Shirtwaist and Wool Walking Skirt


Blouse of white batiste. Front features lace and embroidery panel framed by vertical rows of pin-tucks and lace . 6 3/16 decorative shank buttons spaced down center front. Vertical pin-tucks extend from shoulder seam. Stand up collar with stays on sides and back is formed of rows of lace and bound with 1/2" bias strip. Back has vertical rows of pin-tucks and lace. Closes in back with 7 3/8" sew through buttons and buttonholes. Tape tie attached at back waist on right side. Long set in sleeves with rows of pin-tucks and lace insertions spaced 3 1/2" apart down entire length of sleeve, finished with 1" lace ruffle. The skirt has an A-line shape. The upper skirt is made up of 7 gores, three in the front, one on each side and two large pleated gores in the back. The skirt is unlined and the skirt pieces were cut with pinking shears.The bottom of the skirt is made up of a large asymmetrical piece that has been cut on the bias and is decorated in three tiers of bias wool strips trimmed in black ribbon. It is attached to the body of the skirt just under the top tier of trim. The second and third tiers of trim are sewn on to the skirt and the raw edges are encased under the black ribbon that trims the top of each tier. Near the hem on each side of the skirt is a crescent shaped piece of wool, mostly hidden under the bottom tier. These crescent pieces were required in a bias cut skirt to create a straight hem. This lower part of the skirt was cut on the bias to give the skirt more movement and volume without adding a lot of bulk. From the floor the bias piece measures about seventeen inches tall at center back and nine inches tall at center front. The hem of the skirt is finished on the underside in a heavy woven ribbon to give the hem structure and shape.The waistband of the skirt is piece of cotton sateen that has been folded and half and stitched along the bottom, encasing the top edge of the skirt. The two back gore panels are pleated at the top of the skirt toward the center back seam line, leaving about a quarter of an inch between them, and stitched down the length of the closure, about 7 inches. The skirt fastens at center back with five hook and eye closures, one on the waistband and four in the skirt, which are off set to the right of the center back seam and hidden under the right pleat. The pleat also hides the slit opening of the skirt, which is bound in a narrow satin ribbon.


HCT.1985.21.6 & HCT.1996.38.49




This shirtwaist was made and worn by Mary E. Heck. Mary was born in 1871 and died in 1959. She began sewing at an early age and made all of her own clothing and that of her children until later in life. Mary's father was a farmer and Mary worked in a man's tailor shop before her marriage in 1896. In the tailor shop, she finished the vests and made the button holes. Her husband, Thomas Heck, was a high school teacher in Liberty, Ohio. Their daughter, Grace, was born in 1905.

Design Elements

Standing-Band Collar, Set-In Sleeve, A-line Skirt, Shirtwaist, Hourglass Silhouette

Fiber/Fabric Information

fiber content=Cotton, Wool




Black, White


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“Shirtwaist and Wool Walking Skirt,” Fashion2Fiber, accessed April 12, 2021,

Item Relations

Item: History's Closet depicts This Item