Alexis’s Sophie Hatter



Alexis Galinis


(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

The character I based my design on is Sophie Hatter from ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ written by Dianna Wynne Jones and is set in the land of Ingary during the Edwardian era. Sophie, a girl in her mid-teens, is very talented at sewing clothes and has the remarkable ability to speak life into things, but thinks very little of herself because she is the eldest. Resigned that her fate was to inherit the family millinery, she spent her days trimming hats feeling isolated and dull in the demure grey dress that she knew didn’t suit her, but was the shops uniform. From here, my goal was to create a historically accurate outfit that represented her character and combined elements from both the book and the movie adaptation. Thus, the white pintucked shirtwaist was inspired by the fact that they were more commonly worn, but the idea to include the yoke was taken from the movie. The walking skirt and shawl are grey to match the book, but all of the adornments are inspired by Edwardian fashion. In the end, although her uniform was described as being fit for an old woman, I believe Sophie might have added her own touch to it with the extra scraps from the hats she trimmed; nothing too loud, just subtle enough to be slightly more interesting. I also wanted to incorporate a lot of floral elements as a nod to how she finally finds herself while working at a flower shop.

Outline the construction…

I only had a faint idea of what Edwardian Fashion looked like before starting this project and found the blog ‘SewHistorically’ written by Lina and the article “How to Make an Edwardian Blouse’ by Lauren Martin very helpful resources, along with many vintage photos and post cards on Google, Pinterest, and As a base for this costume, I used parts of Butterick B5970, but did some slight adjustments to the fit and altered the patterns by replacing the back zipper with a button-down opening in the yoke, adding more volume in the sleeve, and incorporating pleats to the skirt. When it came time to purchase my materials, I had to find a middle ground between using historically accurate fabric and getting creative with the resources I had available at my local store. The shirtwaist is a cotton blend with a subtle floral print and is adorned with floral hem tape and lace ribbon, and pin tucks that shift from 1/8” to ¼”. The skirt is a solid grey muslin with satin ribbon accent strips, and the capelet was luckily added to the ensemble after an inconspicuous grey bolt was found in the clearance section. The applique came from the same yard of bridal lace that was cut apart and dyed as necessary. Some construction challenges I faced where the math to create the curved pleat panels and discovering that I would need to incorporate elastic in the waistband of the shirtwaist because the zipper was removed.




  1. Avatar Emma Wayne on March 12, 2021 at 4:03 am

    This caught my eye and is very prettily done. Congrats on your hard work, and do wear this is public to show it off!

  2. Avatar Emeline Barrès on March 12, 2021 at 7:13 am

    I love how the fabric hangs so spotlessly, and especially how the whole outfit fits to the story : a simple, well-made one, but that a young girl with access to some bits of trims and skilled fingers may have embellished….. I really love it !

  3. Avatar Paula Yeomans-Hill on March 13, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    Beautiful work, a very pretty ensemble. I love the pin tucks.

  4. Avatar Mandy Pursley on March 14, 2021 at 2:10 am

    Well done! I’m in awe of how simple it looks at first glance, but the closer you look, the more and more beautiful little details you find!

  5. Avatar Carol Hughey on March 14, 2021 at 5:24 am

    A well defined character portrayal beautifully rendered

  6. Avatar Sadie on March 14, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    The shirt waist is exquisite, and I love all the floral embellishments! Beautiful portrayal of the character!

  7. Avatar Briana on March 15, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    This is great!

  8. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 18, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Wonderful job! I love this outfit and would happily wear it! Lovely details- you made it feel fresh yet historically appropriate, and who doesn’t love a little cape!

  9. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Beautifully made, and I can absolutely imagine Sophie wearing this outfit.

  10. Avatar Phanuel Jagna Levinsen on March 20, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Oh that blouse has turned out fantastic!

  11. Avatar Kaity Bower on March 22, 2021 at 1:24 am

    I love Sophie! Those pleats are to dye for and the fabric choices, especially the cape and blouse with the dimension are gorgeous.

  12. Avatar Stephanie Tietze on March 22, 2021 at 10:03 am

    I love this version of Sophie! She might not care for the gray, but this silvery gray with the lavender accents is charming. I love your shirtwaist as well. I would not mind owning a similar outfit….even if gray isn’t really my color either. 😉

    I think I may need to find a copy of the book version of the story at some point. I’ve only seen the movie.

  13. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 24, 2021 at 2:42 am

    This is a very beloved story for me, and your interpretation of Sophie is great! I particularly love the pleats at the back of the skirt, just like Sophie it seems simple at first glance, but with closer inspection is far more complex!

  14. Avatar Kikkii von Fustian on March 27, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    This is so lovely! <3

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