Thursday, January 3, 2013

First Teens Era Project!

It's only the second day of the year, and I've already started on a new project! In a couple of weeks, the DFWCG is going to head to the Museum of Science & History to see Titanic Revisited, an exhibit I've been wanting to see for some time! And, of course, us being our fabulous selves, we're all going to be going in Edwardian and Teens era costume.

The early 20th century is not a period I've really delved into before. My focus has always been pre-1900, with only the occasional dip into the 40s or 50s. As it is, I don't have a single garment from the era, not even a corset! So, for the DFWCG meetup, I'm going to go for impression over accuracy, since the event is less than two weeks away and I don't have enough time to conjure up a whole new set of undies.

This is another Stash Dash project. I'm loathe to buy new stuff when I have at least 30 bolts of fabric staring at me from the corner of my sewing room, so I dug around and came across the black and teal striped cotton that I dyed last year, intended for a bustle gown that never got off the ground. I had 10 yards of it, and thought it would be fun to make a dress like this striped one from Downton Abbey.

The stripe on my cotton is a little narrower than that, but it's pretty close, so I thought it would work. I started with Simplicity 4501 for the bodice.

This pattern has severed me well for years. I used to use it for all my Lolita dresses, so I had quite a few copies of it floating around the house at any one time. Its lines ended up being just what I needed for the Downton bodice.

The bodice pattern wasn't altered in any way, this is how it makes up without any changes. I did end up chopping a bit of length off of it, since it sat at the natural waist, and I wanted it a bit higher than that. The black down the centre front is a line of velvet ribbon with some twisty braiding around it. The bodice is lined in black.

I was going to go with a plain skirt since that's what the Downton dress seemed to have, but when I thought about it, it seemed like that would be a little too much OMGSTRIPES. There had been a skirt floating around in the back of my head for a few days, from this photograph from 1912. (The one on the left.)

(Anyone else get the feeling that suit was the inspiration for the one from Titanic?) Ever since I saw that skirt, it's been gnawing on the back of my brain. And the little swoop revealing the underskirt seemed like a good solution to my OMGSTRIPES problem. I followed this 1912 pattern to get the basic skirt shape, without adding the pleats or flounces.

I marked where the side front seam of the bodice was and cut a seam into the skirt so I could put in the swoop. I used the fashion fabric as a pattern to cut some black lining out of a black bridal satin that I had in The Stash.

I used the same pattern to make the underskirt, sans the swoop, and then I assembled everything.

This is how the dress stands right now. The skirt is pinned on, as is the trim at the waist. I'm debating whether or not to put some black lace on the neckline like the white lace on the Downton dress. I also think that I'm going to add some black sleeves, in a sheer, tone on tone black stripe. I have the next couple of days off of work, so I should be finishing this dress up before the weekend.

I also did an inventory of all my unfinished costumes and props, and discovered that I have 27 unfinished projects! Needless to say, I'm going to be working hard to whittle that list down. o.o I'm hoping to have the first one finished during my days off, so again, before the weekend! :)


  1. That looks fabulous!!! I'm so excited that you are coming - I can't wait to see your dress in person!

    1. Thanks, Jen! :D I can't wait to see everyone again, I was so bummed I missed out on the Gatsby Christmas.

  2. It looks like it is going to be lovely. I can't wait to see it finished.