Jane Eyre in Wool



Emma Slingerland

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

"Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte is my absolute favorite book. My favorite quote is the one where Jane says: “Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart!”― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre.

This translates into my love for practical yet beautiful clothing. It's why I embroider flowers onto my work jeans which end up getting covered in mud. Its why I always try to make each garment extra special just for me. Jane Eyre is a practical person but that doesn’t mean boring or plain. I chose wool for this garment because it is the most practical garment and jane would definitely wear that in cold, rainy England.

I attempted to pick a design that doesn’t interfere with movement and add little chiffon gathers to dress up an otherwise boring dress. The lining is a piece of silk fabric that is very bold and I have little use for it elsewhere.

Outline the construction…

I started by drafting my design off of my basic bodice and skirt block. I went with simple princess line seams because they flatter me the most. I made a mock up that fit almost perfectly I just had to let out a bit at the hips. I cut my outer layer from wool and my lining from silk. I cut the inside of my back yoke from rayon and interfacing.

I stitched my inseam welt pockets first and this is a new skill for me so it took a bit of time. I stitched a mock-up of the belt to see how the placement would look. I inserted a lapped zipper in the back. On the sleeves I included a dart at the elbow for additional movement and made the wrist slightly smaller but then added elastic button loops and buttons to get a snug fit. I stitched the lining to the outer fabric at the hem and then slipstitched the hem so it was invisible to the outside of the garment. The sleeve lining is also attached to the body of the dress by slipstitching. I topstitched around the neckline and the back yoke as well as down the zipper.




  1. Avatar Retro Claude on March 11, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    The simple lines of this outfit are so sophisticated, beautiful!

  2. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 9:32 am

    This is so elegant! well done

  3. Avatar Mandy Pursley on March 14, 2021 at 2:52 am

    The dress seems quite perfect for Jane. Plain at first glance, but so many little details and excellent workmanship when you take a closer look. Very well done!

  4. Avatar Manon L'Hostis on March 16, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    This pattern looks quite complicated! And you really nailed it, it looks fabulous. Great job!

  5. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Beautifully done, I love all the quiet details.

  6. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 19, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    What a fun dress! It has a bit of a 1960s feel to it, and i love transporting classic characters to new periods. I’d love to see more of your lining- that little peek is such a teaser! 🙂

  7. Avatar Phanuel Jagna Levinsen on March 20, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    I can’t even begin to describe how much i love the seam-placements on the back. Everything comes together so beautifully!

  8. Avatar Peta Pendlebury on March 22, 2021 at 11:16 am

    I love the understated choice of fabric with the teaser of bright colour underneath and the detail of the tiny lace ruff. And to make such a wearable garment for the competition – very sustainable. I really like the shape of the front belt too.

  9. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 24, 2021 at 3:47 am

    I love this! It is perfect for Jane, just as her plain appearance doesn’t equate to a lack of character, the absence of excessive embellishment on this dress doesn’t mean a lack of quality, to the contrary, it highlights the beautiful lines and fit of the dress. So elegant!

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