Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fun with Folkwear

This summer I've taken it upon myself to review and strengthen my sewing skills, reaching outside of my prior comfort zone with new patterns, fabrics and techniques. The Slingers banner posed new design challenges (more on that with an update to come) - this time around, I couldn't help but play with wispy textiles. When I saw this wonderful, Art Deco-inspired yoryu fabric in the clearance section of Joann Fabrics, I knew I would finally work on a pattern I'd longed to approach: Folkwear #214, a 1927 tea frock.

The design is very simple, and offers several options - long or short sleeves, collar or no collar, smocking or a flat drop-waist, as well as period-correct embroidery patterns. I decided to go with short sleeves (they're like fluid little wings!), and the basic waist - adding a sash to the left side, thus concealing the closure hooks and snaps. It had to be cool and free-flowing for dancing, as I'm gradually retiring my fragile vintage pieces, in favor of dance-friendly new ones. I performed on April 8th in this, and it is Ideal for the Charleston. The yoryu was a joy to play with, especially once I'd figured out the secret of sewing sheer fabric on top of newsprint - it made the work immensely faster and easier!

The cloche is an original, circa 1927-29, found at a wonderful estate sale on Eastern Avenue in Cincinnati, OH back in the early 1990s. These photos were taken at a garden party today, at our dear friend Rawlins Gilliland's beautiful home - Matt and Tom Pecena (a great friend, as well as my dance partner) were happy to pose for these photos.

I'm certain there will be more costumes to come - I recently bought a slew of reprint patterns from the 1910s -1930s, and expect this summer to be busy! Stay tuned...

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