Mary Brooks Picken, Director of Instruction at the the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, developed the easy-to-use sewing instructions for her infamous "one hour dress." WIDAS was the largest school of dressmaking and design in the 1920s and produced a number of home study courses to teach sewing and millinery skills.
There are three One Hour Dress books -- two from 1924, one from 1925. The two 1924 issues of this book contain different designs and different features. This book, the second of 1924, contains step-by-step detailed instructions for completing the one piece dress, two piece dress and a slenderizing one piece dress as well as instructions for 15 other variations on the original designs. A few simple steps complete the dress: taking your measurements, preparing the material, cutting the dress, making the dress, cutting and applying long sleeves. Instructions for the two piece dress include: dividing the material, cutting out the blouse, proportioning the skirt, making the blouse, making the skirt, joining the skirt and blouse, making the pockets and belt. The one hour dress sewing method does not require a specific pattern, instead it is a "method of making."
The author's instructions use your own measurements for blouse length, skirt length, hip measurement and armhole measurement. These measurements are measured off on the fabric with clear instructions on where and when to cut. Fabric measurement suggestions are provided and detailed illustrations for each step are included in both text and line drawings so you can easily follow along. This 16 page book is easy-to-use to create fantastic flapper fashions with many of the dress styles still being in vogue today. An infinite variety of dresses can be made based on the style you choose as well as fabrics, colors and decorative trims. Please see images at the top of this page for a sampling of dresses and instructions included in the book.