Tag Archives: uneven hem 1920s twenties

Flounces, Tiers, and Great Big Bows; 1928-1929

This is a variation on my “Hems Going Down” posts. (Part 1:  1926)  (Part 2:  1928.) While collecting images of 1920’s dresses with high-low hemlines, side drapes, back drapes, and handkerchief hems, I realized that I had quite a lot of pictures of late twenties’ dresses with tiers of flounces, often sharing a page with dresses that feature gigantic bows which flow into side drapes, etc.

Formal Frocks for tthe Holidays, Delineator, Dec. 1928. Butterick patterns 2347 & 2367.

“Formal Frocks for the Holidays;” Delineator, Dec. 1928. Butterick patterns 2347 & 2367.

Paris led the way, with couture frocks of increasing complexity. This simple, flounced, formal gown is by Chanel:

Formal gown by Chanel, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

Formal gown by Chanel, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

“This frock, stiffened at the edges, embroidered with chenille, is black net. From Chanel.”

So is this much more complicated red gown, trimmed with a huge bow:

Velveteen evening frock from Chanel, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

Velveteen evening frock from Chanel, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

“Velveteen is now an evening fabric. Chanel has chosen it in red in a very stiff quality for this frock.” The complexity of that cut would be daunting for a stitcher, in any fabric!

Evening gown by Lucien Lelong, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

Evening gown by Lucien Lelong, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

“This is the new tulle frock of the winter — it is all in tulle, from flowers to hemline. Lelong.” Note Lelong’s  indecision about the waistline, with the dress’ belt lower than the waist of the slip.

Evening dress by Vionnet, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

Evening dress by Vionnet, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

“White chiffon and the glitter of white strass and crystal beads are used by Vionnet for this frock.” ‘Strass’ refers to a type of rhinestone. The skirt looks heavy with beading, and it seems to have a draped (cowl) neckline.

Evening dress by louiseboulanger, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

Paris evening dress by Louiseboulanger, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928.

“Here Louiseboulanger has revived old-fashioned brocaded satin in brilliant yellow.” [Louise Boulanger’s design house used her name as one word, frequently all in lowercase letters.] Note the enormous amount of fabric used in the side drape — perhaps as much as used for the dress itself!

These dresses by Chanel and Lelong illustrate the accompanying text from The Delineator:

Chanel, left and Lelong, right. Illustrated in Nov. 1928.

Chanel, left and Lelong, right. Illustrated in Nov. 1928.

“The full skirt  . . . drops at the back in a graceful point almost touching the floor, with a molded bodice cut higher than the slip, giving the effect of a transparent yoke of lace or chiffon . . . . The skirts, almost without exception, have an uneven hemline, and while the favorite movement is toward the back, there are many which have a diagonal line with a deep point on one side. [Like the Vionnet.]

If there was any doubt about how quickly Butterick’s Paris office could translate designer fashions into patterns for its customers, here are six Butterick patterns which appeared in that same November 1928 issue of Butterick’s Delineator magazine:

For Dancing, Dining and the Opera, Butterick patterns 2312, 2314, 2307. Delineator, Nov 1928.

“For Dancing, Dining and the Opera,” Butterick patterns 2312, 2314, 2307. Delineator, Nov. 1928. The center dress, if made in softer fabric and without the rose trim, would come very close to the black, chenille-embroidered Chanel.

Dresses for Dancing, Dining and the Opera, Delineator, nov. 1928. Butterick patterns 2315, 2317, 2325. Jacket 1367.

Dresses “for Dancing, Dining and the Opera,” Delineator, Nov. 1928. Butterick patterns 2315, 2317, 2325. Jacket 1367. The jacket was called a “bridge jacket.”

The bow construction on Butterick 2317 deserves a closer look:

A massive amount of fabric is ruched into the bow of Butterick 2317, Nov. 1928.

A massive amount of fabric is ruched into the bow of Butterick 2317, Nov. 1928.

Tiers and flounces were also featured in these 1928 patterns:

Butterick patterns 2325, 2314. Delineator, Dec. 1928.

Butterick patterns 2325, 2314. Delineator, Dec. 1928. The afternoon dress on the left has a high-low hem.

Butterick patterns 2297. 2301, and 2315. Nov. 1928; Delineator.

Butterick patterns 2297. 2301, and 2315. Nov. 1928; Delineator. [The dress on the right, made sleeveless, is the black evening dress shown above with a bridge jacket.]

Butterick patterns  2379, 2287, 2366. Delineator, Dec. 1928.

Butterick patterns 2379, 2287, 2366. Delineator, Dec. 1928.

The one on the left above has flounces and a bow. The high/low-hemmed dress at right is for a young woman.

“This lace frock is the most formal of daytime fashions.” Butterick 2430. Butterick 2446, right, has a cowl neckline attributed to Vionnet. It’s rather austere, except for its enormous bow. Feb. 1929, Delineator.

Flounces and great big bows: Butterick patterns 2448 and 2468, Delineator, Feb. 1929.

Flounces and great big bows: Butterick patterns 2448 and 2468, Delineator, Feb. 1929. The “bow” on the left seems to be flounces stiffened with horsehair.

Nothing succeeds like excess.

Delineator, December 1928.

Delineator, December 1928.

