I am pleased with how it turned out, although it wasn’t all fun to get there. The fabric I used is a rayon crepe. These did exist in the twenties, although I’m not sure about the single components – this one is a little stretchy, which I don’t think would be historically accurate. It adds a lot to comfort though, and wool or silk crepe would have been too expensive anyway.
I started with the skirt, which was quickly sewn. It is based on my basic skirt pattern, with added pleats, looks elegant and is really nice to wear. The trouble was with the blouse … It’s not a secret, that twenties fashions are designed for and look best on a boyish figure – which is exactly what after my recent pregnancy I have not. I realized this, when I made the first fitting. I tried the blouse (with a much higher and plain neckline) on, expecting simple yet sophisticated art deco elegance, looked into the mirror – and felt like an elephant. Lowering the neckline, adding the buckle and bow (the opening pleats echoing those in the skirt) and narrowing the whole thing made it much better, but I had a couple of dark hours until I figured that out.
Constructionwise this is a fake because it is not a fake. Ensembles like this, which were very popular in the twenties, usually consisted of a blouse like mine, but the skirt would not sit on the waist, but be attached to a bodice, as shown in this illustration of “How to make dresses the modern Singer way” from 1929:
This would be quite easy to sew, I think (no fitting at all at the waist), and wonderfully comfortable to wear. But since I needed a garment with separate upper and lower parts, I made it a real skirt.
The Challenge: Colour Challenge Blue
Fabric: 2,5 metres of blue and a small piece of cream rayon crepe
Pattern: based on a basic skirt pattern and KwikSew 3601, both modified Year: mid twenties
Notions: thread, zipper, buckle
How historically accurate is it? The overall look is really good, I think. The pattern of the blouse is fine, too, with underarm darts and otherwise not much to it. But the skirt, as I mentioned, isn’t at all accurate, of the fabric I’m not too sure. The buckle is vintage, but more like 30s. So, hm, about 70 %?
Hours to complete: about three weeks, for more or less half an hour every day
First worn: at the christening of our little boy
Total cost: ca. 50 €