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Downton Abbey Costume – The Help

February 8, 2013

So, my friends and I threw a Downton Abbey themed baby shower recently, where everyone dressed for the theme.  Seeing as how I didn’t have any “upstairs” dresses that would work (or fit right now), and I didn’t really have time to make one, I decided that I would go as one of the “downstairs” cast.  I made a maid’s apron and headpiece and wore it over a black tee and black maxi skirt that I already had.  I had wanted to make a collar as well, but ran out of time.

I wanted my apron to look nice, but not be too expensive.  I was so proud of myself – I think the whole thing cost about $10-$12 to make.  I used 1 yard of 60″ broadcloth and three packages of flexi-lace hem tape (two 1.75″ wide and one .75″ wide).  I used pretty much all of the fabric (only scraps left).

Downton Abbey Maid Costume

Downton Abbey Maid Costume 2

Downton Abbey Maid Costume 3

For the bodice and the insert part of the skirt, I stitched the lace to finished strips of fabric together using a zig zag stitch and the blind hem foot on my machine.

Attaching lace to fabric

I used the wider lace for the straps and attached them to the waistband in the back.  (I think a more authentic look would have been where the straps crossed in the back, but I didn’t have enough lace to make that happen).  I also kept the ties long.

Downton Abbey Maid Costume 4

I had to piece the ruffles, so I put a little lace insert in the middle to make it look like it was intentional.  :)

Downton Abbey Maid Costume 5

For the headpiece, I sewed some of the lace onto the white fabric and then fused that to a piece of fusible fleece to give it some stiffness.  I attached two ruffles to either side and then hot-glued it to a headband that I already had.  If I had to do it again, I would have probably tried to use a white headband since the color kind of showed through on this one.  But, again, I was trying to keep it simple and cheap and use things I already had.

Downton Abbey Maid Costume Headpiece

Of course, a couple of days after the shower, I got my February BurdaStyle in the mail and they have a great “upstairs” dress.  Maybe I’ll try this one for the next theme party, ha!

Burda 2-13 136

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cindi permalink
    February 8, 2013 4:34 pm

    We should have finale party and you can make it! And make me one :)

  2. Kim permalink
    March 8, 2013 8:58 pm

    I love that apron. I would like to have one to wear for formal parties. I am a maid but my uniform is a lot plainer. I think you did a fantastic job on that apron.

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