1917 Waist Details

I finally put finishing touches on the navy crepe waist I made last November! A few weeks ago, I was inspired at the very last minute to attend an early 20th century picnic and decided to wear my 1917 outfit because it was still a little chilly out and I wanted to wear something practical for walking around. So, literally the night before the picnic, I embarked on buttons and buttonholes because despite the best of intentions I hadn’t actually sewn them in the months since November. I also added a yoke around the bottom of the waist to keep it from untucking itself while being worn. It untucked itself often when I wore it November, but it didn’t matter because I was wearing my 1917 sweater of Angorina over it. But for the picnic I expected to be wearing the waist without the sweater and I didn’t want to worry about it staying tucked in.

Wearing the waist and coordinating ensemble in November 2013.
Same ensemble without the sweater and fur accessories.

This is a candid shot, not posed, but I like how thoughtful it is, especially with the natural light filtered by the cloudy sky. You can see the collar with its interesting points which follow the diamond shapes on the lace, as well as the turn back points on the cuffs, which also follow the diamond shapes on the lace. If you look really closely you can also see the buttons down the front, clustered in groups of three rather than being evenly spaced (a detail I pulled from this 1916 image). (Oh, and I added little extensions to the back of my gaiters so that they would stop popping up over the back of my shoes! I didn’t get a picture, but the change made a huge difference in terms of ease of wearing!)

The points on the collar continue around the back neck, a detail which I love, because it makes an otherwise boring collar much more interesting! Also, my hair was surprisingly cooperative that day, and the natural highlights really stood out in the muted lighting!

The waist was made using Past Patterns #9025, which was originally published by The New Idea Pattern Company. “Waist” is the word that was used in the early 20th century to describe the garment we would now call a blouse. Past Patterns lists the date as c. 1915, but the pattern actually has a specific date stamp on it: ” Nov. 19, 1917.” How cool is that? It’s perfect for my 1917 outfit! You can see that I mixed and matched elements from both pattern views, and that I adapted the collar shape to suit the lace that I used for it. The pattern is intended for at 36″ bust (which I am) but it’s pretty roomy. I wouldn’t mind the front being a little bit less full if I decided to make another similar garment one day.

Past Patterns #9025: Ladies’ Waist c. 1915

As a bonus, here are some other picturesque images from the picnic.

As usual, playing croquet caused lots of onlookers to stop and watch our fabulous picturesque-ness. I suppose I might stop, too, if I was totally unused to seeing us…
We couldn’t resist taking this perfectly un-posed shot!
Bunny ears! Hee hee hee…

The skirt isn’t quite finished yet, as I still have closures and some decorative buttons to sew on. So for now I’ll leave off posting details about it. Hopefully, I’ll finish it soon and get pictures… sometime? It’s going to be too warm to wear a wool skirt soon!

3 thoughts on “1917 Waist Details

  1. Oh I love your waist! The color is very lovely and the color fabric is fabulous! It looks as though you had a really wonderful time! Yeah!!

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