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Topic: flapper costume  (Read 12824 times)
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« on: December 27, 2003 02:01:17 PM »

for homecoming each year, i wear a costume. my freshman year it was a sari from india, this past year it was a renisannce dress, and hopefull next year it will be a flapper dress. unfortuantly in my small town, we have no wear to buy these kinda of costumes. so i have been ordering them over the internet. however, i have not found any place on this wonderful wide web that has a store for flapper costumes. (hollywood fake costumes normally for halloween dont count. i prefer the real thing. this way i can use them in future shows etc.) does anyone have advice? perhaps sewing patterns?

Celebrate we will, for life is short but sweet for certain. Climb on two by two, to be sure these days continue.
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2003 02:45:41 PM »

I did this in high school, too! I found a plain, straight dress at a thrift store, then reconstructed it to look more like a flapper dress (Straight all the way past the hips, with a little bit fuller skirt. I chopped off the top so that it was sleavless and added straps.) Then I bought some fringe and sewed it onto the top. Oh, and I cut a big, deep V into the back and threaded it closed with a long strand of beads.

I even found a 1920's bandeau bra at the same thrift store to wear with it! (it mooshes your boosom in) I made a headband with a flower out of the same fabric from the dress, and some cute frilly garters. It was the absolute best outfit I have ever made! I wish I still had it to show you (I don't even have a picture of it  Cry)

If you really want a pattern, "Past Patterns" makes some really good ones-- Okay, just did a websearch and this was the first site listed: http://www.pastpatterns.com/1920.html

My dress looked most like the Flapper Combination Underwear, but jazzed up!
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2003 03:18:33 PM »

To me the whole key to having the right look is accessories and a drop-waist dress (just think of a straight dress with no waist).....

One year I was a flapper for Halloween... The dress I found at the thrift store for under $5 and altered it to look less 80's party-dress and more flapper chic... I basically gave the dress a quick dye job, removed the hundred layers of ruffles, and added a cute ribbon sash around the hip area... I could not find a cloche in time, so I made myself something that was sort of like a headband adorned with feathers, and added gloves, lot's of pearls, and a few other details to my look.

At some point during the 80's a drop-waist was in style, so I'd imagine it would not be that hard to find one at a thrift... The dress I altered was from the Jessica Mclintock(sp?) / Gunniee Sax label - and I have to admit a lot of their 80's era dresses could pass as flapper....

If you do not have a local thrift store, it is amazing how much people horde clothing in their closet, never to see the light of day again... It might be a good idea to ask around in the "older" crowd and see if anyone has am old party dress that suits the style you are going for... Most are more than happy to pass the item along...

Fashion quite often also repeats itself, so you'd be surprised that you might actually find something flapper-ish at a regular clothing store... For a Christmas party I got this gorgeous slip-dress, the dress had this woven (with glittery silver thread) deco-y rose pattern, and about a foot of fringe along the bottom... The style of the dress was meant to be form fitting, but I bought the dress 1 size too big so instead of clinging to my body it had a bit more of a 1920's fit..

Good luck with your search Wink


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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2003 03:23:17 PM »

thanx for all the help guys,

thixle, how did you do all this? could you maybe explain a little more? im trying to go for one or two looks. roxie or velma in chicago. i really renee zellwegers dress in press confrence rag and catherine zeta jones in my sister and i, any suggestions?

Celebrate we will, for life is short but sweet for certain. Climb on two by two, to be sure these days continue.
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2003 05:04:55 PM »

I think I'm the only one who hasn't seen Chicago yet, but this will give you an idea of what I did. The dress only cost $2, so it was no loss if I screwed up. (and it was really a lot easier than it sounds). As abricot said, it was an 80's dress, plain black, basically straight (it curved out at the bottom) and 1 or 2 sizes too big. Oh, and it didn't have any zippers, so I didn't have to mess with that. This was a few years ago, but here is what I did:

I chopped off the top and hemmed it, then sewed on straps (made straps from the sleeves, just long, skinny rectangles).
Then I put it on inside out, marked where I wanted the "waist" to be-- lower than your natural waist- at or just above the hips. Then I took it off and gathered it on that line. (Just hand sewed a big running stitch and pulled it tight to make gathers.)

I liked the shape, but I wanted more "back intrest," so... I cut the big V in the back-- don't cut it too deep, or you won't be able to wear it out.  Then I hemmed that.  
I know I sewed on 2 rows of black fringe (couldn't afford any more, hehe) at the top.  

To hold the back closed, I took a rope of plastic beads (the kind you wrap around christmas trees)... I attached a strand at the top of the dress between the straps that just went straight across. Ok, you know how the beads have a little space between them where the string is? I sewed THAT part to the fabric.... need pic:

Just make sure to REALLY sew it down, it holds the back closed. Then I hung more beads from that, tacking them in place and sewing them to the V the same way.
After I had all that done, I put it on (with a belt around the gathered "waist" to hold it tighter), bagged the top out over the belt, and marked how long I wanted it to be. Then I just chopped that off and hemmed it. It hit just below the knee.

Really, it was a lot easier than it sounds and tons of fun... Oh, the headband and garters were just long, skinny rectangles with elastic in them and fake flowers attached.
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2003 05:11:02 PM »

that is soooo awesome! thank you so much. i totally understand now. i think im going to madison on tues (im still off of school! lucky me!hehe) so, ill get two dresses and make two, then decide which one i like best! thanks

Celebrate we will, for life is short but sweet for certain. Climb on two by two, to be sure these days continue.
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2004 05:49:36 PM »

Some things you might also want to try are:

-slitting the side seams of the skirt to about your mid-thigh (or higher...) so that the dress really flaps

-search discount craft stores for lamp-shade fringe and sew it on row after overlapping row, then finish the top (and even the middle) with those ribbons with hanging beads.  adds a nice sparkle if you get shiny ones.
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2004 11:04:21 AM »

Around Halloween I saw patterns that were actually rip-offs of Roxy & Velma.  Maybe they are still featured or you can find a similar flapper style pattern.  Simplicity and other companies carry costume patterns all year because of shows and stuff.  

My grandma made dresses for my mom and aunt.  Just plain straight dresses and she attached fringe.  Lots of fringe.  So you could always go that route, too.

Good luck
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2004 12:19:39 PM »

Some dance costume companies make dresses like what you're going for, they'd have pics and everything on their websites.  Search for companies, I'm sure they'll have something

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but I wasn't really dressed for disco dancing...

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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2004 05:13:30 PM »

heres a pic of a flapper type dress thing...
our band's field show this year was in the whole "Chicago" theme... all the colorguard chick were dressed up like flappers and so was the drum major.... hope it kinda helps
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