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Posts Tagged ‘Anne of Green Gables’

Fashions in The Delineator, 1902

Both of these skirts have a form of circular flounce, taken from The Delineator, October 1902.

For a while I have wanted to make a new dancing skirt. I have loved dancing in my Victorian Fan Skirt and I really love this style of skirt prominent in the late Victorian and early Edwardian period. The long A-line shape with the pleated fullness at the back seems so elegant, and it is a style that I think I could wear everyday!

After the late bustle period faded away in the 1880’s, the skirt – which had already become tighter over the front of the waist and hips – lost the bustle bulge at the back and became fitted closely around the waist, but full at the bottom. This basic style continued through the 1890’s and into the Edwardian period until around 1908 when the fashions for skirts began to change again.

The type of skirt that had particularly caught my eye was one that had a circular flounce that kicked out below the knees. This seems to have been particularly popular during the early Edwardian period, when S-bend corsets were also in fashion.

“They’re–they’re not–pretty,” said Anne reluctantly.

“Pretty!” Marilla sniffed.  “I didn’t trouble my head about
getting pretty dresses for you.  I don’t believe in pampering
vanity, Anne, I’ll tell you that right off.  Those dresses
are good, sensible, serviceable dresses, without any frills
or furbelows about them, and they’re all you’ll get this
summer.  The brown gingham and the blue print will do
you for school when you begin to go.  The sateen is for
church and Sunday school.  I’ll expect you to keep them
neat and clean and not to tear them.  I should think you’d
be grateful to get most anything after those skimpy wincey
things you’ve been wearing.”

Anne Of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Walking Dress, c. 1902, pattern in Period Costume for Stage and Screen, by Jean Hunnisett.

Walking Dress, c. 1902, pattern in “Period Costume for Stage and Screen”, by Jean Hunnisett.

Pattern

I found the pattern I wanted to use in Jean Hunnisett’s book, Period Costume for Stage and Screen. All of the patterns in this book are based on period patterns or fashion plates, but have been altered by the author to fit the more modern figure.

This particular skirt had a straight front panel with the circular flounce only going around the bottom of the side panel. This pattern consists of four main pieces; front panel, side panel, side circular flounce, and back panel (plus a waistband).

The only two measurements I took was my (corseted) waistline and my waist-to-floor length. This skirt was made from a cotton fabric with a self-woven stripe. It was flat-lined with black cotton broadcloth and trimmed with black polyester braid.

Construction Steps

Step One: All pieces of the skirt were flat-lined with cotton broadcloth. I began by basting the lining to each panel.

The front panel of the skirt, flat-lined with cotton broadcloth.

The front panel of the skirt, flat-lined with cotton broadcloth.

Step Two: Then I sewed the circular flounce to the bottom of the side panel.

The circular flounce is sewn to the side panel.

The circular flounce is sewn to the side panel.

Step Three: Then all the skirt pieces were sewn together.

The back panels are sewn together.

The back panels are sewn together.

Step Four: At this point I fitted the skirt. The side panel had darts to fit it to the waist, and the back panel had two large pleats on each side of the centre back seam to take in the fullness of the skirt.

The back pleats of the skirt

The back pleats of the skirt

Step Five: Once the skirt was fitted, I attached it to the waistband in the normal manner.

Step Six: Up to this point the skirt construction had been fairly straightforward, but the hemming practices of 1902 was something I had never done before. My skirt was levelled and then hemmed using some helpful advice from Historical Sewing.

I cut a length of black broadcloth on the bias (7″ wide) for my hem facing. I also cut a length of white cotton duck on the bias (4″ wide) for a modern version of “horsehair stiffener” enclosed in the hem.

I laid the broadcloth and duck strips together and treated them as one layer. It was placed, right sides together, on the hemline of the skirt. The raw edges were stitched together at the bottom of the skirt and then the broadcloth/duck layers were turned to the inside of the skirt. The end result was that the white duck was hidden in between the hem facing and the skirt lining.

The inside of the hem, showing the folded facing stitched down.

The inside of the hem, showing the folded facing stitched down. This makes four layers at the hemline; outer skirt, skirt lining, duck stiffener, and hem facing. You can see the stitching lines for the braid attached in the next step.

The upper edge of the hem facing was pleated to fit the skirt and, with the raw edge folded under, hand stitched down on the inside of the skirt. The duck would be attached/anchored in the next step.

Step Seven: Next was the trimming! Two lines of braid were handsewn through all layers along the hemline (which effectively fixed the cotton duck in place and stopped it bunching up in the hem).

The hem finished with trim.

The hem finished with trim.

Then a bias strip of black broadcloth was added to the seamlines, with the raw edges turned under and then edged with more of the black braid used at the hem. (At this point I had to unpick small portions of the waistband to slip the trimming into the waist seam.)

The seam trimming

The seam trimming

I am very pleased with the end result!

The front view

The front view

The back view

The back view

I decided – on a whim – to use this skirt for an upcoming steampunk event, and so then I began planning a matching jacket for it!

Related Posts

Making a Victorian Fan Skirt

Sources and Relevant Links

The Delineator, March 1902 – an article by Antique Crochet

Anne Of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery – read online

Period Costume for Stage and Screen: Patterns for Women’s Dress 1800-1909, by Jean Hunnisett – buy on Amazon

Flatlining 19th Century Skirts – by Historical Sewing

How to Finish Skirt Hems for the Most Support – by Historical Sewing

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Anne Shirley (played by Megan Follows), in

Anne Shirley (played by Megan Follows), in “Anne of Green Gables” (1985)

My daughter expressed a desire to go to Book Week as Anne of Green Gables this year, so after raiding my fabric stash I launched into making her a costume.

