Making a Flapper Dress




Recently, as you may know, it was World Book Day. At my school, we had to dress up as our favourite character to raise money for charity. I chose to dress up as Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby, meaning I would need a 1920s inspired dress. Here is how I adapted the pattern, so that you can create something similar.

Firstly, I used the Shift Dress pattern from The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric book. If you don’t have the book, don’t worry, you can download the pattern here. As I am not very tall, I shorten the pattern so it would rest just above my knee. Please check how it relates to your size before cutting any fabric out.

I added a layer of black lace over the top of the silver satin. To do this, I cut out the front and back out of both fabrics and then stitched them together at the shoulders and at the sides. You can now sew this as one layer.


The original dress has sleeves attached to it. I didn’t think the sleeves would suit the style of dress I was aiming for. To make the arm holes neat I made up some arm facings from the front and back pieces of the pattern. I traced 5cm from the arm holes along the side and the shoulder of the pattern. From these points, I drew a smooth curve to match the arm hole shape. You will need to draw up both a front and back arm facing as they are different shapes.


I added a black satin band around the bottom, which also allowed me to add the fringing neatly. To create the band around the bottom, I extended the pattern by 10cm (including seam allowances). I cut two pieces for each the front and back. I stitched one front band to one back band to create two long strips of fabric. I then stitched the fringing to the right side (along the long edge) of one of the strips. Place the second strip on top of the first, so that they are right sides together. Sew along the top edge, where the fringing is, with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Once you have done this, take the two short end and sew them together with the same seam allowance. You now have a band which to can sew to the bottom of your dress.


And now you have your own flapper dress!



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