1920s Deco Dress with Sports Motif, Part 2

You might remember this super two-piece dress from my post two weeks ago, only it looks slightly different today.  After a lot of self-debate, I decided that there was enough of the original design intact to try and remove the later alterations.

The top was pretty straight forward.  I took out the hem and lengthened it as much as possible, one and a half inches.  I have no way of knowing if that was the original hem placement, as it is possible that some fabric was removed from the bottom of the over blouse.

This is the interior, showing the hem.  As you can see, I let it out as far as possible.  The hem tape is rayon, from the 1920s.

I also took out the side zipper and let out the seams as far as I could, which was not much.  I removed the half belt in the back, and the back darts.

The skirt was a bit more difficult.  I removed the added waistband, preserving all the original fabric.  I then made a camisole from white linen to which I attached the skirt.  In doing so, I shortened the skirt a bit so that the pleats would break at the bottom on the over blouse hem.

There were also long darts taken in the top of the skirt so that it would fit at the waist.  I removed these and stitched up the opening that had been made.

I used a basting stitch to attach the skirt to the camisole.  If the dress is ever put on display, it will need a stronger stitch.

It was a lot of work, but to me, the charm of the decoration is that it is so 1920s Art Deco.  The dress needed to look like what it started its life as – a 1920s dress.



The after shot shows a longer top and shorter skirt, just like the dress would have had originally.  There’s not a lot of difference, just enough to make it look “right.”


Filed under Collecting, Vintage Clothing

21 responses to “1920s Deco Dress with Sports Motif, Part 2

  1. Beautiful dress, truly worthy of the love you’ve given it. Marvelous!


  2. littleheapvintage

    Lizzie, this is so awesome. What a great garment restoration! I’m always interested in the ways people made do and altered their clothing, but it’s so cool to see the process in reverse, and the original silhouette restored.


  3. Lizzie…it turned out attractive. Give yourself a pat on the back.

    I had to look back and forth at least 5 times and read it three times to notice any differences. Then I noticed the original photo had the pockets a couple inches from the hem…not on the hem edge.

    Was it easier to use black tape rather than try to match that orange? Is that the little bit of darkness showing through the hem of the top. Acatuallly it looks like it was designed to use black tape.
    Also, is that called a blind stitch used to sew the black tape on???

    How often do you wear the vintage clothes you have…and do people make comments and realize you are wearing vintage.? Will you wear vintage to Metrolina Flea Mkt?


    • Thanks Marge. I tried to put the photos side by side but my photo shopping “skills” were not up to it!

      I used the black because I did not have the right orange, and to be honest, I did not notice the black shining through the fabric until you pointed it out. I’ll probably end up replacing it. I used a whip stitch to attach the tape to the bottom of the blouse, and then hemmed it with a blind stitch.

      I rarely wear vintage except for coats, jackets and sweaters. I’d never wear a dress like this because first it is too fragile, and second, it would make me feel as if I were wearing a costume. It’s just not me.

      I might wear a piece to Metrolina, it depends on the weather.


      • I haven’t been in for a couple of months but Foam & Fabric on Biltmore has been selling vintage rayon tape CHEAP since last summer. It’s a real grab bag – there’s a basket with mixed rayon tape and folded cotton bias tape, and you have to be careful because some of the rayon is that nasty iron-on stuff and it’s even worse when it’s had a chance to get old and weird – but it’s definitely worth a rummage.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It was a lot of work, but so worth it! I love solving vintage clothing mysteries like this. The dress is really fabulous.


  5. That does look so much better. It went from frumpy to fabulous. Great work! I also wondered why they originally used black hem tape on the top since it does show through? What fun detective work, thank you for sharing :o)


  6. Irene

    It looks SO much better now! Very impressive work on your part, love that you restored it to its original silhouette.


  7. The proportions just sit right now. Congrats to you! xxx


  8. I somehow missed your first post about this set…wow! What an amazingly cool find. And great work getting it back to its original design.


  9. Ah ha! now that’s more like it.
    (what a relief it must have been to get that messy waistband off the skirt)


  10. Pingback: Tennis, Anyone? | Stuff I Love

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