Gibson Girl Vignette

In September, my friends and I had a last picnic of the season to take advantage of the summer weather before it faded into fall. Along with other picnics we’ve had in the past, we again met up in the Boston Public Garden with our picnic blankets, food, drink, and croquet set.

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We’d decided on a turn of the 20th century theme for our clothing and I took the opportunity to dig a 1903 outfit out of the closet that I don’t think I’ve worn since 2012, at Dress U and Newport Vintage Dance Week. It’s an orchid lawn skirt (and a bolero I didn’t wear this time) and a white silk and cotton lace blouse.

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This wearing, my hat had been re-trimmed in a more pleasing fashion than when I wore it in 2012 (in fact, all the lovely millinery flowers are only pinned on so it’s easy to change, not that I’ve bothered since I put the flowers on about two years ago) and I had practiced my Gibson Girl hair in January and now know how to achieve the look with minimal effort.

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I was very pleased with the result! Next time I plan to wear a hat with a Gibson Girl style I’ll put the opening of my hair pad at the top of my head rather than the bottom, and likely leave a little space to make the front a bit more flat so my hat doesn’t tilt up. Where’s the fun if I don’t learn something new every time I wear historical clothing?

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4 responses to “Gibson Girl Vignette

  1. Very nice! I’m curious how you “pinned” the flowers on. I just completed a 1912 garden party hat with flowers on it a couple of months ago. I wired them in bunches and loosely caught them with a few sewing stitches but I knew I hadn’t exhausted the ways to make it easier to change later.

    • Thanks! I just used straight pins to pin the flowers to the straw. I used small silk pins with white heads. Generally, I tried to pin through the petals (easier on my hands and the pins), but sometimes I pinned the stems to the straw if they were a thin wire. I made sure that the pin heads are hidden by other petals and that the sharp ends are also buried in flowers or in the straw. When inspecting the hat very closely I can find the pins, but aside from that they’re not visible. 🙂 It’s where I would start if I were going to tack them on with thread, I just never bothered to do that step!

  2. Very pretty! What pattern (if any) did you use for the blouse?

    I’m very envious of picnic weather. It’s almost getting warm enough here in NZ to contemplate throwing one. We shall be enjoying them in Jan while you’re ice skating though!

    • True! It is always a little amusing to see your opposite season clothing posts. 🙂

      The blouse pattern is shown on page 15 of Patterns of Fashion 2. I can’t remember if I scaled it up directly or if I used the pattern shapes as a guide while creating the pattern in full scale.

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