Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Art Deco Gem of the Skies

YAY! My second 1920s make --which I made for the perfect occasion, the Napier Art Deco Festival.

Back before everything went a little crazy with the world, I managed to get out (just in time) for my FIRST trip to New Zealand. I've been planning this trip for some time and I'm really lucky that it took place in February because not more than two weeks after returning, the UK went into lockdown and we are just now emerging from that! I feel so so lucky as I know many people had holidays disrupted.  

The Art Deco Festival is the most amazing vintage festival--set in the completely preserved Art Deco town of Napier with lots and lots of activities over the course of the long weekend. I'll be doing a separate post about the festival--I'm hoping to go back in the future, it was so much fun!

One of those events was the opportunity to ride in a DC-3 vintage airplane. These planes were the Art Deco gems of the skies and continued to be made up until the 1960s and there are about 200 still flying across the globe. I was so so excited to get a chance to flow in one of these low flying vintage planes. 

So, of course, I had to make a special outfit for the event. I have a small collection of late 1927 McCall patterns (I'm specifically collecting pattern numbers from 5000-5100) and one of them is this gem:

I love this pattern and it's been so fun to explore sewing 1920s patterns (this is my second). And if you've been following me for awhile, you won't at all be surprised that I didn't quite finish this dress before I got on my long haul flight to New Zealand. So I actually finished the collar by hand in various hotel rooms (hahaha).

I actually made the dress and chose the fabrics to match this awesome cloche hat that I got in Edinburgh at Fabhatrix:

I then found the feather boa and shoes in Napier and the outfit was complete!

The actual flight itself was amazing!  The plane was very small and was gorgeously preserved:

There were small square shaped windows with curtains! I remember curtains from the older airlines and it was so fun to see this again. The seats were quite large:

No air conditioning in the airplane--so it was quite warm. Luckily I had a matching fan that I also got in Napier. It was perfect!

And wow! The flight was amazing! It was loud and low-flying but the views were PHENOMENAL!

It was quite a windy day so we had to do an alternative route and you definitely felt the bumps of the wind. I don't mind that at all luckily!

I posted a short video of the ride on Instagram (unfortunately it's too big to post here) taken by the amazing photographer Robbie Cancian who also took these pictures.

Yipppeeee...what an amazing bucket list item to tick off. I will never forget this amazing adventure.

What about you? Ever sewn 1920's? Do you enjoy flying? Would you ever go on a vintage plane ride?


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

McCall 3658: The Stairway to Heaven Dress

Finally getting around to blogging about this dream dress pattern.

My creative process always starts with the fabric--never with the pattern. I find a fabric I love and then decide which pattern matches it best. This allows me to sew most frequently from my stash and gives me lots of creative freedom to play around with different vintage patterns and decades.  So when I purchased this AMAZING and lush Liberty of London print fabric, I knew instantly that I wanted a pattern that would show it off. I only purchased about a meter and a half so I knew it would have to be part of either a dress or made into separates. I've been less into separates lately and more focused on building my dress and suit wardrobe.

Enter McCall 3658, the most perfect pattern for showing off a fabulous print! The bodice of this dress is quite simple with a button down shirt front. The really unique detail is that there is a matching jacket but the jacket uses part of the bodice fabric ATTACHED at the back to the jacket to form the bow. It's really quite unique! You can see it in the line drawings on the pattern cover:

I made the rest of the dress--the skirt and the jacket from a great sturdy purple gabardine fabric:

I really adore the look of the jacket with the bow:

And because the bow is sewn onto the jacket back, it sits perfectly under the edges of the jacket, I really love that design feature. You can also see the vintage-like buttons that I found that match the olive green pattern in the fabric and blend in a bit more than a purple button might:

I can also wear the dress without the jacket and love how it looks like separates but isn't:

It's funny how most of my fabrics in my stash are already 'destined' for certain patterns...I have it all in my mind. So when I pick up the fabric say three years after I bought it, I know it's 'time' to match it with the pattern that I always had in mind for it. This is such the case with this fabric and I'm so happy to get to sew it to it's vintage pattern match!

We took these photos at a local garden just outside of Edinburgh--and we were the only ones there!  It was very beautiful! Thank you to my dear friend Darja for the taking these photos.

What about you? Do you start with the fabric? Or does your creative process start with the pattern? Or do you start by looking at inspiration pictures?
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