Although the “pillow” bow on the right is outrageous, the curved seams in the chiffon dress (far left) and the lace dress (center right) are real tests of sewing skill. The lace dress has both the uneven hem and sheer top  [“the effect of a transparent yoke of lace or chiffon . . . . The skirts, almost without exception, have an uneven hemline.”] described in The Delineator.

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Filed under 1920s, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage patterns

A Wedding Party: Butterick Patterns for May 1929

Maid of Honor and Bride, Delineator magazine, May 1929.

Maid of Honor and Bride, Delineator magazine, May 1929.

Just in time for June weddings, The Delineator’s May issue suggested these Butterick patterns for the bridal party and guests.

It’s a little late to make these gowns for June, 2015, but in case you’re dreaming of a retro wedding, here are five designs from a very lovely period of 1920’s fashions.

The bride and her maid of honor are wearing full-skirted gowns — see other robes de style in my last post, about Lanvin. I noticed this wedding article while looking for other examples of transitional hemlines from the late 1920’s; hems that were long in back and short in front — or simultaneously long and short in other ways — anticipate the longer hems of the 1930’s.

The Bride, Butterick No. 2634

Butterick bridal pattern 2634, Delineator, May, 1929.

Butterick bridal pattern 2634, The Delineator, May, 1929.

1929 may p 25 bride 2634 wedding text

Elsewhere in The Delineator, this same pattern was offered as an evening dress. See Other Versions, at end of post.

The Maid of Honor, Butterick Pattern No. 2630

This sleeveless gown is suggested for an outdoor wedding.

Butterick pattern 2630, suggested for a Maid of Honor, The Delineator magazine , May 1929.

Butterick pattern 2630, suggested for a Maid of Honor, The Delineator magazine , May 1929.

1929 may p 25 wedding text 2630 maid of honor

I’m glad “Crinoline chiffon” was defined: it’s “starched chiffon.” Although the Bride’s gown was available up to size 44 bust, the Maid of Honor is a youthful 31 to 38 inches. (If you’re puzzled by size “14 to 20 years,” click here.)

Wedding Guests, 1929

Butterick patterns suitable for wedding guests, Delineator, May 1929.

Butterick patterns suitable for wedding guests, Delineator, May 1929.

Mother of the Bride, Butterick No. 2626

Both the dress and the jacket hems are scalloped.

Butterick pattern 262 is suggested for the Mother of the Bride, Delineator, May 1929.

Butterick pattern 2626 is suggested for the Mother of the Bride, Delineator, May 1929.

1929 may p 24 wedding guests 2626 brides mother  text rt

A note to modern brides and wedding parties: bare arms were not acceptable in some churches even in the 1970s. A wedding was not thought of as an opportunity to look as “hot” as possible, but to exchange solemn vows. A lace jacket was a way to be modestly covered up during the ceremony; the jacket could come off for dancing after the wedding.  Nevertheless, since this is described as a “formal garden wedding,”  the bride’s sister is shown in a sleeveless dress.

The Bride’s Sister, Butterick No. 2631

Butterick pattern 2631 was suggested for the Sister of the Bride. Delineator, May 1929.

Butterick pattern 2631 was suggested for the Sister of the Bride. Delineator, May 1929.

1929 may p 24 weddingbrides sister 2631 text rt

“A draped yoke, in Vionnet’s best manner, ends in a bow at the shoulder and flatters with its soft lines. The applied flares are unusually placed.” In this case, the skirt appears to be longer at the sides.

A Wedding Guest, Butterick No. 2577

Wedding guest, Butterick pattern 2577, Delineator, May 1929.

Wedding guest, Butterick pattern 2577, Delineator, May 1929.

1929 may p 24 wedding guests 2577  text

This dress has an uneven long-short hem thanks to its “oblong handkerchief drapes.”

Other Versions of the Wedding Dress

In May, the wedding dress pattern (2634) was also illustrated as “the most important formal evening gown of the month,” made sleeveless, with a deep back decolletage. Recommended colors for this lace gown are beige, “string,” lake blue, black, and yellow.

Butterick pattern 2634, "the most important formal evening gown of the month." Delineator, May 1929.

Butterick pattern 2634, “the most important formal evening gown of the month.” The Delineator, May 1929.

In this version, the skirt is cut in long scallops.

1929 may p 26 2634 evening gown text rt

Apparently, the jacket “is useful to turn this frock into one less formal. It makes the gown correct for important afternoon occasions. Its decolletage is formal — a deep V in front and a much deeper one in back.”

In June, the same wedding dress pattern, No. 2634, was described as ” a smart dress for outdoor dining, on roofs, country house terraces, country club verandas.” Here, the back decolletage is less revealing.

Butteick 2634 illustrated in Delineator, June 1929.

Butterick 2634 illustrated in The Delineator, June 1929.

1929 june p 25 evening 2634

“It is just the degree of informality to be very useful. . . . It has long sleeves, a new high fashion for the evening. It has a V decolletage, that may be very much deeper. It has an uneven, scalloped hem-line very long in back. And it is worn with a little jacket of the same fabric.”

This is a good illustration of the importance of taking fashion descriptions with a grain of salt. The dress that was “the most important formal evening gown of the month” in May, has “just the degree of informality to be very useful” in June. Presumably the difference lies in the decolletage, and in the difference between lace and “crepe de Chine, an important dull fabric.” I’m thinking that those scalloped edges would be easier to hem in printed chiffon or crepe de Chine than in lace!

 

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes