Tag Archives: clothing for women world war I era

Butterick Waist No. 9415, from 1917

Butterick "waist" pattern 9415 was shown with added embroidery in this October, 1917, article. Delineator, p. 100.

Butterick “waist” pattern 9415 was shown with added embroidery in this October, 1917, article. Delineator, p. 100.

I’m charmed by this asymmetrical blouse (called a “waist’) from 1917; Butterick must have had faith in the design, too, because this pattern was featured several times between October and December in Butterick’s Delineator magazine.

It was illustrated in full color in October, made of velveteen and “chiffon cloth,” and trimmed with fur, right:

Right, "waist" [blouse] pattern 9415, Delineator, Oct. 1917. Page 76.

Right, “waist” [blouse] pattern 9415, Delineator, Oct. 1917. Page 76.

Many other fabric combinations were suggested.

It was featured in an article about making new clothes from old, this time in black velvet and black satin.

"Remake last year's dress," using waist pattern 9415. Delineator, Oct. 1917, p. 93. 1917 oct p 93

“Remake last year’s dress,” using waist pattern 9415. Delineator, Oct. 1917, p. 93.

In December, waist pattern 9415 was shown in sheer, royal blue Georgette and matching satin, trimmed with self-colored bands of sequin trim:

Butterick waist [blouse] pattern 9415 made of sheer, royal blue Georgette and satin, with matching sequin trim at neck and sleeve. Delineator, Dec. 1917, p. 69.

Butterick waist [blouse] pattern 9415 made of sheer, royal blue Georgette and satin, with matching sequin trim at neck and sleeve. Delineator, Dec. 1917, p. 69.

“Paris has made a compromise and adopted the semi-evening gown (designs 9415 — 9536) which, most of the time, is a bit of transparency trying to disguise itself as a high neck and demure long sleeve.” The sheer sleeves could also end in gathers at the wrist.

Depending on fabric choice, Pattern 9415 could be part of a dressy day outfit, an elegant afternoon dress, or a “semi-formal” evening gown. And, as was customary in 1917, the bodice could be combined with different skirts.

Note: In Victorian times, when skirts used a great deal of costly fabric, smart women had two bodices made to coordinate with one skirt. Usually there was a daytime bodice with long sleeves and a high neck, and an evening bodice, which bared the arms, the shoulders, and a good deal of the bust. At a time when wearing evening dress for dinner was expected, this must have simplified travel and country house visits.

Each time Pattern 9415 was illustrated, it was shown with a different skirt pattern.

Here is its first appearance, in October 1917: (No. 9415 is at right.)

Right, waist pattern No. 9415 with skirt pattern 1918. October, 1917, Delineator, p. 76.

Right, waist pattern No. 9415 with skirt pattern 9418. October, 1917, Delineator, p. 76.

Although it looks olive green to me, Delineator described it as battleship-gray.

 

“Fur, machine-hem-stitching and a soft girdle [sash] do their bit to trim a smart frock for Autumn affairs, illustrated here in battleship-gray chiffon cloth and velveteen (designs 9415 — 9418.) …The draped girdle is velveteen to match the lower part of the skirt and forms a sash which can be made in two different lengths. The French lining is essential. Machine-hemstitching in self-color outlines the straight upper part of the skirt.  It is made in two pieces, while the two-pieced lower portion is cut in slightly circular shape. Satin, charmeuse, crepe de Chine, crepe meteor or velveteen combines beautifully with silk crepe, chiffon or silk voile; or serge, broadcloth or gabardine is pretty with satin.”

Serge or gabardine are definitely day-time fabrics, and satin was often worn in the daytime during World War I because of fabric shortages. (Wool was needed for uniforms, and linen was needed for covering airplanes!)

“French lining” means a closely fitted bodice inside the garment; it would support and stabilize the fashion fabrics, especially when they were draped, as in No. 9415.

