The Sewing Place

Edwardian...ish?

Sonatine

Edwardian...ish?
« on: September 09, 2018, 19:56:25 PM »
I've been working on a new costume this week, based off the costumes from a new musical called Sylvia which is based on the life of Sylvia Pankhurst and her role in the suffragette movement. I saw the first half of the show on Monday (unfortunately it was cancelled after the interval due to a cast member being taken ill) and was immediately taken with the costumes. I loved the shape and simplicity of them and how they moved, but also seeing the women being so strong while wearing such feminine outfits.

The pattern I used for my skirt (here) is probably slightly too early, the description calls it Edwardian but also says 1890s and the back does seem quite full for an Edwardian skirt, but I loved the shape of it. I'm really proud of how it has turned out as there were a lot of things I found difficult while making it. I'm not used to working with such vast quantities of fabric or such large pattern pieces! I didn't follow the instructions for the waistband as the satin I chose for contrast was far too thick and didn't hold a crease at all, so I had to topstitch it to give it some degree of sharpness. The back is closed with 7 hook and eyes (the eyes are sewn into the placket seam - a new technique for me) and then a further two hooks and eyes and a pair of poppers at the waistband. It still pulls from the weight of the fabric so I might need to reinforce it somehow. I still have the hem left to do, and maybe adding some decoration with velvet ribbon.

The petticoat is made from an old duvet cover. I should have used multiple gores instead of one gathered panel at the top as there is far too much fabric at the waist and the shape isn't quite right as a result. However, I was working without a pattern or instructions and it still does the job. I've tried pushing the excess gathered fabric to the back as this is where most of the fullness of the skirt is, and this helps the waistband and skirt lie flatter over my stomach.

I've cheated slightly for the blouse and picked up a shirt with a high collar from ebay. I'm going to add lace to the front and maybe some volume at the shoulders as it doesn't have full sleeves. Assuming it arrives that will be tomorrow's job, along with finishing the skirt. I'm going to wait to take a full photo of the whole outift when it is all finished, but I've attached some photos of the details.

I'm not sure if this will interest anyone but I just needed to write it down as thinking about it was taking up so much brain space!

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« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 19:59:59 PM by Sonatine »

Yellowfeather

Re: Edwardian...ish?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 21:00:22 PM »
Love it!  Well done you for taking on a project out of your comfort zone!  Did you have a reason for the costume, or was it just for the learning curve?? 

Sonatine

Re: Edwardian...ish?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 21:15:41 PM »
Thanks Yellowfeather!
I love historical fashion, I've made quite a few 50s style things (much easier to get away with wearing day to day than this outift) and a regency dress which was for a literary themed fancy dress party. I want to get more practise making earlier things, so after falling in love with the costumes of Sylvia I thought it would be a good place to start. I'm hoping that the research I do for each outfit will mean that the next one is more accurate than the last.

DementedFairy

Re: Edwardian...ish?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 21:45:56 PM »
Good start!  I'd replace the poppers with a flat hook and bar for strength, and obviously, try to make a fuller petticoat or three asap if you plan to make other outfits.  And a corset- nothing will be quite the way you imagine without one!
For simple Edwardian undies, ie combinations/petticoat and corset, I recommend 'Wearing History' who does simple PDF downloads.
I have made her chemise/combinations and they are very simple [mine are from old sheets]
I have not made an Edwardian corset but still use my late Victorian one for Edwardian styles, it's OK but I need another!
The corset does the job of holding all that skirt weight without it being uncomfortable, so get one as soon as you can

I love the swooosh of edwardian skirts....
C'est moi!

BrendaP

Re: Edwardian...ish?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2018, 23:44:11 PM »
It's looking good.  0_0 but as you say it's easier to wear 50s stuff everyday than earlier fashions.

This is a 19th century-Edwardian photo :ninja:
My gt grandparents and all eight of their children.  The two youngest girls were born 1887 and 1891, so I reckon it's late 1890s - possibly to mark their 25th wedding anniversary which would have been in November 1898.

