Rattle the Stars



Leeta Yzermans

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

Being a beginner I didn’t plan on competing this year but in scrolling through Pinterest I saw a dress made in 1895 by Maison Rouff. I was fascinated by the way it had “retro” inspiration in the jacket piece, taking style cues from Roccocco-era men’s frock coats.Even though I didn’t plan on competing I still started brainstorming ideas for an entry as a way to stretch my creative muscles. Those ideas kept making noise in the back of my head until I couldn’t ignore them and I had to start designing. My focus on the night sky is a lifelong love of mine. Between my sister and I, she was the sun and I was the moon, and I’ve always felt most comfortable at night. Plus, nothing makes you feel like part of the world more than getting lost in stargazing. Additionally, I selected some specific constellations on the cuffs to represent my family, along with ones that have connections to mythical weavers or seamstresses, in both Eastern and Western mythology. There is the Crown of Ariadne - she led Theseus through the labyrinth with her spool of thread. Then there are constellations that include the stars that represent the Cowherd, Niulang (the star Altair), and the Weaver Girl, Zhinu (the star Vega), who fell in love but were banished to opposite sides of the heavenly river (the Milky Way).

Outline the construction…

The biggest challenge I faced was developing the pattern for the garment, despite only having two images from the Met available to me - and not being able to study it in person. Most of my time was spent making mockups. I think I went through 50 yards of muslin just drafting the pattern. I was incredibly proud when I realized that the bodice wasn’t a separate part of the outfit, but actually served as part of the jacket. Being unfamiliar with types of fabric I ended up ordering many swatches so I could determine what would have the right look and feel I was going for. I ended up with silk satin for the fashion fabric (which is the only fabric identified in the Met’s description of the original), and using silk taffeta for the bodice and the lining that doesn’t touch skin.I’ve also never embroidered anything before, but the jacket couldn’t effectively pay homage to the original and its nod to Roccocco decoration without some embroidery, so I decided to embroider silk satin as an initial foray. I also ended up using silk embroidery floss because I really wanted the luster that comes with it. Pretty much every part of this project was learning a new technique, working with a new material, or overcoming a new kind of challenge, but that’s what makes me so proud of it, even with its flaws.




  1. Avatar Stanislava Stanislava Pilkova on April 26, 2023 at 9:16 pm

    Love the embroidery

  2. Avatar Angela Karl on May 2, 2023 at 6:54 pm

    Waht lovely inspriation and the night imagery. I love how you inverted the typical night color scheme in the jacket, placing a dark blue moon and stars along side the white stars.

  3. Avatar Lowana O\'Shea on May 7, 2023 at 8:54 am

    Wow! The embroidery is absolutely stunning! Well done on creating a fantastic entry 🙂

  4. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 7, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    Such a well done piece! I love the embroidery and the color! Gorgeous!

  5. Avatar Sofia Sofia Duarte on May 8, 2023 at 8:30 am

    Beautiful embroidery!

  6. Avatar Susannah Allanic on May 12, 2023 at 7:56 pm

    What a novel idea to include the coat in the dress’s construction. I’m pretty sure I would not have caught that. The outcome of all your decisions is a beautiful garment that does tell a story well. Thank you for sharing this.

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