1916 Plaid Dress

We have several events coming up this year that require interpretation in historical clothing around the 1910s-20s. I took the opportunity to get my feet wet in this era, as the closes I’d made to date was my 1903 ensemble.

After a bit of browsing and with my deadline in mind, I decided to take on the Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1916 Russian Blouse. I’d had my eye on making some sort of tartan (yes, colloquially “plaid”) outfit, and decided to combine a blue and green tartan with a navy cotton voile.


I wasn’t sure how it would all come out and I knew it would be a fast project, so I didn’t devote the usual amount of care to detailing and photographing my process. I sewed all that I could by machine, but hand-finished the hem facing, various portions of the bodice, and the bias binding of the armsceyes, etc.

As promised, the pattern did not come with much in the way of instruction, but it was more than I was used to from Ageless Patterns, haha. I was quite confused as to how the underbody worked; there were two pieces meant to cross over the front, and one was termed a “tucker” and one was a “yoke”. To add to the difficulty, there is also a back yoke. I ended up sewing the underbody so that my unfinished seams were on the outside, since the plaid tunic should always be worn on top and will abrade the seams less than the corset.

The most exciting part of this pattern is definitely the fancy pointy collar, which has five pieces of boning supporting it.

For the skirt, I just made a basic four-gore skirt with a bit more than my waist measurement and then gathered it slightly for a fuller effect.


Photos by @summerannelee!

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