Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HSF14 Challenge #18 - Poetry in Motion

Okay, so poetry has never been my thing.  I tend to like silly children's poems better than deep soulful poems.  But my plan for doing a dress themed after my favorite silly poem was scuttled when I learned that the poem must actually mention clothing specifically.  Well, shoot.  I found a poem about a golden gown that would work for the Edwardian gown I'm hoping to make this year, but that keeps getting pushed out.  I turned to song lyrics to see if I could find any clothing themed ones that would suit.  Pretty last minute, I found an Andrews Sister's song called "A Zoot Suit (For My Sunday Gal)."  I overlooked it a couple of times, because I had no intention of making a zoot suit in a week.  But I finally read through it and found this verse:

I want a brown gown with a zop top
And a hip slip, and a laced waist
In the sharpest taste to see my Sunday man
(In his zoot suit)

I usually say I don't have a favorite color, but brown is definitely high up on my list.  A brown gown sounded just right.  I wasn't sure what a zop top and a laced waist entailed, but I needed to keep it simple, as I'm running behind again.  So I reached for the 1920's again, figuring a simple square-cut flapper dress wouldn't give me too much grief.  I hand drafted the top, choosing a high neck in front and a bit more of a dip in back.  I cut a basic skirt shape, just slightly a-line. Once I had it all together, I cut the hem into a diagonal, like this dress:

Ivory dress with black and gold sash by Callot Soeurs, French, 1928. The Goldstein Museum of Design.

Although not before experimenting with a few different styles:

I used a silk/rayon burnout velvet in dark brown, with bits of peach and purple.  It sounds like an odd combination, but I quite like it.  I happened to have some poly faille in my stash that I used for the sash and drape.  I've always liked peach and brown together, and it really worked with the little peach hints in the fabric.

I serged all my edges on the dress, and then just turned them under and topstitched them down.  I did a double folded hem around the sash, and gathered one side to a piece of hem tape.  It just ties on at the moment, although I may add better closures later.

The Challenge: Poetry in Motion

Fabric: Brown Rayon/silk burnout velvet, peach poly faille.
Pattern:  None
Year: 1920's
Notions: None
How historically accurate is it? The pattern and most of the fabric is accurate, but it's all made on machine and partly serged.  

Hours to complete: Let's just assume I never know the answer to this.
First worn: Not yet.
Total cost: $30

And the result:

Hopefully I can get some pictures of it on me soon, so I can show it off better.


  1. Lovely, and the sash is such a perfect match for the accents in the velvet.

  2. Lovely! You could have made a gown inspired by the other bits in the poem - that's there somewhere in the outline! But I hope you are happy with what you ended up with, because it is FABULOUS!