We recently completed our second commission for a WWI Hello Girls Uniform. This uniform is made of navy blue twill wool* and a cotton sateen lining. The buttons are original.
For the second uniform, I tweaked a few things on my pattern- including a slightly more fitted jacket body and fuller jacket skirt at center back. I narrowed the skirt and added pockets. I have yet to master the bellows pockets and will need to find some time to teach myself the technique.
*I ran into few roadblocks with acquiring the wool for this uniform. The original calls for melton but finding the right weight is difficult. After a 6 week back order and fabric that never arrived, I searched diligently for something as close as possible. What I found was this textured wool gaberdine that when opened I was not pleased with at all. But time was of the essence and so I had not much choice but to hope for the best.*
As I worked, I found the wool lovely to work with. It held its body beautifully and created a gorgeous skirt. It felt very authentic in look and feel. The jacket was a dream as well and in the end, I really love the way this uniform turned out. It has that “original feel” to it and the color/ texture added a whole new dimension that melton wool cannot achieve. (Melton tends to look generic in my opinion.)
Love when Plan B works out way better than Plan A ever would have! Yeah for flexibility!
Now onto more WWI Hello Girls uniforms! We have commissions for 6 more of these already this year!
For more information about our WWI Hello Girl Uniform or any of our custom designed historical garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com
This lovely muted mauve velvet and cotton bustle era gown was commissioned by a member of Southern California’s prestigious Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society. The gowns worn by this riding club must be authentic to the late Victorian period and must be a rose colored hue.
Another requirement of the club is materials used in the gown must be natural fibers. Many of the riders choose silk for their gowns, but this client was drawn to the large array of historical prints we carry. So for this gown, we chose to work in cotton.
Cotton breathes well and will be both comfortable to wear and easy to launder. To elevate the status of the gown, we coupled our cotton print with a contrasting cotton velveteen. The client wanted something simple, yet elegant and not overly done. So, I added the finest of lace trim in a few select places to give just “a little extra” to the gown.
There is a whopping 8 yards of fabric in the underskirt alone!
I cannot wait to see this client in her gown at the next Tournament of Roses parade!
For more information about this gown or any of our custom designed historical fashions, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com
These simple and sweet girls’ bonnets are ideal for the years 1800-1850s. Worn by girls of all ages, these little darlings are headed to Historic Exchange Place in Jonesboro, Tennessee to be worn by their Junior Apprentices. The girls who participate in this program range in age from 10-18.
For more information about these girls bonnets or any of our millinery, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com
This 1850s era wool jacket was styled after an original lady’s denim jacket in the Met.
Made of 100% wool yarn dyed homespun with cotton lining, this jacket is just enough to keep the chill away during crisp Autumn evenings. It has a small patch pocket tucked away in the interior to hide any small incidental items a lady farmer might need.
This jacket is headed to Historic Brattonsville to be used in their 19th century farm life interpretation program.
For more information about this jacket or any of our custom designed historical clothing, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com
This 1880s era gown was designed for a museum display in Michigan. It was styled to represent a rural woman’s “better” or “best” dress. It is a modified version of our Harvest Bustle gown.
Made of 100% cotton, it is serviceable and easily laundered. Styled in the latest fashion, this dress uses little expensive trim yet is striking with its contrasting fabrics. The brown striped print is a reproduction 19th century print. The one piece skirt features a bustled back that is worn over a small bustle pad and petticoat.
For more information about this gown or any of our custom designed historical garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com
Earlier this Spring we completed a WWI Era US Motor Corps Uniform for The State of TN. It was and EPIC project! From original buttons to sourcing “just the right shade of wool,” attention to detail was paramount. I completely drafted the pattern myself. Both the jacket and skirt are fully lined. The shirt and tie I picked up at a local second hand shop to use for the photo. I purchased the reproduction Sam Browne Belt on Ebay.
For more information about our WWI Era US Motor Corps Uniform or any of our custom designed historical clothing, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com
This 19th century day dress was designed for a house museum exhibit in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Inspired by an original gown in the Met, this cotton version is meant to celebrate the rural heritage of the now suburban community. A second gown in a later style is being designed to represent Sterling Height’s connection to urban Detroit. The two gowns will be exhibited side by side.
Original gown c. 1875 of wool and silk. Image courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This gown has been carefully curated to accurately capture the heritage of this city. Original photographs of area families from the late 19th century were referenced and an overall look and feel of the exhibit was discussed. Together we settled upon this gown for its simplicity and practicality of style.
For more information about this custom designed gown or any of our historical clothing, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com.
This WWI Era Hello Girl Uniform was meticulously researched for accuracy and authenticity as it was designed for exhibition at Alvin C. York State Park in Tennessee.
The Hello Girls, also known as the Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit were an auxiliary unit of the US Army during WWI. Experienced, bilingual female telephone operators were recruited by the US Army and sent overseas to aid the failing communication lines of the Allies in wartime France. In 1917, over 7000 US women applied but only 450 were enlisted. This small group of skilled women paved the way for future generations and helped secure the role of women as vital assets in the US military.
Required to purchase their own uniforms, and being paid only $50 per month proved to be a barrier for many women. As they were required to wear their uniforms at all times (even on leave), two uniforms of the same style were devised. Winter uniforms were made of wool and summer uniforms of cotton sateen. However, purchasing two uniforms plus an overcoat, hat, and rank- designating insignias dwindled their measly earnings down to pennies. Therefore it can be surmised that most Hello Girls viewed their positions as patriotic rather than an income generating endeavor. While considered merely contract civilians by the US Army, the Hello Girls instead referred to themselves as the “first women’s combatant unit in the U.S. Army.”
Our replica WWI Hello Girl uniform is made from wool and is cut in the style of the original. The buttons are original eagle buttons as were worn by all WWI era serviceman (and women!).
For more information about our WWI Era Hello Girl Uniform or any of our custom designed historical garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com