Leaves of Green



Lucy Moss


Outline the story …

“Leaves of Green” is a three-piece outfit inspired by the elegance of a black lace applique I found while browsing Etsy. It’s a stunning piece, and I knew it was the perfect thing to take a formal outfit up a notch. I had plans for a green-and-black outfit for a winter wedding, and given my recent proclivity for early Edwardian profiles, it wasn’t long before an image came together. I wanted something reusable, so I chose to make three distinct pieces: a black walking skirt, a lightweight blouse, and a belt. I wanted the skirt and blouse fabrics to have plenty of texture, while the belt would provide a splash of pattern and help unify the outfit. The skirt is made out of a wool blend with a wonderful chevron texture that gives it a lot of life by itself. I also added a small pleat at the center back, since I liked the effect that gave on another Edwardian-inspired walking skirt. The blouse is a transparent crinkled chiffon with a wonderful texture like the veins of leaves running through it. Along the lower edge of the yoke, the applique hangs free, allowing the blousy body to move independently. The belt is actually fully reversible, with two distinct quilting cotton facings and four pairs of eyelets to let it lace in the back. All the pieces come together nicely while still letting the original leafy applique take center stage in “Leaves of Green”.

Outline the construction…

The belt is based on Truly Victorian TVE55, with the closure changed to eyelets to make it reversible. It also features topstitching to keep the two sides in place.

The skirt is drafted from a 1901 drafting manual, in five gores with a narrow underfolded box pleat added at center back. The skirt closes with a skirt hook at the waist and snaps along the placket. There is a large pocket as well, and I like to add my custom label to everything that I can. There is a wide hem facing made out of cotton twill, which I first sewed by machine, then understitched, then carefully hand-stitched the top of the facing in place, creasing it when I needed to.

The blouse pattern is derived from my attempts at a bodice block, which I customized for the applique neckline. After fitting, I patterned a yoke with a gently slanted edge, and then a body that gathered pleasantly. For the top piece, I turned back the edges so that the applique would have a fully-finished facing piece. Then, I whipped this onto the body and under-facing, with all edges turned inside. At this point I had not sewn the side seams, so I set the sleeves in flat, entirely forgetting I did this so I could french seam the sleeves. I hand felled them in the end, but remembered to do the final seam properly. Finally, I finished the cuffs with hooks and eyes.




  1. Constance MacKenzie Constance MacKenzie on May 10, 2023 at 8:08 am

    Some lovely elegant Edwardian shapes you have created, and its lovely that you used the lace to influence the design of the ensemble

  2. Avatar Steffi Wee on May 10, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    I love how you incorporated the lace into the outfit! It comes together so beautifully

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