I always love working biography into my historical sewing. Exploring the lives of the people of the era you are emulating is fascinating to me. Dorothea Lange was a photojournalist that documented the people of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. She was contracted by the Farm Security Administration, she freely distributed her photos to national newspapers. I decided to use her practical manner of dressing as my inspiration, I was drawn to her wide legged pants, short shirts and cropped hair. Temperatures during the Dust Bowl reached extremes so I thought cotton would have been practical.
A selection of Dorothea’s photos although I would suggest looking at more of her work including the photography of Japanese Internment Camps during WWII.
Some samples of wide legged pants looks I also took inspiration from.
I collect vintage notions and thought this would be the perfect challenge to use them.
What is it: I based this outfit on the life of Dorothea Lange and her work as a photographer during the dustbowl. She wore practical clothes for her line of work so I chose wide legged pants and a half placket peter pan blouse both in cotton. I admit Dorothea was a little more serious than rick rack but it suited the era and I wanted to use some depression era notions I had. The inseam and side seams on the pants are flat felled and they open with a sailor front. The blouse has a half placket with a single button at the neck and slightly puffed sleeves.
The Challenge: Practicality
Fabric: 1 yard white basic cotton for blouse, 2 yards yarn dyed striped cotton for the pants.
Pattern: Self Drafted
Year: 1935-1939 going off of Dorothea’s period working with the Farm Security Administration.
Notions: Pre-War Buttons and Rick-Rack going off packaging design
How historically accurate is it? Extremely including the notions although this isn’t as hard for the 30s
Hours to complete: 4 for the pants 6 for the blouse
First worn: Today for the shoot but I think I’ll be wearing these pants often this summer.
I really love the pants!
Thanks so much!
This is a super cute outfit! And I love your inspiration, she took some great photos.