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You can't really see the skirts but all of the women and girls have high necklines and a lot of fullness in the upper sleeve.  The woman standing in the back row was my Grandma's eldest sister who died young and unmarried but she was a dressmaker and it was with her needles that I learned to sew. :thread:   I still have one packet.  I don't remember ever seeing an old sewing machine though but I'm sure she would have had a  :vintage:

So much fabric and embellishments in all of those garments.  Nice as they are I wouldn't want to wash and iron that little lot!
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Sonatine

Re: Edwardian...ish?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2018, 09:07:51 AM »
Good start!  I'd replace the poppers with a flat hook and bar for strength, and obviously, try to make a fuller petticoat or three asap if you plan to make other outfits.  And a corset- nothing will be quite the way you imagine without one!
For simple Edwardian undies, ie combinations/petticoat and corset, I recommend 'Wearing History' who does simple PDF downloads.
I have made her chemise/combinations and they are very simple [mine are from old sheets]
I have not made an Edwardian corset but still use my late Victorian one for Edwardian styles, it's OK but I need another!
The corset does the job of holding all that skirt weight without it being uncomfortable, so get one as soon as you can

I love the swooosh of edwardian skirts....

This is very helpful thank you so much! I'm wary of corsets but I know I'll have to get over it at some point if I want to carry on with making and wearing earlier styles, I didn't realise that they supported the skirt as well as being for shaping.
I have to admit to doing a lot of twirling and swooshing when I tried the skirt on, I love the way it moves when I walk.

And BrendaP that's a wonderful photo - thank you for sharing it and the history that goes with it. I think I'll have to make a blouse from scratch now to get sleeves like those. I have a 1911 Singer, I've never used it but maybe it would be fun to make something from the same period the machine being used for it is from, if it still works properly.

Sonatine

Re: Edwardian...ish?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2018, 20:27:39 PM »
Slightly less positive after working on it today, the blouse I ordered still hasn't arrievd so I finished the skirt.
I hemmed it with horsehair braid as this is what several patterns / websites suggested and it looks awful. The hem is uneven (back longer than front) and it hangs oddly so I'm going to try giving the whole thing a good iron tomorrow and I'll see how it looks then. The petticoat doesn't help matters as it's got too much bulk at the waist but nowhere near enough fullness at the bottom, so it makes a bulge directly under the waistband but doesn't help the base of the skirt. I think I need to make a new one tomorrow.

Sonatine

Re: Edwardian...ish?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2018, 12:53:06 PM »
Still no blouse so I've faked the style the best I can with a normal shirt to try to get a good picture of the skirt.

I'm still not happy with the hem but after hanging and pressing it it does look a bit better. I think something went wonky when I was sewing the side seams, there's just something off about them now the hem is stiffened.

Front:
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Back:
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DementedFairy

Re: Edwardian...ish?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2018, 18:50:34 PM »
It's a very nice shape.  I wouldn't use horsehair [particularly not modern crin as I don't think it behaves well with heavier fabrics, more suitable for bridal and dance wear.]

I usually do a wide faced hem, 4" or more.  Any fabric will do [for some of my steampunk ones I have novelty fabric facings like Mickey Mouse], as long as it's bias and pressed to a curve before you start.  I love the 'Truly Victorian' patterns

This is one of the skirts I made from their high-waisted 10 gore skirt pattern link here



and here's another



Both have the faced hems, a fairly 'ordinary' petticoat, and are worn with a corset.  It really does make sure you get the right finished look- a corset does not have to be any more uncomfortable or restricting than a modern bra and shapewear, as long as it fits.  They are not hard to make, honest!
C'est moi!

Sonatine

Re: Edwardian...ish?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 12:43:45 PM »
I've been mulling it over and decided to take the crin out of the hem, it pains me to rip out so much hand sewing but I'm not happy with how it sits! I'll attempt a facing, I've read some instructions from 1895 on faced hems since DementedFairy's advice.

My girlfriend has deciced that she wants a similar style skirt, so I've bought fabric for that today (I'm at my uni accommodation and my own skirt is back at my parents' house so I can't work on that until the weekend) and I've drafted a pattern for a 5 gored skirt with a flat front and pleats in the back. I prefer working from my own designs and I think I've got enough of a feel for the period to attempt one of my own now. The fabric was cheap so not a disaster if it goes badly, and there will be something salvageable no matter what because the pattern pieces are so large. I'm not hugely worried about historical acccuracy for this one, as long as it has the right overall 'look'.

Also planning to make a corset now, I'm waiting to start on it until I see what this term's workload is like though.