Wednesday, August 19, 2015

1913 Mata Hari Dress--Closures and Construction

The dress I made based on a 1913 picture of Mata Hari has rather interesting construction. I based it off period examples, and although 1910s dresses commonly closed in back, I decided that mine would close in front for ease of dressing.

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Perspective with this dress is slightly odd. It never seems to look the same in pictures as it does in real life!

The dress opens at center front. The bodice is attached to a straight skirt that also opens at center front. It closes with hooks and eyes.

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A panel of silk lined with cotton covers the closure and snaps into place on the left side.

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The waistband of the bubble skirt closes separately on the left. The picture on the right shows a secret passage in the lower bubble skirt. I closed the bottom part of the seam with snaps, so a tailor's ham would fit through and you can iron it. A good thing, as it is looking a little worse for wear after Costume College!

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The base skirt is shaped a little like a pencil skirt. It needed to be wide enough to fit comfortably over my hips and narrow enough for the wrap skirt and bubble to look good, so it tapers in. The waist measurement is wider than mine, and it's fit to the bodice with darts.

The base skirt is hemmed, and the raw edge of the wrap skirt is sewn on that. It doesn't matter that the wrap skirt edge is unfinished, as it's covered by the bubble skirt.

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The bubble skirt is a giant tube with gathering stitches run at the bottom, middle, and top. The bottom seam is sewn for about an inch or two and then left open for a few inches that close with snaps so the finished skirt can be ironed. The bottom gathers are pulled to fit the base skirt, pinned on top of the velvet wrap skirt, and sewn into place.

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The center line of gathering is pulled in and pinned along the marked line seen on the left. It's then sewn to that.

The top is gathered into its own waistband, and the base skirt is sewn to the waistband bodice.

Though it is quite intricate, the multiple closures are worth it to get these complicated styles.


  1. Great post, I love seeing less typical dress lines and the clever construction they engender. The secret passage is brilliant.

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  6. لاداعي للقلق علي الاعطال التي تحدث في الاجهزة المنزلية نتيجة الاستخدام الكثير مع مركز صيانة كريازي تمتع بافضل الخدمات صيانة الاجهزة الكهربيية ويوفر اكبر عدد من قطع الغيار من رقم صيانة كريازي اكبر توكيل صيانات في مصر ,وتواصلوا معانا عبر توكيل كريازي لصيانة كافة الاجهزة المنزلية باقل تكلفه وباعلي كفاءة ممكنه


  7. اليكم افضل خدمة تصميم مواقع الكترونية من اشهر شركة تصميم مواقع والتي تساعدكم في الحصول علي الموقع الذي ترغبون فيه باعلي كفاءةو ممكنه

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