1900s Autumn Suit – Photoshoot

To get some photos of my new Edwardian wool dress, I took the opportunity to use my fiancees workplace as settings and my sister as photograph.

I’m wearing: The brown/plaid wool skirt, lacy shirtwaist, wool bolero and my Titanic hat (with a quick fix-up) Underneath I have my S-shaped corset, petticoat, chemise, corset cover, stockings and black “American Duchess” Gibson shoes.


















IMG_9011Photo: Maria Petersson

1900s Brown Plaid Skirt

As soon as I laid eyes on this fashion plate I knew I wanted it
(and of course the costume ;-))0aa238a070b160e1062e58eda9df1551

Jen at Festive Attyre made the most fabulous recreation of it a while back.auto4And even though I knew I could never match her skill or perfect Edwardian look, I really wanted a similar look.

So when the HSM challenge 9 – “Brown” approached I scouted out my stash for the perfect brown and plaid wool fabric, and got to work.

I drafted the pattern using Nora Waughs “The cut of women’s clothes”

I cut the pieces on the bias, carefully matched the plaid to meet at an angel at the seams.
IMG_8788 IMG_8790Matching the plaid

I used some white cotton for the foundation and stitched bias-tape to make boning channels to get that nice body-hugging look of the corseted skirt of this era.
The skirt closes at the front with hooks and eyes, over a placket and secured with another pair of bones.

I finished by hemming the skirt using a 10 cm wide strip of beige cotton for hem-facing.

And that’s it.IMG_8823The skirt from the inside

The finished Skirt:







Just the facts:

Challenge: HSM15 nr 9 – Brown

What: A 1900s brown/plaid walking skirt.

Pattern: I drafted my own using Nora Waugh’s “The cut of women’s clothes”

Fabric: 3 m of plaid wool an bits and scraps of cotton for interlining and hem-facing.

Notions: Thread, 2 m of bias-tape, 2m of boning, and hooks and eyes for clouser.

Time: About 10 hours – the fabric matching and hand stitched hem took more time then usual.

Cost: About 200 Sek (32Usd) – all material came from stash but I bought this fabric on sale about a year a ago with a similar project in mind.

How historical accurate: Pretty good. The fabric and pattern are all good. Even though most of the skirt is made by machine the finishing are hand-stitched, as it should be fr this period. I did use some modern techniques on the foundation piece. I’d give it a 7/10.

First worn: Will be worn for photos on October 4th.

Final thoughts: I like how it came out, both the sweep of the skirt and the pattern matching looks really nice, but I’m not completely happy with the raised waistline and I might go back to tweak it a bit later on. But a ll in all it’s a nice piece to have in the costume wardrobe.


18th century Outlander Garb

After studying the various looks of the character Clare in the series “Outlander”, comparing them to the fabrics from my stash I decided to go for the simple laced up jacket and skirt that’s became symbolic with the series.4714dc59393b6c63c5000f447531e4c3

I started by making a skirt out of some plaid wool I found in my stash (which I’ve bought on sale about a year ago).IMG_8618

The construction is really simple, since it’s basically two widths of the fabric sewn together and gathered to a waistband.IMG_8623I used some linen scraps for he hem facing and hooks and bars to close the waistband.

The finished skirt: IMG_8646




Then I started on the bodice.
Using the pattern from the yellow caraco jacket, only changing the front to accommodate a stomacher instead of button closer, and adding a peplum at the bottom edge.

I used some leftover beige wool for the jacket, interlining it with some linen scraps and dark green wool for the stomacher – all made to match the plaid of the skirt.20150906_105227_resized

It went together pretty fast even though I made it completely by hand.IMG_8629

IMG_8628The peplum being attached.

Trying the jacket on my dressform.

I attached the lining made from two different pieces f left over cotton sheets. IMG_8640

Then it was time for the eyelets to be made, using a separate fabric strip attached hidden under the boned front edge.20150919_183851

The finial thing to make was to ad channels and boning to the stomacher.IMG_8685

The skirt and jacket ready to be packed for the photoshoot. 20150920_125242

The finished outfit/jacket:IMG_8657














Just the facts:

What: A 18th century jacket and skirt.

Pattern: The jacket is my own draft (yellow Caraco jacket), and the skirt is just two rectangles stitched together.

Fabric & Notions: Skirt – 2,2 m plaid wool, thread and hook & bar.
The bodice: 1 m beige(left over) wool, 1,5 m white cotton for lining and interning, m cotton cord, thread, buttonhole thread, 60 cm plastic boning.

Cost: Everything came from stash but 300 sek would be a fair calculation.

Time: Pretty fast for a complete hand made costume – about 20-25 hours for the whole outfit.

