Flapper Friday a Success!

imageFlapper Friday–the book launch party for The Impersonator–was a great success and great fun! About 150 people came for my short talk on the weired-but-true things I learned about Prohibition. Great food, courtesy of the Library of Virginia. Champagne for the “wets” and punch for the “dries.” And it was fun seeing so many people come dressed in period attire. The Charleston lessons helped educate a good number of young people on the finer points of this popular dance. 

I brought two of my grandmother’s flapper dresses for display. These date to the mid-1920s and are very heavy with bugle beads, hand-sewn in beautiful patterns. As you might expect, they are rather fragile, but I loved having them for “show and tell.” It made it seem a little like my grandmother (1900-1995) was there with us. image2013-10-05 17.37.39


Published in: on October 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. i loved hearing about your flapper friday. great name. i liked the subject. what a great idea.
    the dresses are wonderful. the close up is what people who are interested in clothes, historical clothing and sewers love. what is the main fabric of the dresses? are they lined? is there something behind the beading to strengthen the fabric(for example a different fabric)? i assume the beads are glass. are they all round or other shapes included? are sequins used? i assume they are machine sewn. i am curious about how they did the seams to keep them from raveling

    • The main fabric of the dress seems to be a thin silk, but not satin weave. (You’re talking to someone who doesn’t know much about textiles.) And yes, they both come with a satin-weave silk lining, but it’s separate, like a mini slip that attaches at the shoulders. The beads are glass but some seem silvery. Most are bugle beads. Some round, some larger than others, a real variety. There’s a little bit of embroidery filling in the spaces that are outlined by bugle beads. But there isn’t any other fabric backing up the beading. I can tell from the back that the beads were machine sewn.
      There is no guarantee that these were made in the USA–my grandparents were Army people and lived in the Philippines in the Twenties and my grandmother traveled to Chinese ports. Of course there are no tags to help identify anything! The fabric seams are rolled under just a little with no visible stitching. Sorry I can’t be more specific!

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