Edwardian outfit – plan

No I’ve got the first layer done, it’s time to share a bit more about the Edwardian outfit I’m planning. This whole outfit was started by the antique lace I found a while back. It’s so perfect for a lace blouse, that I slowly started thinking about making one. I was inspired by blouses like these: (this is also blatant excuse to show lace blouses)

But to make an Edwardian blouse, I first needed the underthings! Edwardian underpinnings are meant to decrease waist size and increase bust size, so to get the correct measurements, I first needed a chemise, corset and padding. That’s done now!

So I’m now starting on the ‘second’ layer of under-things, the corset-cover, drawers and petticoat. But meanwhile, I’ve also been planning the rest of the ensemble.

Aside from lovely lacy blouses, the Edwardian period also has some lovely high-waisted corseted skirts. Think this silhouette:

So the plan is a high-waisted skirt, although it’ll be a bit lower than the one in the image, ending below the bust. A bit more like this:

From what I found, this high-waisted skirt was popular around 1906. At that same time, blouses were usually wide-sleeved, the narrow sleeve starting to appear around 1908, right when the skirts become slimmer. Because I want a wide skirt, I will also make a blouse with wide sleeves, something like this:

I haven’t settled on a lace design yet, but I’ll be using the Wearing History Edwardian blouse pattern, and adapting the sleeves to be wider.


I haven’t got the pattern for the skirt yet, although I’ve been eyeing the Truly Victorian pattern. The downside is that it’s not available anywhere in the Netherlands yet, and I want to avoid shipping, so I might try drafting it myself first.

It’s pretty though…

The fabric for the blouse will be thin white cotton, which I already have. The high waisted skirt I’ll be making out of the wool tartan I bought in Edinburgh:



The picture is a bit bright, but it’s a mix of bright red, very dark green and white. I wanted something which would really stand out, but could be matched with both black and white easily. I’m really looking forward to working with it!

Finally, I’ll need a hat. I’ve never made one, but I’ve been eyeing this one:

I’ll learn how to make a hat, or find a good base to cover… I already have some black ostrich feathers though, so I think this’ll happen!

I made a sketch of the whole outfit:

Edw outfit


All-in-all, this outfit will consist of:

Chemise – done

Hip pad – done

Bust-improver – done

Corset cover – in progress

Drawers – in progress

Petticoat – todo (I have: fabric, pattern to draft)

Blouse – todo (I have: fabric pattern, fabric & notions)

Skirt – todo (I have: fabric fabric, pattern to draft)

Hat – todo (I have: feathers, base todo)

I’ve no clue how long it will be until I have it complete, but something to strife for!

Edwardian Corset Cover

Next item done! To hide the corset ridge, a corset-cover was worn between the corset and outer garments. As I’m planning to make a sheer(ish) blouse, it seemed like a good plan to make a corset cover as well. It has ruffles, moreover, which helps achieving the pigeon-breast silhouette.

I used the Truly Victorian Edwardian undergarment pattern, it worked great! I made this up very quickly, and the instructions were great. Next-up: Drawers and petticoat!







Edwardian corset – done!

My edwardian corset is done!

When I left off last time, I was trying to figure out how to avoid wrinkles in the silk when stitching the boning channels on.

I tried to use a different zipper foot, but it didn’t really work… I looked for other solutions, but they involve fusing the fabrics, or pinning them together over a curve. This would mean taking the whole thing apart though, and as I’d already sewn on all the boning channels that seemed like completely undoing every progress I’d made. So I decided to just continue, and accept that it’s a bit wrinkly. Something to consider next time, and if anyone has any tips to avoid these type of wrinkles, I’d love to know!

So, the finished thing:





Aside from the wrinkles, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, and I still love the fabric and the lace. I’m wearing it over my Edwardian chemise, bum pad and the Wearing History bust improvers I just made up:



The Edwardian silhouette is all about emphasizing the waist by having a full bust and wide hips. The hips I almost have, but the bust can use a little help, and these improvers are a perfectly historical solution! I now just need to make a corset cover to cover up the edge of the corset.

Some detail shots:


And lying flat (which it doesn’t do very well). Here you can also see that the wrinkles are not just caused by fitting issues…



The lace, attached on the inside:



And from the outside. It’s so pretty!




I also made bias tape for the first time, which I think worked rather well! And I flossed the corset. Of course, having no experience in embroidery or flossing I went for the simplest design.. not. It worked out okay though, they’re not all exactly the same, but pretty enough!




At the busk.




The flossing on the inside & the bias tape hand-stiched down:




I flossed the bones in the front and the 2 at the back nearest the grommets.


Inspiration – Summer

It’s hot here. The record for the warmest night ever was broken last night, and coming Saturday the national day-record might even be broken, as current predictions are 36 C (the record being 38 C). For people in other parts of the world this might not be much, but for the Netherlands it’s quite unique. So while I’m drinking loads of water and eating ice cream, some summery dresses.

The romantic period, between the Regency and Victorian era (ca. 1820-1840) is quite under-represented by historic costumers. The reason is probably that it takes some getting used to. It’s the era of dropping waists, growing skirts, huge sleeves and some fabulous hair (think of styles like in this fashion plate ) . There’s also quite a lot of extant examples of light cotton dresses, and I think the style is growing on me.


1820s, Augusta Auction

ca. 1820, Met museum

1823-1825. Sudley House, Liverpool museums

1826 Met museum

1825-30, Met museum

1826-29, Met museum

1825-1835, Augusta Auction

1830s, Vintage Textile

ca. 1830, V&A

1830-1835, Augusta Auctions

1830s, Kerry taylor auctions

circa late 1830’s, Time travelers antiques

ca. 1840, Met Museum