Category Archives: WWI

Dreamy WWI blouse

I LOVE this blouse. LOVE IT! Can’t wait to make more of these! (But then again, I have a thing for wide collars and v-necks.)

I made this blouse as a custom design piece to be worn with a WWI era skirt. Did I mention I cannot wait to make more of them? I can see this blouse in a variety of colors and prints. It’s a staple of WWI era wardrobes!

Stay posted for more of this delicate and feminine WWI Era separate!

For more information about this custom designed garment or any of our historical clothing, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

Hello Girl Uniform

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

WWI US Motor Corps Uniform

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

WWI American Red Cross Ward Uniform

We recently made one of our WWI era American Red Cross Ward nurse uniform with armband (not shown) for The American Museum in Britain’s exhibition entitled Side by Side: America in WWI running March 29- October 28, 2018.

This gown is part of an exhibit of a reconstructed hospital ward intended to give the audience a glimpse into early 20th century medicine and treatment in wartime Europe.

Image courtesy The American Museum in Britain

Our WWI era Ward uniform is based on photographs and written descriptions of the period. For more information about our WWI Ward uniform or any of our historical garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

WWI Hello Girl Uniform

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

Johns Hopkins Base 18

This series of garments was created for The Maryland Military Museum’s 2017 exhibit on Johns Hopkins Base 18 and WWI era nurse Bessie Baker.

After looking at several original images of Bessie Baker both prior to and during the War, I decided upon this design for her uniform.

The design of her uniform is actually a blend of her prewar nursing uniform, her war era uniform, an illustration found in a WWI era recruitment poster, and an extant JHH gown in the collection of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Archives.

Her cape is drawn directly from this one in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Archives.

In addition, I also created a nurse’s cap, armband, and located a pair of black shoes in the style of the pair shown in this period illustration.

This was by far my most heavily researched commission for 2016 but also one of the most fascinating.

For more information about this gown or any of our custom historical garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com or email us at info@maggiemayfashions.com

Salvation Army Bonnet

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A rare piece of history! An original Salvation Army bonnet (images from Ebay). c. 1880s.

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The Salvation Army began in London in 1865 as a mission organization. According to the History Channel,

“The Christian Mission, in which women were given ranks equal with men, launched ‘campaigns’ into London’s most forsaken neighborhoods. Soup kitchens were the first in a long line of various projects designed to provide physical and spiritual assistance to the destitute. In the early years, many in Britain were critical of the Christian Mission and its tactics, and the members were often subjected to fines and imprisonment as breakers of the peace.”

The first Salvation Army mission opened in the United States in 1880. The Salvation Army is still in existence today and has operations in over 75 countries.

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ref: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/salvation-army-founded

WWI American Red Cross Ward Uniform

Introducing our NEW WWI era American Red Cross uniform. Our design is based upon the included WWI era images. This gown is noted as being an indoor (or ward) uniform for ladies in foreign service.
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Our gown is made of 100% lightweight cotton chambray. The collar and cuffs are white cotton pique or white cotton broadcloth. Our uniform features 2 inset pockets in the skirt and one patch pocket on the dress bodice. The custom printed American Red cross brassard and cap are sold separately.

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For more information about this garment or any of our custom historical clothing, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com