All posts filed under: Learn

Fashion Notes from Paris, the Girls Own Annual, 1928, thedreamstress.com

Fashion Notes from Paris, 1928

I collect Girls Own Annuals, and recently added a delicious 1928 edition to my collection. It came complete with monthly fashion notes – wherein the latest from Paris is described and adapted for daily wear, and little tips on re-making and using bits and bobs are given. This one in particular caught my eye, first, for the fascinating description of hairpieces, and second, for a great example of 1920s historicism: ‘A Poke Bonnet lined with a lace cap, a la the 18th century’.  The Historicism challenge for the Historical Sew Monthly is gone, but I still love historicism! The ideas for using ribbon remnants and bits of fur are a great illustration of how those without Parisian budgets could stay in the mode. I can’t decide if I want the bonnet, the evening frock with fabulous hip drapery, or the amazing pieced blouse most!  Which is your favourite?

1916 Research thedreamstress.com

A Fortnight in 1916: the research

It took a LOT of research to spend a Fortnight in 1916 – I spent almost a year accumulating information, reading diaries, and figuring out what was and wasn’t done.  Despite all that, I’m still sure I made plenty of mistakes. One of the real frustrations for me in creating this project, and something that was part of the impetus for it in the first place, is how little published research is available on the New Zealand home front of WWI.  There are a number of books that have chapters on the timeperiod, and much written about the WWI itself, and the politics around the war, in and outside of the country, but not one that I have found about the NZ home front as a whole. The period of 1914-18 would have been a time of huge change within the country even without the war: so many new technologies are introduced at this time.  I’d really love to see more research and writing focused on the domestic side of this period. Here are the resources I used, with …

Clothing for a Fortnight in 1916, thedreamstress.com

A Fortnight in 1916: the physical effects of living in 1916

At the start of the Fortnight in 1916 project, one of my rules was that I wasn’t allowed to continue the experiment if it put my health in any danger.  Happily, except for some minor blood blistering from a bad corset, I came through the experiment in perfect health – probably even better than if I’d spent it living 2016 style. My main worry about the fortnight was the cold.  Would using less heating in the middle of winter, and wearing nothing but wool stockings on my lower legs, increase my chance of chillblains or a bad chest cold? I hadn’t managed to make a wool union suit, and compared to the layers of socks and merino thermals I usually wear in winter (the July standard is two layers of socks, heavy jeans, and at least three layers of wool on my torso), my 1916 wardrobe seemed quite insufficient.  Every day I would be wearing a single pair of thin-ish merino stockings, cotton combinations, a one-layer cotton corset, corset cover, two cotton petticoats, a thin-ish wool skirt, cotton blouse, and …