1917 dec p 69 ctr 9415 waist 9536 skt 9578 evening wrap coat

This is the back view of waist 9415 and skirt 9418; the absence of a visible waistband on the skirt is surprising to me:

Waist 9415 with skirt 9418, October, and and skirtt 9418 from November, 1917

Waist 9415 with skirt 9418, October, and and skirt 9418 illustrated in November, 1917.

Obviously, you could trim the blouse’s collar with embroidery and a tassel, in this variation.

Butterick "waist" pattern 9415 was shown with added embroidery in this October, 1917, article. Delineator, p. 100.

Butterick “waist” pattern 9415 with added embroidery.

When No. 9415 was suggested as a way to recycle old dress fabric, skirt No. 9408 was suggested; perhaps you could salvage a strip of velvet for skirt front and back and enough to cover the bottom of the skirt; the fabric under the satin sides of the skirt would not be visible.

Bodice 9415 with skirt 9408, October, 1917 Delineator.

Bodice 9415 with another skirt, No. 9408; October, 1917, Delineator.

1917 oct p 93 remake last years dress ctr 9415 9408 text

The “semi-evening” combination of waist pattern 9415 and skirt pattern 9536 used chiffon in the bodice and overskirt.

Left, Waist 9415 with skirt 9536; right, evening wrap pattern 9578. Delineator, Dec. 1917, p. 69.

Left, Waist 9415 with skirt 9536; right, evening wrap pattern 9578. Delineator, Dec. 1917, p. 69.

“The foundation skirt is in two pieces and the transparent one-piece handkerchief overskirt is very graceful and falls in softly with the season’s narrow lines. A straight gathered flounce could be used. Silk crepe, chiffon, tulle, net, and silk marquisette are lovely used with satin, crepe meteor, silver cloth or taffeta in orchid with silver banding, rose and coral color, sapphire blue or turquoise blue…. Bottom of foundation skirt measures 1 3/4 yard.”

Waist 9415 with skirt 9536, Butterick, Delineator, December 1917.

Butterick Waist 9415 with skirt 9536,  Delineator, December 1917.

In the theatre, a bodice and skirt like this would be attached by hooks and bars at side front, sides, and side backs — hooks on the inside of the bodice, bars on the skirt, hidden by their overlap.

What is not illustrated is the closures — how do you get in and out of these clothes? Dresses of this period often have a closing in a different place in each layer — such as at the center front of the French lining, and at the side of the fashion fabric, which in turn would be hidden by the wrapped sash and more snaps or hooks to hold that in place and conceal the opening. Click here for another set of 1917 waist and skirt combinations.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Tricks of the Costumer's Trade, Vintage patterns, World War I

Online Research Tool: UCLA’s Digital Fashion and Costume Collections

Image from Godey's Magazine, 1841, found through UCLA's Digital Image Collection. Casey Fashion Plates  rbc2847

Image from Godey’s Magazine, April 1841, found through UCLA’s Digital Image Collection. Casey Fashion Plates rbc2847

UCLA Library Digital Image Collection: Online Collections Related to Fashion and Costume

While following up recommendations for online Museum collections, I accidentally discovered this wonderful site, which I have barely begun to explore.  It acts as a portal to many online collections and research materials. The entire UCLA Library Digital Image Collection must be huge (click here  to see the Fashion home page), since there are dozens of sites (with descriptions and live links) related to just the site for Fashion and Costume (click here).  For a list of accessible fashion magazines and newspapers, click here. Below you’ll find just a small selection of the extraordinary collections you can find through the Digital Image Collection.

Casey’s Fashion Plates

The image at the top of this page is from the collection of Casey’s Fashion Plates at the Los Angeles County Library — over 6200 images of hand-colored fashion plates. (Click here.)

“The Joseph E. Casey Fashion Plate Collection at the Los Angeles Public Library contains over 6,200 handcolored fashion plates from British and American [and other] magazines dating from the 1790s to the 1880s. All of the plates are indexed and digitized for online viewing.” It includes thousands of dated images from early 1800’s sources, including Ackerman’s Repository, Godey’s Magazine, Ladies’ Museum, Ladies’ Magazine, La Belle Assemblee, Petit Courrier des Dames, and many, many more.

