Accessorizing my mother’s “embassy dress”

My aunt worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was stationed at many of the Norwegian Embassies and Consulates around the world. As her time as Ambassador in Tanzania, she bought what she later referred to as an “embassy dress”, and when she retired, my mother inherited the dress from her. As the dress itself is plain, loose-fitted and moss green with a matching cape, my mother wished to have some accessories made to style up the dress a bit and add a bit of colour.

During our attic clean-out last fall, we came across an old belt. Over the years this had become stiff and was too small for my mother to wear, but I thought we could save it and us as a base for a belt pattern. Thus the idea of a dupioni belt for the dress was born. Mother had bought some Lapis Lazuli jewellery pieces during a vacation last summer, and found this the perfect colour to go with the dress. In the end we ended up with two metres of a rich royal blue dupioni silk, and after making a muslin for the belt pattern to ensure the right fit, I made a belt, a shawl and a clutch bag to go with the dress.

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I think the result was splendid, and my mother was very happy when I delivered the pieces earlier this week.

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The clutch bag is based on the wonderful and versatile “Itty Bitty Bag” with a  zipper installed.


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