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Edwardian blouse, Harem pants and a farmers market

August 5, 2014 · 21 comments

Last weekend we took a trip over to Barnes to visit a good friend of mine who has just moved into the world’s most adorable cottage there and to have a stroll around the lovely farmer’s market. It was, as is standard currently, a blazing hot sunny day so I thought it would be a good opportunity to take some photographs of one of my go-to hot weather me-made outfits this summer. One of my absolute favourite things about summer is the opportunity to wear vintage cotton dresses but this year I felt like adding some other silhouettes to my wardrobe and shorts just weren’t tempting me. Having spotted lots of patterned trousers all over the place I thought a pair of them could be a good addition- I mean trousers that fit and feel pretty much like PJs, who could upset about that, right?!

Harem 4

Having never owned or made any harem trousers before I thought it would be best to find a pattern rather than draft them myself with no point of reference! So I had a look and picked up Vogue 8909 from White Tree Fabrics (enter LITTLE TAILORESS for 20% off anything at checkout). I wasn’t hopeful that they would be the most flattering of things on my 5’4” frame, especially considering I am proportionately longer in the body than legs and to be honest they probably aren’t. That being said they are possibly the comfiest, hot weather item of clothing I have ever made, and that is worth it to me- especially this summer! I think there is something so appealing and chic about being covered up and yet cool in the heat.

Harem 1

The trousers have elastic at the waist and at the ankles, it is actually two rows of 5mm elastic drawn through channels which I really like about the pattern as it makes the waist and the hems nice and soft. I find that the wider elastics that are readily available can be really tough and thick. They fit me which just a couple of tiny alterations that I would expect to make to any trouser pattern.  I made them a deep navy paisley print Liberty Tana Lawn that seemed an appropriate fabric and I really love the print, especially as it goes so well with a white top which is what I have mainly  been pairing them with.

Harem ankle detail

On this occasion I wore an Edwardian inspired self- drafted blouse that I made and embroidered on my embroidery machine. It is made of fantastic quality cotton lawn that I found on ebay for £30 (about $50) for 10 metres- bargain! I embroidered it first, before cutting out the front and back blouse pieces. The central design is from an embroidery collection called delicate embroideries and the strip either side is a design that I slightly modified from a collection called Endless insertions and threadwork; both are Husqvarna embroidery collections.

Harem 2

On either side of the embroidery on the front and back (which are embellished identically) I used a pintuck foot on my regular Bernina sewing machine to add pintucks. This is one of my absolute favourite machine feet and adds interest, texture and detail to all manner of fabrics so simply. If anyone would like to see it in action (I am sure you can buy the feet for all brands of machine) let me know as I was thinking of making a video on pin-tucking! These feet create teeny tiny tucks using a twin needle so they are more delicate and a little quicker than regular tucks (which I also love!).

Blouse detail


This top is actually the 2nd edition, the 1st edition which featured slightly different embroidery patterns but the same pintucks was so well worn and loved that it eventually died and this was its replacement. This wearing and loving all happened before it was blogged. I am a self- confessed terrible blogger. I am really trying to think of a way to rectify that as I would like to blog far more frequently than I do!

Harem 3

This combination is made for a perfect hot day outfit paired with Accessorize flat  sandals and  my trusty Vintage Brown 11” Cambridge Satchel. My friend’s cottage is so picture perfect with all it’s stunning original features that I was too busy ooo-ing and ahhh-ing to remember to take any photos of it. Next time I plan to photograph her bathroom tiles and share them with you just for their vintage aesthetic appeal!

We did, however, get some very important photographs of tomatoes, which were as tasty as they were colourful! ;)

Tomato shopping

A rainbow of tomatoes

Thanks for reading!!


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyric August 5, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Edwardian as a clothing genre is on point, IMHO. It is one style that I have a current fancy and I am including it in my wardrobe makeover.

“Harem” pants will stand the test of time and as you have discovered are very comfortable not to mention cool (hey, Middle Easterners know what they’re doing). Long before MC Hammer was wearing them I wore “salwars”; love ‘em.

