Scallop edges on clothing have experienced a resurgence of popularity in recent years, but did you know that it’s been a detail used on garments for hundreds of years? Certainly the techniques and usage may have varied a bit over the centuries, but there is no doubt that dressmakers and designers still love to add this shaped edge detail to liven up garments. (For a piece that already includes scalloped edges, but sure to check out the Meringue skirt in The Colette Sewing Handbook!)
This beautiful 1940s dress is a great example of more subtle scallops: softly undulating edges form the collar and cap sleeves. The light and airy fabric helps give the scallops a bit more drape as well–and is always a good idea to take into consideration when adding shaped edges to elements that have a tendency to stick out (like this sleeve style).
Do scallops always have to be rounded? I think not! Another gorgeous dress from the 1940s showcases pointed edges well. The solid, crisp fabric is the key here–making the shaped edge stand out and have a bit of form to it. Notice how the pointed bands are applied separately to the dress edges–this makes it a lot easier than figuring in scallops to an unsewn garment edge! I love how the pocket also sports the pointed scallops!
A bolder use of scallops from the 1960s! This mini dress uses high contrast bands of scallops on the skirt well. It gives incredible visual interest, and would be a fun way to play with both color relationships and patterns.