Monday, December 7, 2020

An Edwardian walking outfit

So this is a new era for me! Other than making a 4-gore wool skirt for a suffragist costume for Costume College 2019, I haven't messed with anything Edwardian at all. Being not even slightly comfortable with tailoring, I picked a commercial pattern for the jacket which was Angela Clayton's McCall 7732...and in retrospect I should have just gone with an indie pattern. OH WELL.  So this image found on Pinterest below, a plate from 1897, was my sort-of inspiration once I decided my mock-up fabric was actually going to be my 'real' fabric, haha.

And then me in all my "no idea what I'm doing" glory. NAILED IT, right? 😂

 Ok so there's clearly some big differences, but I did enjoy making this so I'll show you some details and my walk with some of the STL Georgians at the most beauuuutiful cemetery. 

The jacket ended up frequently not making sense to me at various points in the construction (shocker, coming from a Big Three pattern company). But the back turned out nicely!

I forgot that pattern matching takes up SO much more fabric than solids, so it's a good thing I had already made the skirt first before tackling the jacket! I didn't bother with the McCalls pattern for the skirt because I wasn't interested in the decorative aspects of that one, so I happily sprung for the Black Snail #0414 1890 Fan Skirt and it was a dream to work with. Super easy, done in a night, will look even better once I stop being a lazy bum and MAKE a bum(pad) and good crisp cotton petticoat. Did not line it as my (hopefully) cotton fabric was quite a good hefty weave. Thank you, thrift store! Initially, I was going to have this all be just a mock-up and make my actual Edwardian outfit out of a really inexpensive silk taffeta I had found (also plaid) but now I'm saving that for an 1830s gown instead because I feel like this turned out satisfactory ENOUGH to wear for some Edwardian events.

VERY busy, but I really kind of like it. The 'puff' of the sleeve heads isn't as obvious as I'd like it, but by the late 1890s it seems they were slimming down anyway.

This front is what I'm not overjoyed about. I just don't get those two weird little 'flap' pieces that start under the bust and I haven't seen any fashion plates with this curved-front opening beginning quite so high. I guess the idea is to keep you from having a bunch of darts in the front? I don't think it's very effective here though. Whatever. I trimmed it out with green velvet ribbon and some little shamrock curlies and it is what it is, which is wearable.

But I needed a jaunty little hat! And I had nothing suitable to retrim, not having done this era, so I rummaged in my craft room and came up with a plastic canvas and some jewelry wire, and just started cutting.

Sewed some black velvet over it, and hey, a pert little hat! Luckily the velvet pretty much absorbs all light and you can't see that I really don't know what I'm doing with any of this process, lol.
My husband's a duck and goose hunter, and I have hand-me-down peacock feathers from my grandma, so throw all that together with ribbon (which matches better in real life than in pictures) and voila! Some kind of hat!

From my photoshoot with the striped macaron 18thc gown, I learned from watching the hairdresser that I have so much hair now that I can rat it up and effectively get a bit of height to it without underlying hair pieces. 

This is kind of where I'm starting to see some problems with my choices this day. I decided when I woke up that I didn't want to put my corset on because I was stiff and sore (going through a lot of testing lately to figure out what's wrong with my joints and it's likely rheumatoid arthritis). But in future I can tell that I'm going to need to do that to avoid this kind of lumpy, frowsy look I had going on around the middle, haha. I'd look solidly brick-like either way, but a corset would make it a smooth, contained solid.  Next time, next time. 
I'm also noticing with this jacket that it really needs a second point of fastening to pull it together more around the's far too loose with just the one hook and eye at the bust.

And so, with cloth mask made from leftover scraps, I ventured out to the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis to see friends at a distance! We took off our masks for single photos, but tried to be as safe as possible.  The cemetery was STUNNING, my pictures don't do nearly justice, but it is many acres of lovely old stones on rolling hills (and lots of mausoleums built into the sides of hills that I only found after we were done with our walk). It's also an arboretum, and on this sunny fall day, the trees losing their leaves made a constant golden shower of confetti around us. The perfect lifting of spirits cooped up inside too long! 

Camille had the cutest little witch hat to go with her Edwardian outfit, as this was in October! And also the cutest pupper. 

One of the only decent shots I was able to get of myself this day, lol, I'm rapidly realizing that group events are just NOT good places to get full outfit pictures, I'll just have to go do those on my own with a tripod at another time to get satisfactory documentation photos. Hopefully with a better phone camera soon. 

Hairan, Makia, Emily and Camille admiring the pupper, with Kim in the foreground (I can't remember the support-menfolks' names, sorry guys, but it was nice of you to come along with your ladies to take pictures!).

(trying to be artsy with Kim's photo but alas, a daguerreotype it is not)

LOOK. Look at this sassy fluff. So beautiful, so ladylike, such a sploot.
Afterwards, we went our separate ways, and I called my parents to see if they wanted to come out in the front yard at their house for a look at my new endeavor. My mom always likes to take photos of me so she insisted, and I'm glad that she did because the better pictures of the day came out of it.

You can see how nice and full this skirt COULD be, if I had the right supports under it. It will happen eventually! If I need to line the lower hem with something stiff eventually, I can do that as well.

And now I am all caught up with my makes for the year! Currently (slowly, thanks arthritic hands) moving along with a 1760ish pre-quilted silk Brunswick and petticoat that is going to be just lovely for winter.