Dancing the Charleston in the rain

A friend decided recently that, rather than having a party to celebrate entering her 30s, she was going to pre-empt it all and instead have a farewell to her 20s. As you might expect (or maybe you don’t?) the theme was all things F Scott Fitzgerald, with 20s style the lynchpin on which the evening was built.

Looking online at flapper dresses, I saw a couple of things that I liked the look of, but quickly found myself thinking “I could make that”. One quick trip to the rag market and several thousand dead sequins later, I had done just that.

The party was wonderful, despite the almost torrential rain that fell on the day itself. A bit of a blow when you’re having a garden party, but thankfully by late evening it had blown over and we were able to dance the night away under the stars – Charleston and all!

What is it?

A simple sleeveless shift dress.

Is it blue?


What’s the fabric and where’s it from?

The fabric is a sequinned fabric that I bought at the rag market for the princely sum of £12 all in. I chose it because I loved the scalloped pattern and thought I could probably use that to my advantage. The slip dress underneath is RTW.

What’s the pattern?

I used the McCalls M7533 pattern that came free with issue 40 of Love Sewing magazine. The only alteration I made was to take out the zip as it was loose enough that I could just slip it on and off.

What was good about making this?

It was a super quick sew (yay!) and very satisfying to have a simple yet effective way to make the fabric look like a more professional item.

What was bad about making this?

There were sequins everywhere. There always are when I sew with sequinned fabric, but I always forget how bad it gets….

Would you make it again?

No. It was definitely a costume piece and, as a shape, this dress does literally nothing for me. There are women out there who rock a simple shift dress but I am not one of them; I really, really need a defined waistband. This scenario was fine, because it suited the style of the era, but I have no interest in making this again for day to day wear.


4 thoughts on “Dancing the Charleston in the rain

    1. Thank you! That was definitely the thing that swung it whilst I was shopping for fabric, it made such a difference to the finish 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *