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1903 Summer Lady

Susanna Antonsson Susanna Antonsson Susanna Antonsson Susanna Antonsson

 

This summer I had the opportunity to join my first event with the Swedish 19th Century Society. We were meant to show clothes that could have been worn by the people who did not have to emigrate from Sweden during the famines of the 19th and early 20th century. I wanted to bring a friend, so my beloved Edwardian Sunday look was reserved for her. My budget and time was extremely limited, so my bigger projects were discarded. Instead, I decided to take the opportunity to just have fun, making something I would never wear otherwise – a look for a wealthy lady of 1903. 

For me, the first years of the Edwardian era represent an unloved fashion, as its over-the-top garments, with pigeon breasts and flowery decorations, contrast so much with the later, more refined fashions. Because I had to make the whole look in between exams and work, most of the sewing was done either in the company of my family, in front of the TV, or out in the sun with my relaxing friends. My small budget only allowed me to use plastic table tablets and IKEA-roses for the hat, an old curtain for the skirt and a cotton fabric for the shirtwaist. The most expensive and time consuming part was buying and making the whitework machine embroidery, before I left my own sewing machine for the summer. 

I basically followed patterns found in Janet Arnold’s “Patterns of Fashion 2” and was inspired by pictures found at Pinterest. I had great fun making the overly decorated hat, and my little niece enthusiastically gasped: “This is the biggest and most beautiful hat I have ever seen!" Alas, I had neither time nor material for putting the finishing ribbons onto the skirt. At the event I felt like a cheap, walking flower garden, but to my great surprise I received many compliments for this look. Maybe it is not such an unloved fashion after all?

The whole process can be seen in these two blog posts.

 

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aylwen  
  I really like your outfit - it looks so cool and inviting and perfect for a late summer's day. Gorgeous hat!  
 
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Stephane  
  I love, love love this outfit!!! It looks very well made, and the hat is gorgeous, you'd never know it was made with plastic flowers or anything like that! I'd totally wear that! If I could vote, I'd vote for you! good job!  
 
jenniechancey  
Stunning details   I love the pin tucks and embroidery on the blouse. Simply scrumptious!  
 
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gidgetjo  
  beautiful work. lovely details on the blouse and I love that shade of blue for the skirt.  
 
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Richard T. Herr  
  The detail on the blouse is exquisite!
 
 
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jeanette  
  Nice outfit. Love the hat with the flower choices.  
 
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pollyanna  
Pretty!   Oh, this is just so pretty! I can imagine you walking through a field of poppies in one of those Impressionist paintings. So what if you used Ikea bits and a curtain? The final result is just lovely, and you certainly don't look like a 'cheap, walking flower garden'! That blouse is a really spectacular piece of work - not only the shaping and fit, but the embroidery is superb. I think you look beautiful.  
 
romanticmedicine  
  Thank you so much for your kind comments! It means a lot to me. Suddenly my self confidence has grown to twice its normal size. smile  
 

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