Thursday, July 24, 2014

Attempting a Gibson or Edwardian Blouse

Hello all,

It's been a long time since I took the time to sit down and chat.  Grant you, it's been a long time since I've been able to do some good old sewing.  So long, in fact, that I'm going to discuss the Edwardian blouse I worked on last summer.

My wardrobe sadly lacked a good old basic blouse, and I had a hankering for a nice Edwardian style.  My good friend lent me her Folkwear pattern, since we're close to the same size, and I had the added advantage of borrowing her completed blouse as well, which allowed me to figure out where I could cut my pattern back a bit.

I used the Folkwear Gibson Girl pattern, #205.    Here's an image of the package and the diagrams for the pattern. 
Their design could be quite fancy, as shown below.  However, unlike what you see below, their collar is considerably shorter than what they show in this photo - it's more what you see in the pattern design sketch above right. 
I opted for the non-fancy, non-pleated yoke, as it's less work.  I also decided not to have a belt at the waist, since I was planning to always have it tucked into a skirt waistband.  I decided upon a nice white and green cotton striped material (which tends toward a seersucker finish when it's been washed, if one doesn't iron it out).  I thought the stripes would look nice going vertically along the bodice and sleeves, and running  horizontally along the yoke, collar, and cuffs.  (Though I still managed to accidentally cut out the yoke with the stripes going vertically ... why I always buy extra fabric!)

Here's the blouse in progress, yoke and bodice attached front and back, but with no sleeves or collar yet.  I opted for a small edging of lace inserted between yoke and bodice.

Before attaching the collar, I had to figure out how I wanted to trim it.  I had a variety of lace pieces around as options.
I even contemplated a little lace jabot.
However, after polling my sewing pals on Facebook, I decided I'd go for edging with the really narrow lace, since my neck isn't terribly long.  I also remembered I had a bone or ivory piece which I found in an old jar of buttons I'd bought at an antiques market, and so I added that to the centre front of the collar.  (Surprisingly, I forgot it was there when I washed the blouse the first time, and it survived the process entirely unscathed!)
Here is how the front looked, with the ivory piece and all the different laces combined.
And here is the finished blouse in all it's glory, front and back.  The back attaches with hooks and eyes along the opening which goes from collar to the bottom of the yoke. 
All in all, a great little blouse, and easy to make - it took me a week of frittering away in the evenings to make this.  I kept with the pintucked sections in the back, where one would normally have the belt running, as it ensured that, when tucked into a skirt, it would automatically lay nicely.

Alas, I realize I have no decent photo of me wearing this blouse, just one very tiny, very blurry photo, from a local picnic.