My sister Carol and I enjoyed a great day in Grassington this Christmas wearing our 19th century inspired costumes for the Dickensian Street Festival.
There was plenty to see and do, including wonderful street stalls,an indoor market in the town hall, goats and llamas, Morris dancers, a Victorian choir and an amazing Hurdy Gurdy band. It rained most of the day but didn’t dampen our spirits – we had a really good time!
I designed a red wool and gold silk Edwardian outfit and my twin sister designed her beautiful mauve Victorian costume and hat created in two-tone silk taffeta.
My Edwardian costume consisted of a Eton Jacket made of red wool fabric and lined in black satin. This semi-fitted jacket hangs open in the front, usually worn over a blouse. It has two styles, one crop length with a rounded collar. The other, waist length with a square collar.
The main body is in three pieces, Back, Side Back, and Front. The front is fitted with a single dart. The sleeve is in two pieces, fitted to well above the elbow and with a full sleeve head. This jacket is not boned, and can be worn with or without a corset. Drafted based on a tailoring method actually used in the Victorian era, each size is hand drawn, not scaled, with all of the seams true to the era.
I decorated it around the collar and on the cuffs with gold frogging and gold/black braid. It was very quick and easy to make and fitted me perfectly as it was multi-sized I would certainly recommend this pattern.
My jacket was worn with a pure silk two tone skirt in shades of gold – it was was cut in sections and hand pleated to the red silk waistband. I edged the hem with dark red satin ribbon and double rows of braid to match the trimming on my jacket. Underneath the skirt I worn an ‘A’ line petticoat to give shape and black leather boots.
Beneath the Eton jacket I wore a very pretty extant Victorian cotton and lace blouse with a gold brooch of my own fastening it at the neck. I also used a black belt with an antique gold buckle tightly fastened at the waist to give me shape.
My Edwardian inspired hairstyle consisted of a large plait of hair fastened with pins on the top of my head which looped down my back and then fastened with a gilt slide.
To complete the look I created an Edwardian style hat. I used buckram edged with wire to create the correct shape then padded it with domette and covered it in red velvet fabric on the outside and black silk on the inside.
My hat has a brim stand which gives it the correct angle for wearing and has a contrast under-brim. I have decorated it with flowers, ribbons, gold net and feathers. I think the pattern I used (pictured below) produced a very attractive hat.
I finished my outfit with a pair of beautiful soft black leather gloves which were essential on such a cold December day to keep my hands warm.
We really enjoyed our trip to Grassington and it was well worth a visit – we will certainly be going next year and will enjoy making a new set of costumes!
By the way if you wish to ask ask any questions about the construction and design of our costumes please message and we would be happy to help!