Fallen Through Time



Darcy Walker


(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

My 18th century outfit, completed during the lockdown in Michigan, was inspired by Claire Fraser from the "Outlander" book series. Claire, an English WWII nurse, goes on a second honeymoon in Scotland with her husband Frank, and while at a standing stone, falls through time to 1743. Both the English and the Scottish suspect she is a spy for the other side, and she marries Jamie Fraser to prevent being captured by the English. It’s only after they are married that they fall in love, and Claire tells Jamie the truth about where - and when - she is from. When he gives her the chance to go back to the 1940s and to Frank, she chooses to stay, and together they try to prevent the tragedy at Culloden.

I love Outlander so much, I decided that my first sewing project would be an outfit that Claire could have worn as she collected herbs and healed the tenants of Castle Leoch in the chilly Scottish climate. To this end, I focused on garments fit for everyday wear and warm enough for outdoor chores. Much of Claire and Jamie’s adventures happen on the road, so I wanted an earth tone color palette. I chose a warm brown for the bodice, and a muted version of the Campbell tartan for the petticoat. My own Scottish heritage was the inspiration for my choice of tartan. I come from a long line of Burnses, and some speculate they were once part of the Campbell clan.

Outline the construction…

I was already following several CosTubers at this point, so I sort of knew what I was doing, but I can’t count how many times I watched American Duchess’s videos on stays, trying to figure out if I should adapt my commercial patterns (Simplicity 8162 and 8161). Ultimately, I didn’t alter them much. The most customisation I did was to change where the eyelets on my stays went so that they could be spiral laced. I did make some pockets out of scrap fabric and bias tape using the guidelines from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and I managed to sew them by hand. I had little experience hand sewing prior to those pockets, so a machine was used for the vast majority of this project. I prioritised having fun and saving money, so some modern fabric blends were used here, some including polyester. The stays took me the longest to make, and are the part of the project that is the least historical in its design as far as color and pattern are concerned. I wanted to make them fun, since they would be hidden under the outfit, and they are a reflection of myself, not Claire. The fashion fabric is cotton, and I used duck canvas and zip ties for structure. I bound the stays by hand and made all of the eyelets on the stays and bodice with a buttonhole stitch. The bodice and petticoat were both made with a homespun wool blend from the Celtic Croft.




  1. Avatar Rachel on March 12, 2021 at 12:27 am

    Watching Outlander definitely contributed to me starting sewing at age 30! It may not have been the most “historically accurate”, but the costumes are beautiful and sparked an interest in learning a skill I’d always wanted to pick up! Great job here!

  2. Avatar Teri Plemel on March 12, 2021 at 1:22 am

    So much attention to detail and lovely construction!

  3. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Oh wow- I’m very impressed by this wonderful entry- very, very well done

  4. Avatar Mathilde on March 12, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    This is an AMAZING first project. I’m so impressed. And you already have a great sens for details, like hand embroidered eyelts.

  5. Avatar Carolien van Alphen on March 12, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Beautiful! Very well done 🙂

  6. Avatar Marie on March 12, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    The mix of different patterns and textures is really cool!

  7. Avatar Andrea Olinte on March 13, 2021 at 10:40 am

    The whole look with the colour scheme is beautiful.

  8. Avatar Elowen Blackthorn on March 13, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Really nice outfit, well done!

  9. Avatar Valerie Meachum on March 15, 2021 at 1:34 am

    So many pieces, and all so well done! If that doesn’t reflect love of both the inspiration and the craft, I don’t know what would.

  10. Avatar Audra Borders on March 16, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    I have loved Outlander since it was first published in the ’90s. And the books are better than the series. I thought of doing something along these lines as well, but my schedule wouldn’t allow for it with all of my sewing for Christmas at the same time.

  11. Avatar Lisa Olsen on March 19, 2021 at 3:04 am

    Very pretty, and I love the color choices. Well done!

  12. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 20, 2021 at 4:53 am

    This is a stunning outfit. I love that skirt! I love all your fabric choices! Beautiful! By the way, when I watch all the big YouTubers, I can be heard screaming at the dang screen for them to slow down! LOL Thank you!

  13. Avatar Bill Baillie on March 21, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    OK, let’s be frank here – I’m jealous! I’ve started making some C18th Highland kit for re-enacting the Jacobite Rising of 1745 – it ain’t easy. Kudos to you! 🙂

  14. Avatar Kathleen LaFlamme on March 25, 2021 at 3:57 am

    This is great! A whole outfit, and not the easiest project either. This was a really ambitious beginner project. It brought back great memories of my earliest costumes – different time period, but I remember my first attempt at a bodice. Love this!

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