FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Wild Card Prize - A challenging cut and some challenging fabrics, which she's taken in her stride.
Partners In Crime
Outline the story …
At the time the competition and theme were announced, I was actively planning to make a historically inspired holiday gown for myself. I also was reading Agatha Christie's "Partners In Crime." This particular book was published in 1929 and stars two of her recurring crime solving characters, Tommy and Tuppence. Tuppence is witty, delightful, and smart. She even uses her fashion sense to solve a murder. Married to Tommy, she lives an upperclass life, but in this book, she needs to pretend to be his secretary at a fake detective agency whose purpose is root out a Russian spy ring.
The stars seemed to be aligning for my holiday look. So, I contemplated what Tuppence would wear for an evening out while on the case. Given her status, she would have been very aware of the beautiful bias draped designs of Madeleine Vionnet from the late 20s, but playing a secretary would require a little less high fashion. I found that commercial patterns in the style of Vionnet were readily available for home sewists by 1930. Tuppence is understated yet still glamorous as a secretary. I chose to make a complete outfit beginning with proper foundations: underwear, corselet, slip, and gown. I planned for all the materials to come from my own stash.
Outline the construction…
This project was full of firsts in addition to being my first sewing competition. This is the first time I have sewn garments from vintage one size patterns and drafted my own from vintage magazine diagrams. I also learned to sew and finish several new fiddly fabrics. The pale pink rayon step-in combinations are a vintage pattern from 1929 made available by Mrs Depew, #2029. This went together easily and I only had to make adjustments for my torso length.
The corselet was drafted by me from a diagram in a 1931 French magazine also made available by Mrs Depew, #3006. With only a small picture diagram and sparse instructions translated from French, this was quite the challenge. I studied other corsets of the era to make my own changes. The biggest being using a busk instead of buttons. It is made out of coutil and a tight cotton twill from my stash. It is minimally boned and very comfortable.
The 1931 Magic Bias Slip, a diagram in the public domain, was the biggest challenge. Fitting took the longest along with the hand felling all the wiggly silk crepe edges. The steely blue stretch velvet gown, a one size 1931 pattern from Vintage Pattern Lending Library #T5846, required fitting and lengthening the bodice and reworking the skirt pieces as they didn't fit well together and were too large. It required hand stitching the skirt pieces, shirring, and hems. The belt is made/added by me with vintage buckle and shoulder clips.