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Gatsby Inspired

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Here’s my dress created for Erin’s Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge, inspired by this 1920’s sewing pattern that I stumbled upon via a google search. Sadly, the pattern sold years ago so I was left to try and recreate the dress on my own.

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Luckily I had taken advantage of one of those $0.99 pattern sale days at Jo-Ann’s and frivolously purchased a million patterns that I don’t even want, like, or need (I’ve gotten better with that, let me tell you), so I had something to help me recreate the main body and belt of the dress. The sleeves and neckline I drafted myself.

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Don’t ask me how I actually put this dress together because I swear I don’t know. I had a small moment of epiphany induced brilliance that turned me into a complete sewing cyborg and allowed me to sew this dress from start to finish in one go. No directions. No mistakes. …I may have actually been temporarily possessed because there’s no logical explanation for how I managed to pull this off with no plan. The sewing Gods were on my side I guess.

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I squeezed this dress out of the most insanely small piece of stash fabric, which is some sort of partially stretchy polyester blend suiting. I think I had about a yard and a half  to work with. In order to lay out my front and back pieces on the fold, I had to  bring both salvages to the inside fold line and create two new fold lines pointing to the outside. It just barely worked out. All of the materials used for this dress were in my stash for so long that I feel like this dress was free!

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I’ve always been a huge fan of the flapper movement and I love this article about how The Great Gatsby portrays women of the era all wrong. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve heard awesome things about it when you accept the fact that it’s not historically accurate. I’m hoping to see it this weekend. Have you seen it? What did you think?

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Oh, and of course I had to take some photos with Lucille since there’s been an unacceptable lack of her adorable face around here lately!

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Caught her mid yawn lol.

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Lucille is generally a really lazy dog, but sometimes being outside summons her inner spaz. She was just standing around and then all of the sudden she started digging furiously and rubbing her face in the grass haha! What a dork.

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Blur face dog! That’s how you can tell she was having fun :)

 

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

xo
Rochelle

 

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44
  • LadyD

    Brilliant. Now that’s a kind of 1920’s dress pattern I’d like to see produced by the pattern companies. Love the fabric.

  • gingermakes

    This is so pretty! I love it on you! The color is a perfect choice for the pattern. :) As for Gatsby, I’m still not sure if I’m going to see it– I’m a huge American lit fan, and Gatsby is my favorite novel, but I’m sort of afraid the movie will ruin the book for me a little bit (nerd alert)!

  • misscrayolacreepy

    Are you sure you’re a 40s girl??? Because you make a pretty perfect 20s girl! :)

  • Tasha @ By gum, by golly!

    So, so, so awesome!! The dress is beautiful, you make a perfect flapper! I love the big bow and the sleeve detail with the little button. Your sewing autopilot is amazing. :D

  • mariedoll

    I thought I had the most gorgeous pit around, but Lucille gives Barney a run for his money. Eeeps! She’s a beaut.

    Love the way your dress turned out. I’m thrilled to have found your blog. I love vintage fashion and most anything vintage related.

  • Debbie

    I love how it turned out. Just “making it work” is how most 20’s dresses were made. The idea of putting directions with a pattern was not invented yet : ) The nice thing about 20’s gowns is that they were fairly straight forward and fairly straight- no crazy tucks, pleats, and curves to shape them. It’s one of my favorite eras to just wing it and they usually turn out ok.
    Well done!!!
    PS. Saw the movie this weekend. I could do without the Lurhmanesque in the first part but loved delving into the psychology of Gatsby’s mind.

  • Wendyp

    Flappers are one of my favorites too. I love the color of your dress and the little bow tie in the front!
    I read the book a while ago -it has an intro in it by a literary professor and it made me appreciate the story a lot more- and I can’t wait for the movie to come out here in Spain. Unfortunately, I think I’ll have to wait until June to go see it in the English version as almost every theatre dubs movies here. Only one theatre shows original version here but they only have one screening a night…

  • Taracat

    Gorgeous! Totally different to your usual look but still stunning. And free too!

  • Jessica Quirk

    First of all – you look darling! And sewing in one go with no mistakes is seriously amazing. I’d like to do just one project without ripping out!

    As for the movie – saw it yesterday and loved it. Lots of historical inaccuracies, but I think it made it even better. Musically – hello, Jay Z, Beyonce and Amy Winehouse! Lots of social and racial things were more modern than they would have been in the twenties too. Jordan’s costumes were AHHHHMAAAZZING (I liked them better than Daisy’s).

  • Kelly

    Such a great dress! I really love 20’s styles in pale colors. And how cute is Lucille! She’s so lucky to have found you.

  • Becca

    Love it! Your whole look is so cute! As usual, Lucille is adorable, and I just want to give her a big kiss.

  • tors (girl, meets wolf)

    Great dress, can’t believe you did that all in one go!

    Loving those pictures of Lucille, she is such a darling! The wolf sometimes goes a little nuts when outside too, starts racing around with his ears flat to his head, zigging and zagging … but with absolutely no one chasing him! Gotta love those crazy dogs!

