How to Make a Flapper Dress From an Existing Dress

by Corinna Ricard-Farzan ; Updated September 28, 2017

You can create an inexpensive flapper dress out of an existing dress.

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Flappers, a category of women of the 1920s, lived a lavish lifestyle, diverging from the expectations of women at the time. Not only did flappers do as they pleased, breaking out of the social norms which viewed women as wives, mothers and homemakers, but they dressed in skimpy dresses that have become a classic icon of the times. If you want to dress as a flapper for Halloween or a costume party, you can make your own flapper costume out of an existing dress.

Measure the circumference of the hemline of the dress.

Cut a strip of fringe in the same length as the hemline measurement. The color of the fringe should match that of the dress.

Pin the fringe all the way around the very bottom of the hem of the dress. Check that the fringe is evenly pinned, then sew it into place.

Cut a second strip of fringe the same length as the first. Pin it above the first so the fringe hangs down to the very top of the first fringe. Cut any excess length off the strip, check that the fringe is even then sew it into place.

Cut a third strip of fringe the same length as the previous two. Pin it the same distance above the second fringe as the second was from the first. Cut any excess length off the end and sew it into place. Repeat this process all the way up the dress until you have covered the whole dress. The last strip of fringe will be sewn to the neckline of the dress.


  • Purchase a slip dress from a thrift shop. You may be able to find an inexpensive slip dress online as well. The slip should have a straight neckline and thin spaghetti straps. To complete the outfit wear a sequined headband around your head, pair of black high heeled shoes and red lipstick.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Having graduated from Purchase College with a B.A. in creative writing, Corinna Ricard-Farzan has been writing professionally since 2008. As well as writing, she attends events and storefronts working to promote renewable energy and sustainable living in Westchester, New York. Her areas of expertise include but are not limited to physical health and fitness, nutrition, arts and crafts and pet care.