|Alice Faye in a dressing gown in That Night in Rio (1941)|
As promised, here is a post to show you the two lovely vintage robes/dressing gowns I own. This first dressing gown is early 1950s, cotton, and homemade by a very talented seamstress. The sleeves are probably supposed to be worn down, but I like them better pushed up. The pictures hardly give an impression of how big the sleeves really are! Unfortunately I won't be keeping it because it doesn't fit me well at all. I'd like to try and make a scan of the floral print and put it on Spoonflower so that I can maybe make a copy of the robe some day.
Ever since I started sewing, I have eagerly been studying the construction of vintage garments. This particular gown has multiple seam finishes: some are unfinished because they where cut on the selvage, some are pinked, the side seams of the bodice are french and the waist seam is finished with a zigzag stitch. The neckline and the cuffs are faced with a stiff yellow Pellon. The skirt has a narrow hem. The gown also has bound buttonholes and two double welt pockets.
And now we get to this beauty, which I think will be staying with me forever. Or a while, at least. It is probably early 40s, maybe late 30s and is not homemade, it actually has a label that says 'made in u.s.a.'. It is made of the prettiest purple satin fabric ever, with beautiful embroidery all over. A robe like this really makes you feel like a Hollywood star. The back is longer than the front and glides behind you when you walk. And when you walk down a flight of stairs it slides down the steps! I would almost wear it the whole day just for that! Sadly it is not in the best condition. It is riddled with dirt and discoloration stains. A previous owner also darned a hole on the front with blue thread (why??), I'm hoping I'll be able to take that out safely and darn it with a matching thread instead.
Look how well the purple goes together with the pink peach! You can also see some of the stains here. Construction details, for those who are interested: The underarms have french seams, all the rest of the seams are pinked except for the center fronts, which are cut on the selvage. It has a narrow hem and the pocket is top stitched on to the robe. The robe itself is not embroidered by the way, it is made from embroidered fabric. The fabric is rayon, but washable. (I carefully washed the waist tie first, then I knew it was safe to wash the robe. Boy was it dirty!)
Here you see Alice Fay in That Night in Rio (1941) in a most fabulous dressing gown, as she is walking down the stairs. My early 40s robe slides over the steps just like hers does!