Saturday, August 6, 2011

20's convert


I'm home from my big trip to Costume College in California, and I finally have a little bit of time for blogging again.  Hooray!  I had meant to do some diaries about the outfits that I was making over the summer, but I ended up running so short on time that I had to keep myself off the computer as much as possible.

So the first new outfit that I'm going to tell you about is my early 1920's dress that I made to go along with a group of ladies who were all dressing up in prohibition-era attire.  Let me preface this by stating that the 1920's are some my my least favorite fashions ever, and I NEVER thought I'd find a 20's style that looked good on me.  The dress that I ended up with was actually my third try at making a prohibition-era costume this summer, but I am so happy that I stuck with it and kept looking for something that I could live with because I had a blast with the group, and I love the way my dress turned out!

1920s at Costume College

I decided to focus on early 20's styles since I like that the waists were still defined earlier in the decade, and I prefer the fuller skirts to the more severe styles that you see later in the 20's.  So I was thrilled when I came across this wonderful vintage pattern on etsy that was in my price range.  It wasn't dated, but I am guessing from the style that it is from around 1921.

I looked around for a while trying to find some lace or net that I could use for a version like you see in View A, but when that failed, I decided to use a patterned silk crepe that had a vaguely art deco feel to it.  The underdress and sash are made out of georgette, and I used vintage ric-rack rosettes around the neckline to add a little decoration.  I didn't use the over-tunic on the blouse, but other than that, I made the pattern up exactly as it came, and it fit wonderfully with no alterations.

I think the best part about 20's fashions are the accessories, so I knew that I needed a hat to finish off the look.  Wide brim hats were more popular in the early 20's than the cloche styles that we usually associate with that decade, so I took a wide brim straw hat and stretched the crown over a hat block so it would sit further down on my head, then I cut the brim down to a more medium size.  I was wasn't really sure what direction I wanted to go with decorating this thing, but since I was running short on time, I ended up just wrapping the crown with net and adding some silk strips with vintage buttons to add some color and visual interest.  It's really random and a bit sloppy, but a lot of early 20's hats look very random and homemade, so I figured, "hey, why not?  It's period!"  I also made a reproduction of an antique anti-prohibition button that I found online.  It says "Texas - For Personal Liberty, Against Prohibition".  I thought it was cute, and I am a sucker for anything that says Texas on it.  I also wore a super-long strand of pearls that I found at an estate sale, a pair of T-strap shoes from etsy, and my Edwardian purse that goes with everything.  


This was a delightful costume to wear - especially after being in non-stop corsets for the two previous days.  I can TOTALLY see why women wore these fashions now.  They must have felt amazing after decades of more restrictive clothing.   I hate to admit it, but I think I'm a 20's convert now!  ;)



Rhonda said...

very cute dress, looks like it is fun to wear and you look really pretty.
I am intrigued by your ric rac rosettes, never heard of such. I love ric rac.

Jen Thompson said...

Hi Rhonda - I should have mentioned that I found the ric-rac rosettes at an antique shop that has a lot of textiles. They were hand sewn and stitched together into a square with ribbons between them. It was obviously an un-finished sewing project of some sort, but I never could figure out what it was meant to be. I love them though - they really make the dress look a lot more period.

Shelleyj said...

Awesome outfit. Lookit all those T straps! Squeeeee!!!!

Time Traveling in Costume said...

I'm glad you were able to write this one up. It was the only one I didn't get to see you in, or take photos of. I love it. You had some amazing outfits on last week.
Val said...

The fabric is absolutely gorgeous. Where did you find it? And what a thrill it must have been to make the dress from an actual period pattern that's probably 90 years old. Beautiful job.

casey said...

Oh wow--your dress turned out so beautiful! I just love the silhouette (early 20s styles are about the only ones that appeal to me from the decade...) and the fabric you used. Your hat turned out amazing as well!

Cathy Raymond said...

As always, your entire outfit looks impressively period and looks great on you! The Texas anti-Prohibition button was a nice touch.

Kelsey said...

I too have recently become a convert to 1920s-era stuff. It seems like one of the most comfortable decades in the 20th century, at least until you hit the 1960s.

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