I had the delightful experience this summer to sew a girl’s mid Edwardian dress from a copy of an original pattern for my little sister. The pattern was Past Pattern’s Girls’ Tucked Over-Blouse or Jumper: Circa 1910. I wanted to be as historically accurate as possible with this dress, especially since it was a copy of an original pattern.
I loved making this dress! It was scary though. I had never worked with a pattern that had about two rows of writing for the instructions and the pattern pieces only had dots to signify where tucks, seams, and notches were. But after I fully understood it it was a breeze. I also made a mockup, which should be a must if one isn’t sure about a pattern or working with an antique pattern. There were a few times I didn’t understand what the instructions were saying, but Saundra Altman was always there to answer questions through email or phone. She explained things very clearly to me.
I wanted to make this dress because my sister happened to be the exact measurements for the dress, and I am completely in love with the Edwardian era and the Anne of Green Gables movies and thought that this was to good of an opportunity to miss. I finished the dress on our family trip in June the day before we went to visit the Biltmore estate. I got to convince my sister to take a few pictures there, although I was sad that I didn’t have authentic foot wear for her so her pink sneakers screamed modern!
Notions: Cotton lawn, indigo cotton/linen, and historically accurate Dudley buttons from Renaissance Fabrics, authentic mother-of-pearl buttons, hooks and eyes, and lace (the lace is the only part of the dress that I’m not sure is accurate to the time period). I hand finished the garment also for historical accuracy.
Here are some notes about the dress (some of them may have already been written above in the “notions” paragraph): The dress is made of cotton lawn, indigo cotton/linen, and lace. The back of the guimpe (under bodice) closes with 30 hooks and eyes and a waist tape, and the over-blouse and skirt close with 5 authentic mother of pearl buttons, a Dudley button, and 12 historically accurate snap fasteners. I tried to be as historically accurate as possible, I even went so far as to sew the button holes and hem the dress by hand, and hand finish or pink all seams. There are 20 tucks on the front of the over-blouse, and 22 on the back. The skirt has 24 pleats.
I nearly croaked when I saw how badly her sneakers clashed!