#VintagePledge Inspiration - 1920s by A Few Threads Loose

Alongside monthly giveaways/offers and stash interviews for this year's Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, Kestrel Makes and I also promised you monthly inspiration posts exploring different decades. I'm kicking off this monthly feature with a highly informative and beautifully illustrated look at the 1920s, by the very knowledgeable Anna of A Few Threads Loose. Anna's also this month's generous #vintagepledge sponsor, offering one lucky winner their choice of 3 digital patterns or e-books from her shop - Mrs Depew Vintage! Make sure you enter the giveaway here, by 5pm on 26 February!!! Anyway, over to Anna...

When many of us think of the 1920's, images that Hollywood has given us often come to mind. Chief among them, the flapper girl in her short tasselled dress, feathers in her short, pin-curled hair and a tantalizing glimpse of garter showing as she shimmies and shakes on a speakeasy dance floor. This is the quintessential flapper icon, she stands for every freedom that women fought tooth and nail for, the freedom to vote, to have her voice heard, to work and support herself, and the freedom to express that new-found voice in her clothing. 

(Image credit: Hemline Quarterly)

Her hemline was growing shorter by the moment, daring society to try and dictate its Victorian conventions to her. Thanks to Chanel's garçonne style, her silhouette grew more square than hourglass, and interesting art deco influences began to show up in both prints, pleats, and seam shapes. 


This change in silhouette meant that the corset was nearly obsolete, it became passé and most young ladies traded in their whalebone cages for tap pants, bandeau brassieres, and cami-knickers.


It is this particular freedom of the flapper girls' underwear and lounge-wear that has always fascinated me the most. I think some of this has to do with the fact that my mother, antique dealer and fashion historian that she was, often sponsored vintage clothing runway shows, and I was often one of her models. Being a string bean of a teenage girl, my (then) tiny waist was perfect for the lovely, rare Victorian gowns...which meant wearing corsets. I hated wearing corsets. I did my part as any kid raised in the family business, but when it was time for the corset to come off, my euphoria was unmatched. Perhaps that's why I can relate a bit to the flapper mind set...she is, in a word, liberated, and she shows it off. 

(La Femme Chic) 

As ready to wear was not really popular until the 1930's, much of our flapper girl's wardrobe was homemade. Through sewing patterns, we can easily follow the trends of this era. You can see quite an amazing collection of 1920's sewing patterns at the Vintage Patterns Wiki 1920's page

(One of my personal favorites) 

Chinese and Japanese cultures were another popular influence on 1920's fashion. One aspect of this was the kimono robe, which came to vogue, and has hardly left. A 1927 edition of Fashion Service Magazine contains a great pattern for a 'Coolie Coat' modelled after the Chinese style at the time that perfectly illustrates this influence. 


My most recent 1920's inspiration has been exactly along these lines. I am lucky enough to have McCall 5044 in my personal collection and just recently finished sewing one for myself. 


The robe initially started out as a wearable muslin and as I got more and more absorbed into the details of the project, it became apparent that this would end up being my most favorite hand-sewn garment. 


So I went all out and even added an art deco rose monogram to the sleeve. You can see more photos and sewing details on the robe on my blog - A Few Threads Loose.


I'm really excited to also be wrapping up development on a multi-size reproduction of this pattern. It is currently in the pre-order stage and I plan to have it available to ship by March! 

But for those of you who have instant gratification in mind, I'm delighted to be sponsoring February's Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge giveaway - a choice of three digital Mrs. Depew Vintage patterns or e-books to the winner!

Thank you to Anna, for such an enlightening look at the evolution of 1920s styles. I too am particularly fond of the luxurious 1920s lingerie, which Anna's monogrammed robe epitomises! What's your favourite era/decade for style and why? 

Have you joined the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge yet? Check out the #vintagepledge Pinterest board for plenty of inspiration!

23 comments:

  1. I love the styles from the 20's but I am about as far from their boyish ideal as is possible. My favourite era is probably either Edwardian (the corsets, the hats, the shoes, those Gibson girl blouses) or the 1960's with Granny Takes a Trip and Mod. Not that this translates to my normal daywear anymore. Xx

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    1. I love how diverse your preferences are :o)

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  2. I love the innovation of the 1940s Make Do And Mend spirit. I have a huge collection of vintage 40s dresses but I never wear them because I want to preserve them.

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    1. Yes, great ethos! I can image you'd want to protect your collection, but shame not to wear them either. Maybe you could wear them, but sparingly?

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  3. Great patterns! I've always loved the fashions of the 20s and the freedom they represent. I should try to add some to my wardrobe.

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  4. I love this era, but my body type does not help hehehehe.Also like elizabethan corsets and Regency dresses.

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    1. Yeah, as lovely as 20s styles are, they would look hideous on me :o(

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  5. The art deco embroidery is absolutely stunning! The 20s and 30s is my favourite fashion era but I have yet to add any to my wardrobe, maybe this can be my kick in the butt inspiration to actually use that bunka vionnet book I have!

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    1. Yay, hope this post has inspired you :o)

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  6. I love these flapper dresses, I wish I could pull them off, but they don't really suit my bodytype... Luckily there is such a thing as 50's dresses!

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  7. 1950s. The full skirts and feminine casual wear look so good

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  8. Aren't all of those patterns just wonderful. So sleek and stylish! Your make is so wearable, looks lovely.

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    1. Absolutely stunning patterns :o)

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  9. I usually love and wear 1950's shapes but I am trying to expand ;)
    For last year's pledge, I made my first 1920's dress. I still wonder just how much or how little I cheated on the final shape but the end result was much more flattering than I had expected. And indeed, wonderfully easy to wear.

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    1. Your 20s dress was divine and suited you perfectly!

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  10. What gorgeous patterns, thanks so much for sharing! I love the era but my hips suit the 1950s more x

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