Sew Retro Sewing Challenge #4: The 1920s 1 Hour Dress

This was the first dress I planned on making when I thought up my Sew Retro Sewing Challenge for 2016. Although I cannot wear these styles on a daily basis, the 1920s has always been my favorite era! I was planning on having a Gatsby themed Tea Party in July so I knew I wanted a daytime flapper dress for the occasion. What better than the famous 1 hour dress?? 

I was very excited about this project but held off to make frocks from other decades as part of my challenge ( see Here and Here and Here) since I didn’t need it until July. I used very helpful guides from The Closet Historian and Festive Attyre , and got a reprint of Illustrated Home Sewing Magazine Summer of 1928 from the etsy shop RumbleSeatCat to help guide me in embellishing the basic dress.

  My inspiration.

I first started by drafting the pattern then deciding how to lay my fabric so I could do the least amount of hemming as possible. I got the fabric from a thrift store and I knew I wanted to use it for my 20s day dress right away. I think it may have been used for a long valance maybe. It had a lovely border print, and a different striped pattern at one end. I decided to use that portion for the bodice. The cutting and drafting took about 2.5 hours!


completed one hour dress before embellishments

Sewing up the one hour dress in its most basic form actually took about one hour! Maybe a bit more. So I figure that is what’s meant by the name- not including pattern making, cutting, and detailing, it takes about one hour to make this dress! I didn’t hem either though!

When I tried it on it was a tent! Many ladies seem to have this issue with twenties looks and I don’t blame them! Sure it should be loose fitting but not make me look like an open umbrella! I redid the side gatherings a bit to fix this problem but the next time I make this dress I’ll adjust the pattern to a bit of a slimmer silhouette and possibly a lower waist.

The extra bits of fabric I used for the waist sash, the scarf neckline, the handkerchief skirt, and my handmade flower cloche. The details took another four hours.

Once again I had trouble with the neckline so I used my handy seam ripper, recut then adjusted the scarf and attached.  

Scarf neckline in its first form.

As with all my pieces, there is some funky stuff going on but all in all I love it!

Here are finished pictures from the Gatsby tea party: 


the skirt is a dream when it cathches the breeze


  My husband was kind enough to do a little photo shoot on a farm we visited last weekend too. 

Yeah, my hair is lavender now.


I think the jeep picture is my fave!


Yep, my son is front photobombing!

There you have it! The one hour dress in about 6 hours! 1920s✔️

Okay two more things- the shoes I am wearing in both settings I am very proud to say were both found in thrift stores for only five dollars! Woohoo! I was drooling online at period appropriate shoes for way too much money and was extremely happy to find these for steals!

Also, in addition being a part of my own challenge, I am also entering this into the #vintagepledge 2016 challenge seeing that I used a 1928 sewing magazine to make this garment!



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