Friday, August 20, 2010

Sewing Inspiration - Flappers and a Little Reality Check ... the 1920's

I think you've seen from past posts that I love the fashion of the late Edwardian and Bell Epoque eras. However, I also know that my sewing skills are not yet up to some of the intricacies these fashions requires. And, I'm not sure I'm ready to wear a corset yet. :) Fast forwarding a few years, I land in the 1920's, time of the flapper, of simpler silhouettes, higher hemlines, greater freedom of movement and the "One Hour Dress."

I'm not sure I'll ever make a wearable dress in one hour, but I do believe that I can make something lovely inspired by this era given a few more hours. Here is one look I would love recreate.

Clara Bow in the 1920's - Check out the great boots.

I'm sure you can find this photo all over the net but I happened to find it on the San Francisco Podcast, Sparkle Tack.

Anna Pavlova in a Garden in the 1920's.

Girls just want to have fun! I love the variations in the details, fabrics and necklines. And, check out the hats. The photo comes from a post on with the unfortunate title: "Condemned to Be Virgins: The 2,000,000 Women Robbed by the War." I like mine better.

Pictorial Review from Summer 1925. These styles are so simple and sleek with small details and wonderful fabrics. I don't think these are "One Hour" dresses but I could see myself making one in three or four hours. I think I have a pattern or two similar to these. I'll take a look and post photos when I find them.

If you are tempted to try the 'One Hour Dress", please check out the SewMarm's video tutorial. Here is the link to part one of the six part tutorial.

You should also look at Dragonfly Formals' take on the one hour dress. She has three examples which show how you can put your personal touch on the dress. Her use of beads really lift the designs and seem to fit perfectly with the era.

Ok, before signing off, I just had to indulge in a little eye candy:

This beautiful dress has the simple lines I've been talking about but the beautiful beadwork makes it a bit magical. I found this photo on a blog called 100 Years of Fashion.

Here's one more beauty, this one by Norman Hartnell (1924). It's beadwork and embroidery have an Asian influence. This may be more of an 100 Hour Dress.

Have you sewn anything of or inspired by this era. I would love to see you creations and hear your adventures. Feel free to send your links and photos.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Hi :) I loved your post and was trying to send you pictures of other great 20's dresses for your project but it wont allow my HTML code, why I m not sure, at first it said my post was too long so I made it short then it said wont except the code, is there a way to email you the photos? Cause i think these will help you.

  2. Hi Wilhelmina,

    I would love to post your photos. You have a wonderful eye. Please send me and email and I will post them with a link to your blog.

    I really enjoyed your 1850's post even though it is not a favorite era of mine.