Tagged: handmade dress

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.

the apple blossom horse race dress

me and katie at the belmont stakes in our sundresses and hats

I finished my dress in time for the big day! I started it on Tuesday and finished it Thursday… and we didn’t even leave for New York until Friday evening! Plenty of time to spare… especially considering how I usually perform when crafting garments for specific events.

fast horses at the belmont stakes

Despite Friday night’s torrential rains, Saturday was a great day for the Belmont Stakes. It was quite warm, and the sun was in and out of the clouds. I got to wear my dress and my hat! So I was happy. Fewer people wore hats than I’d expected, but I was still very glad I had mine. I’ve never worn a hat like this before… it was awesome! Cute and I didn’t have to worry too much about sun on my face and neck.

The part I liked best about the horse race – and this is going to sound silly – is seeing just how fast the horses go. I’ve seen the races on TV, and while I can tell that the horses are certainly sprinting, it’s hard to tell just how much ground they’re covering with each step. As I watched them on that giant track, I was amazed at how quickly they zipped around.

horse with orange stripes on his socks

I bet $5 total, and lost it all. Two of those dollars went on this guy in Race 10 because of the orange stripes on his socks. The other $3 went on a similar bet: a jockey in the Stakes whose jacket was orange, green, and blue. It’s true: I’m not a pro horse-race-gambler.

me, in my belmont stakes dress and mandatory hat!

And here’s me again, in my new dress! I love how it came out, and I think it was perfect for the occasion. I’ve been loving gray lately, so hopefully I get a lot of wear out of it this summer. It was a fun event and a great weekend!