Edwardian blouse – finished

It’s now actually, completely done! Since my last post, I bought some new buttons, sewed the button-holes, attached the buttons and made the hooks & eyes for the collar. I also managed to make some better pictures. So I can now present the front:

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And the finished back!

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The buttonholes were sown by hand. Mostly because I don’t trust my sewing machine. It has an automatic buttonhole function, but depending on the nr. of layers it needs to sew through it makes the hole smaller or bigger, which is not helpful. I also find I like the look of hand-sewn buttonholes much more, and it’s a relaxing exercise. The collar closes with hooks and eyes, because buttons in the thin lace wouldn’t work.

 

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I’m still really happy with how the lace work turned out, so some more pictures, because it’s so pretty!

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Finally, a shot of the inside where you can see the hem and the french seams (this one is on the lining). If you look closely, you can also see where I attached the lining to the main blouse on this (side) seam.

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I also managed to get some pictures of the blouse worn! No detail shots, because that’s difficult when taking photos of yourself. I wore a short skirt which sort-of has the right silhouette and a modern belt, but it does the job of showing the silhouette. It has a slight pigeon-breast effect, exactly as it should have!

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Apologies for the awkward pose in this image, but this picture shows off the silhouette best. I love how the width of the blouse helps to make the waist look small.

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And one more, just because I liked the picture.

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Some statistics:

Fabric: White cotton

Pattern: Wearing History Edwardian blouse, with extra width added to the upper sleeve

Year: ca. 1906

Notions: Antique bobbin lace, modern bobbin lace, bias tape (to finish the edges on the lining), buttons and hooks & eyes

How historically accurate is it: I’d say pretty good. The pattern fits, as do most of the materials. I did use polyester thread and I suspect the buttons are also plastic. I also inserted the lace by machine, which probably would’ve been done by hand at the time.

Hours to complete: Around 2 days.

 

 

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Edwardian Blouse – almost…

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:

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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.

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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.

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The lace insertion was done before assembling. So I took the front panel, and started laying out my design.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Some pictures!

From the front:

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Some detail of the lace inserts.

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And the collar.

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The lower sleeves also have lace, but these are just sewn on for a more solid look.

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A little puff at the sleeves!

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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.

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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!)

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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:

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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:

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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!