Sometimes we tend to think of 1920s and 30s design as being all about Art Deco and its geometric lines, but there were other forces at work as well. Starting in 1909 with the wildly popular Ballets Russes, the traditional peasant dress of Eastern Europe began showing up in fashionable clothing.
This look was just one of many ethnic influences in the 1920s, perhaps brought about by a world becoming “smaller” due to improvements in transportation and mass communication. Middle and upper class people were traveling abroad and were bringing home embroidered folk blouses and dresses as souvenirs.
These became so popular that they were imported for sale into the United States. Needlecraft companies published how-to books so women could make their own “authentic” European needlework.
Most of the examples I’ve seen are from the 1920s, and have dropped waistlines in the dresses and the bodices on the blouses are longer as was the fashion. My blouse seems to be later, from the 1930s when the waist went back to a more natural position. There was probably a cord tie at the neck, as there are thread loops through which to fasten them.
Mine has no label, but I’ve seen them labeled “Made in Czechoslovakia”. Though it is very well executed, there is no way of knowing if mine was a home sewing project or an item made in Europe. Enjoy the close-ups of the beautiful embroidery.