With the underwear layers of my Edwardian outfit almost done, I could finally start on the garment which began the whole project, the blouse.
I used the Wearing History Edwardian Blouse pattern, but adapted it slightly to fit an earlier style. The blouse is ca. 1910, and because I’ll be making the wider type skirt more seen in 1906/7, I also wanted a blouse to fit those years. Basically, the adaptation meant splitting the sleeve in an upper and lower part, and adding width to the top. The pattern was great to use! A lot of information, many different options and even some information on how to adapt the pattern for earlier/later styles. Moreover, on her blog Lauren from Wearing History has a tutorial for lace insertion which is a perfect complement to this pattern. It worked really well!
My main inspiration was this blouse:
I did a little sketch to guide the lace placement, which is similar to the photo, but with 2 different types of lace, more lace at the top and some v shaped insets.
After copying and adapting the pattern, and checking the fit it was time to cut! I used plain white cotton, of the thinnest and drapiest quality I could find.
The lace insertion was done before assembling. So I took the front panel, and started laying out my design.
This was what I ended up with! It looks really messy, but I didn’t want to cut until I was sure I’d have enough for what I planned. After this, I cut the lace and placed it on the fabric again to check the design again.
The lay-out after cutting already looks a lot cleaner! Now it was time for sewing! I drew the lines of where the lace needed to go on the fabric. The horizontal strips will go first, and then the v shapes. I first sewed the narrow and wider lace together where they matched up, and then inserted them. I did one strip to test first, and then all the others. The first step is sewing the lace onto the fabric in the right place.
Strip one done! Next up is cutting away the fabric on the inside, and pressing away the fabric to the sides. This is then zig-zagged on again and the exes fabric clipped away.
In the image below all strips have been sewn on and the fabric clipped open. The one on the far left is finished, with the allowance finished and clipped. For the others, you can still see the allowances shining through.
This was the point where I stopped taking pictures because I forgot… I next inserted the v shaped laces, and added lace to the lower sleeves. The bodice was then assembled, the sleeves gathered and assembled, and bodice and sleeves sewn together. I made the collar of 3 strips of lace, and sewed it on. I finished all seams with french seams. I also added a lining layer, because with the thin cotton and lace the blouse is pretty sheer. The lining was tacked to the blouse on the inside, and a fabric channel sewn on at the waist to gather the blouse. Finally, I finished the back and hemmed the blouse.
From the front:
Some detail of the lace inserts.
And the collar.
The lower sleeves also have lace, but these are just sewn on for a more solid look.
A little puff at the sleeves!
Now the blouse is almost finished. Almost, because I haven’t made the closure in the back yet. This is what it looks like now, pinned shut.
The reason for this is that the buttons I bought for the blouse are not quite as white as the rest. I bought them a while back, and when looking back I think they’re too pearly for the pure white of the blouse. So I need to find new buttons. I can’t make the holes until I do, to get the size right. So I need to get back to the store. But it’s almost done, and more importantly, it looks done, so now when I sit on my couch I can look and admire it. (It’s so pretty!)