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Vionnet in Miniature

Made from asymmetrically joined silk crepe, gradated from beige to brown, this 1922 dress was reproduced by Ruta J. Wilk of Marietta, Georgia.
This detail is from the 1933 silk satin crepe dress shown in Threads Issue #147, page 38. The reproduction was made by Ruth Ciemnoczolowski of Omaha, Nebraska.
This circa 1937 wrapped wool velour coat was made using slashes and gussets, with the collar and cuffs in fur, and reproduced by Roberta Mead of Valparasio, Indiana.
Made from asymmetrically joined silk crepe, gradated from beige to brown, this 1922 dress was reproduced by Ruta J. Wilk of Marietta, Georgia.

Made from asymmetrically joined silk crepe, gradated from beige to brown, this 1922 dress was reproduced by Ruta J. Wilk of Marietta, Georgia.

Esteemed designer Madeleine Vionnet's spirit must have smiled at the sight of the half-scale reproductions of her garments created by the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (ASDP) for its 2009 conference. Some were featured in Threads No.147, but here are more of the charming garments. In some cases I've included pictures of their toiles (the muslin versions used to fine-tune the pattern) because they are wonderful little sculptures in their own right.

Madeleine Vionnet was a fashion pace setter during the 1920s and 30s, and her management style was as progressive as her fashion style. Her impressive establishment with more than 1,000 employees produced her designs, and even included an on-site physician. Vionnet has drawn more attention lately with the exhibition of her work in Paris and the way her designs fit the current trends. For more of Vionnet's work, watch this video or this one for some great shots of her recent exhibit.

Project Coordinator Joyce Hittesdorf, President, ASDP and Event Coordinator Sandra Ericson of the Center for Pattern Design made the ASDP Vionnet Identique exhibit in October a great success.

 


Made from asymmetrically joined silk crepe, gradated from beige to brown, this 1922 dress was reproduced by Ruta J. Wilk of Marietta, Georgia.

 


This detail is from the 1933 silk satin crepe dress shown in Threads Issue #147, page 38. The reproduction was made by Ruth Ciemnoczolowski of Omaha, Nebraska.

 


This circa 1937 wrapped wool velour coat was made using slashes and gussets, with the collar and cuffs in fur, and reproduced by Roberta Mead of Valparasio, Indiana.

 


Made circa 1932, this suit, reproduced by Lisa Levaggi Rich of Alameda, California, is comprised of a pink silk satin blouse with a cowl neck, an anatomically-cut brown jacket, and pants in salmon pink silk crepe. The toile is on the left.



This beaded wrapped dress was made of red silk crepe romaine with a pseudocape at each side of the back. Circa 1925, this dress was reproduced by Joyce Hittesdorf of Carmel, Indiana.

 


Circa 1930, all parts of this jacket were bias-cut, with barrel-like sleeves and an anatomically-cut bodice made of navy blue silk taffeta. The reproduction was made by Gayle Moline of Manson, Iowa.



Reproduced by Karen Ahrens of Oakland, Nebraska, this 1933 dress has a bias-flared skirt, cowl neckline, and an anatomically-cut bias bodice, all made of light tan silk crepe.

 


This beige chiffon evening gown uses fringe as a surface design. Originally made in 1933, it was reproduced by Monique Saviano of Los Altos Hills, California.



This 1935 dress was made with off-white, heavy silk crepe and drawn thread using the bias.  The reproduction was made by Denise Severson of Janesville, Wisconsin.



A completely two-dimensional design, this 1921 cape is a rectangular envelope of black velvet. The reproduction was made by Karen Raker of Walpole, Maine.


stitchhappy judith neukam, senior technical editor
Posted on Dec 23rd, 2009 in design, online extras, garment construction

Comments (17)

aline_C aline_C writes: merci pour ces modèles en miniature

j'ai eu le plaisir de faire la robe "Reproduced by Karen Ahrens of Oakland, Nebraska, this 1933 dress has a bias-flared skirt, cowl neckline, and an anatomically-cut bias bodice, all made of light tan silk crepe."

vous pouvez la voir ici
http://ahcestla.blogspot.com/2009/09/robe-vionnet.html

Posted: 3:44 pm on July 7th

salyenefairy salyenefairy writes: does anyone know where I could find patterns for the dresses in the magazine? I've been looking for the book, and it's REALLY expensive
Posted: 8:00 pm on February 13th

VeraS VeraS writes: Great article, but what book is everyone referring to? I'd like to know the title so I can look it up. Thanks.
Posted: 2:01 pm on February 8th

Memmy Memmy writes: Hello All, I have owned this book for some time and was fortunate enough to see the exhibition in Paris. It was marvelous . I am very impressed with all you folk who have made up some of these patterns I would love to, BUT please can someone tell me about the scale used on these pattern in the book . I am probably missing something very simple here but how can I actually make these patterns into something like even 1/2 scale without a grid or a reference ?? I would really appreciate some info on this as I cant wait to to have a go myself. Thanks Marianne
Posted: 10:14 pm on December 30th

decoratrice decoratrice writes: On reviewing the book, I now see most of the patterns--gotta try some st 1/2 scale! When I made the anatomically cut jacket, I traced the pattern onto gridded mylar and used an overhead projector to blow it up. That makes any distortions caused by the projection easy to spot.
Posted: 11:17 am on December 29th

