pieces, pleated over the hips. The seams are at side front, not in the middle of the sides. 

Okay, that's enough for tonight. I'll do some shots of the construction and inside tomorrow.

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