I have been wanting to make myself a new historical outfit for some time, but I have been lacking the motivation to do much sewing at all. However, when I found out about this new pattern from Scroop patterns by the Dreamstress, I knew I wanted to make it, and even had a perfect olive green linen to use for it.
It did take quite a bit of paper and space to put the pattern together, as it is a full length skirt with a fair bit of volume at the hem, but it was worth it. I found this pattern went together sooo easily, with really clear illustrated steps. I especially love how the placket and pleats at the back sit.
Amazingly, I did not have to make any alterations to this pattern at all. I was originally going to make the waistline a size smaller than the hips, but ended up making a straight size 46, and it fits great, including the length. Usually I have to shorten things a few inches, so I'd say if you're on the taller side of 5'5" you may want to think of extending the skirt pieces (or just using a smaller hem)
|The pieces all cut out|
I didn't take many progress photos, as it was such a straight forward make. So here is a photo of my progress pinning the pleats into place before basting and pressing them.
|Working on the pleats|
Once I had the skirt done, I realised I needed a suitable blouse to wear with it. Searching through my stash, I initially found some lovely light floral cotton, however some members in my historical sewing group did not feel the print was suitable for the time period. So instead, I decided to use a silky cream fabric with grey pinstripes. To begin drafting the blouse I used my own measurements to make a pattern piece similar to the one used in this post, with the exaggerated curve along the waistline to gather in.
|Initial bodice piece|
Once I tested that the front piece worked (and trimmed a bit off the sides and armholes) I made the back using the same piece, just trimming off about 2 inches in length at the waistline in the middle and drafted some simple, full, straight sleeves. Once I had sewn these pieces together, I gathered the neckline and waistline, put elastic bands over my wrists and tried on the skirt.
|Blouse half done, checking how|
the outfit looks
At this point I felt that the overall silhouette was pretty spot on. So I finished the front edges for the button stands, as well as the collar and waistband pieces, then attached the buttons and sewed the buttonholes. Lastly, I gathered the sleeves into cuffs, each with 2 buttons.
To accessorise the outfit, I paired my blouse and skirt with a pair of black boots I purchased from Big W some years ago, a small pearl brooch, and a lace parasol my grandmother made from an old umbrella and some curtains, more than 20 years ago. In future I may also add a necklace as well. My hair isn't really long enough to style into a period correct Edwardian hairstyle, so I just did my best with some sort of bastardised victory/gibson rolls, which I think turned out ok. In the future, I will be making a period corset to go with this outfit, to improve the silhouette.
As this was our first proper shoot with our new Nikon camera, my Husband and I decided to go out to the property behind my grandparents place, so we could try out both lenses, and not have too many modern things in the background of the photos. As a result, we were joined by Bonnie, my grandparent's west highland terrier.
While the style of the blouse is certainly not doing anything particularly flattering for my figure, I like how the overall outfit looks, and I'm pretty happy with these photos. I may still make another blouse to go with this skirt from a more historically accurate fabric, I'd also like to make a matching vest from some of the leftover skirt fabric. I will be endeavouring this year to improve the quality of the photos on my blog, so this seems like a great start. I am also looking forward to debuting this outfit at the next Historical event I attend.
P.S. In all fairness, I did get to test this pattern, so I didn't have to pay for it, but I definitely think it is worth the US$15 (or just US$10 for just the historical length)