Jan 9, 2014

1920s Inspired Lace Dress

We're continuing with the Downton Abbey and 1920's inspired sewing today with a fancy lace dress I made for my 4 year old. The other day I shared a casual flapper dress and we recapped some of the trends of 1920's fashion. Today we'll dress up a bit with a fancier dress.

A few months ago I was in a fantastic fabric store in Minnesota and found oodles of fun trims and lace panels. I bought several pre-made lace panels for about $3 a piece and didn't have immediate plans for them. But one just kept saying 'pick me' each time I thought about a white dress for one of the girls...and it finally got a chance to be used.

I think the panel must have been from a woman's shirt or dress, but the proportion seemed perfect to me when appliqued on the front of this plain, boxy, shapeless dress.

I basically cut a basic sleeveless dress out of muslin and then cut a second dress in a very light, sheer fabric. The sheer dress is cut a little wider in the body and the two are sewn together around the neck and arms. The lace panel was then sewn on top of both.

When I originally tried it on Isa, I loved the lines of the front, but decided to do something fun in the back and cut it into a low v shape. I am in LOVE with the back of this dress!

The lace ends just around the curve of each shoulder, which seems perfect. I don't know what that lace was originally meant to be, but it works quite well on this dress, I think. 

Like any good 1920's outfit, accessories can be added to it, like cozy fur. The fur below is just an ultra soft faux fur from Hancock Fabrics.

Have you made anything inspired by the 1920's or Downton Abbey yet? If not, find some inspiration and pattern suggestions here, and come back tomorrow where you'll meet the bloggers who will be joining in the fun and showing you their inspirational looks next week, as well as get the details on all the giveaways that will be happening starting Monday. Don't miss it. #downtonsewing


  1. Wow, that piece of lace is amazing - great find :)

  2. Boy you really nailed this look. the subtle white on white lace front and the dramatic (but not inappropriate) cut of the back makes for a show-stopping piece. Plus the soft cozy fur over the top to add some contrast and warmth.... I love this entire look- all the way to the styling of her hair and grey overtone of the photo. Stunning!


  3. This is beautiful! It's amazing how much the lace makes this dress!

  4. Beautiful, E! How do you keep it from falling off her shoulders?

  5. Thanks for all your sweet comments! I'll do a post next week about the hair! It was fun to try. And the cut of the shoulders (they're wider than I would normally cut a sleeveless top) keeps the dress from slipping off her shoulders pretty well. But when she was trying to twirl in the dress they would slide a little. It's definitely not a play dress. :)

  6. So beautiful! Such a perfect piece of lace too!

  7. I think this dress should have like a thousand comments it is so beautiful! Such a great use for that lace. I love the drop back and the faux fur. Okay I just love it all and I wish it was mine. I saw this when you posted it and was amazed but for some reason I didn't comment (probably my kids were fighting or needed food or something). Great job!
    With Love,

  8. That is a very pretty dress up dress! I live in the area of SR Harris, so I usually go up there a few times a year. I love their selection of lace pieces, and have a few in my stash that are just looking for a great project. I used one on the white sheet challenge PR&P had a few years ago for a First Communion dress for my girl. They are fun to use to dress up mommy mades. :)

  9. This is gorgeous! Can I have one in my size please? :)

  10. This is absolutely amazing! I want this dress!!


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