Gatsby Inspired


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.


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.


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.


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!


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?



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!


Caught her mid yawn lol.


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.



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


Hope you’re having a great weekend!



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44 Responses to Gatsby Inspired

  1. LadyD May 30, 2013 at 11:58 am #

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

  2. gingermakes May 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    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)!

  3. misscrayolacreepy May 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

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

  4. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! May 14, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    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

  5. mariedoll May 13, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    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.

  6. Debbie May 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    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.

  7. Wendyp May 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    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…

  8. Taracat May 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

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

  9. Jessica Quirk May 13, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    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).

  10. elise May 13, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Very lovely

  11. Kelly May 13, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    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.

  12. Becca May 13, 2013 at 10:44 am #

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

  13. tors (girl, meets wolf) May 13, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    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!

  14. Amanda May 13, 2013 at 8:18 am #

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

  15. Ronja May 13, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    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.

  16. kazzthespazz May 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

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

  17. ShanniLoves... May 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

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

  18. Kacie May 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    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!!

  19. Moe May 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

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

  20. ClaireE May 12, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    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.

  21. sallie May 12, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    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!

  22. Lorie ~ Ferndale Lane May 12, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    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!

  23. Jessica Cangiano May 12, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    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

  24. ZoSews May 12, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    It’s a flapping miracle dress!! :)

  25. Mezmerina May 12, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    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!

  26. annette tirette May 12, 2013 at 4:24 am #

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

  27. Rachael-Lynn May 12, 2013 at 4:01 am #

    Love it!! And Lucille of course!!

  28. Red Point Tailor May 12, 2013 at 3:30 am #

    Very lovely dress! and Lucille is adorable!

  29. Betty Jordan Wester May 12, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    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.

  30. spinneretta May 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

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

  31. Ready Ruthie (@readyruthie) May 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    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!

  32. poppykettle May 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    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!

  33. Sarah May 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    way cute! love it!

  34. stgilbert May 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

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

  35. the Garment Farmer May 11, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    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 ;)

  36. Kirsty May 11, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

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

  37. Sean MacKenzie May 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

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

  38. Janey May 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    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!


  39. Kim May 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    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 May 12, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      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 May 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      Hmmm you might like my blog then :)


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