Added Nov 7, 2010
I made this opulent hand fringed silk and hand beaded flapper-esque dress for the “Party through the decades BERNINA 3 Series Challenge”. I was inspired by the 1920s for how beautiful, free, intricate and opulent everything was. It just so happened to be when Chanel was starting out too. There were lots and lots of inspiration from art deco, jazz, to the starlettes of their time, The Great Gatsby, and timeless designers. This was the era when fashion was changed forever and women got the right to vote in America.
I decided to make a low waist dress with fabric from my stash and lots and lots of detail. I went with a racer-back tank dress to modernize it up a bit. (I used a Helmut Lang tank top as my pattern). I used black stretch mesh for the base part of the dress. I sewed black lace over the top of the top part of the front and back. I used ivory sequin tulle for the top and the base of the fringed skirt. I decided to add black sequin trim down the middle of the dress, around the bottom of the base of the dress and used it on the low waist band.
For the skirt I cut rows of scallops from light weight to drapery weight silk dupioni in pastel colors and sewed them down to the sequined fabric in hopefully a wonderful color combo. I then hand fringed the whole thing (it took a lot of time!!!!). It reminds me of feathers:). After I attached it to the dress I added a row of black feather trim (premade). The low waist band is comprised of: ivory silk dupioni, 2 large velvet ribbons, 2 rows of sequin trim and hand beaded small black velvet ribbon in the middle. It folds over the middle a little and is attached with clear snaps.
For the top portion I added 2 different sizes of sequins and a black seed bead in the middle of the flowers on the lace in the front and the back. I added 3 rows of draped beads in the front and dangling bugles with mint colored glass beads at the end on each side (detachable). I purchased these fabulous coral pink sequin flowers (also detachable) to add to the top of velvet bows and also hides where all the beading meets. The back I draped fresh water pearls and black seed/bugle beads. To keep the dress from having too much weight on the shoulders I added a strip of velvet ribbon at the top to prevent it from stretching. I zig-zagged the edges around the neckline and the armholes to make it look like a faux scalloped edge.
Furs were really big back then so I had to make a faux fur tippet (aka stole) from some scrap fur I had. It is lined with satin and organic cotton/bamboo batting that I quilted (first official time quilting) in a diamond shape (Chanel inspired). I added petersham grosgrain and added faux black leather to the ends.
I am really impressed with myself; it’s the bees knees. I work full time and any other waking minute was spent on this project. My husband said it looks like I have on feather chaps, but whatever. I feel fabulous in it. I feel like I was made for the 20s. I just so happen to have silver T-strap shoes to go with it. I wore a black silk chemise underneath. I wish I had more time and money to make the ideal dress I wanted with lots of beading and fabulous feathers. Also sorry my photos and hair weren’t up to par. Hopefully I wasn’t too over the top. I’m going to party in this for either New Years or my birthday. I need to learn the Charleston now! Hope you all enjoy and let me know what you think ;.) Good luck to everyone!
Oh lots of inspiration from flapper girl
Dress: blush, black, ivory, dark gray, light gray silk dupioni, mint green poly chiffon, ivory sequin tulle, black stretch tulle, black lace, black velvet ribbon, black sequin trim, clear snaps, black beads (bugle/seed) and fresh water pearls, sequin flower brooches, black/white bead thread, beading needles, machine and hand needles, matching thread. Tippet: faux fur, black satin, organic cotton bamboo batting, petersham, faux black leather.
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