I have been interested in making costumes for many years now, and this is a costume I made when I was pregnant with my first child (now 13). As he was a boy, he missed out on the opportunity of wearing it, but luckily my first daughter (7) and my second daughter (1) have both been able to use it!
This outfit consists of a short-sleeved button-up dress with a collar, short panties, a pinafore-style apron with ties, and a soft bonnet. Whilst it is not designed to be a specific replica of any particular historical fashion, it does more closely mirror Edwardian fashion for children, especially with the little collar and pinafore apron.
The Edwardian era is considered loosely to be from 1901 to 1910, and is often blended or paired with the Victorian era that came before it. Anne Shirley, in Anne of Green Gables (set in 1905), wears a similar style of dress, with a very plain pinafore dress covering a collared long-sleeved dress. The Secret Garden is another movie that is set in a similar time and has similar costumes.
In this era, girls often had small rounded collars, made from matching or contrasting material or even lace, with the dress reaching midway down the calf. The pinafore dress could button up at the back or be more of an apron style with ties. This style of apron was initially designed to prevent the soiling of dresses during playtimes, and had been continually in use for most of the nineteenth century. Girls during this era, and even before this time, often wore pantaloons as well.
I used McCalls pattern 6853, which also includes variations for a long-sleeved button-up dress with a collar and long pantaloons.
It is an ideal costume for a bush dance, “olden-day” dress-ups, or other family dress-up occasions. Unfortunately, my costume has only been worn a handful of times, partially because it is hard to come up with an excuse to get it out! Admittedly, it is also hard to put kids in clothes that you really would like to keep “as good as new”.
I used 100% cotton material that I got from the quilting section of my fabric store. I chose this material mainly because it had a country-style effect that I liked, which I couldn’t get with the other fabrics at the time.
You can just see the lace on the panties peeking out of the bottom of the dress, and the pocket on the apron. I love the effect that the lace has. She refused to wear the bonnet, and dissolved into tears when I tried to make her! I will try and take some better photos and post them soon.
Isn’t she cute! Children’s costumes are my cup of tea!