Thursday, August 20, 2015

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My First Miss Fisher Outfit

Last month I wrote about my love obsession with Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, and of course Miss Fisher's fashion.

While the show is set in 1929, most of what Miss Fisher wears is much more 1930s. I'm totally okay with that - the '30s is my favorite 20th century decade of style, and one that I feel can be worn today without looking *too* much like you're wearing a costume. People notice you're dressed nicely, but they don't question why.

Basing my Miss Fisher Wardrobe on this particular outfit...
After attending Wearing History's Costume College class on creating a vintage "capsule wardrobe," I decided to put together a Miss Fisher capsule wardrobe for the impending Autumn. My plan:

Base Color: Navy Blue
Base Fabric: Wool Gabardine

  • One pair of wide-legged trousers
  • One skirt with interesting deco details
  • One long robe-coat

(all of the items above in navy blue wool gabardine)

  • Variation will be in blouses, some plain, some in deco prints, all coordinate with the navy blue
  • A selection of scarves
  • A selection of cloche hats - close-fitting, wide-brimmed, etc.
  • Oxford shoes, particularly spectators. I have lots already. 

Not too complex, right? Miss Fisher primarily wears some combination of trouser/blouse/robe-coat/hat in every episode.

I've completed the first two pieces. My trousers are made from Simplicity 6659, the same 1970s pattern I used to make my super wide-legged white trousers, except that I narrowed the bell-shaped legs. I also added pockets (a tutorial on that later). I know this pattern is long out-of-print, so I recommend  Wearing History "Smooth Sailing" Sporting Togs (printed pattern contains the trousers and blouse) orSimplicity 3688 - 1940s repro pattern with trousers, blouse, and blazer as readily available and easy to make.

Wool gabardine trousers. I did not put a lining nor a crease in these, so they are very flowy and soft.
My blouse is from a modern, non-vintage pattern, Simplicity 2406. This is a Cynthia Rowley dress pattern, but in looking at the basic pieces, it's just a basic un-shaped tunic tied with a sash at the waist.


I cut the dress off short, and used the bishop sleeve pattern (View C) to make the short raglan sleeves. I finished the neck edge with self-bias binding instead of facing, and the sash is separate - it can worn as a belt or a scarf.

The blouse is tucked in and the sash is tied at the waist, but can be worn as a scarf too.
Many of you on Facebook wanted to know about the fabric of the blouse. The fabric is figured and printed silk, the kind used for men's ties or dress coat linings. It's thin, but very tightly woven. It came in panels about a yard long and 40" wide, from my local Mill End shop. I wouldn't know where to find a fabric like that again, but if you're wanting to make a flowy '20s blouse, I recommend charmeuse, underlined chiffon, or any kind of thin and drapey material. This fabric was in the "fancies" section.

Lastly, and possibly most important, is the hat. The hat is 90% of what makes this outfit a Miss Fisher homage and not just something to wear to work. I chose a 1970s vintage-revival Adolpho II hat I got my for my birthday a few years ago. It's a wool felt hat with rather dramatic pheasant feathers arching over the brim. Miss Fisher would approve. :-)

Vintage 1970s Adolpho II hat - there are a lot of '70s pieces that can be used for '30s looks. It was the intention back then, too.
I learned how to block cloche hats at Costume College a couple years ago, so I'm already planning experiments for later in the season. Miss Fisher wears lots of inspiring pieces!

That's all for now, but next I will be making the robe-coat and a couple more blouses, plus of course the hats! Stay tuned!


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17 comments:

  1. We don't get that series here :(

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    1. It's available on Netflix and Youtube :-)

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  2. Thought you might be interested to know that there is an exhibition of her costumes currently showing at an old home in Melbourne, Australia: http://www.ripponleaestate.com.au/what_s_on

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    1. I wish I could see it! Heck, I wish I could go to Australia at all!

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  3. That's fantastic how you used more modern (cheaper, easier to find) pieces and patterns to make this. I'm going to have to give the 70s more of a chance!

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    1. You have to be really selective, but certain years and labels from the 1970s were very retro. Out of Africa, The Sting, and The Great Gatsby (all Redford films, oddly enough) were hugely influential in fashion. You just gotta know what to look for!

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  4. Your Miss Fisher outfit is gorgeous, love it!

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  5. LOVE the show! Even paid the outrageous shipping costs to have the catalogs from the costume exhibits shipped to the US. Totally worth it (since it's probably the closest I'll ever get to seeing the exhibit).

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  6. Miss Fisher is inspirational fashion-wise, I love the floaty geometric prints she wears along with her more tailored solid colors.

    Your colors look really great together, very fall. But I also like that with a color like navy you could add a completely different hat/blouse and have a vary different look. Looking forward to seeing more!

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  7. Did you get my email with photos from the Miss Fisher Exhibition here in Melbourne.

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  8. Hey Lauren,

    Your Miss Fisher costume is quite brilliant, considering that this is your first Miss Fisher outfit!

    The selection of scarves and Oxford shoes looks amazing!

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    1. My first Miss Fisher outfit, but definitely not my first vintage or vintage-inspired attire. :-)

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  9. great outfit.....absolutely love the blouse-so stylish!!!

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  10. This is a fabulous outfit! I am excited to see your long robe-coat too ;)

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  11. Love this look and it's too funny, I was looking at this blouse pattern thinking it would make the perfect 1930s blouse, but dismissed it because of the open shoulder sleeves. I didn't even catch the view C with the raglan sleeves... I'm so happy I saw that you caught it and made it into a wonderful blouse!! Brava!!!
    Blessings!
    g

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  12. Hi Lauren, just found your amazing website as I was looking for clothes of my heroine miss Phryne Fisher! May I say that you look absolutely stunning in your miss Fisher outfit, if this was your first I can't wait for what is to come! Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries has helped me through a tough year, suffered some health problems, both my parents passed within three weeks of each other and everything in general was totally depressing! Now, however, things are looking brighter, will be working in Africa for the greater part of 2016, as a peace-keeping soldier with the UN. Will follow your blog, and when I'm home perfect my miss Fisher look! And order some shoes from the fantastic sites of which I had a tip from your blog! I feel so inspired in fact, that I have to send you some photos from when I was a very young girl into retro (which wasn't even called that then), I was into the 30's and 40's and no-one could understand why I dressed so strange,,,,,! Will send these on your e-mal, But I kept going, even though some people thought me very odd! As I said, I will be working in Africa, to be more specific in Mali next year, will need some cheering up as the situation isn't too positive please keep up the good work and PLEASE take care of miss Fisher, you do it so well! With all my love and respect Eva

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