The “Sisters of Edwardia” Blouse
Fabric: Printed silk twill and washed silk-cotton satin
Year: Contemporary, based on a modern interpretation of an Edwardian blouse on Downton Abbey
Notions: Invisible zipper, lightweight fusible woven interfacing
Time to complete: 3-4 hours
First worn: April 2, 2012 for photos
Total price: $30- I wanted to make a blouse of this type from this twill for a while, but the VIP Fabric Challenge pushed me to action.
I really enjoy the “everyday clothes” costuming on Downton Abbey, especially for the Crowley sisters. I know they’re fine ladies and all, but some of the cuts are rather practical and see continual wear. This blouse crops up all over the show, in several colors and on Edith and Sybil. I wanted to try my hand at it.
The sleeves are cut on to the blouse and hit around the elbow, with a relaxed fit. They have a border band of fabric around the hem of the sleeve, the neckline, and the bottom of the blouse. The blouse needs gussets to allow for free range of motion, and the CF features a minimalistic nod to the “pigeon front” blousing so popular at the time. I was especially intrigued by the waistband piece, it seems a great way to flatter or create a waistline depending on the wearer. I agonized over finding the perfect red or pink to use as a border fabric. Then I found myself ready to cut up a lovely old worn blouse to make fabric flowers and I realized I should use it with this blouse.
1912 didn’t have invisible zippers. Luckily, 2012 does and it worked beautifully in the waistband piece. The pattern needs a smidgen of tweaking, but I like this blouse and plan to wear it. I won’t be able to help myself, it’s a gorgeous piece of fabric and the cut is so comfortable I forget I’m wearing clothes.