Edwardian Plaid Walking Skirt – From 1.5m Fabric

Edwardian Plaid Wool Walking Skirt Button Closure Tailor Stitching Velve Piping Petticoat Dust Ruffle Inverted Box Pleat

For my Edwardian plaid walking skirt I only had a limited amount of fabric: only 1.5 meter by 1.5 meters! For Edwardian skirts you usually need way more fabric! 4 meters of fabric are usually not enough for Edwardian skirts! 🤣 But I wanted to try if I could make a short Edwardian walking skirt out of this beautiful plaid wool fabric that I used as a Victorian wool shawl before.

Related: Edwardian Tailored Black Wool Skirt

For My Edwardian Plaid Wool Walking Skirt I Used:

  • 1.5m plaid wool fabric
  • 3m blue viscose taffeta fabric – for the petticoat with dust ruffle
  • 0.5m white cotton twill – for the hem facing
  • black cotton velvet fabric scraps – for the velvet piping at the hem
  • hemp cord – for the velvet piping at the hem
  • silver metal buttons
  • hooks & eyes
  • black cotton twill tape – as placket facing

Short Panel Skirt – Pieced Together

The first inspiration for my Edwardian plaid walking skirt was this beautiful Edwardian photograph of actress Ethel Oliver in a pirate stage costume. I love the shape, length, button closure and belt of the skirt! 😍 But to my surprise I could make my wool skirt longer than the skirt in the photograph despite the small amount of fabric.

My short Edwardian walking skirt is a typical Edwardian 3-gored skirt. It consists of three pieces: the front piece and two circular side pieces like the 1901 skirt pattern “Astarte” or the 1908 3-part skirt pattern. The skirt has the typical Edwardian inverted box pleat at the center back to add width. Although due to the limited amount of fabric I had to make the pleat smaller than usual.

I made the skirt calf-length and the shape of my skirt is narrow, similar to this short wool skirt in a 1900 newspaper and this Edwardian photograph of a short wool skirt, because I had so little fabric.

Related: Short Edwardian Black Wool Walking Skirt

I also had to piece the fabric together at the front panel so that there was enough fabric for the skirt. And even though you usually need more fabric for a plaid or tartan skirt, the 1.5m were just enough for my short Edwardian walking skirt – yay! 😀

‘On account of this waste in matching plaid, more material must be allowed for the making of a plaid dress.’ (The Dressmaker, 1916)

Button Closure

My Edwardian plaid walking skirt has a button closure at the left front. The left front buttons are working, the right front buttons are not. The button closure of my Edwardian plaid skirt is inspired by this beautiful 1900s fashion plate of a short plaid wool cycling skirt, this 1900s cycling skirt at the MET museum and this antique yachting dress.

Related: Short Edwardian Gray Wool Skirt With Faux Button Closure

‘If front openings are desired, and are not provided for in the [skirt] pattern, both edges of the front gore are underfaced to the depth of a placket opening, with a straight strip of material about one and one-half inches wide. The front edge of each side gore should have an underlap to the same depth, which should be about one inch and a half wide when finished. Join the gores together with stitched, felled seams, continuing the stitching along the opening. […]

Related: 6 Ways How To Sew A Placket – Historical Sewing

The upper edge of the front gore is finished with a straight belt two inches wide. A continuous belt of the same width is attached to the side and back gores of the skirt. The belt belts are cut single and lined, with an interlining added if it is necessary. Three buttonholes are made at each side of the front gore, two on the skirt part and one on the belt’ (The Dressmaker, 1916).

Hem Facing & Tailor Stitching

Edwardian wool skirts were usually finished at the hem with a hem facing, tailor stitching and sometimes cording. I finished the hem of my Edwardian wool skirt with a stiff cotton twill bias facing which I covered with left over taffeta fabric from the petticoat.

‘A false hem or facing is sometimes preferred for the finish of the lower edge […] The facing is cut in bias strips […] The strips are pieced together and the seams pressed open. […]

An interlining may be used in the hem or facing if it is desirable to add weight at the lower edge of the skirt. The material used for the purpose may be strips of lining, or, […] may be made of light-weight cotton flannel.’ (The Dressmaker, 1916)

Then I decorated and stiffened the hem further with the typical Edwardian tailor stitching which most antique Edwardian wool skirts had. Tailor stitching are parallel rows of stitching along the hem of the skirt.

‘Walking or pedestrian skirts […] flounce neatly tailor stitched with fifteen rows of tailor stitching’ (The Minneapolis Journal, 1901).

Velvet Piping

And to further stiffen the hem, some Edwardian skirts had skirt braid, made of featherbone, or velvet-covered cording along the hem. Because I had cotton velvet fabric scraps left over from my 1920s velvet jacket, I made velvet piping.

Related: 1920s Black Velvet Jacket With White Faux Fur

‘The regulation round skirts, that which clears the ground all around […] is finished with a tailored binding of braid or velveteen’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1904).

I cut the black cotton velvet fabric scraps into strips, joined the strips and then made velvet piping with hemp cord. I chose hemp cord because it’s way stiffer than cotton cord. Then I attached the velvet piping along the hem of my Edwardian plaid wool skirt.

‘Some skirts have a narrow and very flexible steel sewed all around the bottom; but better than this to secure the slight stiffness is a thick cord of candle-wicking covered with velvet or satin to harmonize with the gown.’ (Demorest’s Magazine, 1894)

Related: Edwardian Corded Faux Silk Petticoat

By the way, cotton velvet was often used to protect the hem of wool and silk skirts as alternative to mohair wool skirt braid. Here’s an antique 1900s wool skirt with velvet brush edge and an Edwardian purple wool dress with a black velvet brush edge.

‘Velveteen or skirt braid may be added to protect the lower edge of the skirt, if desired. The velveteen strip is first stitched by hand, on the inner side of the skirt very near the edge, then turned up, leaving a narrow fold extending below the edge, and again sewed to the inner hem or facing’ (The Dressmaker, 1916).

Related: Edwardian Walking Dresses

With the Edwardian plaid walking skirt I wear my refashioned 1890s sweater:

Related: Modern To 1890s Sweater – Video Tutorial

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