Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on February 18, 2012
An Anne of Avonlea Film Costume
At last I have found time to put up the pictures of my “Diana Barry” gown inspired by the 1987 classic film, “Anne of Avonlea”. This breathtaking movie with the pensive music, bouffant hairstyles, and splendid costumes thoroughly captured my imagination when I first saw it as a fourteen-year-old. Now, many years later, I have done my best to recreate the lovely gown that Diana Barry wore as her going away outfit after her wedding.
If you’ve been following along with my progress on the gown, you will have seen the up-close details on the bodice already. Since these photos usually show the gown from a distance, you might want to go back and read the first few weeks of sewing progress to see the exact laces I used and how to put this gown together using several different patterns.
With that being said, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!
I almost like this dress from the back as much as the front view!
In the photo above, you see an antique Edwardian gown from the early 1900s which would have probably post-dated the dress I’m wearing by several years. My best guess is that this afternoon dress (known back then as a “lingerie dress” due to the lace insertion and tucks), would have been worn between 1909 and perhaps 1914. So since this gown I recreated was from a film set in 1902, you could say I was either outdated fashionwise for this picture, or was looking at a dress well ahead of my time. : ) I love looking at Edwardian costumes! (When I spent my first few minutes in the Victoria & Albert Museum, I decided I would like to get lost in there and never come out.)
Now I’ll do a quick comparison of my version versus the film version, keeping in mind that I have detailed notes about nearly every piece of the garment in my last several posts.
Diana Barry’s Going Away Dress had lace at the collar and bodice which had a more homespun, crocheted feel to it. By tragic necessity, I had to use lace that was daintier (and actually prettier, I think), simply because it was the closest thing in my collection that was from the Edwardian era.
The film costume had flat lace down the front of the gown’s bodice, whereas the only lace I had which was remotely similar was actually a curved piece. Hence when I stitched my lace piece on the front of it flared and ruffled in a lovely flouncy fashion. However, the curved nature of this lace was actually perfect for the back of the gown, where it is a near replica of the film costume.
Finally, the belt is not the exact shape of the one Schuyler Grant (“Diana Barry”) wore, if only because I hadn’t actually tested the pattern for it. This belt was thrown together at 1:00 am the morning before this photo shoot occurred, and as I absolutely could not find the right shade of pink matte satin, I used an ivory satin fabric instead. Had I had more time to re-draft the pattern piece, I could have arrived at something closer to the original belt shape, but it still has that definite Edwardian look to it!
And if you’re very picky, you’ll notice that I was not able to locate any such back closure for the belt as Martha Mann chose for the movie costume. Though I hunted far and wide, I had to settle for a nickel-plated hook closure which I decorated with lavender ribbon rosebuds. The original closure was a mixture between a buckle and a butterfly clip, but at least I came close.
I gave detailed instructions over the last months on how to sew this dress, but the main patterns I used were: The Beatrix Skirt (which I added a waistband to), the Edwardian Shirtwaist (which I greatly altered to fit this design), and the upper sleeves came from the “Liesl’s Dancing Dress” pattern which easily fit into a cuff pattern I drafted myself. As mentioned above, the belt pattern was drafted for this project as well. I absolutely loved wearing this costume! With the puffed sleeves, pearl buttons up the cuffs, fitted waist, pouter pigeon bodice, and trained skirt, I felt like I’d just stepped back in time at least one hundred years. I was fully decked out in Edwardian garb, right down to an embroidered petticoat, corset, and old fashioned boots. I’ve put more pictures over on the Edelweiss Patterns Facebook page, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this outfit!
(Please note: All Anne of Avonlea movie stills are copyright by Sullivan Entertainment. All other photographs belong solely to Edelweiss Patterns and may not be used in any form without written permission from the author. )