Summer approaches, and with it the end of my sewing lessons. Realizing that, I started a project last week that has been in my mind for some time, and was delayed by my pregnancy: making a dress from a 1916 magazine’s pattern. There are many unknowns in this project, which might turn out very easy or, as I suspect, quite challenging. That’s why I want to use the remaining lessons to start it with an experienced seamstress beside me. And I hope to share the process here with you.
The magazine is La Mode Illustrée from January 1916. It was published during the war and you can feel it when you read the front page article, which talks about lifestyle changes: reducing costs, having less employees, even women looking for a job! It seems a little bit strange to read this nowadays. I like reading those old magazines, they give you an insight at what life was for some people in those days. The dress I’m interested in is shown on the “afternoon dresses” page and described as a dress of broadcloth and velvet (I think, not 100% of my translation here). In the description they write that this dress was designed so that an older dress in a narrower style could be used to make it, lengthening the velvet band at the bottom if needed.
What do you think of this dress? Would you wear it? I do find it really promising, it looks nice and elegant. And although I think the journey in itself will probably be interesting, I do hope to have a wearable garment at the end of it. I fear I might have to make quite a lot of alterations: I doubt my measurements match those of the average women of that time, and they probably wore corsets under their clothes, which I’m not going to do on a daily basis. I actually prefer to wear my corsets on the outside. I couldn’t find any measurements on the magazine or the pattern sheet, so I have no idea what size this thing is supposed to turn out. It will be a surprise.