1934 Skirt

I’ve finished the 1934 skirt using only 1930s methods. It’s been a fun process and I’d recommend it as a way of relaxing. Definitely slow sewing.

Some 1930s details: the side placket and the waistband

Press studs / snap fasteners were the usual way to fasten a skirt or dress in 1934. Zips were still unusual, at least for home sewers in the UK; only one of my many 1930s sewing books gives any instruction as to how to insert a “slide fastener”.

The waist is finished with Petersham ribbon as instructed both by my pattern and by the various sewing books. The waist edge is turned over the top of the Petersham and the raw edge should be finished with “Prussian binding”. I have no idea what that is, so used a narrow bias binding. You can see from the photograph that it’s a nice finish. I did the waistband by hand – easier than by machine as it didn’t need unpicking afterwards….

I finished all the seams by hand overcasting and sewed the hem by hand too. My 1930s machine is straight stitch only.

What did I enjoy and what worked well?

I like the waist finish very much and would use that again.

I enjoyed the hand overcasting most of the time.

I love turning the wheel of my old Singer. How can it sew so well after 80 years?

I love the pleat. If you have been watching The Durrells on ITV on Sunday evenings you will have seen Mrs Durrell (Keeley Hawes) wearing a skirt with a pleat like mine, but she has one in the back too. It’s not needed for movement but it looks lovely.

What I did not like and what I would do differently

I would stay stitch the waist. One of the books warns you to check the waist measurement as the waist is likely to have stretched. When did stay stitching come in? It’s not in any of my 1930s books.

I would make a button placket rather than the press studs or I might use a zip. I’d stick to the side fastening as I think that looks good.

I will add a back pleat as well as a front pleat just because I liked what I saw on the television.

The next step is the jacket. I don’t wear suits but I think an unstructured jacket would look good with some of my other clothes. I’m going to give myself a break now and pick up the jacket in a week or two.

Meantime I’m going to be looking at this book again and again.


It has some photos but mostly it has illustrations of 1930s clothes. I just love the illustrations.

EmilyAnn is making progress with her 1930s dress pattern so why not go over and take a look?







Filed under 1930s, 1930s sewalong, Clothes, dressmaking, history, sewalongs, sewing, Singer sewing machines, textiles

24 responses to “1934 Skirt

  1. I love all the details in these older patterns. And let’s face it, for that extra special garment, nothing beats hand sewing. Yours looks lovely and so neat!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely skirt. I love that you used all 1930s sewing methods – did it take you much longer than it usually would?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Yes, it was slower, mainly because of the hand overcasting of the seams. It has given a lovely finish and it was peaceful to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Worth the wait 🙂 I can imagine it was peaceful! I may have to consider including some more hand stitching into my projects actually as one of my only gripes is that when you want to chill out after work on the sofa, sewing doesn’t often lend itself as something you can do then!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the snaps. I think they lie nice and flat. I have trouble with zippers–I break them. The skirt is stylish and looks comfortable too. I loved watching the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The skirt has turned out beautifully. Fab job! I have been coveting that skirt on The Durrells and decided I need one just like it, so have added it to my very long to-do list. I love the snap fastening. I have an original feedsack skirt that has exactly the same opening. I do prefer an invisible zip myself but I always put it on the left hand side.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on a job well done! The placket is beautiful and I like the waistline finish. Enjoy your book. You’ve earned a break. I’m going to be working on the dress toile for awhile since work has been very busy. I’ll keep you all updated with photos and in-between with fashion tidbits from 1930s newspapers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The placket took ages – I got it wrong twice despite practising beforehand. Luckily I realised at the tacking / basting stage.
      I like seeing the newspapers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure this new technique for creating a pleat will work out in the future, too. I like the way it came. Time well spent! I’ll post a newspaper ad later tonight. Over the weekend I’ll post an update on the toile.


  6. pao

    Oh it all looks lovely. And that linen – the color is divine. I saw the print for the blouse. It’s too cool. What a great combo that will be. I go through phases of hand-sewing. It really is therapeutic.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s really interesting and impressive how you’ve made the skirt using the sewing techniques of the time. And it’s so cool that you have an old Singer, and that it still works well. The skirt turned out very nicely!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pretty skirt! It looks like a labour of love – your hand work was definitely worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely skirt and beautiful work, both machine and hand stitching. Maybe you could fit in a hook and eye between the top couple of snaps for more security?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: A Very Local Skirt | She Sews You Know

  11. Pingback: A Bit of Patchwork  | She Sews You Know

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s