A really quick 1920s dress

April 27, 2015

I have no 1920s clothes. At all. The closest I have is my quicky 1918 dress, but it's day wear, and I have nothing for evening. So, when I was gifted a ticket to History with a Twist, an evening cocktail fundraiser with a 1920s theme, I had to whip up something quick.

I started putting together a Robe de Style, but it turned out to be too much dress for as little time I had available, so I had to put it aside. I didn't know what to do at first. 1920s is completely uncharted territory for me, and I didn't think the low-waisted styles would look good on my decidedly hourglass figure. But, I bit the bullet and went for it, trying my hand at a "one hour dress".

For these sorts of dresses, it's all about the fabric choice. You want something that has a lot of drape to it, nothing stiff. I didn't have anything quite right in The Stash, but I did have something suitable in the closet - an ancient, ancient cloak of a lavender colored stretch velvet. It imitates silk velvet very nicely, and has just the right drape for this sort of project.

I was a bit hesitant to cut up the cloak. I made it while I was in my "make everything from Lord of the Rings" phase, so it's a copy of this cloak. The hood drapes so beautifully, and I made the mistake of trying on the cloak again and loving it, so I really hesitated. But, then I reminded myself that I couldn't actually remember ever wearing this cloak, and it had been hanging in the closet, no kidding, for 12 years.

So, I gave in and reused the fabric. Because the cloak is freaking gigantic, I had a ton of fabric to work with, but because of the way the cloak was cut, I had to end up making my 20s dress with separate top and skirt sections instead of in one piece. The fabric of the cloak was also really deteriorated in some spots. The ground of the velvet is some sort of net that had splits and runs in it from hanging for so long, and I suppose I must have worn this cloak at some point because there was hemline damage and staining. I really, really don't remember every wearing this cloak anywhere, but it clearly happened!

The pattern is based off the diagram that Jen of Festive Attyre posted, with it modified to my own size, and cut at the waistline to facilitate the fabric wrangling that had to occur. It all went together really quickly, though not quite "one hour" quickly. I cut out and assembled the dress in two hours, and then worked on finishing and hemming the next night, so there's maybe a total of 3 or 4 hours to this dress. Still, it's a super quick dress! I'll definitely be using this sort of technique again!

Because of the time crunch, I didn't take any photos of the making-of process. (Geeze, that seems to be a theme lately!) But, here are some photos of me wearing the dress at the event!


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