1900s Lacy Shirtwaist

To have something to wear with my new plaid 1900s skirt, I wanted to make a new shirtwaist (I do love my old one but sometimes (ok, always) you want something new).

And in my stash I found this lovely pattern from “Wearing History” which I bought half a year ago when she had a Sale, and I’ve been dying to try it out.


As the pattern comes as a “print at home” version, the first thing I needed to do was to cut and assemble the pieces. 20150913_114431_resized

Not sure what fabric to use, I searched through my stash and found the last piece of white striped cotton voile (from which I’ve previously made: A Chemise a la Rein, a 1900s pigeon front dress and a 1850s working woman’s shirt/waist), and a newly required of white cotton lace decorated in lovely flowers.
2013-05-29 17.38.05  Unfortunately I hadn’t enough lace to cover the whole shirt – I could either use it on the bodice and make short sleeves, or I could use it to make long/full sleeves and ad a bit of lace around the collar and shoulders.
After some thinking and experimenting with the pattern layout I decided to go with the full sleeves and then try to get as much of the upper bodice out of it as possible.IMG_8785

I realized pretty soon the lace was way to fragile and “open” for the garment I wanted to make. So I dug out some ivory chiffon from my stash and used it to back all the lacy pieces.IMG_8784
The result was perfect. The sleeves kept their lightness, while the see-thoroughness was dampened and strengthened all at the same time.

I stitched most of the blouse on machine, but all the work with the lace needed to be made by hand.

Unfortunately I’ve been really bad at taking pictures lately but besides from the fiddling to get the lace right, the construction is pretty simple.

Before finishing I did needed to make a decision about how to  end the lace on the bodice.
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I could either cut it to the neckline and trim it with lace edgings, or I could save as much as possible of the lace and trim the bottom edge across the back and bust.

In the end I opted for the later, thinking I could always go back and change it at a later date if I want to.

To get that nice pigeon “breast effect” I used bias-tape and a cotton cord to gather the waist.IMG_8862The inside of the blouse.

I made a combination of buttons, buttonholes and metal snaps for the back clouser. IMG_8860

The finished Blouse:









IMG_8854The facts:

What: A 1905s shirtwaist

Pattern: “Wearing history” 1900s shirtwaist pattern

Fabric: 1 m of striped cotton voile, 0,5 m of cotton lace, 0,5 m of cotton lining for the bodice and 0,3 m of polyester chiffon for backing of the lace.

Notions: Thread, Buttonhole-thread, bias-tape, cotton cord, 10 cm plastic boning, 13 buttons, 7 snaps.

Time: 10-15 hours.

Cost: 400 Sek if everything been bought new, but since everything came from stash and most of the fabrics was leftovers I wouldn’t say even half.

Final thought: I loved working with this pattern, and I have only myself to blame for not making a mock-up since i had a bit trouble getting the collar to fit properly. And I maybe should have skipped out on adding the second layer cotton to the bodice – It may have looked a bit nicer and softer. I also may have to reset the sleeves without the pleats at the shoulders.
But all in all, I’m pretty pleased with the blouse.

Worn with the skirt:


And a preview from the photoshoot:


Inspiring notions

While rumoring through the shelves of the sewing notion store, I had so many ideas of fabulous outfits running through my head.
It was a real challenge to hold back and separate what I needed (aka. wanted) and what I really needed.

Here are a few of the things I ‘m hoping to create using my latest findings:

The 1,5 m of black lace should be enough to make either a lace cap or a pair of lace cuffs for my planed morning ensemble.
IMG_5389Digital Capture

Lots and lots of pearl (faux) buttons, which of some will be used on my Aprils HSM item – The Lady Mary striped dress.

The withe pleated polyester ribbon is perfect for both the collar of a regency chemisett and a since 18-19 century cap.

10 m or so of this black pleated trim will decorate a 1885s “natural form” dress (someday…)

I will need lots of small metal buttons for my next medieval cotehardie.

And the bigger ones will do nicely on a militariy inspired spencer.
IMG_5398 empire2

I will need lots of lace to make my planed 16th century (and 17th century) outfits this year.
I mean: cuffs, collars, really big collars, chemises, dresses, glows e.ct. all need it in abundance.

Not the most thrilling item, but for a corded petticoat you need Lots of cord.
(On second thought I may just need to revisit the store once more before it closes to get some more).

There are no end to the things you can decorate with velvet trim.
But for now I plan to use it later in the year for the “Brown” challenge

I love the fun you can have decorating pieces with pompom ribbons. I’m thinking regency Pelisse or Spencer for the green one, and 1850s bolero and skirt for the blue.

And lastly, 12m of golden lace will be perfect for my planes on exploring the 17th century this year.

What would you make if you found the perfect trim?