Friday, October 25, 2013

#AvonleaFW ❘❘ A Study of My Favorite AOGG Costumes

When I first watched Anne of Green Gables (1985) back in 1999, when I was nine years old,  I instantly fell head-over-heels in love with the costumes. It was the Anne movies that made me want to learn to sew an AOGG dress -- someday. We (my sisters and I) would watch the movies over, and over again. We would rent the movies so often from the library, that the librarians would ask us if we wanted to rent the Anne movies when they would come back in, before putting them back on the shelves. Can you guess what our answer would be? Of course, we would always say, "Yes!" 

But now, I have a confession to make. With Anne giving me the love of period costumes, I have never recreated any outfits from the movies. I have copied dresses from: "North & South" (2004), "Sense & Sensibility" (1995), "The Young Victoria" (2009), and "Pride & Prejudice" (1995). But never from my beloved AOGG -- mostly because I think I want them to be perfect. You know, I have been planning the costumes since I was nine, and now I am twenty-three.

I thought, why not share some of my notes and research on two of my favorite costumes! I'm sure someone will find it useful, and so will I when ever I find the perfect fabric for my projects.

First off, my all-time favorite costume of Anne's! The cow chasing dress.

The dress is made of a blue and white vertically striped material. The collar is a rounded sailor style with white braid trim along the edge and a navy blue tie (which appears to be of a sheer material). The back of the collar has the stripes forming a "v." The neckline is filled with a horizontal striped sheer tucker that shows evidence of having a piece of boning on either side of the neck. The bodice is plain, gathered at the center front, and buttons down the back. It is separated from the skirt by a waistband. The sleeves are ¾ length with fullness at the cap and cuff. The cuff is 1.5" wide and of white dotted material. The skirt is five gores (three in front and two in back) with the center front gore having the stripes cut horizontally, while remaining gores are all cut with the stripes running vertically. There is some fullness at the center back. A 6" ruffle at the hem completes the dress. (Taken from In Timely Fashion which is now down.)

Patterns I though would be perfect for recreating this dress, with minor changes of course. 

B4826 (View A)  You would have to switch the opening to the front. Change the shape of the collar in the back. Change the fullness of the sleeve, length of sleeve, and cuff.   
B4698 (View D)  Take away the ruffle. And smooth out the shape of the collar around the neck. Of course, you would have to adjust the collar so if fits underneath the blouse. 
Sense & Sensibility Patterns: 1909 "Beatrix" Skirt pattern - Just adjust the length. Add ruffle to the bottom of skirt. And have the skirt slightly gather around the waist.

With all of my research, and seeing a gown from around the same era in London in the autumn of 2009 (sadly I can not share pictures for copyright reasons). I strongly believe that, the lace collar has either hooks & eyes or snaps, along the back of the neck and all around to the front and back. Making the collar removable. Also, I believe that back of the dress buttons up until her sailor middy collar, meaning you would have to slip the dress over your head. But the buttons in the back (plus the collar is removable) would give you plenty of room for you to slip right through.   

Next up, her Vest Outfit (seen in the beginning of the movie).

This is a three-piece outfit consisting of a shirtwaist, vest, and skirt. The blouse is white with light grey dots. It has a stand-up collar, which forms a "v" at the upper edge and opens down the center front. A bar pin securing the collar and a taupe ribbon forming a bow give the collar a more special air. The sleeves are gathered at the cap and cuff, with the cuff being around 2.5" wide. It is hard to see how the bodice is treated, but it most likely has some fullness. The shirtwaist closes down the front with buttons.

The vest is of a grey and taupe plaid and is fitted with darts. It is pointed at the front waist and straight across the back. The vest is secured down the front with six taupe buttons. The skirt is made of a plain brown cloth (likely a medium weight wool or heavy cotton). It is six gores with fullness at the center back and has three large tucks at the hem. It is hemmed at a comfortable walking (or cycling, for that matter!) length.

Let me talk for a moment about this outfit and its wearability for a modern girl. This style of ensemble (shirtwaist, vest, and skirt) was popular at the turn of the last century for the very reason that it was easy to care for (because it was three pieces, one didn't need to launder the whole thing at once), very versatile in that you could change pieces of the outfit to create a new look, and practical. I would not think it amiss to wear something akin to this outfit today. Practical, sturdy fabrics make for a lovely, feminine design that stands up to repeated wear and tear and is tough enough to withstand the dirt and grime we encounter day-to-day. (In Timely Fashion)
- Use Sense & Sensibility Patterns: 1909 "Beatrix" Skirt pattern for the skirt. You would just have to add tucks.

- For the blouse, I would recommend using Sense & Sensibility Patterns: 1909 "Beatrix" Shirtwaist pattern for the base of your blouse. As it has many options to choose from in the pattern. 

- To make the vest I would recommend using a basic bodice pattern and adjust accordingly to make your vest.

I hope some of you will find this helpful.



  1. I have always adored all the costumes too! One day, I shall have to recreate one {or more}!!! :) They are all so pretty and feminine!

  2. I've always loved those two costumes, as well! I know my "historical" Avonlea outfit wasn't terrible historical, but it fit that category better than the modern, I thought.

  3. I LOVE ANNE!!! Really, I'm working on my second time reading the series! And I plan to make several of Anne's outfits; as I'm a seamstress in training:) ~ Heaven Lee ( And you should so do more of this!)


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