Thursday, 23 February 2017

{Sewn} Isabelle’s Art Deco Dress

Here in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay of New Zealand we celebrate an annual ‘Art Deco’ festival. This festival commemorating the 1931 Napier Earthquake in which 256 people lost their lives, and many of the damaged buildings were rebuilt in accordance with the distinctive ‘Art Deco’ style of the time – thus giving Napier a real Deco flavour that still lives on today.

The festival is a pretty big event in our community with a lot of people travelling to attend and many people dressing up. Our kids’ school does a dress up day too, and when I spotted this fabric in my local fabric store (Spotlight) I decided to sew Isabelle a dress!

Art Deco Isabelle

At some point during this blog post I had planned to make a hilarious joke about how I’d painstakingly stitched every sequin on, but unfortunately I’ve already revealed that I bought it like this from Spotlight, so that joke won’t fly! In fact, the whole sewing process was rather pain free – I just used my old staple, the Blank Tank pattern from Melly Sews, with a few modifications – the obviously one being that I lengthened it to be a dress and I also lined it with a soft grey marle cotton/lycra knit blend (because the back of the sequin fabric would have been a little itchy if left exposed against the skin.) Because I was sewing with sequined fabric (my first time), I used special needles called ‘sharps’ as recommended by my fabric store and a small zig zag stitch due to the stretchiness of the fabric.

The only trouble I encountered during the sew was trying to get my mind about how to line it and still be able to turn it in the right way. As the original pattern isn’t lined I had to work it out for myself and in the end I put the call out for advice in a couple of facebook sewing groups I belong to. From there the ‘Burrito roll method’ was suggested (as demonstrated by this video) , but in the end I followed this method which gave the same end result. (All in all it was a very quick sew and I probably spent more time trying to get my head around this issue rather than anything else.)


Honestly, how gorgeous is this girl!? She shines with or with out sequins!

To complete the look, Isabelle and Pipi both made the flapper style headbands (with some assistance from me.) We just used stretchy black lace that I already had in my stash and tied it at the back and the girls attached the feathers and plastic jewels with the hot glue gun. They are big fans of the glue gun!

I would have got some photos of them making them, but I was too busy supervising two eager girls dealing with hot glue, so that didn’t happen!

Art Deco Isabelle 2

Pipi, never one to be left out, decided she needed some photos as well – she’s not in full costume, but you get the picture… and I think these pics reflect her personality rather well!

Pipi Grace

No words!

I’ve been on a bit of a sewing kick recently, with heaps of things I want to sew (once I finish custom orders of course – nearly there!) … and also with a couple of unblogged projects/ works in progress that I hope to share with you soon!

Do you have any projects on the go/ in the pipeline?

Jen x