Sew Retro Sewing Chanllenge- Edwardian Research and Loose Decisions

Since I declared my sewing challenge for the year, yesterday, instead of getting things done for work or chores around the house I of course researched for the upcoming sewing projects. ALL DAY LONG!

I already have patterns from (or inspired from) the 20’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s so I’m pretty set there. I don’t have anything for the 30’s yet, but am pretty familiar with the styles so that time period does not concern me for the upcoming project too much. Ideally I needed to look up the 1900’s and 1910’s. The oldest time periods I will be recreating and thus the most unknown.

It turns out I had mistakenly put 1900-1919 in the same fashion category, oh no! Women’s fashion from “the ots” is quite different from the flowy dresses I was envisioning that are more indicative of “the teens.” They still wore corsets for the majority of the day (so not my thing!) and the walking suits and and evening gowns were quite reminiscent still of the Victorian Age. Sigh. This poses a problem for me for two reasons: those styles seem to be much more complicated to make and most likely out of my skill set and I also don’t want to wear those styles!  Part of this is challenge is me actually wanting to wear what I’ve made! 

So what’s a gal to do???

There are two options: 

  1. Make a tea dress from the 1900’s that was meant to be worn at home without a corset (woohoo!)
  2. Make a middle class day outfit that is a bit more casual than the aristocrat day suits.

    Lacy tea gown… Reminds me of a Gunne Sax dress I used to play dress up in as a girl (💡💡💡)!
  Love that there is color in this one. Like the loose top too. From

Working/ middle class white blouse and dark skirt.

These styles seem more doable but still quite complicated! There are patterns out there from this time that I could order but they are more than I am willing to pay and all have disclaimers about the directions not being as detailed as more modern patterns. When researching though I realized how closely eighties prairie/ Victorian revival looks look like the true examples above. I am making my own rules here so could I use a 1980s pattern to make my 1900’s look? I am leaning towards yes.

Gotta love Gunne Sax!

Both patterns Available on etsy.

Anyway, this particular project will not be the first in my sew retro challenge, so I have time to think on it! As of now I am leaning towards blouse and skirt from eighties patterns and make it kind of an old timey teacher outfit. I can wear it to school when I am feeling festive! … On the other hand those lacy tea dresses are divine! ARRRRGH!


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