Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Tale of Synthetic Silk

I found a sweet, simple 1920's dress I wanted to reproduce, but it was filthy.  I soaked it in gentle cleaner, like I do all my cottons and linens and silk georgette and chiffon clothing that has been worn and washed before.  What a surprise when I squeezed and gently unrolled the dress.  It was falling apart before my eyes!  What had looked like sturdy silk was some imitation silk.  I don't know what it's made of, but I've never seen this happen before.
Anyway, I had already done my measuring of the garment and figured out how it was constructed.  I never did reproduce it, but looked for georgette of that color for years

It is a very basic dress--no darts or tucks.  This one fits a 34 bust with 36 hips.  The top is a tube with the rayon lace pieces forming the straps.  The skirt portion is a 36" square with curved pieces of lace on each edge, forming a circle.  A 36" circle was cut out of the middle and sewn to the bodice.  A length of georgette was hand pleated and tacked together and tacked to the hipline.  The edges were bound with bias georgette and there were little sprays of ribbon flowers attached around the hip and on the front of the bodice.  That's it!  A matching basic slip would have been worn with this--probably pink.

Showing the skirt inset.

Detail of the belt.

If anyone is interested in purchasing this garment for study or reconstruction, let me know.  I will even dig out the ribbon flowers for you.

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