Cosplay & Historic Dresses

Downton Abbey Dress

With this project, I entered an episode of fashion I had not been familiar with. The style is totally different than the decades before, with long and tight-fitting garments. You may know them from movies like Titanic, Downton Abbey and Grand Hotel. This means my project iss et in the 1910s.

Originally, I wanzed to make a Downton Abbey Lady Sybil cosplay, but changed my mind during the making-of the project. Therefore, it took a while to find my own style. In addition, I did not own the properly underwear yet.

The corset is based on a 1918 pattern from the book „Stays and Corsets – Historical Patterns translated for the Modern Body“. It is very long and lightly boned. The top is covered by a small chemisette-like piece that can be seen in the neckline of the outfit.

The dress itself consists of three pieces. I created the patterns myself by studying books like Janet Arnold‘s „Patterns of Fashion“. The skirt is very tight-fitting and was made of cotton. It is closed with hooks and eyes and a metal button.

The jacket is made of the same material, but has more decorative elements such as applications and pearls. In addition, the sleeves are not at full lenght, but stop at the elobw, so that you can see the lace. A belt hides the part where jacket and skirt end. On top you can see the largest part of the embroidery.

In total, I did only spend about 25 dollars for the complete dress (without the corset). Afterwards, I only had to buy a straw hat and decorate it with flowers, lace and ribbons. Ist huge size is a nice contrast to the tight-fitting outfit.

At first, I did worry a lot about the hairstyle, but it came together nice for the first time. I may create more dresses following this style in the future.

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