Downton Abbey Costume – The Help
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).
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.
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.
I had to piece the ruffles, so I put a little lace insert in the middle to make it look like it was intentional. :)
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.
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!