September 28, 2012

DIY Flapper Dress Costume

With Halloween right around the corner, it's finally that time of year when all of us start brainstorming costume ideas for that one very spooky night. Halloween is my favorite holiday, simply because most people dress up. And I LOVE costumes! One of my all time favorite costume choices has to be a '20s flapper. I wore a vintage, red flapper girl costume when I was 8 (and I still have/wear it to this day,) and sometimes dream of only wear 1920's attire. When I started brainstorming costume tutorial ideas, I knew that a flapper had to be one of them, if not the only. This tutorial is very simple, and will only take about 1 to 2 hours to complete. Plus, this getup can also be worn through out the years on Halloween, or on those nights where you're just feeling a little bit frisky!

Dress Supplies:
-Simple shift dress (I thrifted mine)
-Fringe Trim 
-Straight Pins
-Sewing Machine 
-Decorative Trim (optional)
-Craft Glue (optional)

1. Try your dress on and determine where you want your fringe placement to be. You can sew the fringe over the entire dress, but I decided to add it to the neckline and bottom only. I always recommend sewing from the top to the bottom, to ensure the layering affect. I marked with one pin where the low waist started, and measured the distance up from the hem. Then, I marked the same distance up along the entire dress using more pins. Sew your trim on to your dress along the line, removing the pins as you go 2. Try the dress on again, and mark with a pin where the next layer of fringe trim will be sewn on. Remember that it must be covered by the top layer of fringe by at least 1/2" inch to 1" inch. Measure up that distance along the entire dress, pinning as you go. Sew the next layer of fringe along the pin line, making sure not to sew down the previous layer's fringe. 3. Continue trying your dress on, measuring up, pinning, and sewing, until you have your desired area covered with fringe. Remember to take your time while pinning and sewing. It's important to have the layers of fringe overlap, and to not sew down any unwanted pieces. 4. This step is optional - Glue or sew on some decorative trim or rickrack. I used a fabric/craft glue when adding my gold rick rack. 

Headband Supplies:
-Sequin stretch trim
-Decorative button or brooch
-Needle and thread
-Craft Glue (optional)

1. Wrap the sequin trim around your head to measure how big of a piece you will need. Cut, and sew it together with a hand needle and thread. 2. Attach your feather(s) with glue, or by sewing by hand. 3. Add a decorative button or brooch to the headband, underneath the feather. 

There you have it! I am honestly in love with how it came out, and had a blast taking these photos. I want to make a zillion more and wear one every day. I am thinking about selling this one on my Etsy store. I'll let you all know if I end up doing so. Who knows, maybe one of you can end up shimmying and shaking the night away in it!


  1. Great costume: I love the flapper era, and when I was younger, loved dancing the Charleston! Your dress would be the perfect one to do it in.

    Dancing is not for me now - too wrinkly! However I do make toys, and invite you to pop in and visit my blog sometime ( If you would follow and comment too, that would be great! Am about to follow you! Good luck with your Etsy ventures!

  2. I love how this turned out, and might try my hand at it, too! Where were you able to find the fringe? Did you buy it online?

    Thanks for a great tutorial!

  3. Emily! This is a must try! So easy and fun... I shopped around online for the fringe. I found it to be much cheaper than buying it locally at Joanne's.

  4. I love this idea; the outfit is very cute. But wouldn't you want to sew from the bottom to the top with fringe? I would think if you start at the top, your fringe would end up getting in the way when you were sewing the next layer.

  5. Theresa,

    You make a good point. The fringe does get in the way every now and then, but sewing from the top down helped me ensure that I had enough overlap on the fringe, and somewhat established my waistline. I ordered my fringe online so I did not know exactly how much it would cover. As long as you move the fringey bits out of the way while you sew you can sew from top to bottom or bottom to top!

  6. Thank you so much for this! It is the best diy flapper costume! Just what I needed! You're a lifesaver!
    bridal fabrics

  7. so cute! thank you!



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