The Official Notice: HSM #8 is Finished!

This should have been a leisurely project, but doing it all last-minute in just four days using nothing but a skeleton pattern upon which to build made it a challenge indeed. And I still hate plackets with a passion.

I would have gladly swapped my hat for this wonderful 1914 Detroit Electric Priscilla Coupe

I would have gladly swapped my hat for this wonderful 1914 Detroit Electric Priscilla Coupe

The Challenge: Heirlooms & Heritage – Re-create a garment one of your ancestors wore or would have worn, or use an heirloom sewing supply to create a new heirloom to pass down to the next generations.

Project Title: Channeling Downton Abbey

Fabric: 100% cotton stripe from the 2012 RJR Fabrics “The Sweet Shop” collection by Dan Morris.

Pattern: Butterick 6190, used the bodice and skirt pieces only.

Year: 1912

Notions: Very old vintage cotton lace, cotton thread, vintage hooks and bars, snap tape.

How historically accurate is it? Very, except for the snap tape. Hook and eye tape was available in 1912, but snap tape did not come along until later.

Hours to complete: The entire dress was constructed over four days – approximately 24-28 hours.

First worn: Yesterday, August 8th, at the Seattle Dunn Gardens 100th anniversary fundraising event “A Dunnton Abbey Picnic.”

Total cost: Vintage hooks & bars plus snap tape = $1.50. Fabric from stash, approximate cost = $40. Very old vintage lace also from stash, approximate cost = $8. Pattern = $12. Total cost = approximately $62.

Additional Notes: I am a member of Somewhere In Time, Unlimited – Seattle (SITU-Seattle), a group of historic costuming enthusiasts. The Garden Director of Dunn Gardens invited us to attend the fundraiser in Edwardian dress to help “set the stage” and add color. In the spirit of the challenge, I wore the Edwardian Summer Hat I made for HSM #7 and the Edwardian petticoat I made for HSM #6 as well as the dress for HSM #8. I also used very old vintage cotton lace for my heirloom sewing supply, although I’m not sure it’s old enough to truly be considered “heirloom.”


Posing with a 1917 Cadillac Type 55 Club Roadster. (What the heck am I doing with my left hand? It looks like someone stole my parasol and I haven’t yet noticed.)


8 thoughts on “The Official Notice: HSM #8 is Finished!

    • The dress is extremely comfortable. As it turned out, it’s a bit large and I felt like I was swimming in it. Happily, it doesn’t look that way. I had more trouble with the underbust corset. It’s not a true Edwardian length – it only comes to mid hip – and it kept creeping up, trying to guillotine the girls when I sat down…very uncomfortable by the end of the day. Guess I know what era my next corset will cover (no pun intended). 😉

      PS – I ended up wearing the black oxford heels. The lawns were damp and sinking in was a problem so I ended up tiptoeing a lot and there wasn’t a single even surface in sight. The balls of my feet definitely felt it. The big surprise was by the end of the day, when my ankles and knees felt it, too. All better by the next day, though.

  1. Beautiful! You and the car look wonderful. It is always a problem of what to do with hands in photos. We humans always feel awkward just standing there. 🙂

    • I had to laugh when I saw the photo. Heaven knows what my hand thought it was doing. The person taking the photo was very specific on what to do with my right hand and shoulder for the pose. Guess my left hand and arm were jealous of the attention and decided to do their own thing. 🙂

  2. Love it! The Edwardian period is my favorite for historical costuming, though that’s only in theory since I never seem to have a reason to sew something from that era! Such a fun, summery ensemble!

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