Portfolio: ca. 1903 Chinoiserie Ensemble

The 1903 chinoiserie skirt thedreamstress.com
The Idea and Inspiration:

Inspired by the early ’20th century take on Chinoiserie and the Historical Sew Fortnightly ‘Eastern Influence’ challenge, I decided to make a ca. 1903 ensemble which explored eastern motifs and colours of the type that a turn-of-the-century dress designer might have been exposed to through export textiles.

I was particularly interested in the blue, black and white colour scheme frequently found in Chinese embroideries (particularly those for mourning) and in the ‘Cloud Collars.’  With these ideas in mind, I came up with design sketched based on extent ca. 1903 garments, garment designs from that era, and motifs taken from Chinese textiles available in the West at the turn of the 20th century.

Design sketch for a 1903 chinoiserie inspired promenade dress


I used a number of extent patterns to draft my design, particularly ones available in  Turn-of-the-Century Fashion Patterns and Tailoring Techniques(originally from the  Ladies Tailor Made section of The “Standard” Work on Cutting)

Inspiration Gallery

Dress, France, 1900, LACMA Promenade ensemble, ca 1900 Dress Jeanne Hallee  (French, 1880—1914), Met
Dress, ca 1900, LACMA Promenade dress, Delinator Dress, 1907, Jeanne Halle, Met
Walking suit, 1902, wool, Met Linen day dress with green silk underslip, 1901-2, Misses Leonard, St. Paul, US, Minnesota Historical Society 1903 Delineator
Suit, 1902, Met     Dress, 1902, Minnesota HS  Deliniator, 1903

Fabric and Materials:

1903 chinoiserie inspired promenade dress thedreamstress.com

  • 2.5 metres of plain weave delft blue wool with a slightly fulled finish (skirt only, $8 from an op shop)
  • 1 vintage silk & metal obi ($5), scraps of ivory silk-cotton (free — left over from another project)
  • Piping cord, cotton thread to sew, hooks and bars to fasten

The Undergarments:

The Dress Diary:

Research and helpful links:


  1. Hello!

    Cette jupe est absolument magnifique comme tout ce que vous realisez d’ailleurs!! Quel plaisir de voir suivre dans vos creations!

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