1900’s Blue Bell Cotton Shirtwaist

Over the Summer, I faced a medical emergency which resulted in a week-long “staycation''. While in isolation, I opted to do some stash-busting. The project started off with a simple plaid Edwardian skirt, made from a recycled cotton 1830’s gown I made in the Spring. I was very pleased with the finished result, but realized that it needed something more elegant than the blouse I made two years prior. While you can never have too many shirtwaists, I really wanted one that was best suited for this future ensemble.     


Using the Edwardian Blouse instructions from Black Snail Patterns, I opted for vers.1 -- but with some modifications. Instead of cutting out the neckline as directed for the insertion lace (for the upper portion of the blouse’s neckline and collar) I left the pattern as is. I also pin-tucked the collar for the sake of ornamental aesthetics…which led to more pin-tucks and pleats around the sleeve cuffs.



Whilst pleating the pin-tucked fabric into the sleeves, I discovered the cuffs were forming some sort of pinwheel shape…and it looked fantastic! THIS was what it needed! My “A-HA!” moment! To really make this blouse stand out and look fluffier, I added a second layer of the pinwheel tucks underneath the first set of cuffs and even included lace engagements to go underneath for embellishment. You know what they say, "the more the merrier."


Every Ensemble needs a hat. . . 

For this specific outfit, I definitely wanted something grandeur and over-the-top that screamed, “Turn of the Century”. So after looking at a number of online sources for ideas, I finally settled on making this Peony hat, using both lightweight gauze and tulle for the crown. After 2 hours with a lot of hot glue and hand-sewing later, the hat was completed and ready for wear to my next Edwardian event.


  1. Lovely! The color is wonderful on you. You wear Edwardian so well!

    1. Thank you! I really want to make more Edwardian outfits, such as the really pinafore dress and the tea gown.


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