Study of an Edwardian Walking Skirt circa 1910ish

Ok, I know I haven’t done the study pics of the other garments yet, but I just found this one today at Goodwill, for $6 stupid, stupid dollars. It is wool twill, unlined, with cotton bias bound seams and a heavy 1.5" cotton grosgrain waste tape. AND it has a 30" waist measured as-is, and has been taken in at the side back seams at least 2". So it is roughly a modern size 10-12. Which means, it will be very simple to draft a pattern that would fit a modern lady. Admittedly it doesn’t currently fit me, although it probably would if I took out the reduction, and certainly would if I had a period-appropriate undergarment. Now, it may not be everyone’s dream to draft an Edwardian walking skirt off an extant garment and then actually be able to wear it, but it is mine, and if you share it, I can help. Since the other garments are A) a little earlier and B) a VERY small size, so more appropriate for general study, I decided this one should get it’s own thread. I absolutely do plan to make a skirt.

And now for pictures.









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So to do a little dissection here:

The skirt is made up of 4 upper side and back panels, 5 lower side front and back panels, and one panel that runs flat and smooth down the length of the center front from waist to hem.

The skirt closure is snaps and hooks on a hidden placket at the left center front seam.

The back is made up of two upper panels with the seams pressed outward, and one lower panel, while the front is made up of the center panel, two side upper and 4 side lower panels with the lower panels pleated.

The “side” seams actually sit behind the center line of the waist. The side seams and center front panel seams are pressed toward the center front. The seam placement and pressing are designed to take visual bulk off the waist, hips, and center back.

The upper panels include a 3" tuck, and the lower panels are sewn to the raw edge so that they peak out from under. The center front panel is oddly shaped at the point where the lower panel is sewn on, and that adds to the pleated effect of the side front lower panels.

It is finished with a 2" hem.

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It’s gorgeous! I can’t believe you find those items at thrift stores. I love the picture of the inside as well, the seams look so nice and neat with the bias tape.

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To be honest, I have habitually shopped at my local thrift stores since I was in high school, so for over 25 years. Until now I have never found garments like these. I suppose it is possible that a couple of decades ago I came across them without recognizing what they were, but I truly don’t remember ever seeing legit antiques like these. I don’t know how or why someone(s) suddenly started dropping 100+ year old garments at Goodwill, but I am not complaining.

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Is it the same Goodwill? Maybe someone is clearing out an old farmhouse that has been in the family for a century or more? That may be my imagination running wild but I picture a very old lady hanging on to her mother’s old clothing. It’s a fairly ‘plain’ skirt to have been carefully saved for so many years, I mean, it’s lovely, but it looks like a skirt for daily wear. I have family pictures of my great grandma wearing skirts like these, and she was working class.

I have never come across something like this either in regular thrift stores. Anything older than the 80s is rare.

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:star_struck: I would totally wear this. If you draft that pattern, I hope you’ll be enticed to share…

I may have mentally drooled a little there… I’m seriously blown away that you’re finding this stuff.

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It is the same Goodwill, and frankly I am stunned that they have survived. Nebraska is HARD on textiles. 100 degrees or more for weeks at a time in summer. Well below zero for weeks at a time in winter, and humidity and rain/snow all year. And bugs. And mice. I moved out of a 100 year old house last summer, and some stuff that was stored in my basement just didn’t survive the decade it was down there. It would have been tatters 50 years on.

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I will share! I’m so excited! :smiley:

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The little trim buttons are so cute!

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I am, too!!! :star_struck::star_struck::star_struck:

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I failed to mention that yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, for women’s suffrage in the U.S. While I know it is unrealistic that marchers’ clothes would still be in this good of condition (even if they went into a museum decades ago), I like to think of the woman who wore this skirt speaking out and insisting on her right to vote!

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It’s incredible to think of how far we’ve come over the last century. My great grandmother always told about the first time she could vote in 1922. She got married a few years later and was shocked when her new husband went to the bank to withdraw her savings and put a downpayment on a house she had never seen, in a town she didn’t want to live in. It wasn’t until 1956 that married women in my country got the right to withdraw their own money without their husband’s permission!

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