Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Blue & White Stripes, Part II: A Summer Dress From LHJ (June 1912)

When searching for fashion plates and prints from the early 1910s, I discovered this gem (left) on Fashion A Hundred Years Ago and quickly added it to my visual collection for future reference and inspiration. This summer dress was published in The Ladies Home Journal June 1912 subscription and has become the second garment featured in the Blue & White Stripes series. Because so little information is available about this dress (no pattern number, no pattern block schematics, no descriptions, no nothing), this was a wonderful opportunity for me to use my fancy imagination and my love for draping to create a rendition of this dress all of my own. 

I constructed the dress as a one-piece wrap with Dolman sleeves. The solid darker blue cotton fabric that I used to make the bottom portion of the skirt and sailor's collar on the bodice was so thin and woven so loosely that I had to fuse it to the light blue medium weight cotton fabric I used to make the first garment in this series, the Advance utility dress. I did not add elastic banding around the upper sleeves, but left them as they are for my comfort. I made a noble effort to recreate the decorative closures on the bodice and skirt front, but again, the darker blue fabric was too delicate and kept shredding, even when fused. You have to let the fabric tell you what it wants to do, and it told me to make covered buttons instead. In the following photographs, you'll see that the bodice and striped portion of the skirt is lined in white cotton batiste and the collar is backed in same darker blue cotton its constructed from (a magical feat of fabric manipulation). 

~A noble beginning - the start of decorative closures~

~The darker blue cotton - so thin, so delicate~

The Dickey

Yes, there is a dickey that goes with this dress! I didn't have any fabric in my stash that I felt complimented the dress. If you notice in the fashion print, the model is wearing a white dickey with what could be blue flowers, printed or embroidered. I couldn't find flowers, but I found a yard of white cotton printed with tiny ship anchors - too cute to be true! Here's the dickey...

The Dress


Moi, portant la robe rayée...

Stay cozy and warm, my beautiful friends! Blessings and happy sewing! 


Monday, January 8, 2018

The Jazz Age at the Cleveland Museum of Art

This past October I had the pleasure of visiting the Cleveland Museum of Art to view their Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s exhibit - absolutely marvelous! Often, it seems, when American eras of excess and opulence are referenced in the scholarly discourse, the 1880s and the 1980s are the decades of choice. Let me tell you, notwithstanding the '80es and all their splendor, the 1920s brings something quite sensational, energetic, and fresh to the discussion of cultural decadence and transformation. Yes, there was 1920s Berlin, 1920s Vienna, 1920s Paris, and 1920s London - all wonderful, all great cities with a new generation pushing against and redefining old mores. But, it was the United States which became the leader in architecture, interior design, decorative art, fashion, music, and film. The American nouveau riche transformed the global marketplace and a new order emerged from the old, driven by innovation and the audacity of youth. 

So, powder your arms and rouge your knees, the 1920s has crashed on the scene...


Piccadilly Roadster, Rolls Royce, 1925 (Manufactured in America)

Cord 812 Phaeton Roadster, Auburn Auto Co., Indiana, 1937


Glass and brass chandelier, designer George Chevalier, 1925

Mirror and console table, designer Paul Feher, Hungarian, 1930

Gilt and lacquered wood screen, designer Armand Albert Rateua, 1922

Iron, silver, and gold screen, designer Paul Feher (Rose Ironworks, Cleveland), 1930


Tea service, silver and ivory, d. Peter Muller-Munk, American, c. 1931

Cocktail set, silverplated brass and Vitrolite glass, designer Elsa Tennhardt, American, c. 1928

Zeppelin Airship cocktail shaker and travel bar, c. 1928

Owl cocktail shaker, silver, designer Peer Smed, American, c. 1931

The Savoy Cocktail Book, c. 1930

Fashion & Textiles

Evening wear (gowns on loan from Kent State Museum of Fashion)

Silk and silk velvet afternoon dresses, Mariano Fortuny, Italian, c. 1930

Pineapple Textile, silk jacquard, Charles Martin, c. 1923
Falcon Hunt textile, silk and metallic satin brocade, Herman Elsberge, c. 1920s


Gold, sapphire, garnet, and enamel set, D. Meta K. Overbeck (Tiffany & Co.), American, c. 1920

Enamel, pearl, diamond, onyx, gold, and platinum compact, Mauboussin, French, c. 1925

Platinum, lapis, onyx, coral, jade, and diamond brooch, Boucheron, French, c. 1925

Bracelet, diamond, emerald, sapphire, ruby, and platinum, Lacloche Bros., French, c 1924

To view additional photographs of the Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s at the Cleveland Museum of Art, please visit my Pinterest page.

Happy New Year! Blessings and happy sewing!