Dress sewn by Rosa Parks, 1955-56. USA

  • Creator: Rosa Parks
  • Year: 1955 - 1956
  • Location: Montgomery, Alabama

This dress is a wrap style made from a plain weave viscose fabric with a printed design of dark brown and yellow flowers and leaves. The wrap effect is achieved by crossing the front bodice at the waist seam and gathered fabric on the proper left side of the waist. The skirt is flaired with six (6) gores and three pleats in the skirt at the center front add further to the wrap effect. The set-in full length sleeves are gathered at a 1 1/4″ cuff that closes with two metal snaps. The dress has a small shawl collar and a v-neck. The dress closes at the proper left side waist with a zipper. It is unlined, and the seams are pressed open with raw edges exposed. It is machine-sewn except for the hem, which is turned up 2 inches and hand stitched. There are two belt loops made of a thin yellow braid, one at each side seam, which hold the accompanying belt (b) in place.

The belt is made from the same fashion fabric as the dress, with a plain weave beige fabric backing. The front and back of the belt are machine stitched around the edge, and a layer of interfacing between them provides some stiffening. The belt has an oval-shaped metal single-prong buckle covered in the dark brown and yellow floral fabric, and five (5) white grommets on the opposite end of the belt for an adjustable closure.

Dress sewn by Rosa Parks, 1955-56. USA is available in the public domain via Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication .

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane | Source: Smithsonian Learning Lab

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