Anathema Device



Emily Ruthven

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

In "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Anathema Device is a witch and a descendant of Agnes Nutter. She lives by the prophecies written by Agnes hundreds of years prior and is most comfortable having a routine to follow. She spends much of her time analyzing newspapers/maps, surveying with her theodolite, and deciphering then following the prophecies.

Putting everything we learn about her together, I imagine she doesn’t own many clothes and her wardrobe is practical and feminine. Her daily style is historybounding the Edwardian era- 1910s (likely not intentional). Since she lives as a descendant, it would make sense that her clothing is historically inspired. The Wearing History Evelyn skirt pattern is a c.1917 pattern. The only clothing description we get for Anathema is a “sensible black skirt”, but I chose this specific pattern because the pockets on this skirt are perfect for carrying around her folded maps and newspapers. And the simplicity 8014 pattern (a shirtdress I am pretending is a blouse) fits in with the 1990s setting, but also goes well with a 1910s skirt.

Anathema also shows a passion for sustainable living and I tried to reflect that with the garments, so all patterns/materials were purchased from independent sellers (either local independent businesses or etsy shops). [I would like to clarify that I have never seen the TV adaptation of the show, nor any promotional images of this character. This design is entirely based on the book.]

Outline the construction…

These are my 3rd/4th ever garments and include a lot of firsts for me! First time doing a collared shirt, buttonholes, altering a pattern, and sleeves! Simplicity 8014 is for a shirt dress, but I am pretending it is just a blouse. I made it out of what I believe is a cotton/poly blend from a local reuse store. Very few changes were made to the look of the blouse, though I did have to significantly alter the sleeve pattern to increase arm mobility. My first time altering a pattern and I’m surprised it actually worked really well! I’m able to fully lift my arms overhead without pulling it up at the waist (vs only being able to lift 90 degrees before). I did follow the advice of CosTube and sewed them in by hand. The only other alteration I made was adding width to the back piece in the shoulder area. I did use historical methods of finishing and felled most of my seams.

The Wearing History Evelyn pattern was made from 100% cotton and shortened to knee length. I changed the waistband construction and I’m not quite sure what I was doing, but it got attached! The original pattern called for an internal waistband and I just didn’t do that and basically topstitched it on by hand. The pockets were also attached by hand.




  1. Avatar Wendy on March 12, 2021 at 2:52 am

    The buttonholes are fantastic – I now have buttonhole envy :-). The skirt is great – I want one.

  2. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Those Buttonholes are fabulous! Lovely outfit- great job!

  3. Avatar Leora Wambach on March 13, 2021 at 2:40 am

    Oh this is so cute! Classy and clever, and something I could see a practical girl getting up to mischief in. Well done!

  4. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 13, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Lovely! The pockets are great. The world always needs more pockets! I think it’s great how you deviated from the patterns to make it work for you.

  5. Avatar Lillian Hansen on March 13, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    This looks great! The button holes are great and I love the skirt, practical but very flattering. Wonderful job!

  6. Avatar Sarah Bent on March 14, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    Beautiful work, and they match the chosen character way in a practical way.

  7. Avatar Lorraine Lysen on March 19, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    Perhaps there is a prophecy about you making this splendid outfit =D

  8. Avatar Taylor on March 26, 2021 at 2:22 am

    This looks awesome!!! Super cute and creative 🙂

  9. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 26, 2021 at 2:47 am

    Oh wow, this looks awesome! I love it! Thank you!

  10. Avatar Victoria Hunter on March 29, 2021 at 2:41 am

    I used that skirt pattern too- I love that shorter length! I might have to make another for everyday wear.

  11. Avatar Peta Pendlebury on March 29, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    Those pockets are HUGE! Now that’s a proper pocket. Well done on achieving so many firsts. And thank you for pointing out that pattern – I feel another project for my list!

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