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Need help with Historic Pattern

RBeni1 | Posted in Patterns on

If anyone knows of a web site where I can look up a rural school girls pattern for 1900 – 1930 I would appreciate it. I have to make a costume for my niece for school.  Thanks



  1. Jean | | #1

    Sounds like a flour sack dress would fit the bill.

  2. Barbaran8 | | #2

    Hi Beni-

    get the catalog from Amazon Drygoods They have lots of Victorian/ Edwardian patterns. Unfortunately the patterns are not on the web.


    411 Brady Street

    Davenport, IA 52801-1518 USA

    Phone: 1-800-798-7979

    Web Site: http://www.victoriana.com/amazon

  3. kai230 | | #3

    Hi Rosanne,

    I googled a bit (http://www.google.com) on girls clothing 1900 and girls patterns 1900 and a couple of other things and found very little (more for boys). Sorry, I didn't bookmark any site from that search but here's a beauty--scroll to the end for a beautiful dress http://www.victorianelegance.com/child2.html

    However, here are some things that may help, to the limited degree my short term memory is serving me from that previous search:

    * Although new trends popped up each decade, a few remained/became popular from 1900-1930--rompers, sailor outfits, smocking, and empire and chemise (that may not be the word for low-waisted, blousson?-type) styles.

    * What fascinated me was that until 19??, boys were frequently dressed in girls' clothes. I do recall a photo of my Gramp as a tot in a dress. So, you might want to google up boys clothing.

    * Jean's flour sack idea isn't half bad--you can doll it up w/ribbon to define a waistline, trim the neckline and armholes--although I don't know if that is an authentic representation of what those wearing floursack dresses would be adorned with.

    Don't forget your local library. When I was working for mine, WAY before computers were the norm at every desk, people actually cut out, mounted, and labeled pictures for checkout or reference, on this (and every other) subject.

    Good luck! Hope you can post a photo.

    1. lin327 | | #4

      Excuse me for butting in....there were two reasons boys were in dresses.  One was long winded and quasi philosophical about the innocence of children and other things.  On a more practical note, boys were kept in skirts and dresses until they were toilet trained, as there were no reliable plastic pants or anything to keep things from soaking through.  Imagine having to change a toddler's pants every time you change his diaper.  Because of technology invented in WW1, relialble and inexpensive plastic panties, (Or sta-dries, as they were called in one magazine from 1922), and a rejection of stiff and outdated victorian values, boys were dressed as boys, without the curls and dresses.  Incidently, it's in the 1919 pattern catalogues where the last boys dresses are sold, by 1922 only comfortable, roomy, practical play clothes were shown for boys, and not a skirt or dress in sight.

      1. Barbaran8 | | #5

        Kat Krazee -

        Love your signature image!


      2. kai230 | | #6

        How logical re toilet training. Thanks for the info!

        1. lin327 | | #7

          You're welcome!  When it's pointed out it's obvious, but it was never written down because it was the Victorian times, and it wasn't proper to talk about toilet training babies.  There is surprisingly little in late 19 th century womens magazines and parenting books on toilet training for toddlers.  I found out that little tid bit of info from old letters I've collected from auction sales, and from picking the brains of anyone old enough to remember.

          1. kai230 | | #8

            Well, given Victorian times, it certainly makes sense no one would mention the "why" for boys in dresses. I love this type of info (as if will ever be needed again LOL)!

  4. rekha | | #9

    If you haven't had any luck so far, this site sells all manner of patterns


    Good luck!


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