May 22, 2016

Sunday Sotlight: 1 Hour Dress Examples

Before I wrap up my little series about the 1920's 1 hour dress later this week, I thought today I would spotlight a couple examples of the style from real 1920's prints and extant dresses! I scoured Pinterest for surviving examples of  the simple "1 hour" style that can be created with the super straightforward pattern. I did find several more examples of what I would call a modified 1 hour, where the skirt was shaped differently or just separated from the bodice at the drop waist and gathered or pleated instead of cut in one piece, but I didn't include those here as I wanted to keep this post about dresses you could make directly with the basic 1 hour pattern. Lets take a look!

This floral dress highlights the lovely textiles of the Oriental Silk Printing Company well with its ultra simple lines. It's also a 1 hour dress with an elegant boatneck and a ribbon rose corsage pinned at the hip! 

These stylish ladies have the cutest box purses and white dresses! Both dresses could be made with the 1 hour pattern, especially the dress on the right which looks like it may perhaps just have matching bias binding around the sleeve and neckline edges? Make a thin belt from the same bias strip and presto! Easy and super chic!

It's hard to see exactly what is going on with the skirt of this dress but the general silhouette is definitely 1 hour dress material! Glamorous in black silk with what looks to be a matching belt/sash around the drop-waist and a two-layer skirt. An easy way to achieve this skirt effect is to create a slip (or even just a skirt slip) that is longer than your dress to wear underneath.

The 1 hour dress pattern strikes again! This time cut in one single piece! Here we see what the dress looks like if instead of gathering/pleating the side skirt fullness, you simply let it hang freely down the sides.
Robe Simplette indeed! Here the sides hang free again and a belt controls the fullness at the waist. Also, embroidered stars?

Here some serious embroidery makes the dress look more complex than it really is. Looks like they pleated the waist extension to the back which is something on do for most of my 1 hour dresses too and it keeps the sides looking nice and smooth. I will have to make an embroidered 1 our soon in breezy cotton for summer!

I know what you are thinking, the skirt looks different here, but I think the only change is widening the skirt for more fullness, For a more robe de style look consider a custom petticoat with tulle along the sides to hold out the skirt just so. Also fun vandyke trimmings and ultra Vogue style cred.

And for evening why not add (faux) fur trim along the hem for some ultra luxurious glamour. This is another super chic simple example where the pattern is identical to the 1 hour but the dress looks extra amazing because the textile is so pretty!

Last of today's examples this beautiful beaded velvet dress! That's one fancy 1 hour dress, but totally achievable if you found a wondrous fabric or have beading skills and a ton of time!

I think in the future I will be expanding from my comfort zone of the 1 hour dress pattern (I have 6 of them now? or more ish?) but I will definitely be using the pattern as a jumping off point as I try to draft other 20's styles! I hope this post gave some of you ideas on what kind of looks the 1 hour pattern can achieve :)


  1. I have loved your 1 hour 20s dress posts! Something I am struggling with is working out what fabric to use, I just wish I had beading and embroidery skills haha! I hope I can find something suitable, I find a lot of fabrics just look too modern...if that makes sense.

    1. I'm so glad you've been enjoying the series Harlow! I totally know what you mean about most fabrics seeming too modern, it can be so hard to find apparel fabrics in general in this quilter centric home sewist market!

  2. Marvelous post and selection of styles. The embroidered stunner really caught my eye in particular.

    Big hugs & happy tail end of May wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thanks Jessica! I need to get my embroidery skills out for sure :)


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