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The Scroop Patterns Selina Blouse ScroopPatterns.com

Meet the Selina Blouse!

I’m extremely excited to introduce the latest Scroop Pattern: the Selina Blouse.

This gorgeous mid-1910s blouse is the perfect addition to your historical costuming wardrobe, but works equally well for historybounding and modern wear.

The Scroop Patterns Selina Blouse ScroopPatterns.com

Buy the Selina Blouse pattern here! – and get 10% off for the first week!

To celebrate the launch, the Selina Blouse pattern is 10% off from now until midnight on Friday 23 April, New Zealand time.

The Scroop Patterns Selina Blouse ScroopPatterns.com

I absolutely love 1910s fashions.  It was such an inventive era in fashion, but the clothes are also very practical and wearable.  The Selina Blouse pattern is taken from an extant garment in my collection and combines all the best bits of fun and wearability.

View A is a direct replica of the original blouse and has a waistcoat-effect front and a collar.

The Scroop Patterns Selina Blouse ScroopPatterns.com

View B is based on fashion plates and patterns showing similar simple raglan sleeve blouses.  It has a plain front and no collar.  It’s the perfect palette for trim and embellishment, and for pairing with a novelty collar.

The Scroop Patterns Selina Blouse ScroopPatterns.com

Wear it out over a skirt to show off the peplum, or tuck it in.  Pair it with a matching skirt for a ‘dress in two parts’ effect for historical costuming.   Style it with trousers for modern workwear.

The Scroop Patterns Selina Blouse ScroopPatterns.com

The pattern comes in bust sizes 30″-52″ (76-132cm). To help you get the perfect fit there’s a 8-page fitting and pattern alteration guide.

Why Selina?

The Selina Blouse is named for Maria Selina Hale.  Selina was a tailoress, union organiser and public servant in late 19th and early 20th century New Zealand.  She spent her life campaigning for better conditions for working women, in factories, in shops, in domestic settings, and at home.  She’s particularly known for helping abolish the practice of paying less-skilled needlewomen for ‘piecework’, and securing them better paid wages.  Although she rose to hold important positions as a trade unionist and then civil servant, Selina was always extremely proud of her training as a tailoress, and of her skills as a needlewoman.

While, like most historical figures, Selina is not a perfect person by modern standards, she’s an interesting figure who undoubtedly improved conditions for many working women in her time.  Her story is part of the history of womens rights, and workers rights, in New Zealand.  She seems a fitting inspiration for a blouse that goes from pretty to practical, and which will be made by many working women today.

I can’t wait to see your versions of the Selina Blous!

Check back tomorrow to see some of the gorgeous tester makes. They had so much fun with this pattern.  One tester made three versions!  Another turned it into a dress, and other testers figuring out fun ways to embellish it.

I’ll also be sharing some of the inspirations behind the blouse over the next few blog posts.

The Scroop Patterns Selina Blouse ScroopPatterns.com

Ensemble, ca. 1830, French, silk, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.2970a, b

Rate the Dress: a Recycler and a Gentleman

Unlike the probable wearer of last week’s 20s silk number, I’ve had no time for lounging around the country club drinking cocktails (although in my case, it would be mocktails) and watching tennis.    I’ve been nose to the grindstone marking student papers and finishing off the next Scroop Pattern.

But this weekend I hope to have a little relaxing time, so this week’s Rate the Dress is something to relax in – in the most decadent way possible.

Last Week: a sporty 1920s day dress in spring shades

Some of you loved the light, fresh colours of last week’s dress, and the way the little details played out across the design.  Others were not so convinced, but for a whole host of reasons.  Some loved the collar, but thought everything else was blah.  Others really disliked the collar, but liked the rest.  Some thought it was perfectly nice and charming, but not at all memorable.  And then some of you marked it down simply because you don’t like tennis!

The Total: 7.6 out of 10

It managed to squeak up .1 point higher than the red velvet dress of the week before, so that’s a little improvement at least!

