Day 7: The Skirt Dilemma – UPDATED (w/ photos)

Good evening –– or, perhaps I should say “good morning,” since it’s 2:40 a.m.

I have begun work on the first draft of the skirt. It has been challenging to determine how it should look. The style used in original MTC uniforms varied slightly (perhaps by an inch or two) from each photo I’ve seen, but the theme among WW2 military skirt length is consistent with other vintage styles: low knee to mid-calf length with a minimum 2″ hem. The trouble is, I’m short – super short (5′ 3″) – so, when it comes to vintage clothing I have to be careful not to wear odd-length skirts/dresses to avoid looking like a gnome.
*Note the inches removed (Cut muslin on the right)

I am also a modern female, and though I have a fondness for vintage clothing and all things 40s, the women’s military skirt/jacket combination has always looked a bit odd to me. The skirts are usually slightly flared for ease of movement, and, while practical, it looks unflattering and seems juxtaposed to the fitted style of the jacket.
053b3517c9038710ee4bb97b6e4581e616f41072 skirt
*On the left is a typical example of the mismatched style I am referring to. On the right is what I’m aiming for. You’ll notice the slight difference in length, as well.

There are also two seams on either side of the front panel of Sam’s skirt in the show, but originals either have one seem (like the one above and to the left) or seams on either side of the skirt. Although, it is tough to tell with older photos.

So, I had to find a base pattern in my collection of dress patterns, so I could make adjustments to achieve the desired look. I’ll go with historical accuracy, with slight amendments in fit and length so I might look people-sized, as well as accurate.

Most of the knee-length skirts I’ve seen in photos may have come from US women’s machinery corps records, so I don’t know if that shorter length was a particularly American thing or not. Either way, I’ll make it work. After putting so much effort into maintaining accuracy of detail on the jacket, I don’t plan to cop out now.


I was able to find a pencil skirt pattern in my collection of vintage clothes patterns. As suggested in one of the chapters on variations of this pattern, I added 3 inches of flare to keep it flowing, yet accurately conservative.
I also like darts, so those added an attractive element.
IMG_8519 IMG_8520IMG_8525
Unfortunately, this skirt was made up of only 3 panels, meaning the seams could not match those of Sam’s skirt.
While I like this pattern as a skirt, the inaccuracy of the seams was too great an issue to be ignored. So, Suitiful and I drafted a new pattern from the 3-paneled one, but with 4 panels. This allows us to create accurate front seams, and remove the single back seam (formerly a vent for east of motion in the pencil skirt version).
This version was not quite flared enough, but the additional flare won’t be difficult to correct.



5 thoughts on “Day 7: The Skirt Dilemma – UPDATED (w/ photos)”

  1. What is the 2nd layer seen beneath Sam’s jacket in the photo? A misaligned lining? Seems odd as her shirt would be tucked in. Unless it’s an extra layer for filming in winter.


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