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justine August 6, 2014 at 12:53 am

Your outfit is lovely. I just bought a Bernina with embroidery and am inspired to try this. Im scared it will be hard though!


Rhoda K August 6, 2014 at 2:10 am

Love your blouse embroidery! Nice outfit and looks so comfy.


Katalin August 6, 2014 at 7:21 am

Lovely outfit, Ami! I love the details on your blouse! I have been thinking of having some pin tucks on some of my projects as well, so a tutorial would be great!
Those tomatoes look awesome! Amazing variety!


Caroline Joynson August 6, 2014 at 7:22 am

Those harem pants look super-comfy and chic at the same time.
The embroidery on your top looks beautiful and very professional!
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Suzie August 6, 2014 at 9:20 am

Those trousers look like they would be super comfy to wear – especially in Liberty!!! And your blouse is just so beautiful. I am always inspired by the special details and care that you put into your sewing.
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Jean August 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm

The embroidery on the blouse looks beautiful and the whole outfit looks so cool and comfortable. A tutorial on pin tucks would be very useful too. Thanks.


Kimberly August 6, 2014 at 12:57 pm

ami, great summer outfit – perfect tailoring (can i use that term with harem pants?) so it doesn’t look like you are shopping in your pajamas at all! love the embroidery on the top too. i wish i had days to sit and learn everything about my embroidery machine, it’s not difficult, just takes time. i’m with katalin above, a pin tuck tutorial would be great. i’m always looking for helpful hints/guidence/encoragement (which i get from your blog regularly!). stay cool! kimberly


Danielle August 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Now that is a simply beautiful summer outfit!
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Sandra August 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Ami, I just love everything about your blouse, and yes, please do a tutorial about pintucking. I have a Bernina, I have one or two pintucking feet, but I’ve never tried to make them. Thanks for sharing these two sewing projects with us!
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Karen at Fifty Dresses August 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm

You make the prettiest blouses! You look the picture of comfort and cool in this outfit.
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Angela August 6, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Please please please do a tutorial on the embroidery and pin tucking and also I’d love to know how you did that ric rac collar. I think the harem pants look great. I feel inspired to make some!


amelialowden August 26, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Aw thank you so much and I absolutely will! The rick rack collar is easy- it is actually rick rack braiding that has an extra straight band which I applied to the neck seam. I will take some photos and add them to the white- work tutorial :)
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Noelle August 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Gorgeous! That embroidery is exquisite.
It looks so warm there! Kinda makes me miss summer…but then I think about how uncomfortable our summers are and I’m glad it’s still cold here!


amelialowden August 26, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Hehe yes I know the feeling- posts from Australia have the exact same effect one me and make me miss coats and scarves and I have to remind myself we get about 9months out of 12 to wear them and only around 3 weeks of hot sunshine! Hehe!
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Sam August 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm

This is a gorgeous outfit and makes me want to own a pair of harem pants! I would definitely like to see a tutorial on pintucks :-)
X Sam
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amelialowden August 26, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Coming up Sam and thank you :)
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Merc August 11, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Please count my comment as my vote on the video on pin tucking would love to learn how that is done. Love your blog and thank you.


amelialowden August 26, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Will do and thank you! :)
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April Page August 20, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Dear Ami,

I am slightly obsessed by anything with lace and embroidery details – which it seems you are too! So wondered if you could recommend a good embroidery machine as I am slightly overwhelmed by all the options available and fully intend to use it to create blouses like the beautiful one you are wearing in this post.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Best wishes

April x


amelialowden August 26, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Hi April! Yes it is a VERY tricky decision isn’t it! I found the best way was to go somewhere where they were really happy to explain a lot about the different features of all the machines. My embroidery machine is a Husqvarna Viking and I cannot recommend it highly enough- unfortunately they seem to have changed all the models since I got mine a few years back and so I can’t really tell which machine is the modern equivalent to mine. A friendly stockist should be able to advise a machine based on what you want to be able to do- you could even show them my blog post as they will probably recognise the husqvarna embroidery design I used! Sorry not to be able to
offer more specific advise! Happy machine shopping :)
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