1908 Sears catalogue

Cover of the 1908 Sears catalogue

Cover of the 1908 Sears catalogue

I’m thinking about Edwardian walking skirts, and decided to look not just at online sources, but remembered I had an 1908 Sears catalogue on my bookshelf to reference.

Opening page of the 1908 Sears catalogue

Opening page of the 1908 Sears catalogue

This is going to be  a bit of a photo dump, just to be able to give some context to each of these images – since I won’t be going into it the same way in my post (when I eventually DO make the skirt…)

 1908 Wash Skirt page from Sears

1908 Wash Skirt page from Sears

So my first source for inspiration is a page of Wash Skirts. (You can click the smaller photos to see them full size).  The term “Wash Skirt” is new to me – so I looked it up and couldn’t find any information about them. If you know the term – and a source – please share in the comments!

Getting everything in one photo was hard, so I did take a little video of the Wash Skirt page, but also took closer photos of the skirts I liked the most, that I want to use for inspiration for a possible project skirt.

Close up on the 1908 Wash Skirt page from Sears

Close up on the 1908 Wash Skirt page from Sears

The above skirt is listed as a “very stylish skirt of white German linen, made with seven gores, the gores having a deep foot plaits headed by strap of self material; inverted plaits in back; finished with wide hem.” I think that “plaits” would be “pleats” instead.

Close up on the 1908 Wash Skirt page from Sears

Close up on the 1908 Wash Skirt page from Sears

Another one I like (No.27K2320) – for 95 cents – is a “nobby wash skirt” “made of a good grade fancy German linen in the eleven-gored style here shown. Side front panels are cut in two parts, lower part being plaited as shown; single plaits at all seams; made with welt seams and hemmed at bottom.” It came in black and white plaid. (I had to look up the word ‘nobby’ – it meant stylish…)

From the illustration it looks like the upper part of the two-part panel is actually a hanging piece of fabric, but I think that’s intended to be a seam from which the pleats hang – or at least that’s the description and how I’d construct it.

Sears 1908 Waist Suits

Sears 1908 Waist Suits

Another great page is a selection of Waist Suits. While I wouldn’t make a blouse to accompany the skirt, I’m really focusing on the skirts themselves.

Close up on Sears 1908 Waist Suits

Close up on Sears 1908 Waist Suits

Once again I wanted to get a close up on the skirt I find most interesting from this page, and I really like this one above which was also sold in German linen.

Sears 1908 Petticoats

Sears 1908 Petticoats

Something I found interesting is that a lot of the skirts which hang like wool – are linen. I suspect that they’re a heavy linen and not a light weight one, but the fullness likely also comes from these fantastic petticoats. I decided to take a photo of the petticoat page as well, just for reference.

I likely won’t make a petticoat to go specifically with the Edwardian walking skirt I want to make – but I can see a skirt LIKE a petticoat being a pretty project at some point as well.  It looks like most of these are silk taffeta, which is remarkably hard to get around here (and super expensive). While the Wash Skirts were under a dollar – the silk petticoats are 2-3x the price – the same price as a full suit.

 

Sears 1908 Bust Enhancer

Sears 1908 Bust Enhancer

While I was browsing through the catalogue, I also found some super interesting other unique Edwardian items, like “Nature’s Only Rival” the “Famous H&H Bust Form”.

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