Category Archives: Historical Costumes

Here you’ll find the costumes I’ve sewn and accompanying accessories I’ve created – from about 1500 till the 1950s.

How To Make Hay With A Scythe – History Of Haymaking

How To Make Hay With A Scythe - History Of Haymaking
The Haymaker, Julien Dupré, 1890s

 

In the Victorian era, hay was made by hand with a scythe. But even today, a scythe is often used to cut grass and make hay. I love making hay with a scythe – it’s the best full body workout! Every summer, I make hay for our rabbits by hand with a scythe. Besides haymaking, the scythe is also perfect to cut grass on a hill in our garden that is too steep for a lawn mower.

‘Now, whilst the mowers are whetting their scythes, and the fragrant smell of the hay fills the summer air, let us sit on the haycock, and glance at the flowers around us.’ (English Wild Flowers, 1868)

Continue reading How To Make Hay With A Scythe – History Of Haymaking

Edwardian Walking Dresses

Edwardian walking dresses: What Edwardian women wore in cold and rainy winter weather and for summer hiking vacations.

Edwardian Walking Dresses

‘The very best form of exercise, all doctors agree, is walking. It brings into action every muscle of the body, stimulates the organs and circulation, and provides an interesting amusement, because it is enjoyable. It induces health because it does not overstrain any part of the body, and it brings beauty of form because it gets rid of superfluous tissue, and, at the same time, develops the muscles, thus filling out the hollows and thin places.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2a)

Edwardians were fond of walking. Even rain didn’t stop them: They believed a walk through rain was an excellent skin toner! But the clothing had to be light and warm so as not to catch cold. Edwardian walking dresses usually consisted of a short leather-lined wool skirt, a wool jacket or sweater, walking boots and a soft felt cap or hat. Continue reading Edwardian Walking Dresses

Edwardian & WW1 Tam O’Shanter Hats – Free Knit & Crochet Patterns

9 free antique knit and crochet patterns for Edwardian & WW1 tam o’shanter hats!

Edwardian Knit & Crochet Tam O'Shanter Hats - Free Patterns

‘It is often difficult to know what Christmas presents to give […] A warm hat is always serviceable.’ (Marin Journal, 1902)

The Edwardian tam o’shanter or tam hat – a soft knitted or crocheted wool hat – was the everday hat of Edwardian girls and sports hat of Edwardian women. ‘A small woollen cap […] which only needs two hairpins to keep it in place, is extremely becoming, and suitable either for summer or winter.’ Continue reading Edwardian & WW1 Tam O’Shanter Hats – Free Knit & Crochet Patterns

Edwardian Skating Costumes

Indoor and outdoor ice skating was a popular pastime in the Edwardian era. Edwardian women wore specially made skating costumes. Edwardian skating costumes were made out of wool or velvet with short skirts and matching jackets. ‘The correct skating costume is of a rough material, with skirt shorter than the ordinary and a half fitted jacket of three-quarter length, while the hat should be small and should fit snugly on the head.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 3 January 1909)

Edwardian Skating Costumes

‘The Winter Girl is seen at her best muffled in her velvets and furs, gliding like a true queen over the ice.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1907)

‘With laughter and delighted greetings and in the highest of high spirits San Francisco’s young people met on Monday night for the first of the season’s skating parties. They were unfeignedly glad to be together again […] From 8:30 o’clock until nearly midnight the enthusiasm lasted without an instant’s break, and perfect music and a perfect floor did their share to make the evening pleasant. It was a large meeting, more than 200 persons were there’ (San Francisco Call, 1907). Continue reading Edwardian Skating Costumes

The Edwardian Sweater Girl + 25 Free Edwardian Sweater Patterns

Knit and crochet sweaters were an everyday garment for active Edwardian girls and women. Edwardian sweaters are still in style today. So knit, crochet or sew your own Edwardian sweater this winter following one of the 25 free antique Edwardian sweater patterns. Winter is coming! 😉

The Edwardian Sweater Girl + 25 Free Edwardian Sweater Patterns

‘There is a proper and improper time to wear a sweater […] For country wear and sports it is frequently worn as the only outside garment […] For wear in cities and towns a contrary etiquette prevails. Continue reading The Edwardian Sweater Girl + 25 Free Edwardian Sweater Patterns

Keep Your Home Cool In The Summer Heat – Edwardian Decor Ideas

Keep cool and beat the heat – how Edwardians kept their home cool in the summer!

Keep Your Home Cool In The Summer Heat - Edwardian Decor Ideas
Edwardian summer room decor, 1910

‘The woman who must stay in the city all summer, or can leave town for a bare two weeks when her husband gets his vacation, should put her wits to work to make her house or her apartment look as cool as possible – for the appearance of coolness leads us to imagine that the thermometer is really lower than it is.’ (Chicago Tribune, July 1909) Continue reading Keep Your Home Cool In The Summer Heat – Edwardian Decor Ideas

Edwardian Tailored Wool Skirt & Linen Shirtwaist

Edwardian Tailored Skirt And Linen Shirtwaist

That’s my other Edwardian shirtwaist costume. It’s a late Edwardian outfit with tailored plaid wool skirt and apricot-colored linen blouse with crochet lace.

‘Woolens or mixed weaves are much more difficult to cut out, join and finish than cotton materials, consequently a different method is used in working with them. This method is called tailoring, and includes moderate styles with straight lines and perfect curves and an exactness that is not necessary when draping or constructing gowns for fancy effects.’ (Text-Book On Domestic Art, 1911) Continue reading Edwardian Tailored Wool Skirt & Linen Shirtwaist

Victorian & Edwardian Travel Accessories

Victorian & Edwardian Travel Accessories
‘It is a delightful experience to sit in a comfortable, two-horse victoria at the door of the Hotel Toblach, while the driver gathers up the reins preparatory to starting either for Cortina or for the charming intermediate halting-places – Schluderbach and Landro. […] Huge domes and spires, really miles away, seemed close at hand; and like the desert air in purity was the breeze which now and then swept downward from them to refresh us as we drove along.’ (The Dolomites, 1901)

Victorians and Edwardians were fond of traveling. ‘The Grand Tour’ – a travel through European countries – was a popular travel to finish the education of wealthy young adults. Italy and Greece were the most popular travel destinations, and some even traveled to the Far East! The advent of the railroad and steamships in the Victorian era made traveling much easier. In the Victorian era, there were already unchaperoned traveling women, such as Ida Pfeiffer – the travel blogger of the Victorian era! 😉 Continue reading Victorian & Edwardian Travel Accessories