Friday, November 21, 2014

A 1920s Beaded Dress

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A 1920s dress made of silk chiffon from Dharma Trading and worn over a slip made of yellow China silk from Golden Silks. The dress is tambour beaded with zillions of tiny seed beads from Fire Mountain Gems, and I bought the clip in my headband on Etsy.

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I am not in love with this dress. I didn't give it the attention it deserved, and it has quite a few issues that I really should've dealt with before wearing it. I should have shortened the waist which was stretched a little during the embroidery process and weighed down by the beading on the skirt. When I wasn't happy with the fit, I took in the underarams a bit, but I really should've taken in the whole side seams. That would've meant taking the skirt off, but, well, see number one. I also wanted more decoration, beading around the neckline, armscyes, a fuller design, etc. By the end of the beading, I was probably beading about half as densely as when I started. However, due to having whooping cough the summer I made this, I very much Did Not Care, and the dress just got done. I cared much more about the knit beaded bag I made to go with it--beautiful mindlessness!

I still wore the dress twice--to Costume College and to visit a friend in Montana and go out for a 20s themed dinner (where three of my dresses were worn!) and enjoyed wearing it, so that is something, I suppose! While I do hate it when people put their costumes down, at the same time, I think it's good to share that not everyone loves everything they do!

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I remain enthusiastic about my beaded bag, and I very much want to make more. The bag is from The Hiawatha Book of Beaded Bags and Chains that I bought on Etsy. It has a Ravelry page here.

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This picture perfectly sums up my attitude towards this dress. Plus, I just like the way Aubry of A Fractured Fairytale frames the shot.


My shoe clips (bought on Etsy) though? Possibly the best things ever :)

A few construction pictures are below.


I did the tambour beading on a scroll frame--no crushing the beads in a hoop.

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The difference between an early and late flower--pre and during whooping cough, in other words.

Finished Skirt Panel!

And a completed skirt panel. The ends of the bows are braided strings of ribbon. I quite like this feature!


  1. It looks lovely on you - all that beading is commendable, regardless of the density!

  2. I loved taking a photo of you in your 1920s dress with a 1920s camera in my 1780s dress. ;)