Last month, directly after our annual Titanic Tea, I went a-hunting on eBay and found this lovely blouse. I’m sure with more research I could date this to a more specific year, but until I look at it more closely, I’ll put this one in the middle of the 1910s – more specifically, 1915-1917.
Edit: Thanks to reader’s comments, I went inspecting the interior finishing on this blouse, and have confirmed it is NOT antique, but from the 1970s/1980s instead! I admit I was fooled, but actually I feel a lot better about wearing it now. The style is certainly similar to 19teens blouses (as you’ll see below), so I do intend to still wear it with 19teens ensembles.
Edit 2: After inspecting this blouse even further, I’m not convinced it is 1970s. The interior seams are overlocked with cotton or linen thread by what I’m confident is hand, but not ALL the seams are overlocked. My guess is that somebody stabilized or repaired this antique blouse at some point after its initial manufacture. Other parts of the blouse, such as the type of fabric and interfacing, bone buttons, cut, and finishing point to it being much older.
So my final verdict:
I just don’t know.
I haven’t had the blouse cleaned or pressed yet. I’ve paired it here, just for photos, with a blue wool skirt – not period (probably 1950s, but could be much younger), but has lines similar to later 19teens skirts.
It’s silk, thin but in quite good condition. It’s very blousey and is meant to fit loosely, paired with the appropriate skirt. It seems like a versatile style – could be worn with an earlier, slimmer skirt, or a later, fuller skirt.
What you can’t see in the picture is that the back is gathered to a twill ribbon tie, which comes around the front, to corral the blouse – very Edwardian
Past Patterns #9056 – Ladies’ Waist, c. 1917. Another New Idea Pattern Company, and very similar to the above waist designs, and my antique blouse.
I love wearable antique garments (though I know the wearing of such things can be controversial in the community). There’s nothing quite like an original – no matter how I try, my modern version are just never the same. They may look the part, but they don’t feel the same to wear. I’m greatly looking forward to the next event I can wear this to!