City and Guilds: Fashion

Part 2: 7923

C+G Diploma

Suit inspired by WWII Fashions

The story behind this suit involves the concepts prevalent in WWII of "make do and mend". I imagined a lady needing a wedding suit was inspired to use table linens with scalloped edge embroidery.
However, I made all the scallops on my sewing machine with shantung style silk thread. Although embellishment was kept to a minimum under the clothing rules introduced in WWII, any linens inherited from a previous era might have been lovingly embroidered for the home.

The blouse is made from paj silk, as if a source of parachute silk had been available to our seamstress. It also has scallop edges. the blouse is in two parts... the actual blouse has a jewel collar which would be suitable for wear in an office, but there is also a blousette sort of panel, with a high collar, which can be worn over the other blouse to change the look, or under the suit on it's own as a false blouse.

To present the paperwork and patterns that go with the blouse, I made a covered "gas mask box" which could be used as a handbag to go with the suit, as this was sometimes done in that era.

Accessory - I was required to make an accessory for one of my garments. I could have made an hand bag, but I like a challenge! I have been interested in hat making for sometime, and decided to "have a go"!

Hat to go with suit. Black linen hat is the toile, but can be worn. Final hat is made from leftover fabrics from the suit. It was developed on the hat stand. It uses only one layer of fabric and is stiffened with fabric stiffener and starch in keeping with the principles of homemade hats in WWII.

Once again, I made scalloped edges for the brim. The hat can be worn on perched sideways on the head for a jauntier look if desired.

Outer Wear- front

  Coat  - Long deep red winter coat in cotton velvet  and brocade inspired by Tudor fashion...embellishment, styles, and mixtures of fabrics and textures.

I explored ways of creating texture on rich fabrics and combining them in a garment. Also asking, "Do red and silver work together?"

advanced styling and texture       clasps 

Description: Deep velvet hood, Brocade sleeves with extended yoke, gathered into cuffs, Shot twill lining with domette interlining, Blocks of embellished texture, front opening with "storm flap", bound edges and silver clasps .  Embellished texture includes Free Machine Embroidery and machine patterns using silver thread; stamped and beaded motifs, shrink-texturing; and raw-edge appliquéd synthetic organza.

Made To Wear Fashion Show, A Quilter's Gathering 2006, Nashua, New Hampshire, USA

Other Projects:

For Part 2  also had to have a folder of specific advanced procedures to show your skill. These included:

-Decorative Techniques

-Advanced Fabric Samples and Their Uses

-Advanced Garment Processes

-Advanced Pattern Cutting

We also were required to research 20th Century Fashion and approximately 10- 20th Century Designers. These included notes and visuals.

Another project which stretched my skills was the  non-standard pattern.

I had to develop a pattern for someone who is not an average shape (who is?!) but especially, with different fitting problems to mine. I developed a blouse design for my friend who is very tall, and has some of the fitting issues that go with that. The block was developed first, and then a designed pattern from the block.

This is the toile.                            


Design for Craft - one of the most exciting projects we had to do was to develop a folder of design research. Using a topic of interest to you, you investigated various aspects of design principles. Photos and artefacts would be used to inspire ideas, which were then developed further, Concepts were explored of how these designs could be used specifically in your craft, as well as in others.

If you know me, you will realise I love this type of work, and thoroughly enjoyed it! And if you haven't guessed, you will realise my topic was Tudor Fashion. I have already begun to use the ideas discovered in a number of my creations.


Modelling on a Stand - I had to explore the characteristics of several different weights of fabrics by developing designs directly on the stand.

One of the resulting designs had to be used to create a pattern, and then a toile had to be made up from the pattern to show how that the design actually would work.

I used muslin for my first exercise. I liked the result, although I had a bit of difficulty with the skirt.
This would work well made up in lightweight fabrics, but would need to have an inner boned bodice to be mounted to.


I used jersey for my second exercise. It was good to discover properties such as no unravelling. I had some off cuts of jersey from someone I know, so it was fun to develop a design with what I had, rather than starting with a rectangle. for instance, the "tail" effect at the back is free-floating, and is joined to the front seamlessly, as part of the knit tube was left intact.

I kind of got carried away with all the tucks! I thread traced the folds before taking the fabric off, which took ages, but was the best way for this fabric. I am sure the pattern would be extremely complicated, so I opted NOT to do this one up!

The third exercise was done with calico. I was looking forward to working with this, as I knew it would have a similar hand to a lot of the fabrics I work with for historical clothing. I wanted to do something "bridal" with a train and possibly a bow. I had a fun discovery as I did it, finding that I could develop a "false bow" above the train.

The style lines are simple, however, with curved fitting darts, you would not be able to develop it as a flat pattern. Still, it was not as difficult to trace the fold lines with a marker, and then create a pattern. I discovered several valuable things about openings and varying fabric widths as I redeveloped the original design to be worn, but was pleased that the original look was not lost.


I used a bridal-look polyester fabric to make up the toile. It has the added benefit of not creasing, which is good for displaying. I had played about with several shoulder treatments, but left them off for the final version, as they had not been made in calico. This gown would also need a boned bodice underneath, as it would support the gown, and help to maintain the clean lines of the front.

I have had at least 10 young ladies say they wanted this for their wedding!

Formal wear

 Early Tudor Gown for junior bridesmaid in Tudor themed wedding.

Elizabeth I: The Young Princess

From Holbein portrait of Elizabeth the First as a young Princess.
made to fit a child of age 9)
(Actually, my model is very much the sporty tomboy, which helped me in developing aspects to the gown's structure that would maintain the historical look, while making it suitable for a modern child.)

I had to develop a block to fit a child, which I then used to develop the style lines of the gown. I used some of the excellent advice and drafting instructions from Drea Leed's site Elizabethan Costuming Page, to develop the underpinnings, but as they were written for adults, there were still several things I had to change to fit a child.

From the skin out, Gown consists of:

1. knee length chemise of ramie fabric with added gores and gussets. (not shown)

2. corded corset in stiff calico (size 6 covered cord), with herringbone embroidery between the channels, chamois leather binding, wooden busk, and buttonhole stitched eyelet holes.
front    back

3. corded farthingale in stiff calico (upholstery weight cord), pleated into waistband.

4. underskirt of upholstery weight brocade in cream with darker glistening cream highlights and motifs of pinks (flower).

5. Gown of rust jacquard upholstery fabric, square neckline embellished with pearls, gold braid and brass coloured cross with added pearls, bodice comes to a point at CF above an inverted-V opening to reveal the underskirt. two spiral laced openings, with buttonhole stitched eyelets, along the princess seaming at the back waist area allow for adjustment, as well as easier dressing.

Sleeves are fitted at the top, and bell shaped at the bottom...turned back to reveal deep rust velvet lining, and exposing the under sleeves.

6. under sleeves of same fabric as underskirt, lined with ramie. Sleeve is gathered into thin cuff-type bands at the top and bottom. Puffs of lining are pulled through openings in the  seam line which is caught together with antique -look buttons. Blackwork embroidered ruffle, gathered with a cord protrudes from wrist.





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