Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Decades of Style 'Baltimore' Dress

Late last year I was approached by Decades of Style to sew up a version of a pattern they would be releasing in January - the 1920s Baltimore Dress

I thought:
- Deco design lines : TICK!
- No closures : TICK!
- No sleeves (its summer after all) : TICK!
- No darts (I hate darts) : TICK!

Ok, I didn't see the darts on the back of the shoulders....

Anyway, I jumped at the chance to try something different, even if I didn't think the silhouette was going to suit my very curvy hourglass body that only looks good with a defined waist.

The pattern arrived and I started to think about fabric that I might already have that I could use.  The pattern shows the dress in two different fabrics - one for contrast - but I decided to be different (no surprises there!) and sew it all in the one fabric.

This fabric:

Its a gorgeous large-scale floral chiffon that I've had in my stash since forever.  I think I originally purchased it from Gorgeous Fabrics, but it was 5 years ago or so, so don't expect them to have any.

(I now note that chiffon isn't a suggested fabric on the pattern envelope, but hey, when have I ever let that stop me!)

Then I got to thinking about the wonderful seam lines on the pattern.  Making it up in one fabric would camouflage that lovely detail that really MAKES this design.  So I decided to put piping in the seams, and the armholes.  I made the piping from some cord and some rayon bias that I made for the purpose.

Then, with the pieces cut from the fabric, and the piping made, I set about constructing the dress.

This dress sewed up quickly, even though I went completely off on my own with construction methods (I top-stitched instead of sewing seams), and I was using a shifty and painful fabric.  Its the kind of dress that you could easily sew up in a day, and is much more fashionable than any other patterns advertised as quick to sew (yet another tshirt dresses anyone?)

I also want to show you where Dita decided to sleep while I was making bias and piping, and sewing the dress together.  She is so precious.

 She like to be close to her mumma.

Before I knew it the dress was together!

Remember how I said I wasn't sure how it would look on me?  Well before I overlocked/serged the side seams, I tried it on.  It looked pretty good, but was really roomy at the waist, and I was a bit anxious about it.  So I decided to take it in an inch on each side, and really that was all I needed to do!

Here is what it looks like:

I honestly can't believe how slimming it is.

It is such a comfortable dress in the heat.  It moves really nicely, and fits really well.  I've also been wondering how it would look made up in a light wool and worn as more of a jumper with a shirt underneath...

Maybe I will find out one day!

So in closing:
- This is a straightforward, easier than it looks, and quick to sew pattern.
- It features lovely vintage styling.
- Works on more body shapes than you think it would.



  1. Fantastic!! I defo think it needed the piping to create the deco lines. I too have a curvy figure and Art Deco Napier is a Im thinking more of a late 30's shaoe might suit me better. This pattern is perfect!!

  2. I'm loving seeing everyone's makes using Decades of Style's new patterns. I definitely think you've chosen the right sort of fabric for the era, these sort of styles always look better in something floaty. It looks really lovely on you too!

  3. When I saw that pattern my first thoughts were the same as yours, that it wouldn't flatter your hourglass figure, surprise! It looks great on you. The piping is the perfect accent.

  4. Awww, Dita is so sweet!

    The pattern drawing doesn't look shapely, but the end result is very flattering. Looks great!

  5. That dress looks gorgeous on you and the pattern is wonderful! But if I might ask without being to forward, what are you wearing under it since it's so sheer? Is it another dress of some kind?

  6. My first visit, thanks to Peter L. Love the dress!

  7. lovely dress but I have a question. Was it cotton chiffon, silk chiffon or polyester chiffon that you used to make it??

    1. Cotton chiffon? I don't know this fabric, but perhaps it has another name here in the States. Lawn or voile. I am still learning your language :).

  8. Hello,

    I have put on my site, a lot off old french sewing patterns and magazines.


  9. Thanks for sharing your projects with us. This is very cool what you do. Very interesting ideas. Lots of ideas to act.

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  11. Hi. Hope this finds you well. today posted a review for self-drafted Swirl dress, and i thought of you. Many commenters want the pattern. I dont know if you still have it available. If you do, i could leave comment referencing your pattern. I might ref the sewalong, so they can see the wonderful projects you inspired. Thanks, again, for that best wishes from julie.