This week: an 1830s banyan and waistcoat of 1740s fabric

I’m slightly obsessed with 18th century textiles that have been recycled into 19th century garments at the moment, so thought an example of the practice would be an interesting Rate the Dress:

This 1830s ensemble comprising a waistcoat and banyan has been re-made from ca. 1740 silk brocade.

Banyans (or dresssing gown, robe de chambre, or the many other names which they were called in fashion articles of the time) were to menswear in the 1830s what tea gowns were to womenswear in the 1890s: elegant, informal, at-home-only attire for showing off your wealth, taste, and knowledge to your closest friends.

They had evolved from the loose, wrapping banyans imported from India and the Middle East during the 17th and 18th century to be the highly structured garment shown here.  Although the skirt is longer, and the fabric bolder, the cutting and sewing techniques of this ensemble closely mirror the patterning and tailoring of fashionable jackets.

This one has a beautifully rolled shawl collar, a double-breasted front fastening, and gathered sleeves on the banyan, with a exaggerated notched collar and matching double-breasted front on the waistcoat.

As informal, high-status garments, banyans were an excuse for men to wear more interesting, dynamic fabrics than the sombre hues that dominated formal day and evening wear in the 1820s and 30s.  Fashion plates and extant garments show a range of fabrics on banyans, from large scale toile de jouys, to imported block prints and silks that acknowledge the banyans roots, to quirky roll printed cottons, and decorative braiding and appliqué.   The range of colours and prints rivals anything seen in women’s dresses at the time.

Modes Parisiennes 1825

Modes Parisiennes, 1825

Wiener Moden, circa 1841

Wiener Moden, circa 1841

The luxurious nature of banyans, and the skilled workmanship of this one, suggest that the fabric recycled from an 18th century dress not for reasons of practicality and thrift, but rather for its aesthetic appeal.

It’s certainly a striking fabric, with its pomegranates and florals in blue, pink, green and yellow on cream, with lace-like patterning in ivory adding further depth.

What do you think?  Would this banyan and matching waistcoat impress all the wearers guest with his taste and status?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting.  It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste.

As usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment.

Day dress, 1920-1929, silk, Gift of Karen Olson, Goldstein Museum of Design 2004.003.001

Rate the Dress: tennis in the twenties

This post is late because I booked my schedule to the limit without giving myself any space for emergencies and things going wrong – which meant of course there were, and they did!  It’s also late because my browser freezes every time I visit the Centraal Museum’s website, which is rather annoying when you’re trying to Rate a Dress from that site.

Last Week: a mid 1890s dress in red silk faille and silk velvet

Last Rate the Dress was quite theatrical…or costumey.  Perfect for a Victorian Disney villain, or a gothic horror movie, but perhaps less effective in real life.  Some of you loved the drama of it, but not everyone.

The Total: 7.5 out of 10

Even worse than the week before!

This week: a sporty 1920s day dress in spring shades

After something so heavy and plush and upholstered, I thought something light and sleek would be a nice contrast:

This 1920s ensemble is a dress in two parts, consisting of a pleated skirt with attached slip, and a long tunic-blouse with patch pocket and asymmetrical swag collar.

The dress features embroidered motifs of tennis rackets and crossed field-hockey sticks on the collar and patch pocket.  It seems unlikely the dress was actually worn for sports: the silk crepe de chine would stain with the slightest amount of perspiration.  There were silk tennis dresses in the 20s: they were just made of silk weaves more amenable to washing.

The owner must have been a sports fan though.  Perhaps it was worn by a keen player off the court or field, or a keen spectator on the sidelines?   It might even be a club insignia.

Whatever the reason for this one, we know that embroidered motifs were a fashionable touch on 20s sportswear.

While the sporty embroidery is worked in subtle white threads, the dress is also decorated with fagotting on the collar and cuffs in bright grass green, providing a lime zing to the yellow of the dress.

There is some exquisite sewing in the dress (that fagotting!), but also a few moments of refreshingly imperfection.  Look closely and you can see wobbles in the stitching round the collar facing, and on the pocket.  Silk crepe de chine is notoriously tricky so sew, so I have full sympathy.

What do you think?  Would you feel chic swanning up to support your favourite team in this ensemble?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting.  It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste.

As usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment.