The shirtwaist of my Edwardian pink gingham wash dress is separate from the skirt which is typical for Edwardian dresses – especially for early Edwardian dresses. The pattern of my Edwardian pink shirtwaist is based on this antique 1911 and this 1916 free Edwardian shirtwaist sewing patterns.
Edwardian shirtwaists sometimes had a fitted lining and were boned. But shirtwaist of cotton wash dresses were usually made without a lining and without boning – like a modern blouse or like the shirtwaist bodice of this antique Edwardian pink polka dot wash dress – so that they are more comfortable to work in. Shirtwaist without a lining and boning are also easier to wash and iron.
‘There must be no undue stiffness, no tailor’s canvas and linings, which are impossible to launder’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2).
I mainly followed these 1911 sewing instructions on how to make a cotton shirtwaist.
The shirtwaist closes in front with five buttons. It has an Edwardian standing collar like on this beautiful Edwardian pink striped cotton dress or this Edwardian pink gingham dress. The collar consists of two layers of fabric and is made from four pieces of fabric so that the stripes are straight in front. The pattern is similar to this free 1905 collar pattern.
The sleeves are gathered into a cuff like on this Edwardian blue striped cotton dress or this Edwardian pink gingham dress again. The cuffs close with a button. The shoulder seams are flat felled seams which was recommended for this 1916 gingham house dress.
The instructions continue that the ‘under-arm seams and the sleeves may be joined with French seams’ but I joined all the seams with felled seams because I find French seams make rather stiff and bulky seams. Flat felled seams are also easier to iron. And this 1916 source says that felled seams are ‘used any place where a flat seam is desired’. The bottom of the shirtwaist is finished with a narrow hem.
Related: Edwardian Shirtwaist Costume