Thursday, 11 December 2014

Modern history

So there's this Poiret pattern I'd been meaning to make for ages, and HSF Challenge 23 is Modern History.   This means garments that are historical, or based on historical garments, but are wearable in a modern context.  I think this is a great idea for a challenge, not least because I want some new work clothes.  I realize making a pattern from the 1920s is a very obvious way to approach this concept, but sometimes things are popular for a reason.

The pattern is reproduced in The Cut of Women's Clothes: 1600-1930 and was originally a dress, but because I don't wear dresses I removed the skirt and made it into a top.  The original looked like this:

The Challenge: Modern History.

Fabric: A bit over a meter of cotton/synthetic blend from a Fabric Warehouse sale.

Pattern: Diagram LXXI from Norah Waugh's The Cut of Women's Clothes: 1600-1930.

Year: 1922.

Notions: N/A.

How historically accurate is it?  Removing the skirt was the only change I made to the pattern, but obviously the pattern is not 100% accurate as a result, and the cotton/synthetic blend fabric would not have been available in the '20s.  I suspect my sewing techniques aren't very accurate either.  But then, what do you expect with a cheap knock-off?

Hours to complete: Around 4.  A lot of it is hand-sewn.

First worn: Today, to work.  It makes a lovely work shirt and is also suitable for parties.

Total cost: I think the fabric was $5/meter, so about $7.


  1. Oh, I love it! Great choice of fabric! This challenge was all about modern wear-ability, so super accuracy isn't necessary, but with that said, there are definitely '20s blouses with similar cuts, so I wouldn't discount it too much for that. And cotton-rayon blends from the early 20s too!

    1. Really? I didn't know they had cotton-rayon blends that early.

  2. Yes indeed! They experimented with blending rayon with lots of different things in the teens and '20s, mostly to mitigate the problems with early viscoses. Rayon + cotton was one of the most successful, and common.