20th Century, What I wear

The ‘Sherbet Seersucker + Shoes’ 1934 frock

Well, I love bold stripes, but everything I’m making for the HSF ‘Stripes’ challenge has turned out to be quite subdued stripes; in this case, seersucker.

Anne Adams 2365

This dress started out with this pattern, Anne Adams 2653:

Anne Adams 2653

Anne Adams 2653

How cute is that!

A lovely and kind friend owns the pattern, and let me take a copy in trade for a copy of one of my patterns.

The pattern was perfect, but finding the right fabric for it turned in to an epic production.  First I found what I thought was the perfect fabric: a geometric broderie anglaise that was both sweet and Art Deco-y.  I bought four metres, rushed home, compared it to the pattern, and realised the broderie anglaise openwork would clash horribly with  the pleats and neck yoke.   Grrrrr!  Next, I found the perfect blue and white striped cotton poplin in my stash but unfortunately I had less than half what the pattern said I would need in fabric – even if I did a contrast yoke, sleeves and pockets.  Grrrrr!  Then I realised I had a really cute blue and white polka dotted fabric, but I hate wearing polka dots to vintage events, because it seems so cliche.  Grrrrr!  Finally, I went fabric shopping, drove the friends I was shopping with crazy comparing robins egg blue linen and white linen and blue and white stripes before finding this yellow and white seersucker.

Yellow and white striped seersucker

Then there was the drama of finding buttons to match.  I’d originally pictured them in red, but on the seersucker they looked to primary and kindergarten-ish.  Dark blue was too abrupt, yellow too matchy-matchy, white too subtle and boring.  Then an epiphany: I had the amazing lagoon blue suede 30s/40s inspired platform sandals I’d let myself buy as an indulgence earlier in the summer.  What about lagoon blue/aqua buttons?

A hunt through the Wellington haberdasheries revealed that aqua buttons are REALLY hard to find, but I persevered and unearthed these darling deco inspired beauties:

Art deco inspired aqua beauties
I’d originally been looking for darker, more subdued buttons, but the shop staff convinced me I should go all the way, and I like the way the motif on the buttons evokes stripes.

Unfortunately an aqua belt buckle was too big an ask, and I had to get creative with the belt.

I wore the not-quite-finished frock (I still needed to perfect the belt) to Art Deco weekend, and loved it, and got tons of compliments on it, and was extremely comfortable in it.

Sherbet stripes dress thedreamstress.com

With the friend who gave me a copy of the pattern:

Anne Adams 2653

With a swing dancing friend who I insisted pose with me because his braces (suspenders) matched my shoes and buttons.  I so overwhelmed him with excitement about his braces that he sold them to me just to get rid of me.  I guess Mr D needs to do a photoshoot with me now 😉

Turquoise braces!  (and Anne Adams 2635)

And then I found something awesomer than braces to match my outfit: a whole tent in lagoon blue and white!  With striped deck chairs!

Look!  The tent decor matches my shoes

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a vintage car that was the perfect match:

Anne Adams 2635 in seersucker

Love this dress!

After Art Deco weekend the dress came home and sat in my closet while I turned the house upside down looking for the extra fabric in which to make the perfect belt.  Luckily I located it just in time for this challenge, so tomorrow I’ll show you the finished, finished Sherbet Stripes frock and all the construction details.


  1. What a darling dress! Love the buttons and shoes and that you held fast to your vision at the risk of being annoying! I’ve been planning to make an aqua woven top to pair with my yellow seersucker pants, such a fresh and pleasing color combo. You make me want to make a 30s pattern.

    • Thank you Lee! I love aqua and yellow now, and I would LOVE to see you in a ’30s outfit. I’ve always imagined you wearing ’30s and ’40s clothes, and I bet they would look fantastic on you.

      It’s good to see you comment btw. I’ve been missing the SW community. It’s so sad it just disappeared this year.

  2. Oh this is so funny! I can so relate to finding the perfect fabric, then needing the perfect trim, the perfect everything. I liked everything you found but completely understand how they are meant for their own projects and not necessarily the one at hand. Funny, I wrote my entry last night and it’s also about agonizingly looking for the perfect trim…or at least the best I could find for my stripes…yes, I can relate! I love the aqua with the yellow…and all the aquas you found in your surroundings! That is too great!

    • Costuming synchronisity! This was definitely one of those projects where you spend more time finding the all the pieces for the project than actually SEWING the project. And then, after all that agony, finding all the aquas on the day was so easy!

    • Thank you! I don’t think it is though – they are just different. And clearly great minds think alike and seersucker is an awesome fabric!

  3. Claire Payne says

    How perfect was it that you found a matching tent and deck chairs for your outfit? Such moments are so marvellous. I love the pattern (I also love your friend’s dress too). I am inspired to sew all weekend now.

    • It was a fantastic moment! I wish the photos of it were better though. It was a guy photographer and he just didn’t grasp the awesomeness of “my shoes match the tent so you need to capture that in the photo”.

      Hope your weekend sewing went well!

  4. Amie says

    Perfect. With summer on the horizon on my side of the globe, I have been looking at seersucker for a dress. I have only found juvenile stripes and prints, but it’s still early. I have to look online. My mom would make several dresses for herself in seersucker, and I would receive some too. Your dress is wonderful. I love everything about it.

    • Thank you! The only thing that isn’t perfect about this dress is that winter is on the way 🙁 I shall have to think of you guys enjoying seersucker and wait to wear mine again…and maybe make the pattern up in thin wool and wear it over a merino shirt as a winter outfit.

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