Finally Finished: 1917 Wool Skirt

Last fall, in November I believe, I actually finished the 1917 wool skirt I’d made in 2013 as part of my 1917 Ensemble. Of course, it was wearable prior to being completed–I’d worn it for it’s original purpose and for a picnic in May 2013. But it wasn’t actually completed until I wore it last November when I also wore my 1917 Cranberry Red Scarf.

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From the Cranberry Scarf post, proof that I was wearing my wool skirt, though all the layers cover up the changes I made that completed it.

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The new placket closes with hidden skirt hooks and bars.

While the side seams, hem, and waistband were totally finished for the first wearing, the skirt never had closures. It just sat in my closet taunting me with it’s almost-finished status. When I went to finish it I realized that a side closure would make it much easier to get dresses and be less gap-y than the center back closure I had originally intended. Moving the closure meant re-do-ing the waistband, so I also used the opportunity to change out the pockets.

As a side note, pockets on day wear are genius! They’re so useful when you’re the public eye and you need to keep things like your car key, phone, and ID on you but you don’t want to leave them lying around. They free your hands from any sort of bag and ensure that your sensitive modern items are not lost or stolen. GENIUS!

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New (modern shaped) pocket.

The pockets I’d originally put in were rectangles set in vertically that extended both in front of and behind the pocket slit. They are just fine in skirts with more fullness, but for this period they were hard to get my hand in and out of. So when I was changing around the waistband, I cut out a new pocket shaped like what you would find in a modern garment. The new pocket has a facing piece of the skirt wool sewn over the muslin where it might show when I put my hand in (that’s the square set of stitching on the upper right). Because I added a side closure I only have one pocket on the other side, but it is easier to use than the old pocket style was. Both the pocket and the waistband facing are made from scrap muslin (not itchy, not slippery, and who doesn’t love using up scraps?!?).

Both sides of the skirt have four covered buttons on them. Buttons were often used in the 1910s to decorate skirts and blouses (take a look at my 1915-18 Pinterest board, for instance, and you’ll see lots of examples). These buttons are just for show, though, because the skirt closes with hidden skirt hooks and bars.

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Braving the cold to show off my completed skirt placket.

I referenced Jennifer Rosbrugh’s great placket tutorial (I could remember all the directions exactly, but it’s so much easier to just take a quick look to remember which pieces to cut to different sizes and where to put them!) and this tutorial showing how to add hidden side pockets (Again, nice to to have to think very hard: easy directions and good illustrative photos!). And I’m super pleased that the skirt is complete! Yay!

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3 responses to “Finally Finished: 1917 Wool Skirt

  1. Many of my modern skirts have zippers but no hooks at the waistband. Many of my costume skirts have no closures at all. My 18th century petticoats are the only ones that are done…probably because no hooks are involved! Hooks are so fiddly for me. Your work looks so nice.

  2. A pretty and versatile skirt! I love the pocket solution, there is nothing worse than too small pockets.

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