Last year I sewn an edwardian white dress using Butterick #5970. I wrote an entry about that costume with some photos taken with Lele Photography but after looking at them carefully, I noticed the dress had several issues: the corset was too long around the bust giving the bodice a weird shape, the lace was too heavy, the chiffon yoke was too sheer showing the chemise underneath, the closure wasn't plain. So I took a deep breath and I started to work on the costume again.
First of all, I ripped all the snaps out and I changed them with fabric covered buttons. The yoke was then changed with soft white cotton but - first of all - I had my corset to be shortened by a very skilled seamstress. After getting it back I could finally put the blouse on, and it worked great! I added some gathered white lace to make it richer.
The skirt has been pleated again and closed with some hooks and eyes.
For this project I sewn some undergarments as well: they might sound useless but I can assure you cannot have a good-looking costume without them! Proper undergarments are the key for your costuming success: think to a late Victorian dress. How can you get the right figure without corset, petticoat and bustle? Simply, you won't. You can try but you would probably fail, that's why underpinnings are the basic foundation for every accurate costume. For my project I sewn a cotton petticoat and a gathered chemise, nothing elaborate 'cause I wanted them simple and functional. I just drafted the petticoat train a little bit shorter then the skirt one and this is a mistake 'cause the petticoat needs to protect the skirt from dust and dirt while walking. I will sew another one.
The undergarments without corset
The next step has been the hat. You cannot have a good Edwardian look without a hat! I simply covered a old sun hat with fabric, hand sewn the binding and added some lace plus a satin ribbon, The crown has been cut off and changed with a cotton one to allow the hat to sit on my head.
And this is one the costume on, with corset and undergarments:
Let's give some scandal showing my undergarments to the public!
We were in Acqui Terme again, near "La Bollente" which has been built in 1879. All photos by Lele Photography.
Petticoat and chemise are listed on my Etsy shop! Give them a visit!