Murder Mystery Night, Part 1: The Flapper Dress Challenge

On Saturday, Valentine’s Day, our good friends Juliet & Steve (who we went to Disney with back in October), hosted a Murder Mystery Night.  They assigned everyone parts to play and we all received an email with basic instructions on how murder mysteries should work, along with details about the characters we were playing.  I think we got the information Tuesday or Wednesday.   The setting for the night was to be 1920s Chicago at The Grand Gatsby speakeasy with two rival crime gangs in attendance.  I was set to play a waitress with delusions of grandeur and her eyes set on the club singer’s job.

So of course on Saturday morning, I decided I should make a flapper dress costume.  O.o  Nothing like a little last minute project, right?

My husband was even excited enough about the event that he wanted to wear a costume, so we hit up Target and Ross for some suspenders, a pinstripe shirt, and a hat.  I had the fabric for my dress, but needed some satin bias tape for my Fluttershy waist cincher, so we stopped at Hancock to look at accessories for the night’s costumes.  I found some pretty trims and we got some buttons for “kill markers” on my hubby’s hat.

I found a pin on Pinterest with a quick and easy flapper style dress.  I didn’t have time for anything super elaborate or to sew on ungodly amounts of fringe (which I also didn’t have).  I had chosen fabric from my stash for the ensemble, so yay for stash busting!

Due to my time frame, I did not actually make pattern pieces.  I took a couple measurements like the instructions said, and then I improvised.  I only had just enough red fabric for the top part of the dress, so that was a bit scary.  I tried to keep the sides of the neckline / shoulder area even by cutting half of it, folding the cut fabric, and using it as a guide for cutting the rest.


For the skirt, I didn’t have a big enough piece of fabric to cut the pieces the way the instructions in the pin wanted me to.  But having made a circle skirt in the past, I knew I could improvise a little bit here.  I folded the fabric smaller, measured hips and did some math to divide out the circumference of the circle into sixths, and instead of two larger skirt pieces, I made six smaller ones (though I ultimately used only five of them).  I used pattern weights and my tape measure to help me estimate where my arc cut needed to be on my fabric.  The curved ruler measured out the short lengths of the skirt.  Very scientific, huh?


I was even in so much of a hurry that I used my rotary cutter right on this plastic table heh.  Here are the pieces after cutting.


Then I set right to work putting right sides together and stitching along the short sides with my serger.


And I connected the shoulder seams of the tank top piece, and then serged down the sides.  Once done, I connected the skirt to the bodice.  The first time the bodice was actually a bit too long, so I cut my seam out and moved up the placement of the skirt a bit.


Then I added bias tape to the neckline and armholes.  I feel like next time I think that is a good plan with a knit fabric, I should think again.  It always results in some slightly wavy and awkward seam lines, but last Saturday I didn’t have time to care.  Some of the problems could have been fixed with some darts around the bust, but again, lack of time.

It was that same lack of time that caused me to decide to hot glue the lace and fringe onto the dress rather than sewing it.  Also, because the dress was a knit, and the lace I bought (labeled “Flexi-Lace” I might add … grumble) was not at all stretchy, I was afraid if I sewed it on, I might not be able to get into the dress. So I left the dress on my body while I hot glued.  I do not recommend trying this at home, hah.  I mostly burnt my fingertips, but through the fabric the hot glue was warm but not burn-y.  Jesse helped with the back of the dress on the gluing because I just can’t bend that way.  Here it is, post-gluing.


Since the fabric is knit, I did not even bother hemming the skirt LOL.  I also did a quick flapper headband to go with the outfit, glued on some random feathers and doo-dads I had lying around the craft room.


And I glued six lips buttons to Jesse’s hat for his costume – he wanted his character to have marks on his hat for every person he had “bumped off”.


All in all, I completed this in about two and a half hours!  It’s not perfect, heck it’s not even hemmed, but it worked great for the party!  Here we are in our 1920s outfits.


My hubby can definitely pull off the mobster look 🙂  Don’t you think he looks dashing? 😀  I was practically swooning, cause I think he’s the bees knees.

More on the actual Murder Mystery event tomorrow!


2 comments for “Murder Mystery Night, Part 1: The Flapper Dress Challenge

  1. February 16, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Looks like a fun party! Are you going to start a trend – flapper wear as everyday wear? I vote yes!

    • February 16, 2015 at 9:15 am

      I think I could wear it out every now and then … Maybe without the headband? Just needs to get a bit warmer out hah.


Leave a Reply

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

%d bloggers like this: