Suit and Hat– "Make Do in WWII"

Daywear Outfit based on WWII fashion, particularly how Britain sacrificed even their clothing for the Cause.

I chose to set the style in the early part of the war. Later on, with the utility styles and restrictions, even those who made their own clothing began to fall in with the fashion. Extra “fripperies” were frowned upon as unpatriotic. The embroidery, even on used table linen, would have given the wrong impression if used for garments. Also, parachute “silk”, though still referred to as such, was later made from the “new” rayon material and was fairly stiff.

These are some of the particulars considered in the design.

  • Summer outfit that will also do for weddings.
  • Wants to preserve clothing coupons for practical wear .
  • Perhaps access to inherited embroidered table linens.
  • Has access to limited amounts of parachute silk.


Final Suit Design

Jacket: Embroidered detail on turn back lapel,
Satin stitch scallops on neck and asymmetric front edges,
Armscye princess with extra panel line from hem to curve of seam
Faux belt detail at CB
Skirt: Satin stitch asymmetric lapped seam at skirt front
Lapped scalloped seam at CB – scallops on both sides of walking vent

Final Blouse Design

Scallop embroidered CF, neck and cuff edges, full sleeves with fuller sleeve cap
Removable panel with high collar, CB neck fastening, and side fastening waistband.
Scallop embroidery on panel and neck edges
Embroidery detail on CF panel


view of blouse with over panel
 This hat was made for my accessory project.

It was developed through modelling on the hat form and on myself.
In keeping with some of the ideas used in the suit, the challenge was to use off-cuts from the suit to create a hat that has some characteristics of WWII styles, while being suitable for contemporary wear.

Suit-Student Work Exhibition 2005, West Herts College, Hemel Hempstead, UK
Hat-Student Work Exhibition 2006, West Herts College, Hemel Hempstead, UK