April - July 2009

1919-20 Wool Ensemble

A 1920 day ensemble in orange wool challis and brown cotton chambray. It's made with the Decades of Style pattern #1902B, "1920 Tunic Blouse," and their now discontinued #1901B, "1919 skirt". For accessories, I made a matching hat and carry my parasol.

The wool was a very unusual find at the local fabric store. Other than black and white, it was the only solid color challis in stock. And it is extremely sheer. If I ever find more of this stuff I'll snatch it up in a heartbeat. But at $20/yard I picked up just barely enough for this outfit. The bottom of the skirt had to be pieced for length, and the brown stripe was a solution to cover this seam. I think it worked out well in bringing the whole thing together, design-wise. A lucky outcome.

The skirt hem is interfaced with silk organza, using Roberta Carr's method in her Couture book. I was really impressed with the results. It gave an otherwise lifeless hem a really nice finished shape. The Decades pattern does not call for a lining, but I added one in cotton voile.

This is a truly one-size fits all costume. I made sure of it by adding the elastic waistband, rather than a period closure. It looks adorable on my mom, who's several inches shorter than me. Hopefully I'll find a good fabric to make up this pattern again.

Underneath the outfit I'm wearing a modern flesh colored camisole and slip. It took two years, but I finally came across some reasonably 1920-looking shoes at a Goodwill.