Thursday, May 3, 2012

1936 Gown and Faux Fur Coat

Sewing Level:  Easy 

This gown was a winning entry in the 2012 vintage sewing competition.  Both the gown and coat can be made by a beginning sewer because there are few pattern pieces and the fabrics you choose really carry the design.

The halter gown is made from a gray metallic rayon/spandex knit.  Rayon knits drape and sew well, and the spandex helps the garment recover from stretching and movement.  There is a skirt front, skirt back, armhole band, and center back band. I used fusi-knit interfacing on the armhole (2) and center back (2) bands to discourage the edges from rolling and curling over.  The skirt pattern does not call for a lining.  I was concerned the garment would outline my lower body a little too much so I lined the skirt with the same rayon knit, using the skirt front and back pieces.
The coat is a simple boxy style:  two jacket fronts, jacket back on a fold, two sleeves, collar and lapels.  The faux fur is long pile meaning the hairs are longer than 1/2" (this fur's pile is 2 1/2" long).  I applied fusi knit interfacing to the jacket lining pieces (except sleeves) to help support the shape of the coat.  In a future post I will demonstrate working with faux fur because it's fun to work with and the results are dramatic.
See why I wanted to line the skirt!  Stitch a rayon knit with a narrow zigzag stitch; your stitch must have stretch or else the threads will break when you pull the garment on.  If you have a serger, a four thread medium width overlock stitch is fine.  Apply Steam a Seam fusible tape to the hem area prior to topstitching to avoid stretching the hem.
I plan to dress down this gown on summer weekends with beaded flat sandals for outings to the beach and casual outdoor parties.  I would rather go to an event a little over dressed than let the garments I sew all sit in the closet waiting for special events that may never occur.  Sewing your own clothes is fun!

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