SarasotaSue SarasotaSue writes: This may finally propel me to try some of the patterns - I have owned the book for a number of years. In the article, the brilliant red dress with jabots was described as being edged with a machine made picot stitch. I was hoping to see that detail. Can't quite get my head around that.
Posted: 8:59 am on December 29th

decoratrice decoratrice writes: Where did the sewers get the patterns? I recognize some from the Vionnet book, but not all. Please tell, so we can play, too! I made the "anatomically-cut" jacket from the pattern in the book, and as far as I can tell, it refers to the jacket's mimicking the body's contours, so that if one could stand it up, it would have a distinctly human shape in the arms, sides, and back (the front hangs straight from the shoulder.
Posted: 10:10 pm on December 28th

LynWesternAustralia LynWesternAustralia writes: Thoroughly enjoyed viewing the links. I have dress form patterns that will suit this silhouette - http://www.lynwaring.com/mfd.htm. Sounds like a great project for 2010. Bests, Lyn
Posted: 9:32 pm on December 28th

LynWesternAustralia LynWesternAustralia writes: I did a 'google search' What does "anatomically-cut" mean? I guess it means to 'hug the body'!
Thoroughly enjoyed viewing the links. I have dress form patterns that will suit this silhouette - http://www.lynwaring.com/mfd.htm. Sounds like a great project for 2010. Bests, Lyn
Posted: 9:31 pm on December 28th

LynWesternAustralia LynWesternAustralia writes: Hampton300 I did a 'google search' What does "anatomically-cut" mean? I guess it means to 'hug the body'!
Thoroughly enjoyed viewing the links, have been to Amazon and order the book - absolutely facinating! I have dress form patterns that will suit this silhouette - http://www.lynwaring.com/mfd.htm. Sounds like a great project for 2010. Bests, Lyn
Posted: 9:31 pm on December 28th

LynWesternAustralia LynWesternAustralia writes: Hampton300 I did a 'google search' What does "anatomically-cut" mean? I guess it means to 'hug the body'!

Thoroughly enjoyed viewing the links, have been to Amazon and order the book - absolutely facinating! I have dress form patterns that will suit this silhouette - http://www.lynwaring.com/mfd.htm. Sounds like a great project for 2010. Bests, Lyn
Posted: 9:30 pm on December 28th

LynWesternAustralia LynWesternAustralia writes: Hampton300 If copy and paste the following link - it is googles answer to your question - What does "anatomically-cut" mean? I guess it means to 'hug the body'!

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:*:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7GGLL_en&ei=Dmc5S6HzL8-IkAWQ7JCFCQ&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&ved=0CAwQBSgA&q=What+does+%22anatomically-cut%22+mean%3F&spell=1

Thoroughly enjoyed viewing the links, have been to Amazon and order the book - absolutely facinating! I have dress form patterns that will suit this silhouette - http://www.lynwaring.com/mfd.htm. Sounds like a great project for 2010. Bests, Lyn
Posted: 9:29 pm on December 28th

LynWesternAustralia LynWesternAustralia writes: Hampton300 If copy and paste the following link - it is googles answer to your question - What does "anatomically-cut" mean? I guess it means to 'hug the body'!

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:*:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7GGLL_en&ei=Dmc5S6HzL8-IkAWQ7JCFCQ&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&ved=0CAwQBSgA&q=What+does+%22anatomically-cut%22+mean%3F&spell=1

Thoroughly enjoyed viewing the links, have been to Amazon and order the book - absolutely facinating! I have dress form patterns that will suit this silhouette - http://www.lynwaring.com/mfd.htm. Sounds like a great project for 2010. Bests, Lyn
Posted: 9:29 pm on December 28th

LDL LDL writes: I loved these, but if anyone else posts pictures, please include a hand, spool of thread or bobbin to give us the full impact of half-size.
Posted: 7:54 pm on December 28th

Hampton300 Hampton300 writes: What does "anatomically-cut" mean?
Posted: 5:20 pm on December 28th

dnjmama dnjmama writes: I loved reading the article in Threads & this one on-line.

Does anyone know if the show of these minatures is traveling to any locations? If so, might you share that information? I would dearly love to see this in person...

Vionette had such mastery of her fabrics & her draping is, of course, simply legendary.
Posted: 3:58 pm on December 28th

AsteroidB612 AsteroidB612 writes: AWESOME! I redid one of her dresses over the summer, a deceptively simple handkerchief dress, A very educational undertaking and a magnificent study of one the maestro's of architectural fashion design!
She designed all her dresses in half-size, on a child sized but adult bodied mannequin made just for her. It looked like a very useful tool. Big enough to give a feel for fabric and drape, but small enough to really got a mock-up going and move and pin and drape.
I suggest the exercise of redoing one of her dresses etc to all you fabulous fashion sewers.
P.S. the finished product sits on you like a dream of liquid silk... She was a genius!
Posted: 3:45 pm on December 28th

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