Crepe de chine dinner dress

The bodice of this home sewn dress has been cut to make use of the selvedge edge at the front and back V to keep the neckline stable and fitting, while shoulder pleats and the bias effect precludes the need for bust darts. The skirt, which measures an amazing 350 cm [138 inches] at the hem, is cut in two expansive bias panels which have had to be seamed because the fabric was only 115 cm [45 inches] wide. The back pleating detail creates a flattering fit and a fishtail, the effect of which has been somewhat lost after the dress was shortened. The dress is closed with domes as it predates the use of zips in fashion garments which were not used until the 1940s. Read more about the history of home sewing in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Home Sewn.


Credit: Garment loan courtesy of Kim Smith
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Designer: Unknown
Maker: Unknown
Garment type: Dinner dress
Material: Crepe de chine‚Ä®
Features: The svelte form, typical of the early 1930s, has been achieved through the use of clever bias cutting and pleating.
Label: Unlabelled
Date: Early 1930s