Dress Like Daisy

Parents often contact us when their daughters want to portray Juliette Gordon Low for a school Living History Day. “Can we borrow a Juliette Gordon Low costume?”

Unfortunately, we have to say no. We don’t have a girl-sized JGL costume.  We have adult uniforms and girl uniforms.

As the Archives and History Committee, we are supposed to be sticklers for accuracy and that means making sure people wear age-appropriate uniforms. We also realize that assembling a costume is part of the Living History Day assignment and believe that entails more than borrowing a ready-made outfit.

However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t help you put together your own JGL costume!  The main components are a belted khaki Norfolk jacket and skirt, black tie, and campaign-style hat (Boy Scouts have a similar “state-trooper” hat that you might be able to borrow). The finishing touch is the Silver Fish award, suspended around her neck from a blue and white ribbon. The Silver Fish is a prestigious British Girl Guide award; JGL was one of only three Americans ever to receive it and she was very proud of it.

 

When you’ve assembled your own JGL uniform, send us a picture of you wearing it, and we’ll add it to the website.

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10 thoughts on “Dress Like Daisy

  1. Under the dress like daisy slideshow, there is a picture of a little girl named Mia. My daughter needs a costume exactly like that and I was wondering if Mia’s parents would be willing to let me buy or rent it from them? Could I have their contact info please or could you pass mine along to them? Thank you!

    • Dear Sarah –

      If you still need the pattern and haven’t made-do because you had a deadline, The Birthplace gave our council a copy of the Norfolk Jacket pattern/directions for our Heritage Committee files. Have you checked with your local council?

      If they don’t have one, the council can ok them contacting the Birthplace for a request.

      It takes about the same skill as Janet Arnold’s historic patterns (very advanced to expert). If you just want something that “looks like it”, you can try adapting the Folkwear Australian Bush pattern #130 jacket with the #209 Walking Skirt. I know I sound like a walking ad for Folkwear, but as a historic costumer I’ve found them to have the clearest directions, most historically accurate line of patterns. Their construction is true to each period.

      Hope that helps
      SongScouting

  2. Sarah; When I sewed mine, I took a pattern for a woman’s blazer jacket, and I cur it a bit straighter (not so fitted at the waist) and made it a bit longer. I made the front close a bit higher up and I changed the slope of the shoulders to eliminate the thick shoulderpads of the 1980’s. I cut strips of fabric and top-stitched then on for the belt loops. For the skirt, I just took an old pattern for an A-line skirt and lengthened it. I give permission for this website to pass on my e-mail address to you.

  3. Reconstructing History Patterns has a women’s Norfolk jacket pattern They also have other patterns, from the early 20th century, many based upon actual garments or older sewing patterns.

  4. You mention you don’t have child sizes but have adult uniforms…I am getting ready to do a program impersonating Juliette Low…is there one for her available to purchase?

  5. Dear Ann –
    The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah was kind enough to send me the actual Norfolk jacket pattern directions. It is a period jacket with a full under jacket lining (acting like a corset) and requires a high level of sewing skill. I do 1860s garments with separate corsets, and the Norfolk jacket gives me pause because of the high level of interior tailoring. If you skip the interior, the jacket will not hang right or give the correct shape and support.

    The skirt can be made using Folkwear pattern #209 Walking Skirt available at: http://www.folkwear.com. This skirt also works for the 1912 blue uniform if you size it down for the girl. It uses construction methods true to 1912 (back placket – no zipper). It takes about 3-4 hours the first time you make it up and only requires basic sewing skills.

    For an “everyday street dress” in a fashion Juliette Low may have worn, you can use Folkwear pattern #220 Garden Party dress, This pattern is much easier than the Norfolk jacket and only requires medium level sewing skills.

    Yes, the campaign hat is the same as the: Boy Scout leader hat, Department of Forestry Ranger hat, or Army Drill Instructor hat – except according to the written description, it was dark blue. (I don’t think anyone is going to grump if you use the brown hat from any of the sources listed.)

    If you just want the “look” and not an actual reproduction, any of the suggestions made before work fine.

    SongScouting

  6. Pingback: Seeking the Silver Fish – Girl Scout History Project

  7. Any suggestions on where I can find the patch that is on her hat and on the collar of her jacket? I’m putting together a costume for my daughter and I’m just missing this to finish it.

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