Final thoughts: I really like this outfit. It’s warm and cosy and I really enjoyed wearing it for the photoshoot.

The “Outlander” outfit:IMG_8652


“Sew 17th century Challenge” – the Skirt

My well known love of fast progress made me decide to start the “Sew 17th century challenge” with one of the faster pieces – the skirt.

800px-Gerard_ter_Borch_d._J._004Close-up of the skirt.

Staying true to my promise to avoid new fabric purchases, I choose a golden/beige satin from my stash. I’m not sure of the fabrics content but I would guess on a cotton/polyester blend. The fabric was gifted to me a few years ago and I saved it for something special – and I think this outfit more then qualify. IMG_7306I even got enough left (after the skirt) to piece out a 17th century bodice at a later date.

Without pattern, and with no particular help from the painting, I decided to copie the look of an extant 17th century skirt I’ve studied pictures of.9f04d1519def01b735f28ef4570f7589

I started by cutting two skirt lengths of the fabric and stitched them together.

Then I hand basted three rows of spaced running stitch through the top edge, and pulled to create nice cartrige pleats.IMG_7304 IMG_7309

Then I cut a piece of bias tape and stitched it on over the gathers to create a waist band.IMG_7311

I also made sure to secure the gathers by stitching the pleats to the next one the inside.IMG_7325the cartrige pleats from the outside…IMG_7328..and from the inside

I had some debate on how to make the waistband and thous treat the bias tape. my first thought was to simply fold it over and tack it down to create a regular waistband. But then I started thinking – a visible waistband would work for this outfit since he bodice sits on the outside, but if I ever wanted to make a matching beige evening bodice the tabs needed to be tucked inside and thous show the waistband.20150620_211500_resized Not so good.

So instead I decided to fold the bias tape all the way over and tack it down to the pleats on the inside. This technique created a nice and smooth look. IMG_7324IMG_7323From the outside

Then I added hooks and bars at the waist, and hemmed the skirt after measuring and folding the bottom edge.IMG_7334 Back view on hanger 

The finished skirt:IMG_7852

IMG_7853 IMG_7858 IMG_7856 IMG_7855 Facts:

What: A 17th century skirt

Pattern: None – just two rectangles gathered a the waist.

Fabric & Notions: 2,5 m of cream polyester satin, thread, 1 m bias tape, hook and eye.

Time: about 4 hours

Cost: Free – the fabric was gifted to me

Final thoughts: I’m not sure the bias-tape waistband was such a good idea – the waist seems to be growing for each try on.

1850s plaid summer dress (Part 1- Skirt)

For the upcoming 1850s “Crinoline day” I decided i needed a new dress (even though I teqnicly have two perfectly functional ones already – Green 1840s and Brown 1850s Paisley)

This time I wanted to focus on the light summer dresses I’ve seen so many examples of lately.

So I picked one of my favourites as my main inspiration and started looking for fabric.07176d121492c50c50ebd7441c72bcd5Main inspiration

And to my surprise I found the perfect one straight away, and it was on sale. Yay! 20150325_080825_resizedIt’s a sheer cotton with the light feel of voile, and a pretty, light plaid pattern with lots of white to make the dress fit for summer.

At the moment I was rushing to finish my “Downton Mary dress“, so I couldn’t comit to the new project straight away, so to get tings moving I decided to start working on the skirt.

I almost used the same simple tequnices as in my sisters 1860s skirt (which I made a month later) – Cuting three skirt lenght of whole fabric widhts, matching the pattern and stitching them togeter to a huge circle.

Then I stsitched two rows of gthering stistches at the top and pulled to get the right waist measurment. I purpusly used one fabic widht for the front and two for the back, to disturbute the poufiness to the back.

Then I stitched a cotton tape to the gathered waist IMG_6245and turn it under by hand to get a small but sturdy waistband.IMG_6258

I used my dressform to measure and pin the skirt lenght 20150411_142134Trying it out on my dressform

and make sure the back clouser looked good. 20150411_142206_resized

Then I folded, pinned and hemmed the skirt, using 1 cm long heming stitches.IMG_6837

All and all it took about 4 hours and was an evenings welcome break from “Lady Mary”

The finished skirt:IMG_7298


A couple of photos with the skirt, (not) Gabardi blouse and green bonnet:IMG_4962


As you can see I also discovered I needed to shorten the skirt about 5-10 cm – great!
Back to the ironing table…

Nexts up: Construction for the dress bodice…

1860s(ish) 2 hours blue skirt

To have something to go with the hat, and shirt/blouse, my sister also needed some other pieces to make her outfit (why do I do this to myself).

And to save my sanity, I decided on yet another quick and simple project.
A straight skirt sewn on machine.

I had some trouble finding a fabric I liked (and thought my sister would like)20150331_170650Lovely cotton prints, but none that would serve my purposes.

Then I stumbled over this great (and quite loud) print, which I immediately loved.IMG_6758

I started by cutting three widths of fabric the length the skirt needed. IMG_6757

Then I matched the prints at the seams and stitched the widths together.IMG_6756If you look closely you can see the edge.

Then I pleated the upper edge to the right waist measure and added a small strip of fabric for waistband.

I finished by folding and stitching the hem, and adding hooks and eyes for clouser.

The only thing that took some time was the hemming – if I’d sewn it by machine I could have called it my
“1 hour skirt”.

The finished skirt:IMG_6806





The facts:

What: A 1860s skirt

Pattern: None – just used rectangular pieces

Fabric & Notions: 3,5 m blue patterned light cotton, thread and hooks and eyes.

Time: 2 hours

Cost: about 300 Sek

Final thoughts: The skirt turned out just like I envisioned, and my sister likes it too, The only thing in need of change are to shorten the front a bit to keep my sister from stepping on it.

1900s simple Brown Skirt

About a month ago I got invite to a historical “Fika” (meeting over coffee and sweet bread) in the old parts of our town.
The dress code was “18th century to early 20th century”.

I decided pretty fast I wanted to wear my winter Suffragett outfit.

Then, about two days before the event, my sister got the day of from work and decided to tag along.
She didn’t had anything particular to wear, and would use what ever I had in my bins that would fit her. Even though we are sisters we unfortunately don’t at all have the same body type. So after some thinking and going through my costume wardrobe in my head, I decided I would not settle for something les the perfect for her. But instend make something she (and I) could feel prod about.

So the day before the event I made her a 1900s walking skirt.

bicycle1 cyclingeggandspoon
Inspiration pictures 

I choose a leftover piece of fabric in my stash (1,4m of fish-bone, polyester wool imitation in brown and white).IMG_6144

Using the whole width of the fabric  cut a two gored skirt.IMG_6116I wish I’d had more fabric so to make the skirt fuller, but this would have to do for now.

I stitched the whole skirt on my sewing machine, starting with the darts.IMG_6119

The waistband folded over some cotton for strength and to make it non stretchable.IMG_6118

Once the waistband was stitched on, I decided it looked way to bulky, and would ad to much to he waist and there by disturb the slimness of the corseted line.IMG_6123

So I ripped it of, and found some cotton stay tape in my stash to use instead.IMG_6126

I stitched it on, folded it over and hand tacked it down.IMG_6128

Not being sure about the final length, I made sure to do a wide hem that would be easy to alter later on. IMG_6130

I finished of with some hooks and eyes for the clouser.IMG_6150






Just the Facts:

What: a 1900s walking skirt for my sister.

Fabric and notions: 1,3m of wool imitation, thread, 1 m of stay tape and two pairs of hooks and eyes.

Time: About 3 hours.

Cost: Nothing since everything was form stash.
But if I was to buy it all new, it probably would have cost at least 250 Sek (32 Usd)

First worn: on mars 15 on a historical “Fika”

Final thoughts: I’m really happy that I got to use the fabric for something so perfect, and I think the skirt looked great on my sister.
Even though I wish I had had more fabric to make the back pleats a lot fuller and thous the skirt more pretty.

Sneak a peak of the final outfit for my sister.
IMG_6135 IMG_6138

A Skirt is a Skirt

A skirt is a skirt by any other name…

Petticoat or not to petticoat – that is the question…

Ok, enough silliness.
Last weekend I’ve made a 18th century petticoat/skirt.
Here in Sweden “Petticoat” means – “under skirt” or hoop-skirt if you’r talking wedding dresses, and a skirt is just a skirt – nothing else.
But in historic sentence these two seems to be interchangeable (at least to me, since I’d always had a bit trouble keeping the two apart in English).
But I then I read in “Cut of womens clothes” that after 1660s “the underskirt was always called a petticoat”.
Does that mean you can call the same garment “skirt” or “petticoat” deepening on the way it is worn at the moment?

German maid, evidence of patterned jacket worn with solid skirt - kopia
I’t was such an easy and quick project even though I made it by hand.
One day in front of the computer watching series, and it was done.

IMG_5108I bought this brown fabric for a steal from an online fabric sale – convinced it was a striped cotton twill (as the website claimed).
But once delivered it was more like a heavy polyester made for suits and pants. Darn it.
Well, the price of sending it back would be more then the fabric itself, so I decided to go ahead and make my skirt anyway.

It worked surprisingly well, if you don’t count the bump in my fingers from pressing the needle through, and the heaviness of the fabric gives the skirt and hem a nice drape.

The construction is really simple using two width of fabrics and cartridge-pleating them to a narrow waistband.

I also made sure to hem it quite short, to mimic the length of the fashion plate.IMG_5099










Fabric: 2 m of brown polyester “twill”

Notions: thread, Hook and eye.

Cost: about 40Sek (6 Usd) all and all – I told you, a steal 🙂

Time: About 5 hours of hand stitching.

Final thought: I like the drape of the skirt and the pleating looks really nit, even though I would have wished for a thicker fabric.
I think the skirt will look great combined with the new bodice/jacket and accessories I’m working on, for the “peasant fiest” I’m hoping to attend in about two weeks.

Pink 18th century Flowery Francaise Petticoat

“Long petticoats to hide the feet,
Silk hose with clocks of scarlet ;
A load of perfume, sick’ning sweet,

From Female Fashions for 1799 by Mary Darby Robinson

This summer, when venturing trough the local fabric store, I couldn’t resist buying this beautiful flowery satin fabric. It just screamed at me from the sales corner, and begged me to make it into a robe a la Francaise – so I bought it all.

And since the this weeks HSF challenge nr 19) is “Poetry”, I figured I’ll start working on it.

I started with the petticoat (since I just needed something simple to occupie my hands and thoughts from work).
Sitting in the sofa, watching old series, I managed to finish it in a couple of nights. IMG_2832But just as I was about to put it away as finished, I noticed the huge amount of fabric at the center front.IMG_2831That didn’t look quite right.
And after some additional image searching I knew I needed to rework the pleating to get a neater  appearance under neath the dress.

So I ripped the waistband of, re-pleated the skirt and stitched it back on.IMG_2834

Unfortunately I forgot to take proper, and detailed, finishing photos of the skirt before storing it. But I did get a quick photoshoot.

The finished Skirt:






IMG_3042 (2)




IMG_3036Just the facts:

Challenge: 18, Poetry in motion

Poem: Parts of  Female Fashions for 1799 by Mary Darby Robinson.

What: a 18th century skirt/petticoat.

Pattern: None, just cut two lengths of fabric and fiddled with he pleats until it looked okay.

Fabric: 1,3 m of flowery polyester satin (yes I now, but it was Sooo pretty).

Notions: Thread and 2 m of cotton ribbon for tying at the waist.

How historical accurate: So so, the material are totally wrong, but it is all hand stitched and I think the look of it are pretty okay.

Time: About 8 hours, including the readjusting of the pleats.

Cost: 100 Sek (16 Usd).

First worn: around the house for photos.


18th century skirt and bumpad – re-making

These last weeks I’ve been up to my ears in sewing to do since apparently finishing a costume is not enough for me – I need to alter the pieces I thought I’ve already had.

So after finishing my latest project I dug some of my previous costuming peices out from their box for some re-working.

Starting of with my big bum-roll.IMG_1731Does my bum look big in this skirt?

I started by removing the stuffing, getting quite an impressive pile. IMG_0982

The I turned it inside out and marked the new smaller shape.IMG_0990

I focused on getting the sides smaller but trying to keep the size at the back.IMG_0988

I trimmed the excess fabric and notched the new allowance. IMG_0994

Then it was time to re-stuff it.IMG_1002

And lastly I stitched the opening shut.IMG_1003


The altered bumpad:IMG_1521




Time: 30 min

Cost: Nothing


Then I got to work on my golden skirt.

The original shape or the skirt was made to fit over posher with extra length at the sides to accommodate the lift at the hips of this model.

But now I wanted to pair it with my new Anglaise, so it needed a change (and a shortening).

IMG_1594Just a teeny bit long… or not

I started by removing the lining. IMG_0975

And un-picked the pleats. IMG_0971 IMG_0973

Then I measured and cut the top to make more length at the back instead if the hips. IMG_0983

Unfortunately the current length wasn’t enough so I had to use some of the cut-offs to lengthen the back.IMG_1007

I used a gathering thread to get the waist down to the right size. IMG_1010

Then I re-attached the waistband.IMG_1012

And stitched it down.IMG_1016

You would think the skirt was finished by now, but no.IMG_1358Going through the photos from the photoshoot I discovered the skirt still was way to long.

So it was back to the drawing board (so to speak)IMG_1578I didn’t wanted to re do the waist once more so instead I let down the hem.

And cut of a good 10 cm on the bottom.IMG_1579

I then ironed the edge down and pinned it in place.IMG_1580

And finally I hemmed it all again.

The finished skirt:IMG_1495







Time: About 2 hours.

Cost: Nothing except a few pennies for thread.

(And if you been paying attention you might already know what project I’ve just recently been finishing, (and will post about next time)).