My blue Edwardian outfit.
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Blue Edwardian outfit

After the big jacket project, I wanted to make something simple and quick. An old Finnish sewing book from the year 1915, Kukin oma ompelijansa, had an interesting basic skirt pattern and I wanted to try it out. I had some lovely duck egg coloured linen in storage, so I only needed to scale the pattern up to my size and start making it.

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My Edwardian outfit in blue, side view.

The skirt

The trumpet shape was very popular at the turn of the 20th century, so I decided to emphasise it by adding a big flounce to the hem. I did this by shortening the skirt and slashing out the hem pieces that I had just removed. I then spread out the hem pieces so that the bottom edge gained extra width like this:

Cutting out the skirt out of blue linen.

After joining the main skirt pieces together, I realised that I had forgotten something that you can see in the picture above if you look closely! The fabric was darker near the selvage edge! As I cut two skirt pieces so close to the edge, I had seams where the colour difference was very striking. So, what do do? I decided that the best way to proceed was to find cording or ribbon that I could sew onto the seam to mask my blunder. This would also work as a nice decoration on an otherwise plain garment.

I found this pretty ribbon/cording/whateverthisis (I think it has been made to be used on furniture. It has three cords inside just like soutache does but it is wider.) and it was just the right colour but just a few shades darker. I added ribbon not only to the vertical seams but also at the top of the flounce. On a whim, I added a little triangular detail at the front.

The trim also helps to disguise the pocket I hid into the right front seam. I know that these kinds of pockets weren’t really a thing at that time but who can go around nowadays without a pocket!

The bolero

I had just enough fabric to make a little matching bolero jacket to make a whole Edwardian outfit. From the book Turn-of-the-Century Fashion Patterns and Tailoring Techniques I found instructions to draft a pattern for it. I must mention that the instructions weren’t super clear. It seems that the author had used the half bust measurement originally and then changed into using the whole bust circumference without remembering to correct some of the formulas. Luckily, the mistakes were painfully obvious as they resulted in a very distorted pattern.

I lined the bodice of the bolero jacket with the same linen. I didn’t have suitable lace or other ways to decorate the bolero but a short strip of the cording/trim/whatever I had used on the skirt. So, I added a small sailor collar and decorated it with the trim. As for the sleeves, I took the sleeve pattern from the tailored 1901 jacket I had just made. I just left out the vents and kept it simple with no lining.

The finished Edwardian outfit

I am really happy with the outcome. The bolero jacket is meant to be short and it is worn over a shirtwaist. Here I’m wearing my Gibson-girl blouse.

The finished Edwardian outfit.

Here you can see the sailor collar a bit better. The skirt has a centre back placket closure like most of my period skirts. I should have worn a bit shorter petticoat, though, as this one keeps peeking under my skirt hem. I should have known this as this petticoat is my longest one and I made this skirt purposefully shorter than my winter skirts that almost touch the floor.

Back view showing the sailor collar.

Now I have a lightweight Edwardian outfit so that I can historybound even if the temperature gets high during the summer. I made the skirt waistband big enough so that I can wear it with or without a corset.

Another picture, just because...

This last picture shows the trumpet shape of the skirt the best.

The trumpet skirt shape.

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And if you fancy yourself something Edwardian, you can purchase this 1901 jacket pattern from my online shop:

Thank you for reading and happy sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


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