Thursday, June 19, 2014

Isabelle Sloan Rohlfs, 1916

Isabelle Sloan Rohlfs on her wedding day, 1916, 1984.24.3; gown is 1984.24.1 (pattern at link)
This wedding dress is a great example of its period in several ways. The layered closures, snapping to cover each other, all covered with a tunic layer that fastens on the side and at the shoulder; the loose bodice and slight shaping at the waist. The skirt is rather long and narrow, but conservatism in wedding dress is not a strange thing.

The pattern for the crepe top layer of the skirt is somewhat confusing, but the piece is simply so big that it wouldn't fit without abbreviation. Basically, the wavy bottom edge is mirrored on the other side, but it stops where the front edge - continuing in the same straight line - hits it. (The top edge is the same length from center back to center front on both sides.) This era is a very confusing one for patterning: while the foundation layers are usually fitted, most of the outer ones seem to have been draped over the linings on a dress form without any consideration for future patterners trying to create two-dimensional renderings of the pieces.

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