Monday, April 7, 2014

Lady Sybil Harem Pant Outfit: Complete!

     A bit of catch-up here. I was "cast" as Lady Sybil Crawley for the PEERS Downton Abbey Ball this past weekend. The ball was being set from about 1916-1920ish. I LOVE Downton Abbey and was so excited to get to play my favorite character. Some people have told me I look very much like her. Hope so!

     I decided to make her iconic Turkish/Harem pant outfit. 19-teens is an era I am not familiar with and there are very little resources on this particular style. I had to figure out a lot by myself. The patterning and construction involved A LOT of fudging and futzing. It wasn't easy trying to reproduce this costume!

 Working on bodice:

     Materials were silk dupioni, silk chiffon, cotton, metallic gold stuff, beaded trim, sequined appliques, metalic-y ribbon, and gold tassels.
     For patterns, I used the Laughing Moon 104 (1909-1913 dress) for the bodice and sleeves. I made a mock-up of the boned underbodice and started slicing it up and altering it until I had what I was aiming for. I did the same thing with the sleeves. The bodice is boned with zip ties (historical accuracy snobs: don't judge me). The back fastens with those wide skirt closure hooks and bars so that I can actually dress myself. The appliques are all hand-stitched on.
     The sleeves and neckline are made from this textured metallic fabric and the sleeves are lined in chiffon.
The pants are a lengthened version of super basic Victorian split-crotch bloomers with the crotch seam closed. I just extended the light pant leg to make the overlap in front. Both legs are lined with light blue cotton. Cuffs fasten with the same hooks as the bodice. The sash ties in a bow in the back with tassels on the ends.
     I also made Sybil's headband. It's not screen-accurate, but it's intended to give a similar look. It's olive stretch velvet with little sequined patch that I beaded over with glass and silver beads. The center blue piece was done by my grandmother years and years ago.


     Now, a couple shots from the ball...

Kaila and I did a Sybil-twinning! It was great to coordinate
 with someone and get their ideas. I wish I'd made my
bodice shorter to match hers, though!
photo copyright Kathy L.
      I wore my American Duchess "23 Skidoo" Spectator shoes to the ball! Love them.
Also, check out our Pinterest research board:
And here's Kaila's blog:

The Crawley sisters! And cousin Rose!
photo copyright Christopher K.
     If more photos come out, I will post them! It was a good night. Lots of great Ragtime/Deco music and lots of great costumes.
     As for my outfit, I have a few things I'd like to fix, but I'm still pretty happy with it. I had fun. And that's the point.


  1. I am even more impressed now than I was before. I had no idea you did the bodice appliques and the headband beading by hand. Wow! And using zip ties for the boning is a stroke of genius. You looked amazing!

    1. Thank you so much! It was a good project that I learned a lot from! You looked amazing yourself.

  2. Shut the front door!! I didn't know you made this! Ha! You look fabulous as Lady Sybil and your outfit is amazing! Laaaaaa!!!!! Most excellent!