Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Vintage Pattern - Sew a Dicky

I was flicking through a vintage magazine (The Australian Women's Weekly, May 1954) the other day and came across this pattern for a Dicky.

I had never heard of the term before, but basically a dicky (dickie or dickey) is a  type of false shirt-front - originally known as a detachable bosom - designed to be worn with a tuxedo, usually attached to the collar and then tucked into the waistcoat or cummerbund.  The idea was to make the front of a full dress shirt a separate entity in itself, like the detachable collar, so it could be laundered and starched more easily. 

This one is of course designed for a woman, to wear under a top or low cut dress. A great idea to keep the sun, or eyes, off that delicate front area!

This idea is also similar to the 19th century Chemisettes, which give the appearance of a blouse or shirt worn under a dress.  Not only are they easy to make and don't take as much fabric as a full blouse, they don't add bulk at the waist or upper arm.  It make it easy to change the appearance of a dress by changing the style or color of the chemisette.  Of course you can embroider them too....

Chemisettes from Godey's Lady's Book for April 1850
Chemisettes from Godey's Lady's Book for April 1850

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