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Sewing with a Singer 27 for the Fortnight in 1916 thedreamstress.com

Sewing in 1916

As part of my Fortnight in 1916 project, one of my goals was to make a garment using period techniques and my Singer 27 machine, just as a woman would have done in 1916. As you can see, I succeeded!  It was quite an interesting experience, and I did learn quite a bit about sewing in the period. For the blouse pattern, I took a pattern from an original 1914-16 blouse in my collection: When I purchased the original blouse it was unfinished – the vestee part in front was only loosely basted in, and there was no front fastenings.  I secured the vestee, and added hooks as a less invasive alternative to buttons and buttonholes. I’ve worn it once, as it’s extremely robust, and I really wanted to understand the fit. As my original was unfinished, it made it easy to study the construction.  I’ll do a full post on the original shortly, rather than focusing on that now, but will note two of the interesting clues that it did yield.  First,  it was made from a commercial pattern as …

A Fortnight in 1916: Clothing

You’ve gotten some hints, but many people have asked what my wardrobe was like for my Fortnight in 1916. I did a great deal of research in diaries and newspaper articles, and assembled what I thought resembled a fairly middle of the road wardrobe for a housewife to wear during a two week period in Wellington in August 1916.  One thing my researched revealed is that, just like today, there was probably a fair amount of variation in wardrobes, even in the same social class.  Some of us own dozens of bras, some of us own 2: the same was true in 1916. Here, however, is my best guess at what a middle class Wellington housewife would have worn over a two week period in winter 1916 (eta: her total wardrobe would have been bigger, particularly in terms of accessories, one or two nice outfits, and seasonal items, but that didn’t come up in my fortnight): Five combinations: My research indicates very poor women only had one set of undergarments, and even some ‘middle class’ …

Eating in 1916 – a dinner

Thank you all for your comments and support following my last post!  You’ve given me a lot of ideas, and I really appreciate knowing that so many people are reading and being part of this community. I’ve felt much perkier today, and mostly the fortnight isn’t too bad, and some things are really lovely. Food has been one of the nice surprises.  There are numerous recipes in NZ newspapers of the time, and daily menus given in lots of newspapers, so it was pretty easy to do my food research.  I was a bit dubious about the menus (So much meat!  So many brassicas!  So few spices!), but, by picking ones that sounded a little more interesting and appealing, even within the constrains of the time, and winter food, I’ve actually been very pleasantly surprised. One of the happiest finds was the amount of vegetarian menus and vegetarian recipes available in New Zealand newspapers of the 1910s.  Vegetarianism was quite a popular fad, and was sometimes recommended for invalids.  I haven’t relied too heavily on them, but …