1927 Blush Sparkle Dress

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I was at the fabric store looking for other things… (the beginning of a lot of my fabric buying adventures) when two super sparkly fabrics caught my eye. They were screaming “1920s!” But the colors were somewhat costume-y 1920s and not often seen in my research of actual historical dresses from this period–red on nude net and black on nude net. A bit disappointed, I looked at the sparkly lace section some more and found the same fabric in blush on nude net! It was so sparkly and the pattern on it was so perfectly deco that I had to take some home with me. Luckily it wasn’t expensive and only cost $14 for 1.25 yards. Not bad!

The timing was perfect, because I had a 1920s event in January and just enough time to make the dress.  I didn’t have a slip to go under it that was the right shape or color, so I also squeezed in making a bias cut slip.

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For the pictures, I wore my American Duchess black Seaburys. They provided just the right 1920s shoe shape, encasing the front of my foot in a uniquely historical way that modern style shoes do not. You can see the shape more clearly in this post when I wore the shoes with my 1920s bathing suit in a beauty pageant look.

I was also incredibly lucky that the event was held in a historical hotel that provided fun backdrops for pictures! Those elevator doors are lovely! And look at this awesome phone–it had to be included in pictures!

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Another neat place we took pictures was this stairwell. I love how different these two pictures are, despite being so similar. One is much more about the dress while the other shows off the chandelier and is a bit more artsy and mysterious.

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img_3151-1I was so pleased with how my hair turned out! I tried a style similar to one I did last summer for a different 1920s event that I have yet to post about… oops! But here’s a teaser of just my hair. Soon I’ll post the details and it will bring some warm summer memories to my New England winter.

For the summer event I did my hair when it was wet, resulting in a similar style, but much smaller and closer to my head. For that version, I did all the back curls while my hair was still distinctly damp, making the curls much tighter and closer to my head.

For this event, I braided my hair in the morning while it was still damp (to help create waves on the top but curls on the bottom) and left it all day, meaning it was mostly dry when I took out the braid. Then, when doing my hair for the evening, I added small rats under the puffed bottom portion to add a bit more volume than just my own curls. I covered the rats with the length of my hair then carefully placed and pinned the curly ends to imitate having a sort of 1930s smooth-on-top-curly at the bottom style, like this. This style is a few years later than my new dress, but I think it works as a 20s style for someone with longer hair, like me. I have a lot of hair to hide in a 1920s style!

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Both the dress and slip are entirely hand sewn, due to working on it away from home (I would have hand sewed the dress anyway because of all the sequins, but probably not the slip). The dress started out as a tube, but was more unflattering than I was willing to allow. It was fine from the hips down, but needed to be taken in above the hips. What I ended up with is a curved seam (or a long dart, depending on how you look at it–one side didn’t have a seam to begin with) allowing slight shaping from the torso to the skirt portion of the dress. 1920s dresses can be such bags, but after the extra shaping I am very happy with the still somewhat bag-like, skimming shape of the dress without feeling like it’s an absolute sack.

The slip was cut from a pattern I made a few years ago–perfect, since I didn’t have time to pattern something from scratch! I intentionally picked a 1930s pattern in order to have the addition of a perfectly fitting 1930s silk slip to my wardrobe, but also because the shape of the neckline was perfectly suited to the v-neckline I decided on for the sparkly overdress.

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The slip has french seams on the sides. The under-bust seam allowance was trimmed away on the gathered piece and then the body piece seam allowance was turned over it and hand sewn to hide the raw edges. The top edge is mostly bound of with vintage cotton bias (which I removed from the top of the net petticoat I show in this post before shortening it. The piece wasn’t quite long enough to go all around the top edge of the slip, so the center back section is just turned twice and slip stitched, in the same way as the hem.

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The slip fabric is left over from a project that I did about 7 years ago. It’s lovely silk crepe back satin with the perfect weight for making bias cut 1930s clothing. I thought I would have just enough to eke out the slip, but I came up a little short on the back piece and decided to piece it to make it work, as the fabric is so nice to wear and it was the perfect color. As a result, there are two random diagonal seams on the top of the back piece of the slip. Oh well! They add character!

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About quinnmburgess

Quinn M. Burgess creates reproduction and costume historic clothing. Her inspiration has a strong foundation in history: historic dress, social history, and material history. With the addition of clothing construction knowledge, her passions converge in an imaginative world of creative history that she loves to share with others.
This entry was posted in 1920s, 20th Century, Costume Construction, Hair Styles, Hand Sewn Elements, Patterning, Undergarments, Wearing Reproduction Clothing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to 1927 Blush Sparkle Dress

  1. totchipanda says:

    Oh my goodness, that fabric is EVERYTHING. So beautiful.

  2. :O That fabric IS perfect! It looks like a vintage dress! Your hair styling is a gorgeous complement to the ensemble, as well. Beautifully done!

  3. avantgarbe says:

    Wow, that fabric is absolutely perfect for 1920s!

  4. Helen Fratena says:

    Love, I’ve, love this dress! Love the color, love the pattern. I love the details you give snd the pictures of the sewing techniques. I always learn from your posts. I’m so impressed that you go the extra mile to replicate hairstyles to go with each outfit, the results are definitely worth the time to do it. I’m so jealous that your and you friends make the effort to
    Make great pictures of your outfits. I was sorely disappointed in my local costumers group that great photos are apparently not a priority. (Pouty face). Please don’t ever stop your blog. I learn so much from you.

    • Thank you, Helen! I really enjoy the hairstyling as well as the dressmaking. 🙂

      It is such a blessing to have friends who appreciate the importance of fun and good photos and who will take time out of other things to help me make it happen! I’m so sorry that the group you mention doesn’t make the time for good photos. 😦 Maybe it’s something you can encourage if you find even a single willing participant-in-crime to help you? The person who usually takes my pictures has a reciprocal agreement with me that I’ll take as many pictures of her as she wants and she’ll take them of me. Having that agreement go both ways helps!

  5. fivecats says:

    Gorgeous, and perfect color for you.

  6. Black Tulip says:

    What an amazing find! Just perfect for a 1920s dress. Fabulous pictures, as ever!

  7. Gina White says:

    Oh my gosh! I LOVE your dress! And how happy to be able to find the perfect sequinned fabric! Seriously! It is so perfectly art deco! If you had said you found it in antique store I would have totally believed you! I am a little bit jealous… Anyway, your hair is perfection as well and I LOVE the stair well pictures. It just totally captures the era’s look and elegance! So very well done!
    Blessings!
    g

  8. Caroline says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! The fabric is fantastic! And I like what you did with the cut of the dress. Those 20’s gowns do so look like bags sometimes…

    Caroline

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