Our twenty year wedding anniversary is coming up! It is so hard to believe! Originally, my mother was going to make my dress. That didn’t happen the way it was supposed to and we purchased this pretty blue dress.

My mom was also teaching me how to make my own dresses back then. Today, I help many wonderful people with weddings and events and I it sometimes gives me dress envy! So… for our anniversary this year I made myself a flapper wedding dress.

A flapper frock was basically the same as a 1960s shift dress. I hacked this pattern only using the bodice to get started. I added a waist band and gathered skirt to gradually make it wider. I also left the darts in the back of the dress because I’m a modern short girl. My yummy pearlesque fabric came from Sew to Speak, in Columbus, Ohio.

For the lining I got my entire fabric collection out to find the best color. A stretch in a peachy pink had to be my choice. Since the lace has stretch, the lining had to have stretch as well.

Sewing Tips I did all the normal dressmaking techniques, understitching, clipping curves and corners and finishing my seams. When I got to the ruffles on the skirt I didn’t want them to be too gathered. I was able to make them all on my serger. I took out my left serger needle and tightened my looper tensions to make a rolled hem on both sides of my long, freshly cut, ruffle strip. No measuring was involved. To gather one side I kicked my differential feed as high as it would go and surged holding my finger behind the foot to bunch it up. To make the lettuce ruffle for the other side I did just the opposite. I turned the differential feed down as low as it would go and stretched the fabric as it fed through my serger. This was so much FUN!

Once the invisible zip was in I bought two ribbons to choose from on Etsy and let social media vote which one to use.

Once the votes were in, I added the ribbon with rick rack trim to make it stand out and let it hang for two weeks.

Learning Experiences (aka mistakes) The ribbon stabilized the knit and when I put it on right before my mini shoot it was too tight on my hips and was quickly riding up my waist. Off came the dress and I fixed it with a simple 1 1/2″ tuck under the belt, bringing the skirt of the dress up to a smaller part of my waist.

This project led to my next project. I made a ruffle skirt out of a toddler bed skirt using similar techniques. Every project adds growth.

Behind the scenes~

My moth dress is up for auction in the upcoming, “There’s Something About Mary Art Auction.”

Details here

Bids start at $20, come out and say hi!

Thank you for reading,

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh


Tracy McElfresh
Latest posts by Tracy McElfresh (see all)