Thursday, October 29, 2009

Brocade Evening Dress (2nd Use)

Accession Number: M.80.185.1

Label 1: 1 Piece Dress, USA, c.1952

Label 2: Mrs Chas Swett, Poss Gift, 8/27/80

Note: This project is not considered complete until every scrap of deaccessioned fabric has found a use. Often this means that a single deaccessioned garment may yield raw materials for multiple new items. In this instance, the garment has previously yielded an umbrella.

This floor-length, form-fitting dress is made of a green, pink, and orange check silk with a silver brocaded pattern of stylized birds, flowers, and crabs. The check of this fabric is uneven, with up to 1/2” variation in the width of the stripes. The garment has a boned lining of darker green silk with three hanging straps; it fastens up the back with a series of hooks, eyes, and a zipper.

During the previous deconstruction, the lining was removed and all seams were removed from the dress. For this project, all seams, darts, boning, and the zipper were removed from the lining.

A pattern was drafted. Pieces were cut from the silk brocade and the fanny pack was sewn together. The garment’s original zipper was used to close the pack’s main compartment. An original snap was used to secure the flap on the pack’s secondary compartment. To form the straps, two 4” strips of fabric were cut from the green silk lining fabric. Each strip was folded in half, and then each half was folded again until two 1” wide straps were created. Each strap was top-stitched, and one end of each was attached to the fanny pack. The other ends of the straps were secured to a side release buckle.

The accession number has been embroidered on the front flap.

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