Monday, March 7, 2016

Clothing Collection: 1910s Checked Dress

Again, I had my niece model this dress for me. 

Out of the collection that I acquired from my friend Tamara, this piece, though perhaps not the most beautiful, is one of the most intriguing. Elements of the construction are very interesting, and the fact that it boasts a Third Liberty Loan pin on the belt seems to seal it in time, and raise a lot of questions. 

It was well-loved and well-worn. It's stained. Judging from the size, I'm guessing it was worn by a teenager, though it is very spacious in the bust area, so perhaps for someone a little older. Or a large-busted girl!  Then at some point it was packed away, Third Liberty Loan button and all, and never worn again. Why? What is the story of the girl who wore it? Perhaps because I am so intrigued by the 1st World War, I wish I knew more about her. Did she lose a father, brother, or her young man? Any, or all three are possible, even in America, for we lost heavily enough in World War I despite our late involvement. When I took a class about poets of the 1st World War from the great Robert Means, he told us that the same amount of men were killed in a matter of months in the 1st World War, as were killed during the whole of Vietnam. 

Selvage and finished seams inside the waist.

I love that the print on the belt is larger than the rest of the dress.

Look at those stains!

I would date the dress as being made around 1914, though it could have been made later as well. The waist & sleeves are very similar to the 1914 pattern below (which you'll recognise from my last post, and which is available from Past Patterns):

Dress from 1914
Interesting sleeve construction!

I love the red buttons! And there's a glimpse of the 3rd Liberty Loan pin.

The Third Liberty Loan was a liberty bond sold from 5 April 1918. Many of them were sold by Boy and Girl Scouts. 

Examples of Third Liberty Loan posters. 

Filmstars of the time, such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks also spent a lot of time promoting and selling war bonds. 

Left to right: Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford & Charlie Chaplin selling war bonds. 

The waist and skirt are separate, but go together as a dress. 

A close-up of the Third Liberty Loan button.

1 comment:

  1. Hurrah! I am excited by all the details. And the Third Liberty Loan button. How invaluable. The facts about all the men we lost in WWI -- I don't believe one person in a thousand knows that. Lovely model! Thanks much!