A Scarlet Woman



Jennipher A Lewis


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Caroline Lee - Photographer and Videographer

Outline the story …

"A Study in Scarlet Women" by Sherry Thomas.
Mrs. John Watson nee Joanna Hamish Redmayne.

This is my interpretation of Mrs. Watson from the first book in the Lady Sherlock series, set in 1894 London. She is a former actress and retired demimonde. A wealthy woman dressing at the height of fashion with fine tailoring, but loud and garish as a warning to the women of society that she is a Demimonde and to avoid her. Widowed at a relatively young age, she still grieves for her husband. She is witty, kind, and has incredible business acumen. Her adventure starts when she befriends Charlotte Holmes, a young lady of society who crossed the line of what was considered proper. Joanna is the perfect companion for the eccentric Charlotte and their consulting detective endeavors. Using her fictitious brother, Sherlock (too ill to see anyone in person), Charlotte Holmes and Joanna Watson work to solve baffling mysteries. Joanna knows her value, and what to charge for Charlotte (Sherlock) Holmes’ consultations. Together they earn a living and live independently in a Victorian world that dismisses woman. Lost and without purpose until Charlotte comes into her life, Mrs. Watson is rejuvenated.

Outline the construction…

Ladies’ Summer Walking Suit 1894: Ripple skirt and Eton Jacket.

All additional garments made by self: pair of combinations, corset, corset cover, petticoat, bum pad, shirtwaist, belt, tie, hat - cut and resewn, decorated with ribbon, feathers, and flowers.

Purchased: shoes and stockings - American Duchess, earrings - Lady Detalle, gloves, parasol, pocket watch, chain with monocle, ring.

Inspiration: "Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns" edited by Kristina Harris, page 102, Ladies Costume Spring 1895.

Patterns: Truly Victorian TV498 – Eton Jacket, TV296 – 1895 Ripple Skirt.

Pocket sourced from Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion 2, page 47, self-drafted. Watch Fob self-drafted.

Sewn by hand, except for the second buckram hem: seams and hem at bottom of the skirt by machine, felled by hand.

100% Cotton Madras used for the skirt and jacket.
Jacket lined with 100% cotton.
Skirt lined with tarlatan, hemmed with buckram for stiffness.

The skirt waistband was big by 1", since everything was completed, made a waist pleat at the back where it would be least noticeable and easiest to remove. The original hem was too long, attached a 10 inch buckram 2 inches higher. Leaving the old one in place (thinking I could cut it later). When in place, rather than cut the old 6 inch hem, I felled it to the larger piece for a double layer of stiffening. Cotton bias tape trim (purchased), sewn on by hand. Appliques (purchased), sewn on by hand. Originally going to use Soutache, but opted against.




  1. Avatar Samanthalovestosew on March 11, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    I love this costume and you look fantastic in it!

  2. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Beautiful entry- and I love how it looks on 🙂

  3. Avatar Carolien van Alphen on March 12, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Gorgeous dress. Love the black with the pinks and greens. Beautiful details. Well done!

    • Avatar Annette on March 19, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      That really looks amazing, and I’m impressed by the amount of Handsewing you did.

  4. Avatar Terri Bowlby-Chiasson on March 13, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Beautiful work! Well done!

  5. Sophia Khan Sophia Khan on March 13, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    The soutache details are wonderful! I love this period it really suits you.

  6. Avatar sarah Lowes on March 14, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    This outfit has made me want to read those books!

  7. Avatar Linda Call on March 20, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Love the plaid pinks and greens with the bold outlining of the braiding. Your pocket placement for this era is great!

  8. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 24, 2021 at 5:20 am

    Wow, I am in love with this! Such a treat to see. Thank you so much!

  9. Avatar Kelli M on March 27, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    This is absolutely stunning! The photos don’t do justice to all of the other tiny immeasurable details that went into this set. Bravo!!

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