City and Guilds:
Part 2: 7923
|Suit inspired by WWII Fashions
The story behind this suit involves the
concepts prevalent in WWII of "make do and mend". I imagined a lady
needing a wedding suit was inspired to use table linens with scalloped
However, I made all the scallops on my sewing machine with shantung
style silk thread. Although embellishment was kept to a minimum under
the clothing rules introduced in WWII, any linens inherited from a
previous era might have been lovingly embroidered for the home.
The blouse is made from paj silk, as if a
source of parachute silk had been available to our seamstress. It also
has scallop edges. the blouse is in two parts... the actual blouse has a
jewel collar which would be suitable for wear in an office, but there is
also a blousette sort of panel, with a high collar, which can be worn
over the other blouse to change the look, or under the suit on it's own
as a false blouse.
To present the paperwork and patterns that
go with the blouse, I made a covered "gas mask box" which could be used
as a handbag to go with the suit, as this was sometimes done in that
Accessory - I was required to make an accessory for one of my
garments. I could have made an hand bag, but I like a challenge! I have
been interested in hat making for sometime, and decided to "have a go"!
Hat to go with suit. Black linen hat is the
toile, but can be worn. Final hat is made from leftover fabrics from the
suit. It was developed on the hat stand. It uses only one layer of
fabric and is stiffened with fabric stiffener and starch in keeping with
the principles of homemade hats in WWII.
Once again, I made scalloped edges for the
brim. The hat can be worn on perched sideways on the head for a jauntier
look if desired.
Coat - Long deep
red winter coat in cotton velvet and brocade inspired by Tudor
fashion...embellishment, styles, and mixtures of fabrics and textures.
I explored ways of creating texture on
rich fabrics and combining them in a garment. Also asking, "Do red and
silver work together?"
advanced styling and texture
Description: Deep velvet hood, Brocade
sleeves with extended yoke, gathered into cuffs, Shot twill lining with
domette interlining, Blocks of embellished texture, front opening with
"storm flap", bound edges and silver clasps . Embellished texture
includes Free Machine Embroidery and machine patterns using silver
thread; stamped and beaded motifs, shrink-texturing; and raw-edge
appliquéd synthetic organza.
Made To Wear
Fashion Show, A Quilter's Gathering 2006, Nashua, New Hampshire, USA
For Part 2 also had to
have a folder of specific advanced procedures to show your skill. These
-Advanced Fabric Samples
and Their Uses
-Advanced Pattern Cutting
We also were required to
research 20th Century Fashion and approximately 10- 20th
Century Designers. These included notes and visuals.
Another project which
stretched my skills was the non-standard pattern.
I had to develop
a pattern for someone who
is not an average shape (who is?!) but especially, with different
fitting problems to mine. I developed a blouse design for my friend
who is very tall, and has some of the fitting issues that go with that.
The block was developed first, and then a designed pattern from the
This is the toile.
Design for Craft - one of the most
exciting projects we had to do was to develop a folder of design
research. Using a topic of interest to you, you investigated various
aspects of design principles. Photos and artefacts would be used to
inspire ideas, which were then developed further, Concepts were explored
of how these designs could be used specifically in your craft, as well
as in others.
know me, you will realise I love this type of work, and thoroughly
enjoyed it! And if you haven't guessed, you will realise my topic was
Tudor Fashion. I have already begun to use the ideas discovered in a
number of my creations.
Modelling on a Stand -
I had to explore the characteristics of several different weights of
fabrics by developing designs directly on the stand.
One of the resulting designs
had to be used to create a pattern, and then a toile had to be made up
from the pattern to show how that the design actually would work.
used muslin for my first exercise. I liked the result, although I had a
bit of difficulty with the skirt.
This would work well made up in lightweight fabrics, but would need to
have an inner boned bodice to be mounted to.
I used jersey for my second exercise. It was
good to discover properties such as no unravelling. I had some off cuts
of jersey from someone I know, so it was fun to develop a design with
what I had, rather than starting with a rectangle. for instance, the
"tail" effect at the back is free-floating, and is joined to the front
seamlessly, as part of the knit tube was left intact.
I kind of got carried away with all the
tucks! I thread traced the folds before taking the fabric off, which
took ages, but was the best way for this fabric. I am sure the pattern
would be extremely complicated, so I opted NOT to do this one up!
third exercise was done with calico. I was looking forward to working
with this, as I knew it would have a similar hand to a lot of the
fabrics I work with for historical clothing. I wanted to do something
"bridal" with a train and possibly a bow. I had a fun discovery as I did
it, finding that I could develop a "false bow" above the train.
The style lines are simple, however, with
curved fitting darts, you would not be able to develop it as a flat
pattern. Still, it was not as difficult to trace the fold lines with a
marker, and then create a pattern. I discovered several valuable things
about openings and varying fabric widths as I redeveloped the original
design to be worn, but was pleased that the original look was not lost.
I used a bridal-look
polyester fabric to make up the toile. It has the added benefit of not
creasing, which is good for displaying. I had played about with several
shoulder treatments, but left them off for the final version, as they
had not been made in calico. This gown would also need a boned bodice
underneath, as it would support the gown, and help to maintain the clean
lines of the front.
I have had at least 10 young
ladies say they wanted this for their wedding!
Tudor Gown for junior bridesmaid in Tudor themed wedding.
Elizabeth I: The Young Princess
From Holbein portrait of Elizabeth the
First as a young Princess.
(made to fit a child of age 9)
(Actually, my model is very much the sporty tomboy, which helped me in
developing aspects to the gown's structure that would maintain the
historical look, while making it suitable for a modern child.)
I had to develop a block to fit a child,
which I then used to develop the style lines of the gown. I used some of
the excellent advice and drafting instructions from Drea Leed's site
Elizabethan Costuming Page,
to develop the underpinnings, but as they were written for adults, there
were still several things I had to change to fit a child.
From the skin out, Gown consists of:
1. knee length chemise of ramie fabric with
added gores and gussets. (not shown)
2. corded corset in stiff calico (size 6 covered cord),
with herringbone embroidery between the channels, chamois leather
binding, wooden busk, and buttonhole stitched eyelet holes.
3. corded farthingale in stiff calico (upholstery weight
cord), pleated into waistband.
4. underskirt of upholstery weight brocade in cream with darker
glistening cream highlights and motifs of pinks (flower).
5. Gown of rust jacquard upholstery fabric, square neckline embellished
with pearls, gold braid and brass coloured cross with added pearls,
bodice comes to a point at CF above an inverted-V opening to reveal the
underskirt. two spiral laced openings, with buttonhole stitched eyelets,
along the princess seaming at the back waist area allow for adjustment,
as well as easier dressing.
Sleeves are fitted at the top, and bell shaped at the bottom...turned
back to reveal deep rust velvet lining, and exposing the under sleeves.
6. under sleeves of same fabric as underskirt, lined with ramie. Sleeve
is gathered into thin cuff-type bands at the top and bottom. Puffs of
lining are pulled through openings in the seam line which is
caught together with antique -look buttons. Blackwork embroidered
ruffle, gathered with a cord protrudes from wrist.
Return to Top of