EvaDress 1930s evening gown

My friend invited me to her wedding.

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So I made a dress.

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It was my first time using an Eva Dress pattern and I think it was pretty successful. The instructions were very brief, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to manage (Burda flashbacks) but I made it in the end and am reasonably happy although very critical of my finishing.

The shell fabric is a polyester chiffon from Goldhawk Road and the sash and skirt band detail are made from silk satin. The (barely visible) slip underneath is made from a lightweight cotton sateen. I was on a bit of a budget, so eschewed the lovelier silk chiffon but in the end the sturdier polyester helped hide my not so brilliant stitching. I stitched it all on my machine and overlocked the seams inside. I also got to use my overlockers rolled hem function, which was actually pretty good.

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The pattern was really good to work with. I did my usual adjustment of adding 1.5inches to the waist length, but I didn’t think ahead enough to add some room at the hips. It’s a little tight, but not uncomfortably so, I can still sit and walk with ease (no pun intended).

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I couldn’t find any hook and eye tape in time, so had to improvise with selvedge strips and hooks and eyes. Having worn it all day I realised that I probably needed more as they kept popping open when I moved about, but thanks to the sash, no one noticed, and there weren’t any indecent exposures. On second thoughts, snaps would have been even better.

I was happy with how it worked out for my first attempt at sewing with chiffon, although it was a stressful, rushed experience. My initial plans for this dress were very different, but I couldn’t find the exact fabric I wanted, so this was my back up. It looks not dissimilar to the pattern envelope. I even copied the two tone sash:

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Making an evening dress for a daytime, summer garden wedding felt a bit weird and inappropriate, but I’m actually glad I did. It’s not often that these occasions occur, and dressing up is fun. I’m curious to adapt this pattern to a shorter version.

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7 comments

  1. That dress is amazing! I think it’s perfect for an outdoor summer wedding, especially that one from looking at the pictures. Great job!

  2. I think it looks lovely and just right for a summer wedding! The fabric is so nice – vintagey and oriental at the same time. Good work!

  3. beautiful dress! i love the fabric and the colors you chose for the sash

  4. This is really beautiful! I especially love it with the royal side of the sash showing. I had never seen that pattern site before, looks like fun!

  5. […] old fool, I now seek out tortoise-related ephemera and on a trip to Goldhawk Road for my wedding dress fabric, I chanced upon this Liberty turtle print cotton lawn. Not a tortoise per-se, but a […]

  6. […] There was something nice about mixing an old pattern with new techniques. I also did this on my Eva Dress evening gown. Does anyone else use modern techniques to finish vintage dresses, or is it better to stick with […]

  7. Wow this is truly beautiful! I love that fabric and you look wonderful.

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