All posts filed under: 20th Century

The ‘Deco Echo’ blouse

I’m madly sewing something new and exciting, and working on the tutorial for this blouse, so instead of spending a lot of time on writing a post for today, I’m concentrating on those, and instead you are getting (a slightly better and updated) version of my post for the Sew Weekly on my ‘Deco Echo’ blouse (I want to have a version on my blog…just in case): ______________ Planning my wardrobe for Art Deco Weekend in Napier, top of my list of things I really wanted to make was a pair or beach pajama pants made from fantastic Art Deco inspired fabric. Problem. The fabric is maroon and dark teal on white. And maroon and dark teal are not colours I usually buy – it’s just so hard to find fabrics in them that don’t look cheap (why is that that some colours always look cheap in most fabrics?). I don’t own any maroon and dark teal fabrics! What on earth was I going to do for a top? I completely turned over my stash, to no …

Elise’s gift: the mannish cape

Last week, out of Elise’s gifts, I showed you an exceedingly quirky and romantic and feminine leaf-green velvet evening wrap – a perfect illustration of the mid-late 1930s Medieval Revival.  This week I’m sticking with velvet evening wraps, but going to the other extreme, to illustrate another fashion trend of the late 1930s – the masculine look for women.  Thus an almost severe and mannish evening cape: You’ve already had a sneak-peek at this rather masculine monochrome evening cape: I wore it to the premier of Porcelaintoy’s Monsters. I’m afraid the cape hasn’t photographed very well – the contrast of the black velvet and the white satin lining was just too tricky to balance.  I’ll try my best to tell you about it in great detail to fill in the gaps. Like most of the textiles Elise gave me, this cape dates from the late 1930s, as shown by the materials used and the broad shoulders. The cape outer is black velvet – almost certainly rayon.  It’s fully lined in quilted rayon sateen. The lining swings loose …

Terminology: What is a cloche?

First, have you seen that there is a ‘bonus’ post this week?  Yep, the ‘Deco Echo’ blouse from my Art Deco wardrobe is being featured over on the Sew Weekly.  I’ll be posting a tutorial on how to make it on Sat or Sun. Alright, turning our attention to the (suitable Art Deco) term of the week.  What is a cloche? A cloche is a tight fitting hat which comes low over the forehead and at the nape of the neck.  It can have a brim or be brimless. The word comes from the French for bell.  The first known use for a hat was in 1882. Cloche’s are famous as the hat of the 1920s.  Their sleek styling matched the shorter, sleeker fashions, and the new bobbed hairstyles allowed a low, tight fitting hat. 1880s origin or not, the cloche hats didn’t pick up steam until the 20th century.  A 1908 fashion article credits the invention of the cloche or ‘mushroom’ hat to Mademoiselle Cecile Sorrell “The Queen of French Fashion”.  Her innovation must …