FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Outline the story …
My garment is a blouse worn by the character Clara Berg in the book "The Queen of Beauty" by Petra Durst-Benning, the last in the Century Trilogy set in the Edwardian period in Europe. I loved the whole trilogy of the 3 young women as they grow up and what happens in their lives. It encompasses the story of women in a world that is rapidly changing.
Clara is a woman newly divorced after an abusive marriage, setting up and working hard to make a new life for herself, using her skills to make hand and face creams and to create a beauty salon in the early 1900s. The writer’s inspiration for the character is the story of Elizabeth Arden who started a beauty empire name that still exists today.
I have taken Clara’s love of the colour lilac and lavender, the overall style of the era and what may have been worn by a working woman. It is based on the typical shirtwaist and long skirt. This is my altered pattern blouse and a readymade long skirt. I used Pinterest and images from the Chertsey and V&A museum to get ideas on the style for the period, along with family photos of my great grandmother and 2 times great aunts.
Outline the construction…
The blouse is a history bounding interpretation using fabric from my stash as I am trying to be sustainable in my life and also restrictions of budget and erratic delivery services. The pattern is taken from the Lutterloh System (The Golden Rule 1935), pattern numbers 45 and 46 supplement year 2015. I have made two garments using this system, a sleeveless shift dress, followed by a loose top and found the fit better than other companies. It has been a steep learning curve to use these patterns as there are minimal construction steps given but have used YouTube a great help.
The material was a remnant purchased online, best described as slippery and synthetic. I modified the pattern cuffs to give a more period look and added a drawstring ribbon at the waist to help give the slightly puffy look and self-drafted the collar. The collar can be worn up or down, the blouse tucked in or loose, with a sash belt which covers a larger time period than just the few years in the book.
I have made French seams for the first time by machine, using a dressmaking book and video for tips. I did the bottom hem and a few other seams by hand, which caused a flare up of arthritic pain in my hands and arms.