This is my 1926 mint green ‘celanese’ taffeta afternoon dress.
Celanese is the 1920s trade name for cellulose acetate fabric. A fabric used to replace silk in the 1920s.
Celanese fabric is ‘imbued with the very spirit of modernism […] fast in color, enduring in wear, and possess unique hygienic qualities’ according to this 1928 ad. Celanese fabris are ‘everywhere’, they have ‘exquisite beauty, […] superb style, […] unrivalled modernity […] they lend themselves to almost every use in wardrobe and home … from formal gowns to window-drapes, from children’s frocks to lingerie […] they are easily washed […] they dry in no time … hold their shape always […] They are not affected by perspiration’ according to this 1928 ad. This 1929 ad (scroll down a bit) shows the different celanese (acetate rayon) fabrics.
This 1928 ad advertises celanese fabric for ‘the new modes in sportwear […] Their loveliness lends to even the simplest of sport costumes an aura of enchantment […] washing actually improves them […] they do not cling … they keep you cool in summer, warm in winter. Celanese fabrics are the chosen fabrics of fastidious womanhood.’ I seem to have gotten the wrong kind of celanese as I found the dress rather warm on this summer day, and washing didn’t improve the fabric, quite the contrary! 😉
Here’s a c. 1926 celanese dress.
Here’s the 1926 pattern for this dress. I haven’t attached the wrap ‘cape’ at the shoulder so the dress can also be worn without it. And a late 1920s printed green silk dress with a similar flounced skirt.
I used the slash and spread technique to make the skirt flounces.
The neckline, armscyes, and sleeves are bound with contrasting mint green satin bias binding. And the scalloped hems of the flounces are finished with a 1920s imitation picot hem.
The fabric is a bit stiff for this pattern so it doesn’t drape as well as I’d like.
I have some meters left of this fabric which I’ll use to sew an Edwardian petticoat and corset cover for a white muslin and lace lingerie dress.