Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Rose Gold 30's Evening Gown

Over Derby Weekend, we had tickets to one of the black tie galas. I am such a sucker for an opportunity to dress up in black tie!

I've been wanting a satin 1930's evening gown for ages, so I took this opportunity to make one! And the color fit perfectly for the June's Historical Sew Monthly challenge: metallics.

I used Vintage Pattern Lending Library's #T6573. Great dress. Very forgiving size-wise as it's such a loose style. I did have to add about an inch to the hem, and probably could have added a bit more. I am only 5'4", so definitely check the length if you use this pattern! I opted out of adding the fabric flowers at the front, since this wasn't actually a costume event, and wanted to keep everything simple. I really wanted to make an evening jacket for it, but just ran out of time. Next time!

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the gown until very late in the evening, so it's a bit wrinkly. Not to mention, my hair had kind of had it with the humidity. On the other hand, I was able to get a couple pictures in the lobby with no people around, so there is always a silver lining :)

So, the facts:

The Challenge: June, Metallics

Material: Silk crepe back satin

Pattern: Vintage Pattern Lending Library's #T6573

Year: Late 1930's

Notions: Thread, snaps, hook and eye

How historically accurate is it? I want to say totally, though I haven't yet personally seen a 30's dress with machine rolled hems. Though, I do have some very old rolled hem feet and it suggests it in my 1940's sewing book. Just throwing that out there.

Hours to complete: Maybe a week of sewing, here and there. I let the dress hang a couple days before hemming it.

First worn: Last weekend

Total cost: A few yards of silk crepe back satin


Construction of the dress went easily for the most part, but it got a little fiddly attaching the top of the train to the waist of the dress. The pattern directions got a little hazy there, and I'm sure I just interpreted them wrong. But because of the nature of the silk, I couldn't play around with it too much, so I picked a method and went with it.

I chose to hem the dress mostly with a narrow hem foot, since it suggested this in my 1940's Ruth Wyeth Spears sewing book. Very easy! I bound the neckline and arm holes with bias binding. I love the top stitching and cut of the bodice. It's kind of sporty.

The inside seams were pinked, since apparently over casting would have been a "waste of time." I love this:

The dress closes with at the side. As suggested in the sewing book, I put a hook and eye at the waist, where there would be the most stress. The rest of the placket is fastened with snaps.

Under the dress, I wore a low backed slip, made from Vintage Pattern Lending Library's 1930 Slip Pattern. I omitted the vertical darts (time constraints) and the side closure. The side closure was unnecessary since the slip had ample room to be put on over the head because of the low back. I also made a matching pair of tap pants from similar colored silk charmeuse. I used Mrs Depew's 1930's Tap Pants Pattern again. I used the fabric satin side in on the pants (which is so nice against the skin!), but satin side out for the slip, so the dress fabric would slide over it better.

I would have loved to wear a girdle with it, which would have really smoothed out the tummy area (I really need to lay off the snacks...), but since it wasn't actually a 1930's event, and I didn't have a lot of time, I said eh. Of course, if it was properly fit, I guess it wouldn't have really shown... Just another thing to add to that endless to-do list!

Good night!


  1. ABSOLUTELY LOVELY! Very flattering and your seamstressing work is top notch!!

  2. Mmm, love it! Bias dresses are so lovely. This one is very elegant! The quote about not overcasting seams is great, too! Something to remember, lol.


    1. Thanks! Right?! Sometimes I feel like I'm cheating if I don't do the insides like PERFECTLY. Nope, just wasting time sometimes, I guess :)

  3. This gown is gorgeous! Beautiful and inspiring sewing!

  4. You look terrific! and thanks for the info on overcast seams! They look so beautiful, so finished. You are an inspiration!

  5. Wow, fabulous job - may I use your lovely photos - I'll link your blog if you wish.... I'm Vintage Pattern Lending Library

  6. Absolutely gorgeous gown!
    I am trying to decide between several 1930's dress patterns to use to design a dress for my daughter's senior pictures. I want to have a train added to the back of it. I was planning on purchasing this same pattern on Etsy, but I would only like to use the train piece. Would stretch taffeta be too stiff to use for it