For those that aren't fans of the 20s silhouette

When many people think about clothing from the 1920s the first image that comes to mind is of a flapper wearing a slim fitted dropped waist dress. During this time many women moved away from the corset and towards a looser fitting, "boyish" silhouette.

Quite a few people commented on my last couple of posts saying that the 20s silhouette was not a flattering look for them and I don't want them to think that that style dress is the only sewing option! I recently purchased Everyday Fashions of the Twenties, a book that is a compilation of clothing catalogs from that time frame, and was happy to see a page dedicated to blouses.

When I saw this page I immediately thought of Steph's Sisters of Edwardia blouse which was inspired by the ladies on Downton Abbey.  If you are interested in making a blouse it might be worth it to check out the pattern she designed.

I really love the flutter sleeves and bow/belt. They aren't something that I would immediately think of when I think "20s," but they work! I can see this working as a mix of a longer version of View A of the Cambie dress and the sleeves from the Taffy blouse

This pretty vintage dress could be remade using the Laurel pattern as a starting point. You'd make the sleeveless version for the upper portion (see the extras for help with this) and make a slightly fuller bottom part. The embellishments would be fun to try and recreate!

I hope that I showed you a couple of options that you hadn't yet considered for your outfit. Are any of you making anything that might not be considered "traditional?"


  1. What a great post! The traditional 20s dress with the dropped waist looks terrible on me, so yes, I'm definitely doing something a little different. I've looked around a bit and so far I like this the best:

    But I'm still looking and trying to find ideas! I made a great fitted 20s dress last year so I know it's not hopeless, but I was hoping to do something a ltitle fancier this year!

  2. 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Oooh, very nice and thanks for sharing these alternatives! I also always just think of the traditional flapper dress...which needles to say, does not suit me either ;o)

  3. After my last few sewing projects were failures in the fit department, I'm honestly looking forward to the drop waist billowy silhouette!! I don't want to deal with a fitted shape right now! lol (Totally just started singing "I got 99 problems but a fit ain't one" in my head. I'm a real class act lmao)

  4. I might try and do something with the Mathilde Blouse
    It has tucks already... and maybe I could have a floaty sleeve? Still thinking. Thanks for the ideas!

  5. a blouse is a fantastic idea--I wish I had time to make 4 or 5 garments for this challenge--too many beautiful ideas, and just not enough time! started my Laurel muslin... meh. it fits, but it needs some tweaks to be more flattering I think.

  6. Lovely. I'm hoping to take part in the challenge, but as above comments, I really don't suit drop-waists sadly :( I'm thinking something like that bottom dress; something with nice detail at the bottom but a waist in my actual waist area.

  7. Oh wow, the Edwardia Blouse is beautiful!! I think I am in need of that pattern! 20's silhouettes really don't suit me, but I think you are right when you point out that it wasn't just the boyish dresses that were in fashion. And I truely believe anyone can wear a shift dress, you just have to get the right pattern and style it correctly.

  8. Chantal VandenbergMay 1, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    Gorgeous blouse!!!

  9. We love the 1920's silhouettes and fabrics. Thanks for sharing the wonderful styles. The Gatsby inspired sewing project is such a fun idea. So happy to have found your blog today! We will be back to visit again :)

    ~Sampson & Lorrie