Make Your Own Great Gatsby Costume

I've had a lot of people coming into the shop lately looking for 1920's dresses. The latest version of "The Great Gatsby" has lots of people throwing prohibition era parties, and everybody wants to look the part. Authentic 1920's era clothing is nearly 100 years old and as such, is ridiculously hard to find and if you can find it, it's either going to be in bad condition or more than likely more than you'd want to pay for a costume. You could buy a flapper girl Halloween costume and look like everyone else that had to resort to a flapper girl Halloween costume...OR...

You can make your own with a simple tank dress and a few embellishments (and PS - sewing machines explode when I come near them. This was all done by hand):

Materials Used:

Decorative Buttons
Black elastic
Black Furniture Trim
Plain tank dress (From Plato's Closet - just $5.00!)
Hot glue
Needle and thread

You can find rhinestone buttons like this online or at your local craft store for less than $5.00 a pair.

I used sheer ribbon for this project - approximately 1 1/2 rolls, at $1.99 a roll.

I used feathers from previous wedding centerpieces that I had made, but you can find a variety of feathers at your local craft store. I also find feathers at our local thrift stores quite often.

For the shoulder pieces, I folded six 6"-8" pieces of ribbon in half and sewed a button on to the pieces. I dabbed the feathers with some hot glue and wrapped them in ribbon and glued them between two pieces of felt to hold them together. I sewed the button and ribbon piece onto the top layer of felt on the feathers, and sewed the entire piece on to each shoulder.

I cut 6" to 8" pieces of ribbon and sewed them individually around the bottom of the tank dress. Fringe was an option, but I was trying to use what I already had on hand, and I liked the way the ribbons curled around the bottom.

I used 15" of black furniture trim and attached 5" of black elastic to make a headband. I sewed the elastic to the trim and then secured it with hot glue and leaf shaped pieces of black felt. The feathers were secured between two pieces of black felt with hot glue and another rhinestone button was sewn through the felt and feathers and on to the headband.


A close-up of the shoulder

I made the necklace as well, but that's another blog post. Any long, matching necklace will work for this costume.  I already had all of the materials needed to put this together but if you were going to do this from scratch and you already had a glue gun and needle and thread, I would estimate the cost on this to be approximately $20- $30, with anywhere from 2 - 3 hours of work.


Hey Lola is where I live online.

I started Hey Lola the jewelry company in 2003, and started the Hey Lola blog in 2009. 

This blog used to be about crafts and DIY stuff and design and pretty things.

My life took a serious wrong turn in early 2015...and then it took a serious right turn. So now I write about tattoos, and pennies, and art, how weird it is to go to church, how I struggle with religious labels, how much I love people, and how much the love of other people transforms me. I write about struggling with anxiety and depression, I write about disappointment, I write about inspiration. I write about falling down and I write about getting back up.

I just write.

And I still make jewelry.

There might be an occasional post about my husband - he's my favorite person.

There are probably going to be more than a few posts about dogs. 

Dogs are the best.