Fabric Suggestions for the Flapper Dress

Our newest pattern, the 1920s Flapper Dress, was developed from a very simple, but very elegant, original dress from the 1920s.  It is made of only two pattern pieces, and the front and back are the same, but the simplicity belies the meaning of the garment.  Our original (photo above) is made of a black cotton/silk gauze that is heavily beaded with black glass beads grouped into art deco shapes all over the dress.  The armholes, neckline, waist (which is slightly dropped), and hem are outlined with oblong red glass beads stacked in rows.  The dress is made to swing, and made to awe with its embellishments and the scarcity of fabric around the neck, arms, and legs. The beadwork also gives movement and swing to the lightweight fabric of the dress.  This is typical of "flapper" dresses of the 1920s.  You can, of course, bead you own dress (like our original), and we have a tutorial on beading here.  Or, you can buy fabric that is already beaded (I made the flapper dress from a pre-beaded fabric from Mood - see link and photos below).  Or, you can make this dress from lightweight cotton, silk, or linen to create a simple sundress!  Or a silk charmeuse . . . possibilities are endless.

Suggested Fabrics:  Fabrics with drape such as silk, rayon, cotton lawn, gauze, and blends. 

Below are some fabric suggestions from some of our favorite fabric stores.  Please note, these suggested fabrics are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written, and may go out of stock from store at some point.  If link is invalid for specific product, look for a similar fabric you can substitute.

Hart's Fabrics has a nice selection of organic double gauze at the moment. This fabric would work well for a more casual summer version of this dress.

This black and white nouveau tulip printed silk charmeuse from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics is so much fun and perfect for the time period.  Add a few beads to embellish this . . . and wow!

For a festive and fun look you could make a sheer dress and wear it over a bias slip such as the one from 219 Intimacies. I found some corded ribbon tulle rosette netting at Vogue Fabrics that would make an interesting sheath.  


A nice drapey rayon would make a stunning casual dress.  I like this print from Bolt Fabric Boutique.  It has an Art Deco feel to it, and looks like a sewing theme (straight pins!). 

Also, I used this beaded rayon from Mood Fabrics for my own flapper dress from this pattern.  It was perfect for it!  It's a closeout fabric, so won't last too long.


The dress Cynthia is wearing is made from the dusty rose and azure organic yarn-dyed linen we have in stock here at Folkwear.