I just adore Downton Abbey and I’m so happy that I’ve gotten to sew from some reprinted Edwardian patterns this year!
This dress is 1914-1915 which would be at the end of season 1 of Downton Abbey. I was able to find a reprint of this dress pattern from Past Patterns. This one is #8480.
Originally, I was going to go the whole nine yards with the bows and neck ruffle and sash but once I got sewing, I felt like it would be way too much!
For the main fabric, I choose an embroidered cotton with tiny green polka dots! From far away, it reads as white but up close you can see all the green. A more period option for the ruffles would have been green, but I like the contrast of the yellow better.
This dress was a lot of work to make since I was working with the original instructions which expect you to know a lot about how these types of dresses are supposed to go together! I also bit the bullet and worked with the original 3/8 inch seam allowance instead of adding extra.
More photos and construction details over on my blog.
I’ve been quiet on here for a while. One reason is that I’ve been super busy, but the other is that I’ve been working on Edwardian undergarments for more Downton Abbey type sewing this year!
My 19teens corset! I made it from a pattern that the blogger Festive Attyre made from an antique corset that she thinks is from 1916 or so. This is my first real corset that I made with coutil and steel boning.
I also made a 19teens early brassier from a pattern made by blogger Historically Dressed from an antique brassier and 1913 combinations made from a reprint of an antique pattern.
I adore my combinations! They are super fun to wear!
I’m already working on a 1914 dress but in the meantime you can see more of my Edwardian sewing here: Dressing Downton Projects, brassier and combinations, corset.
Well, it’s not an exact reproduction – but it’s definitely inspired by Happiness!
This was constructed for the character of Cinderella in a local production of ‘Into the Woods’. Rather than go traditional Renaissance-esque fairy tale, I decided to set my upper classes in a vaguely Edwardian/Victorian look. I’ve always LOVED the Lucile ‘Happiness’ dress, designed by Lady Duff-Gordon, and thought it would make a great “ball gown” for Cinderella.
Done in silver silk duiponi with applied gold lace, old-gold embroidered polyester, sheer gold net lace, and gold Venise lace trim. Lavender silk duiponi for the cummerbund. The silver skirt and net bodice are removable, so the gold underdress can be used for a cute little 50′s-esque dress by itself. If I can get my pinking sheers to work, I’d like to add a layer of self-fabric pleated trim around the silver skirt to give it a little more texture – but my pinking shears are just eating through the silk. Don’t know if it’s because they’re crappy pinking shears (probably) or if they just don’t like the silk.
The net was surprisingly easy to work with, and I was super glad I had enough that I could make good use of the scalloped edge for the front of the bodice.
One of the schools I work for is doing a production of JB Priestly’s ‘An Inspector Calls’ in February, and our stock of Edwardian fashion is… non-existent. Since the cast is small, we decided to build the women’s dresses – which means two evening dresses and a maid’s outfit. Exciting!
This week, I’ve been working on the toile for Sheila, the daughter – the unbleached muslin will be a heavy peachy-pink satin. The light blue is a sheer pink chiffon, and the white is the pink chiffon with a lace net overlay:
Looks simple, right? Well, let’s break it down. That white overlay will hook directly to the dress. Let’s take that off:
One that is unhooked, then we need to unhook the overskirt (the blue, here – it will be a sheer chiffon on the actual dress:
The front bodice panel will open like so, to reveal an underbodice which closes with hooks and eyes. The skirt has a center front opening which will close flush with snaps, which the overskirt hides.
That’s an awful lot of closures! For such simple looking little dresses, these Edwardian frocks are complicated to get in and out of!