Tag Archives: WWI women

WWI Hello Girl Summer uniform

This cotton sateen uniform is inspired by the summer uniforms worn by the Hello Girls during WWI.

(Ugh! Still working on that stand and fold collar! I am going to master it yet!)

For this uniform, I selected a cotton/poly blend (65/35) as 100% cotton sateen tends to lose its luster after a single washing. And because I wanted this uniform to retain as much luster as possible, I chose a blend over all natural. Sometimes you have to compromise! Plus, the weight of this cotton satin was absolutely ideal for this piece. (Modern all natural cotton sateen tends to be rather thin. Think sheets! Or lining in this case!) Amazingly this cotton satin has the feel of silk satin! It was really lovely to work with. (Note- cotton satin and cotton sateen are interchangeable terms).

The buttons are reproduction brass eagles and lack the years of bronzing their antique counterparts have. I like to leave the patina on antique brass so the brightness of these reproductions were the way to go on this uniform. The jacket is fully lined in a 100% cotton sateen.

Original WWI cotton sateen summer uniform (image courtesy Ebay)

The Hello Girl uniform was officially known as a US Signal Corp Uniform and was issued to women working overseas as bilingual translators on the European front. The Hello Girls were some of the first women to officially enter into military service and were issued 2 uniforms- 1 winter uniform of wool and 1 summer uniform of cotton sateen.

While issued uniforms by the US Army and commissioned to work on base, the Hello Girls were viewed as civilian contractors and were never offered a pension or any military benefits. It was not until the late 1970s that the US gov’t acknowledged these women’s service and contributions to our country during WWI.

Fore more information about our WWI era uniforms or any of our custom order garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

WWI Signal Corps Uniform- with follow up image!

This wool uniform is inspired by ones worn during WWI by the US Signal Corps Women- also known as the Hello Girls. This 100% worsted wool uniform features reproduction brass buttons and is fully lined in cotton sateen. This uniform was created to honor the first women to enter into service in the US Army and will be worn in NYC’s Veteran’s Day parade.

As I continue to research this uniform, I realized the jacket body is slightly more contoured than I originally thought. It has seams that run down the center front sides (see original image below) and so I adjusted my pattern to reflect this. The stand and fall collar however continues to perplex me and I need to spend more time tweaking and adjusting it to get it “just right.”

Side seams- Check! Stand and Fall collar that does not look/feel like a chiropractic device- still working on that….

Follow up: Here is an image from our fantastic client waring this Hello Girl Uniform! Her husband made the insignias. She is pictured with a group of French soldiers. How awesome to see the uniform in action! Thanks JB for the photo! And thank you for allowing us to make this for you!

For more information about this uniform or any of our custom made 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 found the worsted 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 flat in my opinion.)

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