1920s | Dresses

Candy Wrapper Dress

January 17, 2013

So inspired by the colours of the Clara Bow dress I went in search of the right colour fabric. Now problem is either it draped but wasn’t the right colour or the right colour but wrong pattern. So in the end I decided to use some cheap ‘silk’ haboutai and polycotton as this would act then as my ‘template’ I could later on make dresses in cotton out of, to the same pattern.

I used the portrait blouse pattern (from gertie’s ne book for better sewing) but changed the neck line and shortened it – as bottom half of the blouse would be my green fabric (so basically colour blocked it).

I made it first in polycotton to test out how it fitted. Then I started on the shiny material. Really should have underlined it coz it was so slippery and frayed a lot.

I then pleated the skirt and attached it to the lining…then folded the green band over and topstitched. Sewn up the skirt back and tacked closed where the zip would go.

Then I made green bias binding and finished the arms and hem. Inserted zip.

Made a matching headscarf and I was done. Took me about a week to sew entirely by hand. But I was working to a deadline.

As there was a retro dance approaching and I wanted my 20’s-ish dress to be ready for then.

For more info and pics see my blog.


  1. I have made about 40 of these for a school production & some look absolutely fab & some sat a bit wrong like I get the feeling yours has.
    It’s all in your choice of fabric.

    I think the colours are adorable & the pattern is perfect for the era, but perhaps your fabric has a little too much body for what you were hoping to achieve.
    If you’d been doing a cotton day dress it would have worked with that extra stiffness, but for a more drapey evening dress, something like a satin backed crepe, crepe, silk satin or georgette given you a better effect.
    Most 20’s dresses were’ shiny, but a bit more matt.
    Nevertheless, it’s a really cute dress that you should be proud of.

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