Category Archives: Extant Garments

Extant Garments: 1910s White Blouse IV

This is the final post of detail shots of the 1910s white blouse.  Today we’re going to look at the waistline and the back fastening.

This blouse is a fun combination of several different techniques that were used in the lingerie blouses or shirtwaists of the period.  Often you’ll find that they are gathered and stitched to a band at the back and then left loose at the front, the excess of which would to be pulled in with ties.  The concept is similar to blouses today that have ties sewn into the side seam that pull the excess fabric and tied together in a bow at the back to make the front fitted.  Think of the reverse of that, to pull the excess to the front and create a smooth back.  In other instances you’d see a drawstring or elastic in a casing all the way around (which is what we have in the 1910s Blouse Pattern).  There’s variations on all of these, but this one is fun in that it has the back gathered to a band with a shorter peplum at the back, and then in the front we have a longer length with an applied casing and drawstring.

The casing, interestingly, is applied to the right side of the garment and the drawstring comes out of the garment at the center front through two hand finished openings.  This makes the front of the garment lie flat for ironing and makes it somewhat adjustable for waist size.  Here we have a view of it flat and ungathered.

Here is a closer shot of the back so you can see the variation of garment length below the casing.

This garment is interesting in that it has gussets added at the side back.  Perhaps the garment was homemade and the seamstress neglected to make a muslin before constructing ;)  It’s also likely that these were added later, especially if the owner of the garment needed extra room across the back.  I’ve never found any references to this in my books or magazines if this was constructed this way originally and intentionally so would be interested to hear if anyone has run across anything in their studies.

Here’s an inside shot of the above, as I thought you may be interested to see the seam finishes and catch a glimpse of the back side of where the band is applied at the back. Also notice the very narrow hem.

Now to the back fastening, you can see here the self facing made and the buttonholes, and also a close up of the pintucks.  As mentioned in a previous post, it is uncommon in my research to find the back self facing plackets interfaced.

Here is a shot of the inside.

And lastly, here is a picture of the back of the blouse when fastened and detail of the cute mother of pearl buttons. The buttons are small, about 3/8″.  The back placket is about 1″ wide.

That’s all for this little blouse’s debut! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the close up and construction shots of this original blouse, and I hope it inspires you for your clothing creations!


Extant Garments: 1910s White Blouse Part III

Continuing our peek at the inside of this white blouse, today I’m sharing the detail of the sleeve placement.

Although this garment is, in essence, quite simple (as it’s the decorations which make it more elaborate like the tucking, embroidery, and lace), it is quite interesting to see the differences in the shape and placement of pieces for constructing this blouse as compared with modern ideas of blouse construction.  I think the sleeve is a perfect example of this concept.  If you’re at all familiar with Victorian or with vintage construction, you can see that this is a neat middle point between the two.

This is a view of the front of the blouse. Notice how the underarm seam of the sleeve is visible from the front.  The seam is actually placed forward to where we place underarm seams of sleeves today.  This is a one-piece sleeve.  Of course, the sleeve was drafted to allow for this placement, in order for it to hang correctly and the underarm seam to be in the correct position while not throwing off the hang of the sleeve.

Also of interest is where the sleeve cap lines up with the bodice.  If you’re familiar with Victorian garments you will recognize the sloped shoulder seam.  This is a transitional period, as with some earlier garments you get a more extreme shoulder seam slope, and with later garments it gets more to where we are accustomed to them today at the top of the shoulder.  This seam falls at an angle, being closer to the  standard shoulder seam placement as we know it today at the neck and then angled down more towards armscye.

Here’s a shot of the blouse on the table with the sleeve flipped up.  The seam falling vertically on the right is the side seam of the bodice, which in this instance, is placed further back than we place them today.  The seam running vertically at the upper left of the picture is the underarm seam of the sleeve.  The seam running horizontally is the armscye (armhole) seam.  You can see the interesting placement of the sleeve seam and side seam, especially when compared with where we would expect the underarm seams of the bodice and the sleeve to line up with one another today.

