Edwardian Lace Combing Jacket – Historical Sew Monthly

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For challenge 11 ‘Silver Screen’ of the Historical Sew Monthly, I’ve sewn a 1900s lace bed jacket or combing jacket. My inspiration was the combing jacket in the film ‘A Room with a View’.

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Here‘s the ‘A Room with a View’ combing jacket. And another picture of the lace jacket.

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‘A combing jacket, as its name indicates, is a small, loose garment which can be slipped on and off easily during the preparation of the toilet; many girls and women prefer it to the kimono. It should be loose and comfortable, as it is worn only in the privacy of the girl’s room.’ (School Sewing Based On Home Problems, 1916)

edwardian lace negligee peignoir

‘In these days of ready-made clothing, some people consider it waste of time to make a negligee ; but a home-made article has these advantages over a bought one – better material will be obtained, better work, and a more distinctive note in the design. […] Some women always prefer a light washing material for dressing-gowns, whatever the season is ; with such materials a bodice part of broderie anglaise would be pretty, with frills of lace […] The making of a dressing-jacket is a still more simple affair than the making of a dressing-gown. As it is generally worn only for a short time while dressing the hair and finishing the toilette, it should be simple in construction and perfectly easy, allowing full play to the movement of the arms. The kimono shape is exceedingly convenient, but it has become very common, and a change in design will doubtless be preferred.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2a)

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Instead of the zig-zag lace pattern of the ‘A Room with a View’ bed jacket, I decided to make the lace insertion in ‘waves‘.

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I used ecru, slightly sheer cotton batiste, off-white cotton Mechlin lace and pink silk ribbon. In the 1910s ‘the art of making exquisite materials from cotton has reached a stage where we no longer have to use expensive silk to get beautiful effects. Sheer cotton material may be used [for the combing jacket] and trimmed with lace, or, if a more serviceable jacket is desired, heavier cotton materials may be used.’ (School Sewing Based On Home Problems, 1916)

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The bed jacket is tied in front with pink silk ribbons like this Edwardian Valenciennes lace bed jacket.

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As it’s a combing jacket I’m brushing my hair with my Edwardian silver boar bristle brush. 😉

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All the seams are finished with flat felled seams.

edwardian lace negligee
Inside of Edwardian lace jacket

Flat felled seams are the typical seam finish for Edwardian lingerie.

edwardian lace insertion sleeves
The sleeves with lace insertion

edwardian lace insertion

I inserted the lace like here (method 1).

lace insertion tucks feather stitching

At first I wanted to embroider the combing jacket with tucks and feather stitching – inspired by these Edwardian lace drawers with feather stitching and this 1900s tucked lace petticoat – but the tucks made the fabric too stiff.

1900s lace peignoir

I hadn’t enough batiste fabric left for a new back piece.  So I cut out the bottom part of the already finished back piece again and joined the pieces at the wave-like lace insertion.

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I’m wearing the combing jacket with my mint green artificial silk skirt. The mint green skirt is part of my muslin and lace lingerie dress which I’m sewing at the moment. The skirt looks similar to the ‘A Room with a View’ mint green silk skirt.

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The Edwardian silver hand mirror is really heavy! 😀

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My inspirations for the combing jacket were: 1906 lace peignoir, 1896 French lace dressing gown, this pretty Edwardian lace peignoir, Edwardian bed jacket with lace, and this ca. 1905 lacy negligee which is so beautiful!

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Some pictures are inspired by this pretty 1910s soap advertisement.

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The sleeve shape is based on the sleeves of this lovely Edwardian nightgown. And the fan-like lace insertions at the sleeves are inspired by this 1900s lace dressing gown.

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I used about 15 yards of Mechlin lace for the bed jacket. ‘About 18 yards of lace will be required to trim the collar and sleeves and for the frill down the front [for] […] the dressing-gown’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2b).

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Challenge: 11 – silver screen

Fabric: 1m ecru cotton batiste

Pattern: my own

Year: early part of the Edwardian era

Notions: 14,5m off-white cotton Mechlin lace; 1,5m pink 100% silk ribbon

How historically accurate is it? Very accurate

Hours to complete: about 15 hours (sewing time)

First worn: some days ago for the photos

Total cost: 39,97$ / 36,74€

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9 thoughts on “Edwardian Lace Combing Jacket – Historical Sew Monthly

    1. Thanks, Laura! 🙂 All my patterns are self-drafted. 1920s dresses are especially easy: they’re basically a rectangle with different details, such as godets.

  1. Awesome! I have been looking for a modern day bed jacket. When I am in the house in the evening I have a short sleeved nightgown and it is cool. So I have been using a cotton knit 3/4 sleeve cardigan from Talbots I picked up at the thrift store. When I go to bed I take it off. I wonder why they don’t make many of these anymore? Your bed jacket is dreamy! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lina this is really beautiful. Your type of sewing is a dying art. The workmanship that went into this piece really shows. So pretty and delicate with so many beautiful details.

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