“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Hello, 2014 blog entry number two!

I do not currently have any updates on my first monthly challenge, other than to say that my day-job has been overwhelmingly busy and has left me with hardly any time to work on it. Despite this fact, there’s no way I’m gonna miss my first goal, so hopefully I will have a real update on that soon!

What I DO want to share is an outfit I made for a Great Gatsby themed New Years party I attended a week ago!


The fabric was a very lucky find at JoAnn Fabrics. I walked in and there it was on a display rack– a bolt of furry black SUEDEsays fabric marked WAY down from it’s original $16/yard price. In the days prior, I had grand daydreams of sheer lace overlays, hand beaded necklines, and silky slips, but as soon as I saw this fabric I knew I would be able to get away with something much simpler, and still pretty dramatic.

Gatsby Dress Pattern

I self drafted the pattern, using the Colette Patterns Sorbetto as a rough guide for the neckline and armholes. I omitted (ie ignored) the darts and extended the bottom by a few feet.

Thanks to the simplicity of loose fitting flapper-style dresses, this costume took only four seams (two shoulders and two sides) and it was pretty much done! Instead of putting bias tape around the edges like in the Sorbetto instructions, I simply folded over the fabric and sewed a very small hem. It doesn’t fray easily, and the texture of the fabric lends itself very nicely to this method. I also knew that this was not a dress I would likely wear again, so I wasn’t too concerned about making it perfect.

Once it was sewn up and hemmed, I trimmed all of the extra fuzz away from the neck and arms (still in tact, it gave me a hairy-chest effect). I had originally intended to add a sparkly, drop waist belt, but ended up liking it better without.

Gatsby Dress

Add a hand-made feathered headband, pearls, sparkly earrings and an updo– and there you have it! One simple but dramatic Gatsby-inspired costume for one fantastically fun New Years party. 


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