I’m so excited to show you my latest creation for three reasons. First, it means I finally have something to wear with the Faille Skirt of Fail. Second, Lauren of Wearing History gave me the e-pattern to test over a month ago, and I’m so pleased I finally had time to make it up. Finally, there were just so many gorgeous images from the photoshoot I did that I might have to do two posts about it!
So, without further ado, here is my ca. 1900 ‘Time Lady’ shirtwaist.
I wanted to test the Wearing History pattern just as it was, so I blithely ignored Lauren’s wise instructions to make a full toile before cutting into your fashion fabric, and used this blouse as a working toile. Only, being me, I meticulously finished every seam, which meant that when it was mostly done and I realised it didn’t fit right, I had to do a bunch of unpicking to adjust it for my sloping shoulders and back-set chicken neck and preference for tight sleeves.
This end result of this is that it wasn’t done when I left Wellington for Thanksgiving weekend in Nelson with my in-laws. So my kind MIL let me borrow her sewing machine, and I finished the machine sewing on the shirt on Friday (we celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday because Friday in NZ is Thursday in the States) in between making stuffing and mashed rutabegas with ginger-roasted pears and pineapple-lemongrass punch and roasted veg and everything else I was in charge of for Thanksgiving dinner.
Saturday morning I hemmed the neck and sleeves by hand, and Saturday evening, in the slanting early summer sun, my MIL and sister (the Naiad) played paparazzi with me. We started out in my in-laws beautiful garden, with me posing beneath the rose arbor, in front of the hydrangeas and beside the goldfish pond.
My one huge regret about this photoshoot is that I didn’t press my skirt. This time it wasn’t my fault, and I’m quite grumpy about the reason it didn’t happen, but I just have to move on, because the photos are gorgeous, rumpled skirt and all…
When we had exhausted the possibilities in the garden we popped in the car and whizzed out to Isel Park, for photos in the beautiful grounds surrounding historic Isel House.
The glorious slanting sun gave me the perfect opportunity to show off the latest thing the outfit fairy brought me: a fabulous antique parasol that perfectly matches my outfit. I found it in a Nelson antique store on Thursday, just after arriving in Nelson, with the whole outfit already packed in my suitcase. How’s that for luck!
The umbrella is probably 1910s or early ’20s, and is in robust working order. And I think it’s awesome!
I’m calling my blouse the ‘Time Lady’ shirtwaist, because the patterning of the embroidered cutwork voile/broderie anglaise/whatever it is called reminds me of the intersecting circles that you see in Time Lord design. Also, I noticed just as I wrote this that my parasol is Tardis blue!
After collecting 11,362,971 gorgeous photos in Isel Park (some minor exaggeration may occur), we headed home, only to discover that the light had changed and was even more fantastic. So we took more photos in the garden.
Basically, I’ve never met a sunflare I didn’t like.
Challenges I’ve re-done with this shirt:
- #5: Peasants & Pioneers: shirtwaists were the ultimate typewriter girl uniforms, and helped to pioneer casual wear for the 20th century.
- #10: Literature -There have been Dr Who books, but mostly I think of Anne Shirley when I wear this.
- #13: Lace and Lacing : the fabric is basically lace.
- #15: Colour Challenge White
- #16: Separates
- #22: Masquerade: if it’s Dr Who inspired and I wear it with a Tardis blue parasol, that counts, right? It’s like Anne Shirley is a Time Lord!
- #23: Generosity & Gratitude : The pattern isn’t free, but Lauren has made all her fantastic research into Edwardian blouses, and all the detailed images of her blouses, free on her blog. Thank you so much Lauren!
- And obviously:
- #24: Re-Do
Fabric: 1.5m of circle patterned cotton broderie anglaise ($12pm)
Year: ca. 1905
Notions: 8 vintage shell buttons, cotton twill tape, cotton bias tape, thread (all from stash).
How historically accurate is it? Lauren’s pattern is beautifully researched and a good balance of period cut for a modern body. The pattern of my fabric is a bit modern, and that meant I used some techniques that were less-than-period, such as reverse flat-felled seams rather than french seams.
Hours to complete: 3.5 – most of it re-doing the sleeves and neck.
First worn: Sat 30 Nov, for the photoshoot.
Total cost: $18
And for a last look, check out what you can just see in the top left corner of this photo. Green Gables!