Really, they are.
I’m hoping to have a slinky 1930s dress done by January 16th as well as finishing my 1890s dress. A new era of research that I don’t have time for! This isn’t really historical sewing anymore, this is downright vintage/modern, so I don’t know much about it (undergarments? closures?). Even though there should be more information about the 1930s than the 1580s, it’s not on the historical costume blogs I follow!
Anyways, I ended up buying a vintage 1930s pattern: Excella 3742
It does not come with a lot of instructions. In fact, all of them are on the envelope:
And here’s what one of those pattern pieces look like:
Yes, information is indicated by the size of the circle on the pattern.
However, the internet to the rescue! Thank you to the New Vintage Lady for writing a detailed description of how to read this kind of wonky pattern.
I’m don’t think this pattern has even been used. It really has held up quite well. Aside from a bit more creasing, it doesn’t feel any different than a modern tissue paper pattern.
And let’s not even talk about instructions. My favorite part is the “description” of how to sew the closure.
“Finish for closing.”
Thanks. That was real helpful.
First things first, I’m tracing all the pieces onto another piece of paper which I can hack away and cut into as I please. This pattern is a size 14, which is bust-32 and hips 35. I am a bit larger than that, so this is going to need to be graded up. It is also shoulder-to-floor length 55, so I need to lose about 6 inches off the length.
I’ve got some beautiful green Italian silk charmeuse from the garment district in LA. I officially dub this the Slytherin 1930s gown! Swoooooon. Also, I bought some ugly as hell blue and white polka dot poly charmeuse from Joann to use for a mockup so I can practice with slinky things on the bias (I suppose it can become pj pants or corset linings later).
Yes, I will be sewing silk charmeuse on the bias.
Tim Gunn, you are right to be scared. I’m rather scared myself.