1920s Star Fancy Dress

The theme recommendation for the evening soiree at Gatsby On The Isles earlier this year was a masquerade. I took that to heart and decided to adapt an existing dress in my closet to make it fancy dress. (It turns out that the majority of people who attended didn’t adhere to the guidelines, so I was a bit out of place, but I enjoyed my fancy dress regardless!)

My requirements for this outfit were: to use a dress as a base that was already in my closet, to not cost much, to not take much time, and to have the elements of fancy dress be easily reversible.

I looked through my 20th Century Fancy Dress Pinterest board and settled on the image below as my inspiration. (Unfortunately, I can’t find a source for the image that isn’t Pinterest. If anyone has information, please share.)

I thought the idea of stars would work well with my 1926 Silver Lace Robe de Style. I briefly considered creating the stars myself and then I remembered that I didn’t want this too take too much time and I started researching purchasable stars. I wanted something nice looking but not costly, remember, and I also wanted to stay away from glitter–the shedding! Ugh! While considering various metallic and cardboard style stars I realized that: 1- those may not travel well (I didn’t want bent stars!) and 2- they probably wouldn’t be comfortable to wear. So I started researching felt stars!

I decided on these felt stars. They were a good size, I liked the color, and they weren’t supposed to be too stiff. Not being stiff would be more comfortable to wear and also easier to sew through! I’d considered making garlands of the stars but I figured they would get tangled, so instead I opted to sew the stars directly onto the lace.

I started by placing the stars in a line diagonally across the top of the dress. The goal was to capture the feeling of my inspiration but didn’t feel the need to add as many stars as the drawing has, so I stopped with the one line. I liked the stars hanging from the hem, so I did those next–one star per each dip in the pattern of the lace.

After that I didn’t have many stars left! I used a scrap of metallic knit fabric to make a veil and put a star on each corner. The veil is a square, with one corner turned under, gathered, and stitched to a hair comb.

I also used some black felt scraps to cut a few stars by hand to accent the star at the waist. I thought this might tie in the metallic knit veil and also draw attention to the grey stars on the grey dress!

I added some sparkly shoe clips, pearl bracelets, and sparkly stars for my hair (reused from my 1885 Night Sky Fancy Dress) and the outfit was complete! It pays off to reuse themes for fancy dress, I guess!

4 thoughts on “1920s Star Fancy Dress

  1. Dear Quinn,
    The fancy dress outfit cMe out really well, and it was surely easy to wear a dress to dance in. How I like the pictures of you standing next to that fabulous moon. They have such a vintage photo vibe…
    Very best,
    Natalie in KY

  2. So pretty and elegant, but it also looks really comfortable (which I feel like is rare in party gowns!). I love that little sketch you based it off of.

    1. Thanks! This one is pretty comfy! The lace is very soft and smooth on the skin, and of course the middle isn’t very fitted. The underdress is a bit tight on the bust, which is the only slightly uncomfortable part, but I guess that helps get a less busty 1920s silhouette? 😉 That’s what I get for literally making the underdress out of a tube shape on the top… The lace stretches but the blue underneath doesn’t!

      The inspiration is so silly! I tried the veil over my forehead as it is depicted but it was too foolish looking on me. I also pondered and moon and star staff, but couldn’t figure out how to use materials already around the house and make it travel-able easily.

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