Lastly for today, here is a shot of the inside of the bodice flat on the table.  We are looking primarily at the inside of the back bodice and the side seam, shoulder seam, and armscye.  You can see that the side seam and the shoulder seam are finished with French seams.  The armscye has an interesting seam finish, similar in essence to a felled seam, however, the seam allowance is wrapped over itself and then turned under to encase the seam, then carefully hand picked to itself to finish it, so that the seam allowance lays free but is self finished.  This would have required additional seam allowances at the armscye.

A few more little detail shots coming up.  I hope you are enjoying this peek inside this vintage piece.  I love how intricate the details are, and yet how simple it is in essence!

Extant Garments: 1910s White Blouse Part II

Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was splendid!  We had a nice storm here this weekend.  I *love* the rain, so was quite enthralled.

Continuing with the post of shots of the white blouse, here’s a few more detail shots and notes on construction.  We’re going to take a peek inside the neckline for the lace edging today.  You can click on these images to make them larger so you can see in more detail.

Here is a shot of the outside of the blouse.  Over time the lace at the neckline seems to have stretched a bit, but this blouse was originally meant to have a bit of a squared neck.

Inside here we can see the corner.  The lace is composed of two different pieces which were attached together and then applied to the blouse.  Here you can see the mitered corner of the lace and also the teensy tiny little hem that was made on the blouse neckline, and where the corner was clipped and the hem continued.  You can also catch a glimpse of the back side of some of the embroidery.

This is a shot of the inside back of the neckline.  You can see that the lace was finished first with a narrow hem at the back edge.  The back of the blouse was finished with a self facing to form the back placket for the fastening and base of the buttons/buttonholes. Then the blouse and lace were joined together.  Looking up close at the blouse it may be possible that the tiny hem was made first, then the lace applied, which is different in construction than the lace instruction I have found from both period and modern sources, where the lace was applied before creating the finish on the inside.  You can see up close the row of machine stitches and also the row of tiny hand stitches.  Also, it’s worth noting, that the self facing has no interfacing and you can also see the little hand done buttonhole.

More close up shots coming soon, and I also have basic lace insertion by machine tutorials coming up soon in honor of the new 1910s Blouse Pattern.



Extant Garments: 1910s White Blouse

One of my goals this year is to start sharing some images of clothing I have in my vintage clothing collection.  My collection of antique and vintage garments is not large (I have friends with much larger collections), and has been routinely gathered together, then let go, then gathered together over the years until what I have left is mostly what I love and what gives me joy.  Since I started off with vintage and antique clothing and costuming with the early 1900s, and especially with Edwardian “whites”, I’m happy to finally have a proper excuse to bring to light some of these loved pieces and share photographs with you.

I believe this blouse was a gift from a friend, and it’s got very neat little construction details that I hope to share across a few posts.  Today I’ve got basic photos of the blouse to share and I’ll go a bit more in depth next time with interior or close up shots.  This blouse was one of the blouses I examined when putting together the 1910s Blouse Pattern.

Most of the blouses I have seen of this age are quite short-waisted and this one is no exception.  High waisted skirts were de rigeur at this time, so that could be one excuse why.  We also have to keep in mind that proportions have changed in the last 100 years.  I’m not one to buy into the “people were shorter back then,” idea (though, no doubt, we have changed in stature over a longer period of time), but there were short and tall people just like today.  We take into account changes in diet and in undergarments (grown women at this time most likely had some sort of corsetry starting somewhat early on in their lifespan) and I believe that’s where a lot of change comes about from.  I’m somewhat derailing from train of thought, so back to the blouse. This is pretty simple in design and is accented mostly with embroidery and pintucks, with a very simple lace accent at the squared neckline and edge of sleeves.

You can see here the hang of the sleeve and the pintuck accents.  You can also catch a glimpse of the placement of the shoulder seam, which sits back farther than shoulder seams once we get into the “vintage” eras and today.

This blouse buttons up the back and has an interesting shape at the back, with the center back where the waist is stitched to place with a band being shorter than the rest of the waist, which draws in with a casing and ties.

A little detail shot of the pintucks, embroidery, and lace

And here you can see the hand worked eyelets.

More photos coming this week of interior shots and other details.

Have a lovely weekend!