Friday, August 28, 2015

Historical Sew Monthly: Heirlooms & Heritage

The Challenge:

August – Heirlooms & Heritage: Re-create a garment one of your ancestors wore or would have worn, or use an heirloom sewing supply to create a new heirloom to pass down to the next generations.
I chose to recreate an outfit from a photograph of my Aunt Nan and Aunt Maggie (my Papa's Aunts) from about ~1907 based on what they are wearing.  I did use vintage lace to recreate the shirt

Fabric:  A wool blend for the skirt, a linen cotton blend for the shirtwaist

Pattern:  As a sloper, I used Simplicity 8375.   I also used this pattern from 1906 to get an idea of what the pattern shape should be for the shirtwaist.   I edited the skirt pattern as well, adding gores and making a different waistband.

Year: 1906/1907

Notions: Thread, the belt, vintage deadstock lace, a small sewing kit that hangs from the belt in the pictures, a locket, hooks and eyes, buttons!

How historically accurate is it?  If it weren't for the wool/acrylic blend I used for the skirt, it would be nearly perfect.

Hours to complete:  Two weeks of research, maybe two days of actual sewing?

First worn: August 27, 2015

Total cost:  The linen cotton blend is the stuff I get at Joanns so maybe $10 for the couple of yards I used?  The lace was stuff I had in the stash - I got a huge hull years ago from someone clearing out their grandma's sewing closet.  The laces were all antique and they were often wrapped around pieces of cardboard -never used.   The wool for the skirt I got at the thrift store for $3.90 for the entire yardage.   The belt was maybe $1 at the thrift store as well.  The locket I think was Aunt Maggie's and the sewing kit was Aunt Nan's...I'm have gotten the reversed.  I'm not sure.  Either way, it belonged to the people in the original photograph.

So for those who haven't been following along with the research and shirtwaist progress, here's the short, short version.  (There's also a post now on the skirt itself since I couldn't let the shirtwaist steal all the fun.)


The above is a photograph I found in my parents' attic of my Mom's Dad's Aunt's - Aunt Maggie with the dark colored skirt and Aunt Nan behind her. They are at Great Falls, VA (in the background) and I can tell because of this:

Taken by this guy in 2009

The only thing that changes is the water levels. I swear.  Anyway, I decided to recreate Aunt Maggie's outfit.  Here's a slightly better view of her skirt:


Notice the pleated kick gore? Yeah, had to recreate that.  You can see she has something small hanging from her belt.  You'll see the sewing egg I used soon enough.  She also wears some sort of locket looking necklace, so I used one that I think belonged to Aunt Nan, her sister.  Because I have yet to find any sisters anywhere in the world that don't "borrow" each others stuff.  Ever.

 The difference between 1906 and now (or even really a few years ago), is they've built a wall.  You can still see where Aunt Maggie sat down, but it's about two yards past the railing.  I remember the outcry a few years back when yet another person fell and drowned in the rapids.  They built the wall in response...not that really stops a lot of people.  The water level is also lower than normal.  We haven't had a good rain since early July.

 Where they took the rock picture has a bit of a tree in the way - you can see it to the right of me. I did see it and try to recreate it a bit but it was very shadowy.  This spot looked better - even if I am trying to control Abby.  You can just see the kick pleat in the bottom part of the picture.

 The back of the skirt.  I made sure to keep the back pleated and not follow the directions Simplicity gives about pleating all the way around.  It's actually a pretty nice full skirt.  The petticoat helped with that a bit.  :-)

All and all, I'm extremely pleased with the outfit.  I love the shirtwaist/blouse and had fun wearing the outfit at the same spot Aunt Maggie wore something similar over a hundred years ago.


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