Art Deco Gina Dress

Flashback Summer: Art Deco Gina Dress - mid 1930s

Whew, it's taken me a while to finish this dress, and it's taken me a while to post on here. It's amazing how much energy it takes to move across the country, start a new job, and live a new lifestyle! I'm finally feeling like I've got my legs back under me and I'm moving into a new "normal."


Flashback Summer: Art Deco Gina Dress - mid 1930s

Being able to sew was a good start to getting back into the swing of things. Being able to sew meant my sewing room is unpacked (at least, enough to have room to create!) and I have the energy to focus on sewing at the end of the day. This dress has taken me a while to finish, but I'm so glad I persevered! I love this dress!

Flashback Summer: Art Deco Gina Dress - mid 1930s

Flashback Summer: Art Deco Gina Dress - mid 1930s

I bought this pattern from Wearing History, one of my most-purchased pattern brands. This "Gina Dress" is a mid-1930s style with lots of unique elements included kick pleats at the front and back, bound buttonholes, and a unique bodice. I'd put it in a more advanced sewing category. (The TLDR sewing details are below if you need quick info.)

Flashback Summer: Art Deco Gina Dress - mid 1930s

The bodice is a fun challenge with several techniques like bound button holes, lapped seams, gathering, and sharp angles. I especially love that you really can't find this kind of bodice on any of the reproduction patterns out these days. It's not a boring, generic 30s pattern; it's got fun details and great options for using prints in creative ways.

Flashback Summer: Art Deco Gina Dress - mid 1930s

The only thing that gave me trouble was my fabric choice, and I think this also influenced my sizing issues, too. I used a very drapey rayon which, while lovely to wear, is a nightmare to sew. Particularly with the techniques used on this dress that require exact precision to look good... do yourself a favor and make it up in something stable like cotton, at least for your first run.

Flashback Summer: Art Deco Gina Dress - mid 1930s

The drape and give of the fabric probably influenced my sizing issues, too. Going by the pattern measurements, I chose a skirt size two sizes larger than my bust size to accommodate my hips. Turns out I really didn't need to, but I'm suspecting my fabric might have stretched a bit before I got it completely together... I wouldn't blame sizing issues on the pattern because measuring the pattern pieces themselves seemed to indicate my original size would fit. I'm not sure why this happened... but either way, I took it in a couple of times until I had a smooth fit from the waist down. I really had to dig deep and persevere on this one; I hate having to re-do things. But obviously it worked out.

The other thing I would recommend is to use snaps for your side closure. I used a zipper from my stash because... stash, and it is really too stiff to allow the side seam to drape properly. It hasn't bothered me enough to change it, but I will use snaps on the next version.

Flashback Summer: Art Deco Gina Dress - mid 1930s

As is the norm, I had a million buttons in my stash but not the RIGHT ones. I ended up buying this amazing belt buckle and button set from a FB group, and I love the contrast with the navy. This color combo is one of my favorites, and I'm glad to finally have it in a garment! I feel like I need to carry my jadeite bowls around with me because I match them so well!

Flashback Summer: Art Deco Gina Dress - mid 1930s

TLDR Project Details
Fabric: modern navy blue rayon
Pattern: "Gina Dress" from Wearing History
Year: mid-1930s
Notions: 6 buttons, belt buckle, interfacing, and closure (zipper/snaps)
How historically accurate is it?  The modern rayon is a bit different from vintage rayon, but it's still a period type of fabric. Besides my zipper choice and interfacing, it's quite accurate! 
Any tricky parts to the pattern?  Bound buttonholes are always my nemesis... but besides that, the only tricky parts are the bodice seams. Very exact topstitching and sharp angles are required.
Did you change anything?  I omitted the cuffs and pockets due to fabric shortage
Time to complete: 3-4 days of actual sewing
First worn: July 21, 2018
Total cost: I think I recall the fabric being about $25 + $10 notions + $18 pattern=$53
Notes: I'll definitely be making this pattern again!  I think I'll go easier on myself next time and sew with a more stable fabric like cotton though. But I can imagine so many comfy summer frocks in this!

1 comment

  1. This dress is such much fun! I love the little details, and the contrast with the navy and lime!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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