Roaring 20s Dress

Got a message from E’s school a few weeks back. This morning, all of 5th grade has a 20s themed dance party. They’ve been playing stock exchange for social studies and I suspect the crash is going to happen today, sometime after the party… Anyway, all parents were given a long head’s up so they could help their kids with their costumes. E asked me to make hers. Thankfully, 20s is easy. I had an idea of what I had to make but we did some research anyway. She saw a gorgeous beaded shimmery dress that she loved. I had to gently reduce her ambitions. I figured a simple tank dress in some sort of sequined fabric would do the trick.


I had a gift certificate for Stylish Fabrics from my first season of Project Run & Play. I hadn’t found anything I wanted back then but I found the perfect fabric for the dress. Black sequins on stretch jersey knit in U shape pattern. The pictures on the website lead me to believe that the U shape was lengthwise. When I got the fabric, it turned out the U was horizontal. I played with the fabric and it did have some stretch in the length so I decided to cut the fabric on the crossgrain. That meant the dress would be stretchy along the length though. I was worried it would get pulled down by its own weight. I decided to cross that bridge later.


I took the girls to the city during their Spring break. (We went on the day it snowed.) Pacific Trimming had most of what I wanted: fringe, stretch sequins, stretch trim, and foldover elastic. We went to some other place for the feathers and beaded embellishment for the headpiece. I can never remember the name of the store. I just remember it’s on the same street as Pacific Trimming (38th?) but close to 6th Avenue. That’s all I got.


Then, I searched for a pattern and settled on Jalie 3246. I figured I could just chop some length off. I wanted to widen the straps if I recall correctly, but I didn’t. This isn’t something she’s going to wear on a regular basis after all. Working with the sequined fabric was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It helped that I wasn’t dealing with all over sequins. I traced the pattern onto the fabric before cutting with scissors. I cut the pieces so that the U shapes would be vertical and upside down. I thought that had a bit of an Art Deco vibe, no? There’s a fairly wide section on each selvedge that has no sequins. I arranged my pattern pieces so that the straps wouldn’t have sequins and I cut my binding pieces from that section as well.

Sewing went well. I broke 2-3 needles (I wore glasses to protect my eyes but no sequins flew off). I used a plain old straight stitch on my machine. With the stretch running vertically, I wanted my seams to help stabilize. At first, I thought the weight was dragging the dress down. When I tried it on E, to see where to cut it, the neckline felt low. I was all ready to add some lace or something but everything snugged up properly when I added the binding. Oh, the sequins were scratchy on the inside so I used the foldover eleastic to bind the seam allowances. I put fringe on the bottom and cute trim at the top of the armholes. It’s black elastic with a sheer ruffle and square sequins attached with beaded thread.



For the headpiece, I did no sewing. I just measured the sequin elastic, cut and used a hot glue gun to stick it all together. I glued the feathers on top of the seam to hide it and then the beaded embellishment on top. Done!


We did a quickie shoot yesterday afternoon and E showed me the dances they learned…



Creative mommy at home to two wonderful little girls, trying to juggle family, sewing, exercise, family, knitting, photography, and did I mention family?

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5 comments on “Roaring 20s Dress
  1. Lelievre Herve says:

    C’est MAGNIFIQUE!!!!! Bravo Raphaëlle…. Et les accessoires, le sautoir en perle, le petit sac brillant, le boa…… j’arrête mais sincèrement c’est TOP, j’espère qu’elle va faire un triomphe….   Je suis ravie de voir autant de créativité. Profitez bien les filles. Joëlle         > Message du 20/04/18 14:02 > De : “Deux souriceaux” > A : > Copie à : > Objet : [New post] Roaring 20s Dress > >

    deuxsouriceaux posted: “Got a message from E’s school a few weeks back. This morning, all of 5th grade has a 20s themed dance party. They’ve been playing stock exchange for social studies and I suspect the crash is going to happen today, sometime after the party… Anyway, all p”


    • Merci! J’ai pensé acheté des gants, un boa et un sautoir de perles en plastique, mais trop tard. Je n’avais plus le temps de faire ce genre de courses. Les enfants étaient tous adorables en costume.


  2. Charity says:

    That fabric is perfect for this dress! And the fringe makes it even better- what a fun outfit!


    • Of course, now V wants one too even though I know she won’t wear it. I’ll try to make her happy with something else with sequins and/or fringe. I do have enough leftovers to make her something. And she did get a headband like her sister’s.


  3. […] I told her I would not be making her something she’d only wear once. She countered with the roaring 20s dress I made her sister that was only worn once. Point to V. I still wasn’t in the mood to make […]


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