  • Amanda

    This is absolutely awesome! Super impressive to have put something this lovely together in one hit! Rad work and Lucille looks so super happy!

  • Ronja

    Is the belt sewn onto the dress? I am quite certain with my emphatic curves that I can’t pull off the drop waisted flapper style that seems to favor the long lean lines of athletes.

  • kazzthespazz

    What a gorgeous dress, you look amazing in everything. I can’t wait to see the movie yeee excited.

  • ShanniLoves...

    Lovely dress! It’s such a great feeling when it comes together so easily and turns out awesome to boot! Hugs to Lucille!

  • Kacie

    I love your Gatsby dress! Don’t you love when things just go right? Glad this was an easy make for you – it turned out lovely!!

  • Moe

    Great dress! And great dog! She’s so sweet.

  • ClaireE

    Very cute dress. I’m impressed you squeezed it out of such a small piece. Love the button on the sleeves, such a great detail.

  • sallie

    Awesome Gatsby look! And thanks for the link to that article! It was fascinating! I agree that I’m mostly interested in the movie for the lavish flapper-reimagined costumes and seeing some Leo… And love the Lucille pictures – what a happy dog!

  • Lorie ~ Ferndale Lane

    I love it, love it, love it!! The color is so pretty! The ghosts of flappers everywhere were def on your side!! It is so perfect! I am still working on mine. I saw the movie with my husband on Saturday and it was great in my opinion, just as I imagined Baz would make it. Touches of late 20’s/early 30’s elements but none the less beautiful, dripping with opulence and excess and of course sad. I want to go see it again!

  • Jessica Cangiano

    Incredible job – it really did turn out brilliantly and looks so very, very gorgeous on you. I just love that you went with a soft hued palette. A fair number of 1920s garments tended to be darker coloured, and it’s refreshingly lovely to see one in such a gentle, lovely shade of pink.

    ♥ Jessica

  • ZoSews

    It’s a flapping miracle dress!! :)

  • Mezmerina

    My favourite part is the sleeve. Fab button detail! I am still getting my head around 20s fashion.
    Give Lucille a pat from us…Bruce also releases his inner spaz for about 2 minutes a day!

  • annette tirette

    Love the dress! And Lucille! My dog does the digging thing too, I wonder why…

  • Rachael-Lynn

    Love it!! And Lucille of course!!

  • Red Point Tailor

    Very lovely dress! and Lucille is adorable!

  • Betty Jordan Wester

    Your dress is lovely.
    I saw Gatsby today and it was sublime. Anachronic music aside, it captured the spirit of the Roaring 20s better than anything I’ve seen.

  • spinneretta

    Lucille is adorable (as always) :) And you look lovely in your dress! What a fun make!

  • Ready Ruthie (@readyruthie)

    Great job!! The silhouettes of that time period are fertile ground for impromptu, self drafted clothing!! I also love that you’re modeling it with the demure, “I’m so bored with life as a wealthy person” air that so befits what we associate w/ the 20’s. You just need a gin and tonic in your hand!

  • poppykettle

    Love the dress on you. Clearly the sewing gods believe you were destined to sew flapper!! And the first thing I thought when I clicked over to that article was ‘love that fur shrug!!’ Really interesting article though. I’m planning to go see it next weekend and I can’t wait!

  • Sarah

    way cute! love it!

  • stgilbert

    Great dress!!! And Miss Lucille is always a treat!

  • the Garment Farmer

    I like the closeups of that fabric–I really like it–way to go squeezing a whole dress out of a small piece! You look adorable, as does Lucille :) Gonna try to see Gatsby tomorrow night, and I only hope to be dazzled by the lavish costumes and Leo’s handsome face. Low expectations makes for enjoyable movie watching ;)

  • Kirsty

    What a sensational dress Rochelle! I love it and I want it for myself!

  • Sean MacKenzie

    I love seeing pictures of Lucille!! She’s so darn cute. It’s so easy to tell when a furbaby is happy.

  • Janey

    Wow! This is spectacular! I know the feeling you’re discussing how not knowing how something amazing happened, it just did! It happens with hair for me a lot.

    Lovely job!

    xoxo
    -Janey

  • Kim

    At risk of being a complete killjoy, please don’t use the term ‘spaz’. It is highly offensive and detracts from an otherwise wonderful post, beautiful dress, and adorable blog. Thanks :)

    • Rochelle

      I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone. I’ve never ever once heard the term “spaz” used as a derogatory term. I would never use it if I thought it was. I’ve only ever heard it used as a light hearted word to mean having bouts of crazy energy.

    • kazzthespazz

      Hmmm you might like my blog then :)

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A Blog By Rochelle New

I'm a fabric wizard and wielder of needles with a passion for quilt industry cottons, bygone eras, and natural things.

i.e. I mostly do nerd things like pretend I'm a wizard, collect moldy books, and spend too much time picking up acorns in the woods, all with my spirit animal (a dog named Lucille), my personal photographer (a man named William), and a few literal fat cats in tow.

Making magic and messes in the backwoods of New York.

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