Tuesday, November 1, 2011

DIY 20's Flapper Dress

I've been gone a long time. I miss this place. I've got tons of projects to share with everyone, and since most of you who read this blog way back before the wedding are not living anywhere near me, I want to let ya'll into our home, as well as have a way of documenting the goings on of our first home. We've been in this lovely house for about a year and a half now, and even though we don't work on as many projects as we'd like due to Adam's schedule, we've had fun with the projects we have completed.

I've tried to decide where to start for quite some time, but I think that's just making this more stressful than it should be. So, I'm just going to jump in! I'll get to a proper house tour soon, but for this post, I wanted to show off our Halloween costumes for this year. Some of ya'll have seen them on Facebook already, but I wanted to give a few more details because it was oh so easy! Believe it or not, I've never actually made my own Halloween costume, and until about last Tuesday, I didn't even plan on doing anything for this year. Adam's on nights this rotation and is exhausted...then we found out there was a resident costume party at the Flying Saucer downtown last Saturday night, so we had to do something. After some deliberation we decided to do a 20's theme - nothing too original, I know, but I love that era and we needed something quick! Also during last week, a couple of my favorite blogs, Young House Love and Bower Power announced their second Pinterest Challenge (no official affiliation with Pinterest, but just a way to get some of the projects on our Pinterest accounts actually completed). You can read about it on YHL and Bower Power for more details. So, I figured it was the perfect time to show off a recent project, get this thing up and running again, and participate in the Pinterest Challenge. So, without further ado, I present our Halloween 2011 Costumes!

Here, you can see my 20s inspiration board for headpieces and dresses, which is where I got some ideas and inspiration for my dress and headpiece.

For the dress, I basically found a black short nightgown-type garment at Target that I could decorate. It was strappy but I figured that I could bulk up the straps and the bust line if needed with some trim. It had a good shape to it and wasn't too short or too long when I put it on. Also, it was really comfy, which didn't hurt either.

Flapper Dress Layout

I knew that I wanted the dress to be completely covered in fringe so it was off to Hancock Fabrics I went. Luckily, they were having a 40% off trim and ribbon sale, which was perfect. It was also nice to see that I wasn't the only one grabbing materials to start my Halloween Costume three days before the Halloween weekend. However, that also meant that my choice for fringe was pretty limited. Happily though, I found a great black fringe, some sequin trim, and some fake pearl strands. Additionally, I grabbed some sequin stretchy trim for the headband and some black ribbon trim that my eye was drawn towards.


I knew that I had some peacock feathers at home as well, so I went with a turquoise, purple, and grey color palate. I grabbed some satin ribbon in my chosen colors as well just before walking to the counter.

headband ribbon

I had absolutely no idea how much of each I needed, so I had the dress out on the cutting table at the store and basically eyeballed my needed length and added about another yard for the trim. I wasn't sure how much of the other trim I was going to use aside from the fringe, so I just bought a few yards of each. I ended up with about 6.5 yards, which was less than the original 8 yards I wanted, but 6.5 was all that was left in the store. I just hoped that I could end up getting more at another store if needed (turns out that I did and I could).

Once I got home with all my supplies, I warmed up the hot glue gun and laid out a rough pattern of my design. From there on it was just gluing and cutting the trim. After each row of fringe, which I worked on from the bottom up as it was easier to glue without fringe pieces at the tip of my gluegun, I held up the dress to make sure everything was laying correctly as the material was stretchy. There was a bit of time that the glue could be removed before it was too set in, but it was difficult to get it all off the dress. So, I took things slowly and made sure to keep an eye on where I was going. I used the bottom hem of the dress to attach the last row of fringe so that the bottom of the dress is just fringe with no fabric behind it. That made it a bit sassy and also let me have a straight line to begin with. As I got a few rows of fringe on the dress I decided that it needed something more so I also added a row of sequins between each row of fringe. That definitely made a difference in the dress.

dress halfway

As I said before, I got all the fringe at the particular store I went to on Tuesday evening, but it ended up not being enough. So, Saturday afternoon when I realized how much more fringe I needed, I went out to the other two Hancock locations in Memphis to find some more fringe. Of course, the first store I went to didn't have any of the same trim I purchased on Tuesday night, so I went to the third store hoping that they had what I needed. The fringe was there, as was the same sequin trim that I had been using, which I was also out of. So I bought a couple more yards of each and got home as quickly as I could. Before I left the store, I did manage to find a grey satin headband and a cluster of peacock feathers pre-arranged and glued to felt backing making it ready to go onto a clip or headband. Due to having much less time than I had originally anticipated, I grabbed it so that I would already have half my headpiece together.

When I got home, I frantically put the last bit of trim on the dress and finished my headpiece.


Then I threw on my fishnet tights, thick eyeliner and dark eyeshadow, and grabbed my feather boa. I was ready to go!

Halloween 2011Halloween 2011

Luckily, Adam's costume was easier. I found a fedora and purple Missoni tie at Target, and a costume pinstripe jacket as the party store. I couldn't find the pants, so he just wore some of his black suit pants. We grabbed one of the pearl strands for a pocket watch chain and stuck a peacock feather in his hat.

Adam's hat

For last minute costume creation, I think we did a pretty good job! We had a ton of fun!!

Halloween 2011 At the Flying Saucer


Hope everyone had a great Halloween!


  1. I miss you :( I looked on FB those were awesome! Good luck with the picture fix :)

  2. YAY!!! Your back!! I love reading about what you and Adam are up to. I miss you bunches!!!!