Book Review – Everyday Fashions 1909-1920

I’m currently in some kind of early 1900s mood, preparing for an up-coming event this weekend.

So I thought it would be great to tell you a bit about one of the book I own on this period.

Everyday fashions 1909-1920 – As pictured in Sears Catalogs by Joanne Otan.

IMG_7927The name says it all – it’s a fashion catalouge showing some of the most promenent styles of the 1910s.

IMG_7931It contains lovely evening dresses,

IMG_7932as well as pretty separates,

IMG_7936and of course some comfortable day-dresses for wearing around the house.

IMG_7939I love the sections on underwear, and used this pages a lot when creating my own early 1900s wardrobe.

IMG_0787Like my 1910s underbust long line corset.

IMG_7941And just recently, when making my new corset cover.

IMG_64771910s corset covers.

IMG_7930I also want to recreate on of these petticoats and bust ruffles one day.

IMG_7946Thera are also several pictures of fabulous jackets and coats. Perfect for those chilly spring evenings.

IMG_7942Horse-race someone?

All the diferent kinds of dresses in this book was great inspiration and help to me, when making my 1913s walking dress.IMG_0562

I also really like the childrens sections of the book.

IMG_7937So many dresses for the girls (oh, if only I had a reason to make these).

IMG_7934And sweet sailor suits for the boys.

And we must not forgett about the gentlemen.IMG_7944

Bathing suits are big this year (at least in my part of the costuming comunity.)IMG_7943I do think I pass on this one…

IMG_7938Accessorize with belts, girdles, handbags. And for the men there are plenty to choose from regarding ties and bow-ties.

IMG_7935Lovely shoes.

IMG_7948And who do not love some fancy hats and watches.



Guess this did’t turned out qute like a real review. I couldn’t even give you any cons :-).

Anyhow, I do really love this book, and thinks everyone intersting in early 20th century fashion should buy it.

It is such a good inspiration and gives such a clear visual of the transistion in fashion between edwardian curves and the new 20s flair.

It’s a great book to own and to use as reference for what people realy wore at the time, for anyone who loves historical fashion. And it’s part of a series – so you can collect them all.


Eastern Influences in 1914

I had some difficulties figuring out what to make for the HSF Challenge 14 – Eastern Influences. I didn’t want to start a too big project, being so busy with the Titanic dresses at this time.

After much hesitation and changing my mind I finally decided to use the 1,5 m of light pistage-colored organdy already waiting in the stash. It is covered in a geometrical pattern in the shape of 4cm big grecian keys. So perfect for the challenge. But I’m not much of a print person, and feared that the geometrical pattern would be too obvious, too silly or just simply destroy whatever I made from it.


Ok, fears aside – what exactly was I going to make with it (that wouldn’t look costumy or silly)?

I had not enough fabric for a regency-dress, and the fabric was not suitable for anything heavy like a round skirt or a stiff bodice. What to do?

The answer fell on me when searching the internet for inspiration for another project.


A Titanic era evening-gown. It seemed perfect, and already being totally emgrossed by the early 20th century I didn’t hesitate.

I quickly made some sketches and played around a bit with the fabric on my dressform to get the basic shapes and cuts figured out.

Then I started drafting the pattern. I wanted a cross-over bodice with a short kimono-sleeve attached to a draped skirt. The bodice was a bit tricky and I decided to try the paper pattern on my dressform before cutting a toile. That impuls saved me making a useless mock-up.


I tried but could not get the pattern and the dressform to co-operate, so I scratched the paper pattern and instead draped a bodice on the form. So much better.


I then did the mock-up, tried it on and pinned all the necessary alterations. (It is not easy trying and fitting a back-closed mock-up by your self).

IMG_0284Ignore the huge seam allowance.

Since the organdy is so sheer I needed to make some foundation underneat – both for modesty and to get the right support and shape. I used the the same white skirt as for my late Titanic dress, and drafted a strapless dress-bodice to attach the organdy-bodice on.

Then it was time to cut the fabric. I sewed the foundation bodice and tried it on, then I stitched the organdy and draped the skirt on the dressform.

Everything went together fine and I just needed to make some minor alterations on the waist and shoulders. I tried the dress on and really liked it, but felt like something was missing.



I rummaged around a bit for a suitable waist-sash, but neither white nor pistage seemed right. Then I found the vine colored sash for my sisters Titanic-rose dress, and it was perfect. So I used whatever leftovers I had and made another dark red sash.

The finished dress.



IMG_0690Detail of sash and drape.

And the dress being worn.












IMG_0522Photo: Maria Petersson

Just the facts:

Challenge 14: Eastern Influences.

What: A 1912 evening dress.

Pattern: None, I draped my own.

Fabric: 1,5 m polyester organdy, 0,3 m white cotton voile and 0,5 m white cotton sheets for lining and interlining the bodice. And 0,2 m vine colored viscose for the sash.

Notions: Thread, plastic boning, hooks and eyes and snaps.

Historical accuracy: There are way too much polyester in it to be any good. But I think the look and the overall feel of the dress is right. And according to Arnold they did use foundation-bodices beneath sheer and slippery fabrics. Maybe 6/10.

Time: 15 hours (made it in a two days speedrush).

Cost: 100 SEK (11 Euro).

First worn: On the photoshoot July 5.