Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2016 Art Deco Weekender in Napier, NZ - I'M GOING!!!!

Back in January of 2014 I went on a holiday with my family to New Zealand, and fell in love with the town of Napier.  You can read that post here.  In that blog post I expressed a wish to go to the Art Deco Weekender.  Well, it didn't happen this year, but it is happening next year!

The Tour Master Extraordinaire of the group of ladies that I travel with organised a trip to the weekender in February 2016.  How she managed to find a hotel with 5 available rooms is beyond me!  There were 10 spots available, and they went like lightening.  I was so lucky to get one!

But get one I did.  Now for the fun bit - OUTFIT PLANNING!

As much as I would love to put together an amazing purely vintage wardrobe for the event, I just can't afford to do it.  So I've decided to make my outfits, and have vintage accessories wherever possible.   

The next question to ask is what era to make.  A lot of the photos I've seen of the event show lots of 1920s outfits BUT the town of Napier was rebuilt in the Art Deco style between 1931 and 1934, so I decided to concentrate on patterns from the early 1930s.  Not only is it more historically accurate for the town, its much more forgiving on my figure!

Then there is the question of WHAT to make.  Thank goodness for Evadress!  I wrote down all the events included on the itinerary (even though there are so many other things we might do, this gave me a place to start), and thought about what I might like to wear to each of them as I dawdled through the 11 pages of 1930s patterns, trying to concentrate most of my attention on the patterns from 1930 to 1935.

It was hard, but this is what I've come up with.

Marian Martin 9963

This first one isn't from Evadress.  Its a pattern I've had in my Etsy favourites for a little while.  We are arriving in Napier on Thursday afternoon, so I though this could be my outfit for whatever we get up to Thursday evening.  The fact that it has a little jacket will make it perfect for twilight near the ocean.

Friday during the day we are going to a clothing market and a guided walk of Napier's CBD.  In this outfit I think I will look elegant whilst elbowing people out of the way to get to the bargains.  And then later when I put the jacket on to wander Napier, hopefully people won't realise I'm the same person.

Friday night we are going to a dinner dance, where some poor person is gong to have to teach me how to do the Charleston.  This dress made in a chiffon will be pretty, era appropriate, AND light and floaty to dance in.

Saturday morning is a visit to a church garden fete, or a sale at the Surf Life Saving Club, so I have picked another perfect-to-elbow-in dress and jacket ensemble.  I'm hoping to track down a vintage lace collar for this one.

This next outfit is going to be a frankenpattern based on this outfit.

How beautiful are these ladies!  I'm completely in love with the beach pajama outfit on the left.  Yes the stripes are going to be a complete pain in the behind, but it will be worth it!

I can draft the top half of the beach pajamas, but I have no experience in drafting pants.  Luckily I found this pattern:

Yes its from the 1970s, but the pants look pretty much identical.  So despite the fact that I feel weird about using a pattern from the 70s to emulate something from the 30s, I'll be doing it anyway.  I will also make a jacket (cause you never know what the weather is going to be like) using the Marian Martin pattern above.

I plan on wearing this outfit on Saturday afternoon.  We will be going to the fashion parades and other fun things that will be going on at the Sound Shell, which is right by the sea side - hence the beach pajama outfit.

Saturday night we will be going to the Silver Slipper Ball, so I think a 1930s gown is in order.  I have used this pattern before to make a dress to wear to the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Speakeasy in Melbourne (see it here).  This time I think I'm going to step it up by making the dress from lace, and wearing it with a nude coloured slip.

Well I thought I was going to do that... then Pamela Smith had to go and show me this.

I now have a bruise under my chin from where my jaw fell open and hit the table.  Isn't it amazing!!!  I've now decided that I will make the other gown, but if I have time before I leave, I'll make this one too.  Then the tough decision will have to be made when I get dressed for the ball.

Sunday is the day of the Gatsby Picnic, so of course I need a gorgeous tea frock to wear!  I'm going to make the one on the left.  I love the attached cape!

Sunday night we are having dinner at the Masonic Hotel (which is the hotel I stayed in when I was there in 2014, so there are photos of it in the blog post I linked to at the start), and I already have the gown cut out in a gorgeous jade rayon crepe, so I figured why not finish it for this night out?  The Masonic is definitely worthy of an amazing gown.

Monday morning it will all be over, and we will be on our way home.  I would love to make this dress to go home in style, but I have lots of other things to sew!  If I have time I will make it, if not I will save it for another time.

So what do you think?  I've got a lot of work ahead of me, but I think its going to make interesting reading!



  1. I think you're an ambitious woman Beccie.
    But I firmly believe you'll smash it out of the ballpark!

  2. I'm looking forward to seeing all those beautiful clothes and how you create them!

    1. I'm glad you are looking forward to watching this come together. I hoped that it would be something that everyone would enjoy :)

  3. That is so fabulously awesome!!! I'm always surprised that this huge, gorgeous event doesn't get more coverage in the vintage blogging world.

    I'm thrilled for you and hope that you have an over-the-moon wonderful time at the Art Deco Weekender!!!

    ♥ Jessica

    1. I'd say the reason it doesn't get more coverage is because its on the wrong side of the world hahahaha! Its definitely going to get a lot of coverage on this blog! xxx

  4. looking forward to seeing your makes. I too adore beach pyjamas and made a pair based on a 60/70s spadea number. they are good fun, but be careful going up any steps.............i have decided they are for leaning against verrandas etc............ and definitely not for running up a stairs!

    1. Now there is something to remember when I make a muslin - can I walk up stairs in it! HAHAHAHA thanks for the heads up Eimear!!!

  5. Gorgeous, all of them! And I'm sure you will pull it off in classic Beccie style. You are an ambitious lady, and I can't wait to see the finished projects!

  6. There's nothing like a great event to get the sewing inspiration going! All your planned outfits looks amazing, and I wish you smooth and swift construction ;)

  7. I love your travel wardrobe plans, cant wait to see them! I recently made a pair of culottes for a 70s pattern which felt weird too but with the right fabric and styling it pretty much like the 30/40s patterns and much its much cheaper then those patterns too :P

  8. They all look amazing and it sounds like a great weekend! I'm so tempted to head over myself, but can't plan that far in advance at the moment.

  9. My sister lives in Napier and loves Art Deco weekend! You're going to be so fabulous!

  10. Wow, what amazing patterns you have picked. I will be really interested to follow your progress!

  11. How fabulous! Will you have time to whip up a robe and nightie as well? I've been perusing the EvaDress and Vintage Pattern Lending Library myself lately. I live in a goldfields town with a tourist steam train, and always feel I should be better dressed at the station. Also, there are always vintage and classic cars here, so I'd have plenty of photo ops.
    Look forward to seeing your creations with hreat interest!

  12. I found this blog as I was searching for things to wear myself this year at Art Deco! I'm not so great a sewer so am throwing together some vintage I have which fits the bill. RE: your 70's pants, you'd be surprised at how the 30's styles cropped up again in the 70's and 80's - 2 of my outfits are from that era but fit perfectly to the 30's style! I have two 20's style and two 30's style outfits planned, just need a few more accessories. I'll see you at the Silver Slipper Ball (I'll be the one in a 10year old black velvet Trelise Cooper made to look like a 20's ball gown!)