So you’re doing research what people wore in 1910? Interested to see what you too, can make as a custom hat, befitting the era? I’ll show you. My example is probably intended for someone of a higher status in society, but the results are quite lovely.
To begin with, yours truly has been a very bad reporter in recent months, but I hope I shall be making up for lost time!
In a previous post, I had informed you of a workshop provided by Somewhere in Time, Unlimited, wherein the attendees were encouraged to build a hat from scratch using buckram, wire, beautiful fabrics, trim, and decorations. The workshop was quite affordable and Miss Mary was a terrific instructor.
My hat’s inspiration came from an image I’d spotted in the New York Public Library collection of images. Someone had sent me the image, saying how it reminded her of Lady Victoria’s style. Oh, how I immediately fell in love with the design!
So, being a good historical costumer, I promptly brought a copy of the image, blown up large, to the workshop to learn how to recreate the hat.
Now fast forward to August. The members of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited (a historical costuming group based in the Seattle, Washington area of the United States), were invited stroll the vast grounds of the LeMay Car Museum in early 1900’s attire. Lady Victoria of Essex chose to represent 1910, exactly. The LeMay Car Museum is the largest privately owned collection of vehicles. Although there is a new facility under construction, many of the cars, trucks and unusual equipment are still housed in two locations – Marymount and the LeMay Estate. I digress.
When I was planning the structure of the hat, I took into consideration that I wanted to have it come out almost to the width of my shoulders. I’d need a LOT of heavy buckram and at least one pass around the edges with thick wire. My teacher voiced her concern whether this was a good plan. I push onwards. Weeks were now invested into the construction.
Navy blue ultra suede fabric made the hat plush and gave it depth to the onlooker, as if real suede had been used. Hand sewn fabric roses were stitched in 2 sizes to mimic the roses in the “inspiration” image. A super large satin bow created out of fine quality satin and back-supported by 2 layers of interfacing and 1 layer of Wonder Under, gave the bow the stability to form giant loops on the back of the hat.
After having assembled the multiple layers, stiching into place the many fabric roses, the large bow completed the festoons.
My dress is actually a 2-piece outfit, using thrift store found and reclaimed fabrics! Again, I turned to vintage images for inspiration. Since there aren’t any dead-on patterns out there presently (for what I wanted to create), I turned to what I had already in my collection of patterns in the hopes of doing some creative alterations.
The bodice of my outfit was fit EXACTLY to my form, first in muslin over the corset, then cut and sewn in the final cotton fabric. The skirt is a version of a Butterick pattern I used for my alterations. In the original pattern, it suggests 2 layers of fabric for the skirt.
I decided that I wanted to have the lower layer to be pleated. My first attempt was to borrow my friend’s pleater, a cardboard sort contraption which many quilters use. Didn’t work well with the thickness of the gold fabric. In the end, I had to hand pleat the entire length of fabric, pinning it at 1.5″ with a 1/2″ or 3/4″ return. Together with the gray-green fabric over the top, the skirt has beautiful movement when walking, whether at the LeMay Museum, or in a parade!
I hope you enjoyed these images. If I can be of any help to you or answer questions, feel free to contact me. Very best of luck in creating your own beautiful outfit! LadyVictoria “at” SITUSeattle.com