Hows tricks, dames?
I’m super excited to share this dress as I’ve been keeping it a secret for a while! This is Decades of Style’s latest 1920’s dress pattern (actually one of three in their recently released collection!) — the Baltimore Dress. It has Art Deco styling with a beautifully draped center panel and is the perfect pattern for a Jazz Age evening gown, summer dress, or add sleeves and it’s a fun day dress.
I tested this pattern and it’s actually a muslin for an upcoming dream gown. However, I will definitely be wearing this dress and I have an occasion next month to wear it to, so I’m all set!
One of the suggested fabrics for this pattern is silk velvet. I’m planning to make my special Baltimore out of silk velvet, but I didn’t want to use it for this version as I was checking the fit to see if I needed to make any changes. I used a red poly velvet from Cali Fabrics, which doesn’t have the same drape or weight of a silk velvet, but it worked for this dress, although the center panel does not quite hang the same as it was designed to.
If you clicked through the link to Cali Fabrics you may notice that my velvet and the photo on the website does not look the same. Well… I made a huge rookie mistake and I am not a rookie, especially when it comes to sewing velvet. I’ve sewn with cotton velveteen, silk velvet, rayon velvet, poly velvet, and most recently with stretch velvet and I have never crushed the nap on velvet before. Well…. for some reason my brain left my head and I fused fusible stay tape to the bias sections of this dress and although I pressed it over velvet, it crushed it. Like majorly crushed it. I was so angry and upset with myself after that and tried to fix it to no avail. I thought about it overnight and decided just to crush more of the velvet all over the dress. Making it work and turning lemons into lemonade.
As far as fit goes, I’m very happy with the fit. I graded up to size 48 at the bust, going up 1 1/2 sizes at the hip. Those are the only mods. Next time I may add an inch to the length and widen the back piece at the hip a tad bit. I used hand-stitched rayon seam binding for the neckline and armscyes. I’m not sharing the inside as it’s a mess (to me) with serging and beading thread and fusible stay tape showing. My next version is going to be lined.
What really makes this pattern are the design lines. The two center pieces are cut on the bias so they drape wonderfully. They’d drape even more in a a drapier fabric and if you used a contrast fabric — wow! That would look spectacular! After I made this one I decided that it needed something more. So I went into my bead stash (yes, I have a large bead stash as I used to bead prolifically) and picked out these silver lined black Czech glass seed beads. I did really fast and lazy beadwork on this dress (8 strands, 4 intervals), so it’s not as clean as it should be. My next version of this dress is going to have a lot of beadwork on it, so I won’t be lazily beading that.
I didn’t have any black 1920’s jewelry, so I wore some contrasting emerald green with this. My friend Jen made the Art Nouveau earring and necklace set. The cuff bracelet was a gift from my mom. The next time I wear this dress I’ll be pairing it with a black/jet long strand of beads (and a coat!!).
Note: I received this pattern in exchange for testing this pattern. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
- Dress: Decades of Style Baltimore Dress in poly velvet, made by me
- Shoes: Aerosoles
- Earrings & Necklace: Made by my friend Jen
- Bracelet: Gift
- Feather comb: Made by me