Thursday, May 9, 2013

1910s/Downton Abbey Outfit -- Part 2: The Outer Wear

Continuing from Part 1 of my sewing project, I'll go onto the outer garments of this outfit.

 So, this was the outfit that I was trying to recreate. I wanted to make the hat so badly, but when I attempted it, it didn't turn out well at all. I think I need to practice more millinery in order to make a hat like that...

(On a side note, if I wanted to wear this outfit out and needed a hat, I am able to take my winter hat, fold up the brim at the side, and put some millinery veiling around it to get the same effect.)

The shirtwaist was actually my first attempt in draping fabric and making my own pattern. For the most part, it came out okay, but I think next time I'll use a commercial pattern. The shirtwaist is made out of linen and is long sleeved with cuffs at the ends. 

Back of Shirtwaist.

I found some very nice, inexpensive wool at a fabric store and used it to make the skirt. I used the 1912 - 1914 skirt pattern I found at The Ladies Treasury. It turned out very nice, though I may need to make the waist a little smaller since it keeps sliding down.

Back of skirt with shirtwaist.

This is how I finished the hem at the bottom of the skirt. I used black bias take and sewed the bias tape to the raw edge and then hemmed it up and hand stitched it so it wouldn't leave a line of stitches at the bottom of the skirt.

Here are the hooks and eyes in the back of the skirt. The pattern said that the placket was usually placed at the left side of the skirt ("usually" being the phrasing, so I placed it in the back which made more sense to me).

Finally, the jacket! I attempted to use a pattern from The Ladies Treasury to make this jacket, but while drafting the pattern, I realized that it wasn't what I wanted: I ended up making major changes to get what I wanted. While the original jacket was probably made out of wool, I went with a heavy-duty silk since I couldn't find a wool that was inexpensively priced and of the right color. The jacket is also lined with cotton.

And here's the back of the jacket. The back of the jacket is all one piece that I darted at the top to make the top fit the back.

Here is the collar. The collar is made out of velvet along with the cuffs and the top pocket accents. The velvet is polyester, which is not historically accurate, but it was what I could find readily. 

Here's the cuff.

And here is the slit in the back of the jacket skirt.

So, that's what has been my focus for about a month. My presentation went well and my professor was impressed with what I made.

However, now that this project is done, I'm trying to think of what I might do next...

 God Bless,
God Bless, Miss Elizabeth Bennet


  1. Oh, it's beautiful! And it looks just like Mary's! Pity you couldn't make the hat, but perhaps someday. :) I just love all the costumes in Downton Abbey- but then, how could anyone not? :)And thank you, Miss Elizabeth, for following my blog!

    ~Emma Jane

  2. Wow-zers! Nicely done, Elizabeth! Great job and my hat is off to you. I'd never be able to accomplish that. :)

  3. It's absolutely lovely! It looks almost exactly like Lady Mary's outfit!
    That's also one of my favorite costumes in the show...perhaps it's not the most ornate, but I just love the whole look and style of it.

    Decked Out in Ruffles

  4. That is so beautiful - nice job! :D

  5. I'm in awe! Especially that you made the shirtwaist without a pattern -- that is just amazing. I can well believe your professor was impressed.

  6. Thank you everyone!

    I would show people the screenshot from Downton Abbey of that outfit and I've been told multiple times that it was either cute or that it could be worn today. It's a very clean, elegant look.

    For a first attempt, I think it turned out pretty well. I will admit that I used another pattern's sleeves (which I forgot to mention above), but the rest of it was all me. I'm glad you like it!

  7. I am so impressed! You are very talented and a professional! Very beautiful work!

  8. Love it, love it!!! I am replicating the Downton wardrobe or Lady Mary and Countess Grantham on my 16" fashion dolls. It's absolute torture, but worth it when I get it right. Your work is amazing.


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