After a bit of modification to my design idea, and some hemming-while-wearing the dress fun, my 1920s green dress is done.
I’d originally planned to make the dress entirely out of the amazing green silk, but it was a little overwhelming en-masse and I ended up breaking it up slightly with a shoulder strap and sash of gilt linen (the same stuff I made my silver stays out of, only gilt gold not silver)
The design was mostly based on a process of basting things and draping until things looked good. The dress ended up looking like a lot of frocks and sketches from 1923-24: very low waistline, low calf length, asymmetrical draping, low straight-or-asymmetrical neckline.
I’m calling it the Hula Goddess dress, because I spent a lot of time dancing around the house in it after my post on hula dancing, and the draping is both very pa’u/sarong/lavalava-y, and rather Grecian. I feel like it’s exactly the dress that a 1920s Hollywood starlet would have worn to a fancy party in Honolulu.
A rather risqué starlet perhaps! That bare-shoulder is period correct, but is pushing things a bit in terms of propriety!
Fabric: 2m green & ecru silk habotai, .3m gilded linen
Pattern: My own, mushed together from various vintage patterns and with a bit of drafting (hmmm…this sounds familiar).
Year: ca. 1924
Notions: Silk thread, 3 hooks & bars
How historically accurate is it? Silk habotai isn’t an accurate weave & weight of silk for the 1920s and gilded linen CERTAINLY isn’t period correct, but the basic shape & construction are all period accurate.
Hours to complete: 5. Love 20s! So fast even if you do it period!
First worn: Just for posing, but I’ll be wearing it next weekend for a swing dancing ball – if I can get up the nerve to appear in public in it!
Total cost: I paid somewhere between $10 & $20 a metre for the silk 5 years ago. It was on sale for 50% off, but I can’t remember if it was originally in the $40s or $20s. The linen was $12 a metre. Maximum $44, minimum $24.
I had some rather unsure moments about this dress as I made it, but in the end, I love it. I feel elegant and just sexy enough without veering into tacky territory, and it swishes around me and makes the most delicious scroop sound as I walk. It would be perfect for hula dancing!