May - July 2008

1910 Walking Outfit

This 1910 walking ensemble includes a skirt, tucked blouse, hat, petersham belt, and parasol. Foundation garments are a yoke petticoat, bum pad and corset girdle.

Skirt: Folkwear's #209, "Walking Skirt" pattern in teal worsted wool crepe.

I really can't say enough good things about this pattern. So far, I've made it up in medium weight linen, crisp cotton twill, and this wool, all with good results.

For this tailored version, I added a cotton batiste lining. The waistband is interfaced with Ban-Roll as I wanted extra support given the weight of the skirt. The drapey quality to this wool called for some structure at the hem, so I added a 1/2" strip of horsehair braid. All skirt seams are topstitched in silk-finish cotton thread.

Blouse: Past Patterns #405 "Edwardian Tucked Blouse," view A, in cotton lawn.

I shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length and added blue shell buttons up the center back to coordinate with the blue wool walking skirt. The fullness at center front is controlled with a 1/4" twill waist stay. All the tucks were sewn with silk-finish cotton thread. The hem has an overcast edge finish, as suggested in Shaeffer's Couture Sewing, to avoid a ridge beneath the skirt. The rest of the blouse is finished with french seams, and the armscye are bound. Collar wires are from Farthingales. I covered these in batiste to avoid them from tangling in my hair, and basted them to the collar's lining. And as you can see, the blouse is also quite long.

The tucks are laid out beautifully on the pattern. But I did have fitting issues. Specifically, the pattern has sloped shoulders, a narrow neckline, and tight armscye. Given the complexity of the sewing, I'd opted out of doing a mock up. Bad idea. Having to fix these items after all that meticulous work was stressful. But I worked it out for the most part, and ended up using the LM guimpe collar instead. Now the blouse is one of my favorite pieces. Though I'll admit the pigeon-front look takes some getting used to!