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.

DSC_0955 DSC_0956

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.

DSC_0958 DSC_0959

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

DSC_0960 DSC_0963

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!

DSC_0455 DSC_0456

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.

DSC_0457 DSC_0458

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.

DSC_0460 DSC_0461

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.

  2. تعرف معنا الان علي خدمات صيانة وستنجهاوس والتي تقدم علي ايدي فريق متخصص في اعمال الصيانة الفورية من خلال خبراء صيانة وايت وستنجهاوس والتي تعمل باحدث الطرق والاساليب وباقل الاسعار من خلال اكبر توكيبل معتمد في مصر توكيل وستنجهاوس تواصل معنا الان .

  3. الان يمكنك الاعتماد علي مؤسسة ابراج دبي في توفير شركة مكافحة حشرات بالاحساء كبري تعمل باحدث الادوات وباقل الاسعار علي ايدي فريق متخصص يقوم باستخدام مواد لرش الحشرات والقضاء عليها بسرعه

  4. يمكنك الان الحصول علي افضل الخدمات من خلال شركه حراسات امنية اليت تعمل باحدث الطرق والاساليب في حماية وتامين اهم الشخصيات في شركه امن وحراسة بمصر وباقل التكاليف التي تعمل بها شركات الحراسة الاخري

  5. تواصل مع دار مسنين بمدينة نصر المتخصص في اعمال الرعاية الصحية والنفسية لكبار السن ومن خلال بعض المرافقين المتواجدون في دار مسنين بالمعادي حيث انهم مدربين علي الرعاية اللازمة للمسنين من خلال الاطباء والممرضين المتخصصيين في دار مسنين بمصر الجديدة وباقل التكاليف الممكنه في مصر .