a 20’s dress for gatsby night

gatsby dress - hanging

In late September, my high school English class friends and I decked ourselves for a Gatsby-themed party at the Smithsonian. It’s one of our favorite books (i still haven’t seen the movie!), we got to dress up, and it was hosted by the Smithsonian! Just amazing.

gatsby print 20s dress

Of course, I don’t own a 1920’s dress. But that was quickly rectified! I scoured my stash for a suitable fabric and found this skirt from the rummage sale a few years back. The skirt looks pretty 70’s to me, but the print is too art deco for me to say it’s not Gatsby-appropriate. Plus I think it looks a lot like the motifs on the movie poster.

printed skirt - before

I hacked away at the skirt, chopping off the elastic band at the top. The gathers revealed a lot of bonus fabric, so once I had sized the main dress panels, I was able to cut my straps from the extra fabric on the side. I then found a strip of satin left over from my turquoise prom dress, and had exactly enough to add the accordion pleats to the bottom of the dress. Yes, I did them all by hand… and yes, they took forever! I lined the dress with leftover lining from my prom dress, and slipped an invisible zipper in the side seam.

All this was done in three nights after work, using materials I had on hand – this means the project was essentially free and I didn’t have to take time to run to the store on what was a bit of a time-crunch project. Never have I been so grateful for my fabric stash! It might be a mess most of the time but it sure comes in handy.

gatsby print 20s dress

And I may be the worst at modeling but I sure love this dress :) My friends and I got all dolled up and we had a wonderful time taking goofy pictures of ourselves, sipping period-themed cocktails, and listening to jazz in the garden. A good night.