The Gatsby dress is a brand new pattern from Heidi & Finn . I’m over the moon about it! It reminds me of all the things I love about the flapper era.
The 1920’s were a time of unprecedented wealth and luxury. If you ever drive through downtown Tulsa, you’ll see remnants of the second oil boom that established Tulsa as the oil capital of the world then.
Some of the historical buildings are now being restored. Details are easy to miss if they’ve been painted over or neglected. Look for gilded ceilings, arches and steeples, mosaic glass, domes, fountains, statues, and geometric sculpture. To me, the allure is ornamental details that serve no functional purpose. Some people think Art Deco architecture is gaudy, but I think it’s fun to imagine having so much money that you have to find ways to get rid of it.
Prohibition birthed speakeasies and an air of defiance. Restrictive garments of the past were replaced by looser clothing that allowed free movement. Hems got shorter; waistlines dropped. Girls bobbed their hair and preferred a boyish silhouette, challenging the femininity that was expected of them.
Women voted. They lived by themselves for the first time. They learned to drive. Some entered the workforce. They fought for child labor laws and equal education for women. They were doing things that only men did before.
Store bought women’s clothing became available for the first time, but almost every home had a sewing machine in it. The majority of women’s fashion was still handmade.
And that’s my bridge into the sewing portion of this post…
I wanted fabrics rich in texture to showcase this dress. I used crushed panne. The Gatsby dress pattern calls for stretch lace at the bottom skirt panel and the bodice top, but I wanted lace sleeves too. There’s not a functional purpose for them, therefore lace sleeves are my “gilded ceilings”!
I added sequins to the collar. Given more time, I would’ve put a sequin in the center of every flower on the lace. Too much was never enough in the roaring 20’s!
The Gatsby dress is a quick, easy sew. It’s made with knit fabric and features an a-line or slim variation. It’s a kid friendly design with versatile fit.
You may remember Isabelle as a fashion contributor in my Tween Sewing Survival Guide. She is modeling the a-line version Gatsby dress in size 10/12.
I have a fun question for my friends and readers. If you could be a young woman during any time in history, what period would you choose?
I know I wouldn’t choose the flapper era because the style is horrible on me. Totally vain, but I’m being honest. I wouldn’t choose the 60’s either. I could never live in a van with hippies, no matter how good the drugs were. I’m undecided, but dying to hear your thoughts!