1930s Christmas dress – photoshoot

Yesterday I did my hair, make-up and put on my 1930s Christmas dress, for the photoshoot.


















IMG_4591Photo: Maria Petersson

I was a bit skeptical and a bit worried about getting any nice photos, since I didn’t like the fit of the dress at all.
But as my sister (photographer) said – “You seam to have lots of fun in this dress – perhaps you like it after all…”
And looking at the pics I can only say yes, I think I do.

1930s Christmas dress

You might have noticed my most un-regular posting this past week. The main reason for that are that I’ve been struggling to finish my by now late entry for challenge 22 – Modern history.

But now finally it is finished, and here comes a quick write up.

cfcc97cb2a0de7209ce391c4cccc995cMy inspiration pic.

I decided to make a 1930s dress using a lovely plaid fabric I’ve bought a few years ago for another project.

I cut the pieces on bias to get a nice layout of the plaids.IMG_4017

IMG_4022The cut pieces.

I’ve started this project about a month ago and since my last update, I’ve fixed some problems and encountered some new.

I took the skirt in a few more centimeters to give it a better fit. IMG_4299Some huge seam allowances before trimming.

IMG_4289 IMG_4285
So far so good.

I’ve pinned the zipper to the side seam and stitched it in place.IMG_4305

I redrafted and cut new sleeves, which now fit much better (not perfect though).IMG_4313

But what the heck is this!IMG_4318The bias cut of the slim dress make the zipper wobble and pucker something enormously.

I didn’t know what to do to fix it completely, but I ripped the zipper out, fussed on some interlining and hand stitched it back, making sure to shortening it as much as possible. It does look better but not near as good as it should.

I then finished the dress by stitching a bias tape to the inside of the neckline, hemming the skirt and making the belt and bow.

The finished dress:IMG_4348












Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 23 – Modern History

What: a 1930s plaid dress

Pattern: I drafted my own based on the inspiration pic.

Fabric: 1,5 m of polyester plaid, 0,3m of white polyester satin and a scrap of black cotton velvet.

Notions: Thread, zipper, fusible interning, and bias tape used for facing.

How Historical accurate: So so. The look of it is about right, and the plaid is plausible but It should probably have been made in wool.

Time: Way to long! And its a miracle I finished at all with all the trouble I’ve had whit this dress.

Cost: Since everything came from stash it was practically free but If I would have bought everything new I probably have spent about 200 Sek (32Usd).

Fists worn: Dec 22 for a photoshoot. It was meant to be worn for Christmas, but I’m not totally convinced I can pull it of (guess I will decide after the photoshoot).

A 1929s picture dress

When looking at the pictures for my boyfriends exhibition I emedetly fell in love with the photo of the 4 women and the little girl.

CApettersson1 - Kopia

3 generation of women who, probably dresses in their finery for the photograph, all look so severe and sad. It makes me wonder who they where and what there lives was like.

I decided to make one of their garnments, and really wanted to make the little girls jacket. But since the time was limited, I only had two late nights to do it, I decided to make the teenage girls dress instead.

After studying the picture, I drafted a pattern for a straight skirt, a straight bodice with button clouser and a sleeve with a long slim cuff.

And a big white collar…

Those of you who know some of my previous work will recognize the collar.

It is almost the exact same collar as in The 30s sailor dress and in the 1913 to late for Titanic dress!


And yet, I do have historical evidence for all of these dresses (well, I do if you count fashion plates).

I have no idea why, but apperently I’m drawn to dresses with big white collars…

Well, back to the construction. The fabric is a cheap brown cotton and the collar is the exact same fabric, just a lighter shade of colour. The buttons is cheep brown wooden buttos which works verry well with the brown of the fabric.

The whole dress took about 6 hours to make, and I manadged to have it ready and hung 10 minutes before the opening of the exhibition.





The original…CApettersson1 - Kopia - Kopia

And the copy.IMG_1979Hm, maybe not that good…






IMG_2032It was really hard to try to mimic the stiff, severe look of the girl in the photo. But I did my best.

1930s sailor outfit

The 8th challenge in HSF, By the Sea, needed some heavy thinking and decision making on my part. There where so much I wanted to make but at the same time I didn’t have a lot of time to make something (as this challenge was due right before the two big challenges “Flora/Fauna” and “Literature”). So something relatively simple was the plan.

I went through a lot of lovely inspiration pictures (which I will show you some next time), and finally decided on this beutiful dress from 1934:


So I went fabric hunting and straight away found this perfect green and white seersucker on sale for about 2 euro/yard (15 SEK/m). I also got some green bias tape and a grey beltbuckle. The white fabric for the collar is a striped cotton voile from my stash.

2013-06-10 21.17.05

I didn’t have a pattern that would work for the dress so instead I constructed my own after studying some patterns from Waugn’s “Cut of womens clothes”. I cut out all the pieces and pressed interfacing on the collar, cuffs and belt.
The sewing went quick and esay, but when it was time for a try on I realised that I still hadn’t got used to my new smaller measurments, and of course managed to make the dress about two sizes too big.

So I made the dress smaller and then sewed on the collar, cuffs, marked and sewed the length of the skirt.

To really get the right 1930s look I decided to also make a matching hat. I bought a cheep straw hat and re-shaped it with some water and decorated it with a flower/bow.

Then I asked my sister to help me take some pictures down by the canal near my home. The weather was perfect, and we had a good time, got some lovely pictures and some really long looks by the tourists and joggers that went by.








When we were done and on the way home, we spotted a beautiful old car, and asked the owners if we could take some shots of it. The owners were really enthusiastic and even asked me to step into the car. I know nothing about cars but strongly suspect it wasn’t from the 1930s – but it doesn’t matter, it was fun anyway.


IMG_2053Photo by Elin Petersson

Just the facts:

Challenge nr 8: By the Sea
A 1930s dress worn with my soft entry – the straw hat

Fabric: 2m of white/green seersucker and 0,5 m white cotton voile

Pattern: I drafted my own

Notions: Thread, bias tape, beltbuckle and gromets.

How accurate: I really don’t now that much about 1930s sewing, but I guess they didn’t use sergers… but maybe 70 %

Hours: About 10 hours

Cost: 16 USD for the dress (the beltbuckle was about half the amount), and about 16 USD for the hat

First worn: On the photoshoot