Sunday, February 17, 2013

Deco Tea

It has been a while since I last posted, but I have been on holidays in Japan for two weeks. Of course, when I came back to Brissie, I know that I had to get stuck into a whole new project to be ready for the Art Deco High Tea that I attended yesterday.

A friend organised the entire event so that we would be doing a high tea at the beautiful Room With Roses in the Brisbane Arcade in the city. They had a whole table set aside for us all and were quick with the food - I guess that is one of the advantages of booking in advance. We sat down to our tea and munched on our sandwiches and cakes, while catching up with fellow vintage enthusiasts.
For the occasion, I made a new 1920s dress. My pattern came from magazine instructions that I had found in the vast world of the internet some time ago. I had drafted the pattern and made the dress last year for an event in April, but was really unhappy with the fit and my choice of fabric. So this time, I knew what I wanted going into it.

My first decision (before I went away) was colours. I wanted to use something in my stash, so I pulled out all of my voile fabrics and all of my 1920s style hats. Unfortunately all of my hats are made of felt and they just seemed to wintery for me. So into online shopping it was. I stumbled across a lovely green straw cloche hat on esty and while it is from the 1960s decided that it would do the trick. From there it was a matter of choosing my brown cotton voile for the dress, and cutting it out. I then decided that I wanted to use a bias silk to trim the neckline and the sleeves to add a little interest. Back to the internet it was to find a matching silk.

Eveything was waiting for me when I got home from Japan to get stuck into it. Unfortunately, I was sick. Horribly sick. Between a head cold, stomach upset and an allergic reaction, I felt miserable. So things got put off for a couple of days. But with a deadline looming, I knew I had to get it done. I started on the front with my pin-tucks. Much easier on cotton than the slippery fabric I used last time, they went in rather easily. I then decided that I wanted to do some embroidery down on either side of them. I pulled out my cross-stitch floss and picked my colours and got stuck into it. Afterwards it was a simple matter of finishing it all off. I cut bias of my green silk for the binding and attached that to the neckline and sleeves.

As for features on the dress, aside from the pin-tucks and embroidery, it has a pleat in the centre back neckline. From there it falls to my hip where it gathers into the skirt. The skirt part has a flat front and back with 12 pleats radiating out from the side seams. To pull it into shape, I then added a silk sash. I like how it brings the colour down. Oh, and I added a hand-sewn hem.

Once that was done, I decided that I wanted a matching bag. I remembered a gate closure bag that I bought a few years ago and didn't like. The original bag was stained, too small and rather ugly - so I cut it off, made a new matching bag and stitched it on. This one is much bigger - a blessing when in costume. I also added a few pearl beads to the bottom to give it a little bit of detail.

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