Folkwear 1993 504

Folkwear 504; ©1993; Afternoon Dress, Paris 1920: From the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art comes this simple yet elegant dress made from only two main pattern pieces. Designed by Jean Babani around 1920, the original is made in a brightly colored abstract print silk with a solid black silk overdress. Gold metallic cord finished the bateau neckline and continues across the shoulders, emphasizing the Grecian cut and drape. Metallic cord also serves as a waist tie, hidden under the bib in front, but defining the waist at the sides and back and allowing soft fullness in the skirt. We've added the option of a self-fabric sash instead of the cord for a slightly different look.

This dress is dazzling for evening in bright printed silk like the original, or for a sophisticated daytime look, try it in contrasting shades of rayon or even lightweight linen, with a self-fabric waist sash to pull it all together. As this dress proves, the simplest shapes are often the most versatile.

Along with the dress we've included a pattern for a purse from the same period. This charming bag features gathered side panels with drawstring closures and can be decorated with satin-stitch embroidered flowers and leaves along the center and the handle (embroidery instructions included).

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