tiistai 22. lokakuuta 2013

A vintage saree and what happened to it...

About 2 weeks ago I searched Etsy for suitable sarees for my costuming projects and found and ordered two. The other one arrived surprisingly quickly and even though I had first intended to use both the sarees for making more Regency gowns, the garment started to look more and more like 20s flapper dress material.
The saree in question was lemon yellow chiffon, the borders embroidered with metallic yarn, beads and sequins and the pallu end of the saree had beautiful flower and vines embroidery with more sequins and beads. After some sketches and browsing through a ton of pictures of extant 20s gowns I settled on a shape. 20s dresses can be cut very simple and made to look very elaborate or vice versa. I wanted to have a simple design but still something more than a plain sheath dress, so I deviced a pattern which is loosely based on the 1925 Vionnet dress in Janet Arnold's patterns of fashion. The dress only has a front and back piece and they are exactly the same.

The dress piece. The horizontally wide part is the hem and the cut creates the nice hanging pointy things on each side.

I wanted to use the flowery bit at the front of the dress. Luckily it was about 110cm wide, exactly the right lenght for my dress.




The rest of the saree was scattered with these little leaf motifs.

 
I was very lucky to find fabric for the underdress. Since the saree is chiffon (aka. veeery see-through) the dress needed an underlayer. Miracle of miracles, I managed to bag this viscose fabric, and the colour matches the saree perfectly!
First I sewed the underdress pieces together and hemmed them. I then cut, sewed and hemmed the chiffon pieces. The front piece of the dress needed some piecing, because I wanted to use the flowery bit for the centre front, I needed to cut the side hem pieces separately and sew them on the centre piece. The back piece is all one piece. Because chiffon frays like crazy, I sewed double seams everywhere. I then joined the underdress and the chiffon dress at the neck line. I tried to join the chiffon dress shoulders at first, but it pulled the bodice too high on my neck and it just looked stupid, so I chose to align the top edges of the chiffon dress with the neck edge of the underdress.
The chiffon dress is slightly longer than the underdress and this gives me the opportunity to pull it up a bit with a long sash of the same chiffon fabric (basically all the rest of the saree left over). Here are some pictures I took today, complete with my attempts on 20s hair and makeup.






My make-up skills are practically nonexistent; I never really learned when I was a teenager...

A sudden fit of vampiness.


I still had a smaller piece of the saree left, so it became a head scarf.

8 kommenttia:

  1. It looks fantastic. The colour suits you too.
    I tried doing something similar with a 'sarong' (I bought it to go with a swimming costume but the costumes gone now).

    VastaaPoista
    Vastaukset
    1. Thank you! I was surprised about the colour looking so nice; I like yellow and wear cadmium yellow often but this was a new shade for me. Sarees are great for costuming, you get a ton of material and there's so much variety!

      Poista
  2. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! and very precise and creative!

    VastaaPoista
    Vastaukset
    1. Thank you very much! And may I congratulate you! :)

      Poista
  3. Oh....my....word! Your new dress is fabulous! Everything about it is perfection!

    VastaaPoista
  4. It's beautiful! I love the color. And the make-up looks very good too. Makes you look like a true temptress.

    VastaaPoista
    Vastaukset
    1. Thank you! I need to practice the make-up, even for everyday purposes, but it was a passable attempt :)

      Poista