So, obviously I enjoy attending costumed events, but dragging friends along with me is half the fun! And that generally involves my volunteering to make something for them so they have something appropriate to wear. And that brings me to this dress, which I made so that a friend of mine could accompany me to the annual historical costumers’ picnic I host every summer (or at least, this is the second annual, so I’m hoping to make it a tradition!).
Because 1920s-style dresses are the fastest and easiest historical outfits I know how to make, we decided to go with a basic day dress, very similar to the ones I’ve been making recently. She wanted something in navy blue, but I just couldn’t seem to find anything cute in that colorway or to think of any interesting design ideas until I came across this fantastic flamingo-print rayon voile, and it all came together!
I measured my friend around the bust and hips and ended up taking my own bodice pattern and cutting it a bit wider so it would fit her. I added a waistband of coordinating coral rayon, and sewed some extra panels to the sides of the skirt so I’d have room to make some small, unstructured pleats at the sides for added fullness. Because we’d only bought 2 yards of the flamingo rayon there wasn’t quite enough fabric for sleeves, so the dress stayed sleeveless.
I added a tie made of more coral rayon for visual interest (and to lengthen the line of the dress so it would look less blocky), and bound the neckline and armholes with plain black bias tape, turned to the inside and then topstitched. The bias tape was the pre-made stuff, which meant that it wasn’t as soft as the rayon fabric, but it sufficed. (I’d have liked to bind everything in coral rayon, but I didn’t have enough fabric left over to make bias tape). I added thread loops to run the tie through so it stayed in place around the neckline.
I will note that because rayon tends to stretch over time, I hung the dress on my dress form for 24 hours before hemming it. I did a basic 1/2″ hem, since the fabric was busy enough that my thread wasn’t going to show very much, even without a blind hem.
Here’s my friend in her dress!