Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dressing Downton Take 2

You may have guessed from all of the late Edwardian inspiration that's been popping up lately (and from this post), but there is going to be some Edwardian sewing going on here! My previous Dressing Downton efforts were mostly modern or modernized a bit with the costume documentation part dying a sad death after my laptop died and I lost all of the photos I had collected. :(

In 2013, there will be (more) historically accurate costuming going on and still some costume inspiration from the show as I decide what lovelies I want to make. And, as with any good historical costume, I'll be starting from the inside and working my way out!

Phase 1: Undergarments

The thing about the Edwardians is that they wore gobs of layers and many of these layers were covered in ruffles and lace. These would include:
  • chemise and drawers (open or closed)
  • or combinations which were a chemise and drawers sewn together at the waist
  • corset
  • corset cover with bust improving ruffles if needed
  • early brassier 
  • stockings

I was going to draft up a set from The Edwardian Modiste even though it was from the 1900s rather than the 1910s since all of the patterns I found (like the above one from Truly Victorian) were from pre-1910 anyways but I finally found a combination pattern from 1913 so all I'll have to draft up is the corset cover. I've also found a great pattern from an early bra that I've been muslining.

Phase 2: Corset


I seriously considered joining in on the 1911 corset sew-along hosted by Bridges on the Body last January, but I decided to buy my Astoria's instead. I'll be using a free pattern by Festive Attyre based on an extant mid-1910s corset from her collection (her finished corset from this pattern above). And I'll be using bits from each site to help me make my corset because you can never have too much help when making something you've never made before! I'm planning on going the whole nine yards and using coutil and steel boning for this corset.

Phase 3: Clothes

I'm currently planning 3 outfits to make before costume college: day separates, day dress and an evening dress for the gala. I have loads of ideas for this part but I'm sure that they'll change before I get this far! At the moment I'm in love with Mary's gold evening gown above!


  1. I'm really looking forward to reading about your Edwardian projects as they come together! The Festive Attyre corset has been on my radar for a while because I'll be making my wedding dress based on two 1913 day gowns. I would really appreciate another perspective on the project before I dive into it myself. (I've never made a corset before and regrettably had to skip the Bridges sew-along.) Thank you for keeping up such an awesome blog!

    1. I'll definitely be posting as I go along so you'll be able to see how it all goes together. I bet your wedding gown is going to be fabulous!

  2. I think Combination drawers might be in my future sewing adventures too!

  3. What an exciting undertaking! I'm very much in an Edwardian (and 1920s - which the show Boardwalk Empire is entirely behind!) mood at the moment, and would truly love to put together a turn of the century outfit myself next year, too.

    ♥ Jessica

  4. Found this blog through American Duchess -- I am completely in love with this era, but a novice seamstress, so I am mostly living out my fantasies vicariously . . . clearly this project is going to become part of that.

  5. I'm glad to hear you're doing Downton at CoCo. I hope to also. My friend just patterned the longline corset for me so that will be made first. I can only stretch my Victorian one so far.