Our Schoolmistress Shirtwaist and Skirt sewing pattern dates from about 1907, a period when women's clothing became more man-tailored. This pattern was taken from a matched set made in white cotton with black threads woven to form tiny squares. The skirt features bias trim detailing at the hem, which also trims the cuffs and front opening of the blouse.
The elegant princess line in the back of the Shirtwaist is accented by two wide tucks that extend over the shoulders to the front. A pretty scalloped front opening and gathers at the back waist soften the silhouette ( a simpler straight front placket is optional). Moderately full set-in sleeves gather neatly into buttoned cuffs. Bias details may be done on the straight grain of the same or contrasting fabric, or omitted altogether.
The Shirtwaist and the scallop front version are featured in this detailed how-to blog post.
Wear it with the sweeping seven-gore skirt. The slimming lines of the seven gore skirt flatters most figures. An inverted back pleat below the center back closure adds fullness and a sweeping line, with optional bias trim.
The Skirt is featured in this detailed blog post about how to size up a gored skirt.
Suggested fabrics: Light to medium-weight soft or crisp fabrics such as cotton broadcloth, poplin, or denim; silk; linen; or blends. The Skirt can also be made from light to medium-weight wool, corduroy, or velveteen.
Era: Victorian, Edwardian, 1800s