Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Creating an Evening Frock from Draped Squares

Well, what do you think of the first episode of season 4 of Downton Abbey? I think they set the stage for lots of shenanigans in future episodes!

Lady Lily, the niece that Lord and Lady Grantham are supervising certainly has the heart of a flapper. And her dress for the local dance outing reminds me of this dress described in the home sewing tips from Ruth Wyeth Spears. Ruth assembles squares of chiffon and attaches them to a foundation slip to create bias drape and an elegant "scarf" style frock.

I think this could be described as an "easy to assemble" frock. :) How would you like to dance the One-Step in this?


  1. Has anyone tried to follow these instructions for creating this?

    1. Hello, Jessica! If anyone has, I don't know about it. If you try it, let me know. When I have more free time, I would love to try this tip.

  2. Actually this looks fairly easy... They want you to start with a slip you already have. Then the yardage is cut into 36" squares. In the 1920s most fabric was probably sold at 36" wide, today 44" or 45" are more common. I'm tall so I would just make squares equal to the width of the fabric (minus the selvages)... 2 squares are used for the top, and the other 4 for the skirt, and they are just tacked (sewn) onto the slip... 6 squares of 36" wide fabric would require 6 yards (7.5 yards if you make the square 45")... Ribbon is used to cover the stitching where the skirt is sewn onto the slip...

  3. I just made this dress, and it is really easy. But there's a wee problem with the math in the skirt (folding it over 19" makes the bottom 31" long thanks to Pythagorus). My blog post is here: