Sewing
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A Jaunty 1910s Seaside Ensemble

A jaunty 1916 ensemble, thedreamstress.com

I showed a few peeks of my jaunty seaside ensemble in my post on fossil hunting, Edwardian style.    Here’s a detailed look at it.

A jaunty 1916 ensemble, thedreamstress.com

I couldn’t justify making a whole new outfit for the because I’ve made so many 1910s thing this year.  But I decided I could spruce up some of the things I already have, and give them a new life.

I love adding new twists to old looks with quick re-makes.  Sprucing up is totally historically accurate.  Museums are full of dresses of every era that show evidence of re-making.  Antique fashion magazines are full of articles on making last seasons looks fresh again.

Remaking and sprucing things up also feels right from an environmental perspective, and as a way of respecting my own work and time.  Making new costumes that I only wear once would be so wasteful from so many different angles.  All that fabric and time!  Much better to make an old thing exciting to wear again.

So, here’s how I made a few old (or at least previously used) things new again.

I’ve wanted a jaunty mid 1910s seaside ensemble for ages:

The Deliniator, July 1916

Who wouldn’t want to look like their only care in the world is not having their hat blow off in the sea breezes!

I didn’t copy any look exactly, but took inspiration from the colour combination of the blue and yellow ensemble, and the pairing of pattern with solid that you see in all of the outfits.

A jaunty 1916 ensemble, thedreamstress.com

The blouse is the polka dotted seersucker Selina Blouse that appears on the front cover of the pattern.  I added a yellow silk jabot to it, and will be doing a tutorial on how I did it.

A woman in a blue and white polka dotted 1910s blouse with yellow silk jabot, and broad brimmed straw hat trimmed with blue looks upward and smiles

The skirt is from an antique 1910s pattern in my collection, with the addition of the front placket from the Kilbirnie Skirt (this make is very similar to the skirt that comes with the Wearing History 1910s suit, although the amount of flare is different).  It first appeared on Elisabeth, sans pockets, when she modelled the Selina Blouse.

A woman in a mid-1910s outfit comprising a blue linen skirt with triangular pockets, and a polka dotted blouse stands in a vineyard with a house in the background

The pockets are from another pattern.  Nina recommended pockets for fossil hunting, and while the outfit isn’t super practical, I still wanted it to be a little practical.  When in doubt, always do pockets!

I picked the pockets because they remind me of ice cream cones and sailboats.  What better motifs for a day at the seaside!

The skirt is linen, and by the time I took these photos it had gone through two 40 minute car rides on the way to and back from fossil hunting, fossil hunting and lunch at the seaside, and was looking a bit crumpled.

The whole thing is topped off with a rather smashing (if I do say so) new topper.

A woman in a mid-1910s outfit comprising a blue linen skirt with triangular pockets, and a polka dotted blouse stands in an open gate. She looks to her right, and touches a branch of a shrub

I looked at a bunch of 1910s fashion plates for the hat, and an article on trimming a hat for a seaside holiday.  The base shape is a re-shape of a basic straw hat that was both too small, and unattractive.  I crowdsourced opinions on brim binding and crown ribbons.  I’m delighted with the result, and will show you it in more detail.

A woman in a mid-1910s outfit comprising a blue linen skirt with triangular pockets, and a polka dotted blouse walks away from the camera underneath flowering cherry trees

All in all, an excellent re-fashion.  New pockets, new jabot, new hat, and it’s a completely new look!

9 Comments

  1. nofixedstars says

    just lovely!

    i love that you are featuring re-trims of items. it was, as you say, absolutely a normal period thing to do. even the wealthy expected to wear hats and frocks more than one season (or year!) in many cases, and changing them up by adding/removing/altering the trims was a seasonal activity. and altering one’s clothing to accommodate changes in size, pregnancy, or to pass them on to another person was also normal. likewise, many garments were altered and re-cut to follow changing fashions. we are so used to ‘fast fashion’ standards of use that mending, altering, and re-trimming are nearly forgotten skills outside the dress history/costuming communities…

  2. Alice says

    I would love a pattern for the blouse worn by the woman with the blue striped skirt–I can’t find a good 1910s sailor blouse pattern in a larger size to save my life.

  3. Mme. Homebody says

    It is cold and rainy and gloomy here and this just make everything all kinds of better.

    I want to jaunt by the seaside in such an outfit. The colors and pattern mixing are perfect for making the statement “I am serious about being joyfully frivolous today.” And the hat. Must have a cheerfully decorated wind-tempting hat.

    It’s not a 21st Century sensibility at all, but good linen is meant to wrinkle and have character. That skirt looks divinely real and perfect in its natural state.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  4. This is something I’d love to see more of – outside costuming as well. What most of the world needs is fewer, better, garments, and that doesn’t have to rule out having fun with one’s clothes, any more than it did in more sustainable times.

  5. It’s so beautiful and cheerful looking!
    Something about the colours makes me think of watercolour picture book illustrations, but I don’t know if it’s a particular book I’m thinking of or just the general mood of the photos.

  6. Lynne says

    The addition of the yellow jabot lifts the whole outfit. The Selina blouse is a fine thing, but it does benefit from some extra neck focus.

    The hat is a triumph! MOST becoming.

  7. AnnaKareninaHerself says

    It looks good. I‘m kinda wondering how tightly this outfit is walking on the historical-costume-versus-modern-daywear-line walking. I‘m sure you can go to some cultural outdoor event like this like an open air concert , especially a classical or jazzy one. You could just go shopping like this in Notting Hill as well. You surely could attend a summer wedding like this. Have you ever done this? Did you get any other reactions from people other than: „ oh how lovely .“…..or was it more a mixed bag? Just wondering….

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