Friday, 22 April 2016

The HSM 2016: Challenge # 5: Holes

The fifth Historical Sew Monthly challenge is due May 31. The theme is holes and, of course technically, all clothes have holes, at least as soon as you go from a piece of material wrapped or draped around the body to a sewn garment. You simply cannot get into a garment if there isn’t openings in it. But holes can also serve a dual purpose combining utility with decoration. Or they can be there simply as an ornament. They can be punched and cut, the can form a circle or a slit or any other shape. There can even be more open space than material in a garment. I hope this post with a small sample of all kinds of holes will provide some inspiration.

Functional holes for lacing a bodice in blue glazed cotton, 1775-1800.

Digitalt museum

Holes necessary for adjusting the size of a corset.

Corset 1875-99, V&A

The buttonholes on this coat, dated to 1725-50, are both functional and decorative.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

A sideless gown where the necessity of arm holes also becomes a way to show off the garment underneath.

From Grandes Heures of Anne of Brittany, 1603-08. Wikimedia Commons
Gown by Lanvin from 1938 where the neckline that also provides a design element.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
The more holes in a bathing suit, the more places to get a lovely tan.

1920s bathing suit, back view. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Red doublet with decorative slits and a row of lacing holes to keep the breeches attached.

Wool doublet worn by Gustaf II Adolf of Sweden, 1620s. Livrustkammaren
A child’s bodice from the early 17th century where the open sleeves are tied with ribbons to form decorative slits.

Digitalt museum

Yellow silk dress from 1819 with decorative slits on the sleeveheads.

Back view. V&A

Red evening gown, c 1934 with the traditional lacing converted into a design element.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Full length sleeveless negligée in pink silk satin from the 1930’s.


We wouldn’t have lace if there wasn’t any holes...

A woman’s waistcoat in drawn and pulled threadwork, 1630-39.


17th century collar in drawn lacework.


Cotton lace cap from 1829

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Linen petticoat with eyelet embroidery, 1860-65

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Bobbin lace bodice front, 1865-75.


And let's not forget shoes, that can provide many variations of both functional and decorative holes.

Chopines, 17th century. Livrustkammaren

A woman's silk shoe, 17th century. Livrustkammaren

Boots, 1920s. V&A

1930s shoes


Raquel from J.C. said...

The red dress reminded me of the book "One hundred years of solitude" when a bride showed up to her bedchamber wearing a nightgown from neck to ankles with a hole in the middle heheheheh! Loved the pink negligée !

Brann mac Finnchad said...

I successfully finished two major projects which could be entered into the holes challenge. Both are 16th century, but completely different.

The Dungiven Jacket--a handsewn recreation of an Irish bog find. Lots of buttonholes, and cut piping. This is the second one, after the first was stolen.

And a pair of 1570s German pluderhose. Slash and puff, slashing to form panes, and dozens of eyelets.

Second Hand Rose said...

This was so interesting, I love looking at old clothes and shoes and seeing how they evolved. I simply love that 1930's silk negligee/gown, it is simply stunning, I adore lace! Who would have thought holes played such an integral part in fashion! XxxX

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