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DIY 1920s Costume from 1980s Dress

How to Refashion a Dress into a Top Without Sacrificing Bottom Details
DIY Little Free Library (from an Old Newspaper Box!)

You guys. We messed up.

With the 2020s looming ahead of us we got too excited and did something rash.

I blame this:

great gatsby
It wasn’t even that good.

We got way ahead of ourselves and started throwing Great Gatsby theme parties back in 2013, and all because of a mediocre movie that was pretty to look at. Why did we do that? Now we’re actually in the Roaring Twenties, but are already over 20’s fashion again. 🙁

Or are we?

refashionista 20s dresses
These days can come again, right?

When Historic Columbia announced they were throwing a Speakeasy-themed happy hour at the Seibels House (a lovely historic home here in Columbia, SC), I was all about it.

Unfortunately, the closest thing I had to a prohibition-era ensemble was this:

refashionista 80s before image
Hey…the ’80s and the ’20s were only 60 years apart, right?

Thank you, 1980s for bringing back the dropped waist look for a minute, as it suits my costuming needs quite nicely!

Of course, alterations were needed.

ReFashionista shoulder pads
My first shoulder pads of the new year!

Those sleeves had to go as well.

refashionista seam ripper
Benson helped.

Next, I closed up those raw armholes…

refashionista arm hole
First pin!
refashionista whirrr
…then stitch!

I took in the sides a bit…

refashionista taking in
Just a smidge on each side!

…and then narrowed the shoulders by turning the top shoulder seams under and tacking them.

refashionista shoulder
Just like this!

And that was it!


Remember those flowers I removed from my last refashion?

DIY 1920s Costume from 1980s Dress 1
C’mon…It was just last week. Try to keep up. 😉

Well, I put them in a baby dye bath with these:

refashionista rit dye
Whatever could I have in mind?
DIY 1920s Costume from 1980s Dress 2
The transformation begins!

And here’s how they turned out!

ReFashionista dyed flower
So pretty!

I hot glued the flowers together in twos and then glued them onto an elastic hairband.

refashionista hot glues a flower
I love my hot glue gun!

And here’s how it all turned out!

refashionista 20's after
If I knew how to Charleston, I’d be doing it right now!

Erin, Ken, and I enjoyed an evening of cocktails and a lecture on what it was like to live in Columbia during the prohibition era. Sadly, Mr. Refashionista was under the weather and could not attend. :'(

Hey guys!
refashionista 20s
This is my 20s face.

So, if you have any fun 1920s parties coming up, just head to your nearest thrift store and grab an 80s drop waist dress (or two!)!


refashionista before after 20s dress
How to Refashion a Dress into a Top Without Sacrificing Bottom Details
DIY Little Free Library (from an Old Newspaper Box!)