« Out and about with the FIDM Museum | Main | Wiener Werkstatte girl's ensemble »

June 06, 2012


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Jo Teeuwisse

Another reason could be that the dress was 'turned'.
In war time people could often not be able to buy new clothes or fabric and had to repair dresses all the time.
I myself have turned old coats, to turn clothes you take them completely apart, turn the fabric around and put it back together again.
This way the dirty, faded fabric that was on the outside is now on the inside and visa versa.
Your dress will look like new.

Jason Lillywhite

Thank you so much. This is absolutely fascinating! What an era that was. It is a great example of how fashion is a reflection of society.

Flora Segura Buchler

If this dress was homemade, whoever did the sewing was an expert. It's lovely and I would enjoy wearing it today for it's history, quality and classic good looks. If it was "turned" that was done very, very well!

Jason Lillywhite

Flora: I'm a newbie - what does "turned" mean, if you please?


Somebody reproduce that fabric, please!

And the dress pattern, for that matter.

FIDM Museum


Turning a garment is to remake it by literally turning it inside out. Garment sections are carefully separated and the "wrong" (inside) face is turned to the outside because it is usually less worn/dirty than the outside or right face of the fabric. The new garment probably isn't an exact replica of the old, as there might be holes, stains or other signs of wear to contend with. It's a way to reuse older or worn garments, account for a change in body size, or craft a new garment for a new wearer.

In this case, the pattern is actually shown as it was printed; the words are intentionally printed in reverse. An article in the New York Times describing the collection indicates that they slogans were all printed in mirror writing. The article didn't indicate why, so we had to make an educated guess!


Thank you for sharing this story. Very interesting.


What an awesome dress! What I'd do to get hold of some of these fabrics and make my own version - to a 40's pattern of course. Now THAT would be a find!


This is a beautiful dress and so classy. 'There'll always be England' indeed! =) Great share!


Lovely dress & I love that song. I've always thought it would make a great slogan for textiles or a poster, looks like I'm not the only one ;)


I found this post while searching for some information due to a story my Dad (age 84) has told me a few times. When Dad was about 10, his Grandma Laura (born 1890) told him about a game she participated in that was a fundraiser, presumably for the war effort. According to Dad, the game involved clothing being ripped while the person was wearing it. His grandma said that she ended up in just a slip. Dad juat listened and never asked questions. I am curious if anyone knows of any such game or fundraiser.

Cyndee Ely

Cannot wait to learn more about this dress, the various fabrics, and the history on March 6, 2020!

FIDM Museum

Thank you Cyndee - we are so excited for Leigh's presentation at the Royal Tea!

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