This digitized collection is really user-friendly, grouping the plates by date instead of by source. (You could search by magazine name if you wanted to.) You can search by date, too. Type in a year and pages and pages of plates appear. I chose 1815; this is one of many images that I found.  (Let’s pretend it’s Jane Austen and her sister, Cassandra.)

Fashions for March, 1815; image rbc0500 in the Casey Collection.

Fashions for March, 1815; image rbc0500 in the Casey Collection.

Brooklyn Museum’s Henri Bendel Fashion and Costume Sketch Collection

From the Bendel collection: Design by Lanvin, 1917.

A typical digitized sketch from the Bendel collection: Design by Lanvin, 1917.

Another wonderful collection accessible through the UCLA site is the Henri Bendel Fashion and Costume Sketch Collection 1912 to 1950. (924 images are online at present) This archive is in the possession of the Brooklyn Museum, but you don’t have to go to Brooklyn to see hundreds of sketches of dresses (and even bathing suits), including many designer names. (Click Here.)

It’s also well-thought out: when your mouse hovers over the thumbnail image, a description and date appears. Click to get a larger view and more data. There are over 11,000 sketches in the Bendel Collection, but most of the 924 that are online are for the era 1912 to early 1920s. (They are gorgeous, and most are in color! If you are a fan of styles from the Titanic era and the first years of Downton Abbey, prepare to spend hours here.) I saw designs attributed to Doucet, Worth, Callot Soeurs, Lanvin, Premet, and many other “name designers.” Among the few sketches from the 1930’s that have been put online was this evening gown by Schiaparelli:

From the Henri Bendel Collection online; Schiaparelli, 1934.

Image from the Henri Bendel Collection online; Schiaparelli, 1934.

Bonnie Cashin Collection of Fashion, Theater, and Film Costume Design

“The collection contains Bonnie Cashin’s personal archive documenting her design career. The collection includes Cashin’s design illustrations, writings on design, contractual paperwork, photographs of her clothing designs, and press materials including press releases and editorial coverage of her work.”

Lovers of Bonnie Cashin designs will enjoy the photos and design sketches of many of her classic coats, knits, etc.  (Click here.) The images are under copyright, but you can see a sample sketch for a characteristic tweed coat by clicking here. If you searched a little longer, you could probably find a photo documenting the finished coat. This is a huge archive.

You can also see more about Bonnie Cashin at the next online collection I’ve chosen from UCLA’s Digital Image Collection:

The Drexel Digital Museum Project Historic Costume Collection

The collection is searchable, (and images are under copyright) but this link will take you to the Galleries page — which includes slide shows of Bonnie Cashin clothes and Villager Sportswear textiles! Click here.

“The Drexel Digital Museum Project: Historic Costume Collection (digimuse) is a searchable image database comprised of selected fashion from the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC), designs loaned to the project by private collectors for inclusion on the website, fashion exhibitions curated by Drexel faculty and fashion research by faculty and students. To best present and create access to this online resource, the image standards of the Museums and the Online Archive of California initiative and the metadata harvesting protocols of the Open Archive Initiative have been implemented to insure sustainability, extensibility and portability of the digimuse digital archive.” —

A World of Riches, Digitized

I will add some of these links to my sidebar of “Sites with Great Information,” so they will be easy to locate in the future. But first, I’m going take a coffee break and read a copy of the French Vogue, February 1921 (click here) thanks to the UCLA Library’s Digital Image Collection!

 

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Filed under 1860s -1870s fashions, 1870s to 1900s fashions, 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1930s-1940s, 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Costumes for the 18th Century, Costumes for the 19th century, Exhibitions & Museums, Resources for Costumers, Vintage Couture Designs, vintage photographs