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery, was set in the early 1900’s, in the Edwardian era. There was great variety in what girls would wear during this time, in terms of the embellishments and cut of the clothes.

Throughout the first movie of Anne of Green Gables, girls tended to wear dresses with long sleeves, reaching to mid-calf. Over the top of this they would wear a type of pinafore apron, which was commonly worn in the era to protect their dresses from the everyday rigours of children’s play.

Pattern

I decided to try the paper draping technique I had tried previously (for the Oliver Twist vest and the girl’s Regency gown).

This whole ensemble was made in a weekend, so I didn’t take any progress pictures.

Dress

For the dress, I worked mainly with paper draping for the bodice.

The bodice has a front bodice panel (cut on the fold) and two back panels, with a centre back button placket and 5 buttons to do it up. For the skirts, there is a front skirt panel (cut on the fold) and one back skirt panel with a continuous placket in the centre back, plus two long sleeves with puffy sleeve heads. The collar I drafted with scrap material to get the shape right. It is made of two crescent-moon-shaped pieces, lined with plain material. The neckline is neatened with a bias binding strip, which was all turned to the inside and handsewn down.

The only uncertainty I have with this dress is whether the waistline should be a bit lower – that is, at the natural waistline – as many dresses are from the Edwardian era. However, once it is covered with the apron it is not really noticeable.

The front of the dress

The front view of the dress

The back view

The back view of the dress

Apron

The apron consists of a yoke, with a front panel (cut on the centre front fold) and two back panels, with a centre back button placket and 2 buttons to do it up. The skirts are made up of a front panel and two back panels, which are just rectangles of material gathered to fit the yoke.

For the apron, I actually just laid the fabric on my daughter and cut! I was a little terrified, but the shapes are fairly basic and there is no complicated fitting in these aprons, so I thought it was worth the risk.

The only thing that I had to ensure was that the neckline of the apron sat below the neckline of the dress, so that the collar would lay down neatly over the top.

The back detail of the apron

The back detail of the apron

The front view of the apron

The front view of the apron

The back view of the apron

The back view of the apron

The side view; there are no gathers under the arms.

The side view; there are no gathers under the arms.

I was really pleased with the ease in which this costume was created, and how effective it looks. It is one of the great things about historical children’s clothing, that they tend to be so simple in construction! All up this costume only cost me the 5 buttons for the dress, as everything else I found in my stash.

I have never thoroughly researched children’s wear in the Edwardian period, so this piece is not really historically accurate in the sense that it is firmly based on what children wore in this era. However, it looks similar to the costumes in the Anne of Green Gables movie, which is what I was going for!

Related Posts

Drafting a Pattern for a Girl’s Regency Gown

A Bend in the Road

The Simple Pleasures in Life

Sources and Relevant Links

How to sew a Continuous Placket – by Sewaholic

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery – read online

“Good Taste and Bad Taste in Dressing Edwardian Children” – at Victoriana Magazine

Children’s Costume 1900-1910 – at Fashion Era .com

Anne’s Wardrobe: What’s your favourite outfit? – at Sullivan Entertainment

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“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping of a string.” Life at Green Gables was full of such days…

Anne of Windy Willows – Lucy Maud Montgomery

I remember one day lamenting over the fact that special and fun things hardly ever happened in my life. Then I wondered if I could change that.

I decided that, in order to be able to be excited about SOMETHING, I would be excited about ANYTHING that was mildly pleasing. And it worked! Every week I had several things to be excited about… sometimes it was payday, sometimes an afternoon in a cafe with a friend, or reading inside with the sound of rain on the roof, or even a sleep-in on the weekend. Everything seemed to have suddenly become so much more exciting! And it was all because I looked forward to it and enjoyed the moment when it arrived!

Diana Barry and Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, played by Schuyler Grant and Megan Follows.

It is for this reason that this passage from Anne resounds with me. She didn’t need anything fantastically exciting to happen to her each day in order for her to be happy. She just focussed on the “simple little pleasures” of life. Sometimes it was a stroll in the fields, or seeing springtime bring out new blooms, or having some raspberry cordial with a bosom friend (hehe). There are tonnes of otherwise menial moments in Anne’s life that filled her with raptures.

She didn’t wait for something exciting to happen to her, she just made every day exciting.

Green Gables was full of such days…. is your home full of such days?

Related Posts

A Bend in the Road

Relevant Links

Anne of Windy Willows – read online

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When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes – what new landscapes – what new beauties – what curves and hills and valleys further on.

Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables (Megan Follows)

Anne of Green Gables has always been one of my favourite characters.

Anne inspires me. She is stoic in the face of adversity. She has courage to rise against any attempt at intimidation. She keeps hope alive down deep. She perseveres despite enormous hardship. She is true to herself, even when people don’t understand her.  And even when life around her changes – when there is a bend in the road – she is never shaken.

I have recently had an unexpected (and unwanted) bend in my own road. The sort of “bend” that makes you worry, cry, feel uncertain and really wish it would all go away.

We all have unwanted “bends” in our lives, and none of us knows what is on the other side of them. But can we say I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does? Can the bend hold a fascination for you, like it did for Anne? Can you wonder how the road beyond it goes? What new beauties and landscapes you will discover?

I guess it is all about choosing to live on the positive side of life!

Has your road got a bend in it?

Related Posts

Simple Pleasures of Life

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