The (Late) Great Gatsby

Back in April I found out about Miss Crayola Creepy‘s Great Gatsby sewing challenge and jumped at the idea. Mainly because the book is one of my all-time favourites; I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read it.

I’m a little late getting it done just because of having so much on during May, and other things to make at the same time; but better late than never, eh?

I love a lot of the styles to come out of the 20s, although sadly a lot of them don’t really suit my shape (especially my tummy at the moment) and my initial thoughts were around doing something beaded because I do love a bit of beading.

However, in my stash I had a bunch of fabric I wanted to use and hadn’t – including a bright, turquoise viscose which I really wanted to make something of before getting anything else. I also had some patterned sections from a fabric I bought an age ago; it had been cut out for something else which ended up being a bit of a botched job. So I tried to salvage parts.

I thought something with a drop waist and a skirt make of different layers would give enough of a 20s nod, without looking to costumey or ornate to wear regularly.

I started by making an elongated top of a shift dress pattern I’ve used previously (I think it originally came from my mum and was given away free in Prima magazine many moons ago). After that I cut out a strip to attach the different petals to, at two different heights. For the petals I basically just cut out a series of flaps, flat at the top and rounded at the bottom, with three extra big ones just to make sure my lower half was adequately covered and then the rest small.

I gave it a little test by attaching these to the lining before I did any sewing, just to make sure they’d hang right.


The lining of course is a bit stiffer than the viscose which – I have to say – turned out to be a bit of a nightmare to sew with. It feels amazing, and it was a bargain from Mandors; but it’s pretty slippy and – most of all – annoyingly stretchy when you’re using it. So, for instance, there are some pretty wonky darts on the front.

I also had a bit of an issue at the back – it’s bunching just a little. The zip is nice and flat (in fact I’m really pleased with my invisible zip), it fits fine, but something about the fabric just makes it sit a little oddly on me, no matter the work I tried to do with the fit – taking bits in, taking bits out. Every time I tried to get a better fit and fiddle with it, something else happened. I’ve never had a fabric like it for being unhelpful. I’m also yet to put a little hook and eye at the very top.

Here’s me having a bit of a pose and pretending to Charleston in the living room (any dancers will know I have no idea how):


I’ve been enjoying the posts in the Flickr group – far more impressive than mine! – and glad to have a slightly wonky, but fun new dress to wear.


5 responses to “The (Late) Great Gatsby

  1. Oh!! Just gorgeous, I love your flapper dress. Love the petal type hem and your fabric choices. Really pretty. I’ve blogged my Great Gatsby make, as well. It is 1920s style Beach Pajamas. Aren’t the 20’s a great era for fashion?

  2. Pingback: Holding out for a hero | what diana did next·

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