This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun. most of the time. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**

About Me

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HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, Dean Emeritus of 2018 Costume College; member & Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, a representative of the San Diego History Center, & an honorary member of SITU (Someplace in Time, Unlimited) in Seattle. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.


Friday, June 16, 2017


I’m running a bit behind in seeing the new Wonder Woman movie but I've been hearing chatter about the costumes among my costume friends for the last week. Not the amazing WW suit of “armor” she wears but the World War I-1916 clothing she and others are wearing in London. I just loved going to the dress shops with her while she shopped for modern clothing. She tried on, what, 254 of them, before she found something suitable to fight in. You’ll have to see the movie to get that.

I’m still not ready to try the triple tiered skirt outfit that looked gorgeous on her but even with her stick-thin body it added bulk to her. It hadn’t even appealed to me before seeing it on her.

But then she came out wearing THE suit. I grabbed my hubby’s arm excitedly and said this is the suit all my costumer friends are talking about! 

And this is the pattern that it can be made from: Wearing History’s 1916 suit jacket.
The drawings don’t do it justice until you’ve seen someone wearing the one they made from it. Some of my friends had already made this a couple years ago.

For info on this green one, read her blog here:
 If you want to try making one, Wearing History even has a blog showing step-by-step directions on the different parts of it.
Then of course I started digging around for photos for inspiration of my own. Here are some originals. 

Earlier CoCo Chanel had introduced these softer versions of the same style. 


These two fashion prints are my favorites for what I’d like to try making; either the royal blue one, which the print is labeled Gabrielle Chanel, or the Kelly green version, from a paper doll book.

It looks like you could change the look just by the types of fabrics you choose to make it from. And they weren’t all solid colors. These fashion prints show stripes and combinations of colors.

Even some young girl’s versions had some interesting color combinations.
If you’re interested in other patterns from this same time period, check out Past Patterns but be aware these are copies of vintage patterns, with minimal directions, and some with no size variation. Start by looking at the ones beginning in 1915.
Now go see the movie. You’ll be glad you did if you want to have some costume firecrackers going off in your head like mine did. 


  1. I must have audibly sucked in my breath at the pink corset she pointed at in the store because my daughter looked over and said, "Mommmmm! You're plotting again!" :)

  2. Hello, I see you're using a photo from my blog,, on this page: the green suit, as posted here: I'm ok with that, but would appreciate it if you included a link to my blog.

    1. Thank you Tessa, I've added it and I'm going to go read it now. :)


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