I knew I had to make a hat, so I took my straw hat, drenched it in water and unpicked the crown, and sewed it togheter with a more cylindrical shape. I then added a very sturdy wire to the outside of the brim. That way, I could turn up the sides of the brim a bit. I covered the wire with ruched strip of fabric. Adding lots of tulle around the crown gave it the wide shape of the early 1900's. I also added some flowers.
the shirt and bow. I made a new dip waist belt, with a pointed front and back. It is made from thin wool. I drafted it, made a mock-up and tried it on, adjusted the shape a bit, and made it up. It is boned with rigilene in front, sides and back, to keep its shape. The closure is of the working-but-wrong sort: I just used two hairpins to keep it closed, in channels at center front. Invisible and fast, and I did not feel like adding buttons and loops for them.
While I was at it, I also made a simple black faux leather belt, to wear with the shirt. The seam allowances is glued down instead of sewn, it is boned in the front, and it has the same hair pin closure.
Then, I decided to make a bolero. Generally, I do not like boleros, but for this era, they give a nice silouette. I started with the same pattern as the shirt, shorteded it, made a toille and made it a bit more fitted in the back, and made it up in the real fabric. Suprisingly fast, until I saw that the fit was horrible in the back. I had to unpick in, make seams in the side back, and generally fiddle around a lot, before I decided it would have to do. For decoration, I used strips if the selvage, that had contrasting colors, and sewed three rows down the front.
With only one day left, I convinced myself that it was not a good idea to make a lace blouse to go with this. Instead I found a modern blouse in my wardrobe that looked decently Edwardian. In the photos, I wear my big petticoat, a bum pad, corset and bust pad, and a corset cover. (I am very much a fan of using padding rather than tight lacing to get more curves!) I also have thin leather gloves and a small bag I think my grandmothers mother used.
Photos by Olof Tengstrand, from the turn of the century day as Marstrand last weekend.
Posing at the old fortress, built during 17th-19th century:
A stroll with a friend:
I stuffed a leg from tights with hair rats, and made a circle of it. Then it was quite easy to pin my hair over this, and get the large gibson girl hairdo.
We got a private tour of a beautiful steam ship. I doubt the engine room had ever seen ladies dressed in lace, velvet and large hats before...
What the item is: ca 1903-1906 bolero, belt, hat.
Fabric: Thin wool for bolero and belt. Polyester tulle for hat.
Pattern: none, drafted and tested.
Notions: Polyester thread. Straw hat, paper and fabric flowers.
How historically accurate is it? The look is good. Bolero construction is plausible (machine seamed but lining stiched in by hand). Hat is just made up to look decent. I am not sure a straw hat would be used as a base for a fancy hat like this, it might have been more for everyday or sporting outfits.
Hours to complete: 1.5 h for belt. 3 h for hat. 7-10 h for bolero?
First worn: at turn of the century day at Marstrand 22-23 Aug
Total cost: 0, as all fabric was gifts or left over from other projects.