I have finally finished restoring this stunning 1930s summer day dress.
I initially thought that the fabric was silk, but since having spent so much time handling it I’m sure it’s actually rayon. Such exquisite colour and floral pattern. I am in love with this dress but I honestly don’t think the style suits me as much as I thought it would.
The dress has been beautifully restored with some minor modifications. It now has a lovely long metal side zipper so it’s very easy to get on and off. Previously, as with most dresses from this era, it had a small side opening with hooks and eyes. Not very convenient at all. I’ve also added a new hook and eye above the zip so it sits perfectly against the body.
It also now has new shoe string straps that I painstakingly made by hand, to match the trim around the edge of the hem. Both the hem edge and the straps are a beautiful red orange silk. This dress was clearly a home sew and I have retained as much of it’s authenticity as possible, right down to the stitching. I’ve even redone the ruching to the bodice in exactly the same way it was done originally, despite knowing there was an easier way of doing it.
It’s amazing what you can learn about a dress by spending time in it’s company.
I hand stitched the straps on but made sure I left good length on them incase the next owner needs them to be a little longer.
I think the most daunting part about restoring any dress is when you’re in the thick of it. After the dress has been pulled apart and there are bits of fabric everywhere, you just have to take a deep breath and methodically start putting it back together. I was so pleased when I realised that all there was left to do were the straps. The final motivation to complete it. I’m very pleased with the result and think it has turned out beautifully.