Friday, December 2, 2011

Dressing Downton Sew-Along

Hello blog! It feels like I have been gone so long! School has gotten to that part of the semester where it's craziness. I was going to keep this project under wraps until after finals were over, but I think I need some more excitement to get me through it. So, without further ado, I present Dressing Downton.


Dressing Downton

If you've been following my blog for even a little bit, you probably have some inkling of my Downton Abbey obsession. (If not, do see here, here, and here.) With gorgeous costumes, a fabulous plot and a fabulous old English house that serves as a backdrop, what's not to love? I don't think I'd even heard of of Edwardian anything before this show but now I'm head over heals.

I've been wanting start sewing Edwardian garments for a while now and have been spending entirely too much time trolling the net for pictures of the costumes from Downton Abbey. Surprisingly, there are some beauties that I've not been able to find at all! Out of these two desires, the idea for Dressing Downton was born.

Dressing Downton has two goals. The first is to sew up all of those beautiful costumes! Secondly, I want to create a library of all of the outfits from the show so there's a resource for all of us who want to replicate them. And I'm inviting all of you to join in!

Here's how you can participate.

1) Grab one of these snazy buttons to put on your blog.

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2) Sew your own Downton Abbey inspired projects. Feel free to be as historically accurate or not as you'd like. I'm going to focus on replicating pieces from the show but adapting them to work in everyday life. I've come up with three basic categories for sewing projects.
  • Straight from the Show- Your best attempt at replicating pieces from the show.
  • Raid their Closet- Create a piece that you think could easily be found in the closet of a character from Downton Abbey but just didn't make it on camera.
  • Get Inspired- Have a more modern style? Feel free to get inspired by a character, a textile or anything else from the show and make a more modern piece.
3) Provide pictures to help build the costume library. I have a whole stash of pictures on my computer already but I'll definitely be needing your help finding some and taking screen shots.

4) Join the flickr group even if you just want to be a spectator.

Here's a sneak peak of my upcoming projects.

These are some of the pieces that are on the top of my to sew list! Also check out my two Downton Abbey inspired color palettes here and here.

I plan on using Colette Pattern's Sorbetto as a basic blouse base but I also picked up these two Sense and Sensibility patterns which arrived in the mail today!

Feel free to email me with any questions! If you'd like to participate, let me know and I can add you to the blog list!


  1. What a great idea! I also LOVE costumes of this era. I want to sew a lot more this coming year for sure, so I can't wait to see your posts and be inspired!

  2. Cool idea, I can't wait to see what you come up with! I think a lot of these outfits could work really well for everyday clothes with shorter hems.
    You should also look at Folkwear patterns, I'm pretty sure they have some from that era too.

  3. I too plan to make some gowns inspired by this wonderful series, and have my pattern already. But I have two other gowns to finish first. I'm sure I'll enjoy following along with you, and I'll share what I have once mine are done too.

  4. What a wonderfulll idea! I wish I could sew so I could join in. I'm looking forward to see what you are making :)

    If there is any help, I have some stills from the first episode of the first season here:

  5. I watched the first series of Downtown Abbey on Netflix in one sitting so I love the idea for this sewalong. I'm going to be too swamped to participate but I'd love to see your finished garments on - I know they would find an extremely enthusiastic audience there ;)

  6. I'm in! This fits in perfectly with the Project 1912 I am also participating in! I still need to see this series as I'm sure it will provide lots of inspiration!

  7. Ha, it's not at all surprising to see you hosting this sew along! I do love the images you posted and am especially interested to see your interpretation of Mary's garden party dress from the first season. I'm not sure if I will join in - but I would love to see what you make from your little obsession :)

  8. this sounds like great fun! i knew there were more people than just me smitten by the great looks in downton! also, i second @katherine's request to give those of us at sew retro the extra chance to follow along.


  9. Argh, I've been wanting to make Sybil's beautiful Turkish pant outfit since I saw it...but as money is tight, the materials are beyond me at the moment. Hopefully someone else will make one and I can live through you, or I can join up later when my situation improves.

  10. I would love to participate to your sew along if it is not too late to join. Like you, I am currently busy creating my 1911 corset with Jo's sew along at bridges on the body, it's all great fun!

    1. Please do join in and share your pictures in the flickr group. I so want to make a 1911 corset but as I'm on a great weight loss kick right now (14 lbs! :) ) I'm just following along Jo's sew along until my weight settles. No point in making a corset if it'll be too big (hopefully) in a few months.

  11. I'm in too! I would like to make a shirt inspired from Downton Abbey :)

  12. Awesome challenge!! Is it too late to join in? here is my blog, I'm currently making a 1912 evening gown that could easily be one Lady Mary's (or Sybli or Edith), anyway, one of the girl's :)