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Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
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Suffrage Style: Make Your Own Sash

August 28, 2020

Sashes were a key way for women to show support for the fight to gain equal voting rights. While they came in a variety of patterns and with different phrases, they were frequently worn at rallies, parades and speeches.  

While all suffrage organizations in the United States adopted gold as one of the colors for the movement, the National Women’s Party combined it with purple and white to distinguish themselves while still advocating for women’s right to vote. In a December 6th, 1913 newsletter, this organization explained their rational: “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolizes the quality of our purpose; and gold, the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.” These three colors stood out against the traditional white dresses worn by suffragists during rallies and parades, further helping to distinguish them and bring attention to their cause 

Want to learn more about suffrage outfits? Join us at noon on Sunday, August 30 to learn about suffrage fashion with Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox.

Now it’s time to make your own sash to complete your outfit! You don’t need any special supplies and can make this sash at home with different things from around your house! 

Supplies: 

  • One large, clean brown paper bag
  • A pair of scissors
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
  • Tape or glue

Instructions:

  1. Gather all of your supplies.  
  2. Take your brown paper bag and cut down the two small side panels so the bag can lay flat. If your brown paper bag has handles, cut those off.  
  3. Cut off the two side panels so you have one long strip. Next, measure and cut out two 4-inch wide strips that run the length of the bag.  
  4. Tape the two short ends of the strips together to create one long strip.  
  5. Put your sash on, blank side out, with the taped piece over your right shoulder and running diagonal across your chest and back. You will use this opportunity to see how the sash lays on you. Take mental notes of where the sash overlaps and what parts of the sash you will want to decorate.  
  6. Take your sash off and decorate as you see fit, keeping in mind how it looked when you had it on. You are welcome to put the sash back on to test out the visuals and fit.  
  7. Put the sash back on one last time and join the strips together at your hip and tape or glue in place. Trim the ends, leaving a small tail on each end of the sash. 

Proudly wear your sash around, take some pics, and don’t forget to tag us with #SuffrageBlockParty! We can’t wait to see your suffrage fashion statements durning the Suffrage Centennial Block Party

Want to Learn More? Check out these links: 

Abby Currier Abby Currier is an education and engagement assistant at the Indiana Historical Society. She is an avid reader and a recent grad of the IUPUI Public History and Library Science programs.

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