I have had this copy of Folkwear 203, which is the original early 1980s print run, for years and years. I pulled it out a few weeks ago because I need it for my outfit I am working on the annual Victorian Stroll. I had originally planned to do a bustle era outfit but I don’t have the resources for that at the moment, so my backup plan is to do an 1890s look as I already have a lot of items I can use for that.
For now I am making just the drawers and petticoat, but if I have enough fabric and trim left maybe I will try the camisole eventually. I have made good headway on the drawers and am getting ready to cut the petticoat. The guides and instructions for this pattern are written in a very confusing manner so I think I have spent more time puzzling over them than actually sewing! Of course, I am machine sewing instead of hand sewing so that makes the sewing go faster. After spending months hand sewing my last gown, which was my first HA hand-sewn historical garment, I truly was amazed at how I was able to put together the drawers in two evenings.
The drawers, however, do not look much like either the illustration, like or the photos on Folkwear’s website. Mine look much more diaper-like and have a sort of wingspan of their own. I think part of this is due to using a slightly crisper fabric, which I hope will be weighed down a little once I put on the flounces. The other reason I believe this is happening is because there is no difference in the length of the drawers, including the crotch length, between sizes (they may have changed this now that they go up to size 3X).
These will count for my September and December Historical Sew Monthly entries, which are themed “Blue” – I am using blue ribbon and lace trim – and “New Era” – Edwardian is a new era for me, but also it marked the beginning of a new century and was named for Queen Victoria’s successor. The end of Victoria’s reign and Victorian culture is certainly the mark of a new era.