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Posts posted by JoAnntheGreat

  1. Hello Steve D. To say your collection is impressive is an understatement. It's jaw dropping. I would just like to throw my hat in the ring, sort to speak. I am a patternmaker and my latest best interest is making patterns of women's WWII uniforms. Here is my first one - Red Cross. I plan for my next one to be an ETO jacket and trousers, with others after that. I already have a WAC and Red Cross Clubmobile jackets along with some others. I doubt you want to part with any of this, but if you do, I'm interested. I am even interested in "renting" some of the items so I can copy them. This means you get money and also get to keep your uniforms. I also can and do copy headgear. Here is a link to my website along with the Red Cross uniform. I do not harm the garments in any way - I don't have to. I use measurements. In any case, let me know if you could be tempted. Thanks, JoAnn






    I thought I would add why I am doing this. There are some good repros out there but they are expensive and are limited in sizes. Making their own garments allows more women to be able to reenact WWII.

  2. Hi Phil, Fading on the rayon used in the time period was very common. When rayon was first popularized, it was considered a wonder fabric as it was lightweight, draped well, inexpensive, and took dye very well. The flaws in the fiber were only discovered some time later as the fabric's dye was actually attacked by pollution in the atmosphere itself. Sounds weird, I know. So the dye would go fugitive just while hanging in the closet, not to mention sunbleaching. The problem is fixed by adding a fixative after the dying process. Unfortunately the cost of doing that made rayon more expensive than other fabrics, thus the long term loss in popularity. But to your question. You can easily dye rayon. The problem is that the actual hue and shade will not be predictable. And you would have to wash the dress first to get rid of anything that would cause the dye not to take. Also rayon loses about 70% of its strength when wet and it could shrink like crazy. All in all I really wouldn't recommend it. However, I'm not an expert in that, only a Fashion Design graduate with "Fabrics 101" and some personal experience with dying under my belt! My personal question would be why do you want to dye it? For preservation only dying would not be necessary or advisable. Let me add I would be interesting in buying it in any condition or size if it is WWII.

  3. I am brand new here, so I am not surprised I did not find this until right now. So very interesting considering the rabbit hole of ARC I have been down for months now. I am a pattern maker and have just published a pattern for WWII Red Cross Girls uniform. I have written a blog post about them. I had never even heard of them until an acquaintance agreed to lend me her uniform for me to copy. (I never hurt any garment when copying, Ee gad no) Anyway if you are interested here is a link to the post. I will be following this thread forevermore. The information here would also be of interest to those who will be doing an ARC girl impression. I'm going to go back and go through this with a fine tooth comb! Thanks so much for posting. Fabulous. https://laughingmoonmercantile.blogspot.com

    If interested in the uniform here is a link for that. http://www.lafnmoon.com/product_p/p139.htm Thanks, JoAnn

  4. Hi, It looks like an ATS cap to me. That's the womens arm of the British army, mostly served on the home front. The same caps were worn by F.A.N.Y. and Mechanized Transport. Think Samantha in Foyle's war - the actress played by Honeysuckle Weeks, who was his driver.

    Here you go. Not Red Cross not Nurse. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxiliary_Territorial_Service

    By the way, I've got almost the whole kit as I am a patternmaker and want to copy it. I have the two hats, cap and garrison, shirt, tie, tunic, skirt, and slacks. I'll post a photo one of these days.

  5. Yes, I agree with the writer above. The following is just my opinion. It is an American Red Cross Uniform WW2 era. It was made by a tailoring firm, maybe bespoke though it has a union tag. It was probably tailored to fit. Many uniforms at this time were sold by the JC Penney company. They were made of "Palm Beach" fabric which was a wool rayon blend. You can tell the Palm Beach uniforms because they mostly show discoloration due to the rayon fiber content. This uniform looks to be made of all wool as the coloration is fast and has lasted. They cheaper uniforms also did not have a lining in the tunic/jacket, just facings. I think it was made at the end or after the war. At this point the pocket bags were omitted as a savings in fabric. It is also unusual as the skirt has a zipper. Most had a button closing. It hardly looks worn. The collar flashes (I hope I am using the term correctly) shows that the wearer was affiliated with the Canteen Corps. I would say the USO certificate is interesting but the USO and ARC were different organizations, though there was lots of overlap. The ARC was very active in supporting the Military. There are quite a few books written, in the form of letters home, about these women's experiences. You can also go to youtube and look at the wartime movie news reels for info about the ARC in WW2. Here is information about ARC uniforms, including the meaning of the colors of the flashes.

    www.collectorarc.com/Uniform Guide.pdf

    I am also guessing this is a winter uniform due to it's darker color and twill fabric. There were three hats. One was a dress hat that is now very rare to find. The others were a visor hat and a garrison cap.

    You have a very nice uniform. Thank you for posting such great photos of it.

    I see you also asked how common is it? Not common. Just the jackets go for upwards of $300 and with the skirt even more. The condition is remarkable. If you can figure out if the lady served during WW2 it would make it even more valuable. If you had the hat maybe twice that much? I am just guessing. Looking at eBay where several of these jackets are currently for sale would give you a better idea.

  6. Hi, I am a patternmaker and have a great interest in capturing women's WWII uniforms. My customers are Reenactors, film, theater, and TV. I am working an an ARC women's WWII tunic and skirt uniform right now. It is almost finished. The clubmobile uniform would be wonderful to copy. Would you be interested in either selling, renting, or lending this uniform to me? I never harm garments when I copy them and would return it to you in the same condition. Thanks for your consideration. Here is my website http://www.lafnmoon.com



  7. Greetings, I am a patternmaker and I am starting, what I hope is, a new line of patterns for WW2 women reenactors. I am interested in women's uniforms. I am currently working on a pattern for ARC complete with hats. I am looking for information and, I hope, extant examples of women's uniforms, including American Women's Voluntary Service, Women Ordnance Workers, Land Army, ARC clubmobile, WAC, WAVES, etc. I would be very grateful for any help with this. I am looking forward to talking with you.


  8. Hi! I have been drooling over your uniforms and dying to ask you some questions, but just got approved to the forum. I am a patternmaker and want to make a pattern of an AWVS uniform. I could wing it but I have found that having a real garment to look at answers a million questions about construction. I never harm a garment when copying it. I am looking for a uniform I can either buy or "rent". If rented it would be returned to the owner unharmed in any way. If you are interested let me know. If not perhaps you could answer some questions about the dimensions of it. In any case, thanks so so much for putting this information here and keeping the uniform safe. By the way, I can shed some light on the fading of the uniforms. The problem is most likely with the "palm beach material" that was used so much in women's uniforms then. Palm Beach is a blend of wool and rayon, with cotton sometimes added. Palm Beach was not manufactured beyond the 1950s. The blend of the wool to rayon was actually varied at the time depending on the area's weather where it was sold. Rayon has many advantages but also many disadvantages. Rayon is not particularly colorfast, the dyes being affected by light, perspiration, atmospheric gases, and water. So rayon will take a dye very well but, over time, will exhibit almost extreme instability, even throughout the same garment. I have a WWII summer American Red Cross uniform I am copying right now and the color variations within the tunic and skirt are characteristic of this. It is also displaying yellowing along with color variation. Anyway, if you could help me in my search I would be most appreciative. Thanks, JoAnn

  9. Hi! Fabulous AWVS uniform. I have managed to get a cap like this one, a couple of buttons, and a shoulder badge but no luck on the uniform. I am a patternmaker and I am looking for a uniform like this to either buy or "rent". I never harm any garment while copying it. If you are interested let me know. Thanks, JoAnn

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