A Machine Stitched Meiji Era Hinagata: Western Tailoring
ca. late nineteenth, early twentieth century
11 1/4" x 19 3/4", 28.5 cm x 50 cm
A hinagata is a small, practice sample that is used to teach students the basics of construction.
In this case, we see an adorable, tiny, Western-style white cotton shirt or night shirt which has been machine stitched and is rich in detail.
Clearly this type of Western style clothing was newly introduced to Japan at the time this hinagata set was stitched, and, too, we may presume that this hinagata sample was created to also teach a student how to use a sewing machine, which newly arrived to Japan in the Meiji era (1868 - 1912).
This little shirt--the size of a doll's clothing--shows a fair amount of ingrained dirt from its almost 100 years of existence. As well, note the delicate, hand written tag affixed to the front of the tailored shirt.
Just charming, and beautifully realized.