Yet again, I found myself doing deadline sewing for an event that came up very quickly on my calendar, but missing this event was NOT an option.
A friend and I had been throwing around the idea of putting together an Anne-inspired event for a couple of years, but had never managed to get around to actually planning it. When the GBACG announced the Anne of Green Gables tea for this year, rather than being put out that someone had beaten us to it, we were delighted. That is, until we discovered that she would not be in town. While I was disappointed at this news (she wasn’t too terribly disappointed, as she was in Williamsburg for the accessories symposium–can’t feel too bad for her myself), I pulled myself together and decided to throw together a new outfit.
Katherine (my friend) graciously offered to lend me a beautiful shirtwaist, so that was at least one article I did not have to make. I’ve also had a hat for the era for quite some time that I purchased at one of my early Costume Colleges (maybe in 2003 or 2004). I had a very grand dress in mind for the hat, but decided that I just needed to get something simple done so that I could at least start wearing it finally.
First off, I knew I’d need some sort of corset cover or slip, as my corset lines would definitely show through the shirtwaist. While I do have one petticoat for this era, I generally like to have a little more umph to my skirts, so I decided to go with a slip. I pulled out the Simplicity princess slip, which I’d made before, and several yards of Southern Belle cotton that I’ve been saving for some sort of petticoat. The thing gave me a bit of grief trying to get it to fit–way too large at first, then I took it in a little too much. I managed to get it just about right, but the back waist could still stand be taken in a tad.
Next, it was on to the skirt. After waffling for sometime, I finally decided to go with Truly Victorian’s flared skirt (297). Ideally, I would also make the Eton Jacket to go with it, though I was already pretty certain I would not have time for that right now (plenty of fabric, though). The stash produced a lightweight burgundy wool crepe that was a perfect complement to the trimmings on my hat. The only problem was that it was just a little too lightweight for a skirt. Fortunately, the stash also had a pink silk crepe de chine to use for the lining.
It wasn’t until I was nearly finished that I realized that the wool crepe and the silk were not draping in the same way and that the wool was actually stretching a bit. Had I realized this ahead of time, I would have constructed the lining and the fashion layers separately, for the most part, and let the excess fashion layer fold around the hem. But, no. I caught it too late and ended up with some odd sort of puckering of the upper-back sections where the flared flounce attaches. The trim at that seems helps to draw the eye away from this flaw, but I’ll need to be a bit more cautious when I start working on the jacket.
But, for now, the outfit is finished. Eventually, I will need to make or buy my own shirtwaist, and I’d also like to make the Eton jacket. Maybe that will be my goal for Costume College this year.