Monday, August 4, 2014

Tucked Linen Ensemble

My favorite era in costume history is the Edwardian period to about the mid-1920s - in short, the American Progressive Era. Here, we see the greatest shift in women's fashion since the American and French Revolutions a century prior. Amazing what a little war will do. In the case of Edwardian fashion, the trend toward more relieving and less constricting (and restrictive) clothing designs did not revert back to the Eras of Old like post-Regency fashions, which over a generation reintroduced to the late-Romantic and early-Antebellum eras corsets and clothing layers as restrictive as those worn in pre-Revolutionary days. Of course, there are reason for this irrevocable progression in women's fashion at the turn of the twentieth century (in contrast to the nineteenth), such as advances in technology and medical science, changing social attitudes toward personal hygiene and appearance, and culture shifts regarding women, their health, and their personage - all wonderful stuff, yet reserved for another post!

While at Kent State a few weeks ago, features of a beautiful wool ensemble caught my attention and are the inspiration for my most recent project, a tucked linen blouse and skirt. My goal was not to copy the gown but to borrow design elements from the original which I found most appealing. I very much liked the catch-stitching on the bodice, cuffs, and skirt, and the Irish lace across the bust, shoulders, and collars of the blouse - simple elegance, and techniques I would like to use in future projects. What I most adored about the original is the tucking work, across the bodice front and back, along the sleeves, and along the gores of the skirt. For my ensemble, I extended the tucking on the sleeve and on the skirt to their full length, where if you will notice on the original, the tucking is extended only mid-way:

~Juno (aka "The Bug") is not amused!~

Right now, I am working on two more Edwardian slips, one from a champaign colored silk and another from white cotton. I plan on using both of these slips as foundation garments for two gowns I have planned. Already, I am making plans on extending my attic closet racks (Is there EVER enough space?)! 

Blessings and happy sewing! 


  1. I find this absolutely lovely. Your detail work is amazing.

  2. Fabulous! I saw that outfit last time I was at the Kent State Museum and thought the pleats were especially interesting. Lovely work. Job well done!


  3. Thank you, Miss Caroline! Kent State is Ohio's historical costuming treasure. I am so glad you were able to visit, and all the way from Nevada! ^_^

  4. Oh, wow! The ensemble is so simple looking, but all the tiny details you put into it really make it exceptionally rich! You look splendid in it, and captured the silhouette perfectly.

  5. Such amazing detail and workmanship! Simple understated elegance indeed!

  6. This is SO beautiful!! I love all those tucks! It's simple while being absolutely elegant at the same time. Love it!!