1912 “Titanic Tea” Day Dress – Complete!

Hey everyone! I made a DRESS! And then I WORE it!

I’ve been seriously spazzy with completing costumes this year, so despite this “simple” 1912 frock stressing me the heck out, and not being completely in love with it, I *did* finish it and I *did* wear it today, for the Great Basin Costume Society’s 2nd Annual “Titanic Tea.”

Please forgive my rumples – I took these photos at the end of the day, after sitting and nibbling entirely too many cucumber sandwiches.

The dress is made from blue and white striped cotton, with white muslin accents.  The pattern is an amalgamation of a Simplicity blouse and my additions and alterations.  All along I had trouble, in places you’d think I’d have some knowledge by now – the way the skirt hangs, the way the collar lay on the shoulders (or not), the length of the waist.  It was a humbling project, where I thought it would be simple.  Here are my previous posts on this dress: part 1 and part 2.

I wore the dress over the incredibly awesome 1912 corset made by The Laced Angel.  My shoes are “Astoria” Edwardian shoes.  My hat was crafted from a $6 braided paper sun hat from Ross, with decorations compiled from the stash.  I based it on a number of images of hats from the period, though in the end I feel it comes off more late teens/’20s than 1912.

Despite the trouble, I’m always happy to finish and wear something, even if it gave me fits throughout its construction.  It was overall comfortable, and I didn’t feel awkward, so I’ll count it as a win. 🙂


  • Lyric

    April 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Bravo! Bravo!

    Honey, why are you so critical of yourself? Maybe it is me, or maybe it is too early in the morning and I am not reading you correctly. Or, worse, maybe the sewists you hang out with are very critical. All I DO know is, this is most excellent. I am proud of you (and we haven't met yet). Please, STOP kicking yourself and enjoy smelling the roses you have created. 😉

    I have been reading the "costuming" giants on the Internet lately and you know what . . . I just want to transform my wardrobe (not as a "costume" but for day-to-day life) and it is about me being comfortable and loving the skin (and garments) I am in. Yes, I want to sew properly as far as garment construction but whether this is period or that is how "they" did it . . . poppycock – it's about having fun in what we wear and do.

    So, please, enjoy what YOU do for it is beautiful. You are an inspiration; everyone loves your work and so do I.

    • Lauren Stowell

      April 16, 2013 at 8:04 AM

      Lol, well aren't we all our worst critics? This was supposed to be an easy project – when we're more used to sewing crazy complex garments, and then something like a shirtwaist comes along and kicks our butts, that takes the confidence away so quickly, haha.

      You are so right, though, it really is about being comfortable and wearing what you want, having fun. Even if my project doesn't turn out very well, or gives trouble, it is still a triumph to wear it in the end. I would rather wear something I created (even if I can't move my arms). 🙂

  • Stephanie Lynn

    April 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    I think it came out just lovely! I agree that the hat looks a bit late 19teens rather than 1912 but I still think it's really cute. Maybe you're just at the for front of the fashion curve in the millinery department.

    PS Bias trim on the bottom of the skirt = awesomeness!

    • Lauren Stowell

      April 16, 2013 at 8:06 AM

      Thank you! I agree about the hat – the floppy curve down of the sides turned it into a cloche. The French were doing some quite fashion forward things with hair and headgear in the 'teens, so I'll just pretend I'm a Barbier fashion model, tee hee. Thanks for the support!

  • Robin's Egg Bleu

    April 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    It's beautiful. And because the Victorians were always clever with their stripes, I think it's a safe bet to utilize a stripe pattern. I think they're more interesting in their simplicity and what you can do with them.

    Perfect for summer…and I think it would make a darling 'modern' dress in a shorter version too!

  • Anonymous

    April 15, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    This dress is amazing! I wish I had your ability to overcome sewing problems as you do. At least from the photos, there does not appear to be a single error!

    • Lauren Stowell

      April 16, 2013 at 8:07 AM

      Thank you! I tried to combat my errors as best I could. I'm lucky I had so much fabric that I could completely scrap the bodice and start over. These things happen, lol. It's a good learning experience.

  • bauhausfrau

    April 15, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    I think it's cute!

    If it's any comfort nearly everyone I know who has made gowns from this era has had some sort of trouble. I think it's a very easy *looking* style but not as easy construction wise.

    • Lauren Stowell

      April 16, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      Thank you! Yes, they are deceptively hard! I did not expect the skirt to give me issues – it wanted to hang open at the front, when my original plan with the button it all the way down – hence the white panel. I found something similar done on original patterns from the 'teens…maybe it was a problem then too?

    • Lauren Stowell

      April 16, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      Thank you! It was a frustrating project, but I hate wastefulness more than the feeling of frustration when a project goes wrong. I also don't want to pretend I don't make horrible mistakes and have a really hard time with some projects. We're all learning!

  • Kendra

    April 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    What everyone else said — you look fabulous! And teens dresses are seriously deceptively simple seeming but totally hard to execute! And that hat is beyond cute!

  • Mistress of Disguise

    April 18, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    I absolutely love this! I'm a sucker for all things stripey, and I love the contrasting directionality on the centre front and at the hem. 😀 Lovely, as always!

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