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December 6, 2011

I mentioned in passing a couple posts ago that I’ve recently become obsessed with Downton Abbey. Of course, that means I’ve become obsessed with the fashions of Downton Abbey, from the staff to the Lords and Ladies. Now, wouldn’t you know it, there is this happening called The 1912 Project, wherein an eager beaver is transcribing patterns from the 1912 editions of La Mode Illustree. This, in turn, is part of a larger celebration to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, next April. Spoiler alert: the first episode of Downton Abbey opens with the sinking of the Titanic.

To help with the monumental task of making these patterns available, the Vintage Pattern Lending Library is seeking testers. Hello. Sign me up! This very morning, as the smell of coffee wafted under my nose, I was under the sheets pondering how one becomes a pattern tester of any sort. My UFOs are almost done, so the timing really couldn’t be any better.

The patterns for testing

I was so jazzed (yes, jazzed) after the first DA episode, that I immediately told R what a great show it is. This is pretty strange, considering I’m not typically into this sort of thing. He was skeptical, and can you blame him, but quickly came around. It’s such a great mini-series. Really. In fact, he’s the guy who looked up when season two airs on PBS (January 8!). The only thing not exciting (about the anniversary, not DA) is the prospect of marathon sessions of that movie. You know the one. Good think I don’t have cable.

Here is the blouse that set me off. It looks pretty straightforward, no?

And if I went to balls, Lady Mary’s dress is divine

If you’re interested in joining this project, simply hop on over to the above links, write a blog post about it, and you can be a tester!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2011 4:20 pm

    I’ve never heard of the show! I’m adding it to my Netflix.

    I’m afraid that I need more sewing practice before I try making one of those beautiful patterns. I look forward to seeing yours though!!!!

  2. December 6, 2011 5:31 pm

    I loved Downton Abbey! I’m looking forward to the new season. Lady Mary’s striped shirt was one of my favorite garments, too.

  3. December 6, 2011 5:55 pm

    YIPPEEEE…so glad you are doing it too!!! Now, I just need to get my paws on season 1 of Downton Abbey!!! I bet it’s chockful of inspiration!! xoxoxo

  4. December 6, 2011 8:50 pm

    I love DA! I can’t wait to see your patterns!

  5. December 7, 2011 12:11 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that show!! The new season starts in January I believe. The clothing is definitely amazing.

  6. December 7, 2011 8:58 am

    @Miss CC – you never know… you may surprise yourself! Actually, now you’re scaring me – maybe this was a bad idea?

    @Lizz – is it weird that I thought of you when I saw Mary’s blouse? It’s one of the simplest, yet chicest, garments on the show

    @Debi – wouldn’t have found out about this w/o you, so major thanks! You are going to love Downton Abbey, I just know it. Maybe ScreenSelect has it? Library?

    @prttynpnk – I knew you’d be a fan. Just knew it ;)

    @Rochelle – Yup, January 8! Good thing PBS comes in, because I’d hate to wait!

  7. December 7, 2011 10:47 am

    Very inspirational Lavender! Such a great project for you to sink your teeth into! I am just so psyched for you to do this and look forward to seeing all your progress! Do you actually do the patterns in fabric? Or do you just do a muslin… and if you do use fabric, what sort of fabric do you use? Silk, cotton? Just wondering!!!
    Happy sewing my friend!

  8. December 8, 2011 12:10 pm

    I really need to get into Downtown Abeey – in the UK, everyone has been talking (and watching it)… because I am certainly lovin’ the style!

  9. December 9, 2011 3:33 pm

    I can’t wait to see your renditions! I keep dreaming about a series of illustrated Lady Mary outfits too! hmmmm

    Another great new mini series that came on afterward (you MUST see the costuming) is “South Riding” which premiered following DA.

    Good luck!

    • December 13, 2011 11:00 am

      Ooh! I hope you make those illustrations :) And thanks for the suggestion… looks like it’s not available on streaming, but I will def check the library & Hollywood Express.

  10. December 11, 2011 12:56 pm

    Oooh this is sorely tempting, thanks so much for posting! I will have to have a serious ponder about this. I have worked a bit with this magazine from 20s-30s or its companion la Mode Pratique, but have found my eyes wandering to earlier fashions too.

    I’ve been kind of a geek about DA because I know sight-unseen that I’m going to get all obsessed with it for a while, which will undoubtedly start me on a project tangent. So it’s been languishing in my Netlix queue while I work on my previously-started project tangents. :)

    I wonder how the corsetry issue will come into play for pattern testing and the blouse, though…

  11. July 23, 2013 11:22 pm

    I just saw this episode and the shirt caught my fancy as well – I so want to reproduce that effect with the stripes! Did you find a good pattern for it, yet?


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