Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Simplicity 2843 - Anne of Green Gables costume

It was a beautiful late winter day, and the very first blooms were beginning to emerge from their winter's slumber. Anne, slowly strolling home after spending the afternoon over at the Barry's farm, was enraptured, and gathered great handfuls to place in the old cracked jug that Marilla had allowed her to keep in her bedroom. In the distance she could hear the quiet jangle of cow bells, and hurried up to give Matthew a hand getting the cows in for evening milking, pausing only to bestow a cheery wave in Mrs Rachel Lynde's general direction as she scampered on by, trailing petals as she went...

Hang on a second! For a moment I could have sworn I was embedded in the pages of Anne of Green Gables, but that's not a red-haired scamp in the pics in front of me - it's just the Tyger, proudly wearing her fresh-off-the-sewing-machine Anne costume!
Anne #1

Anne #6

Anne #7

I used Simplicity 2843 for the costume. I must admit, being a rush job, it's not the finest sewing I've ever done. In fact, Mrs Lynde would probably have a heart attack if she could see my lazy, only-folded-over-once hems, but the Tyger is pleased as punch with it, and that's all that matters!

Besides, it sure beats wearing either a garbage bag or a motley collection of saucepans for Book Week Dress Up Parade, so no complaints allowed. Otherwise I might have to start that drone all too familiar to children of all ages everywhere: "When I was young we didn't even have Book Week! And if we ever got a chance to dress up we had to make do with garbage bags! And we had to walk 15 minutes to school in the snow with no shoes..." etc etc.

I wasn't thrilled about the dress construction techniques asked for. Attaching the bodice to the skirt was in particular a bit troublesome, but that's really my only quibble. Besides, at least I got to race through it using a sewing machine. Imagine doing it all by hand, as the ladies in the Anne series would have had to do, unless they were rich enough to afford a dressmaker. I shudder to think of it!

Although, admittedly, it would be rather nice to be sitting snug in some dear friend's parlour in Avonlea, happily sewing and gossiping away as part of a sewing group, maybe discussing the finer points of poetry, or, more likely, trying to figure out who was more dishy: Gilbert Blythe or Moody Spurgeon (Gilbert, hands down).

Galumph always likes to gently rib me by claiming that I was born in the wrong era, but people did seem kinder then. Less self-absorbed, more neighbourly, perhaps. Although, frankly, I am pretty happy with the whole modern medicine thing, so I think I might just stay here in 2012, let the Tyger enjoy her Anne costume, and dip into the books whenever I fancy a historical escape!

Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 2843, dress A
Fabric: 1m of patterned quilting cotton, 2.7m cotton drill for skirt
Notions: 3m grosgrain ribbon, 9 buttons.


  1. And it has beautiful puffed sleeves! What a great costume. I saw the book at the library last month and had to borrow it for another read.

  2. OMG OMG OMG!! You are the best mum ever! I also have a big Anne (with an 'e') of Green Gables thing. Probably something to do with being teased for my red hair and freckles, along with being a complete chatterbox with a terrible temper. hmmm and my name is Roxanne (And my hair is now a nice auburn phew). My mum was nice enough to put my hair in pig tails every day but she never made me an outfit as adorable as that!!!

    I hope your daughter has an amazing book week. How can she not with such a cute outfit.

    I think we need a grown up book week for the sewing blogger community...

  3. Thanks, Roxy! I'll go as Rilla (always wanted red hair myself!)

  4. Wow! That's awesome! Isn't every little girl a fan of Anne? I fondly remember wanting to be her when I was young. You're an awesome mum for making it happen for the Tyger :)

  5. Oh yes, puffed sleeves! That's fabulous. I just finished reading the book to my boys - age 10 and 11 - and they were awfully tolerant of it, ha! In fact the eldest said something like "that was actually really quite good" when I finished it. There is quite a lot of wistful stuff in there about growing up and leaving childhood behind which is about where he is at....
    Great choice for Book Week and awesome costume.

  6. So lovely! I loved Anne of Green Gables, and ended up with the whole series - the same edition as in your photo! We were living in the UK and my grandmother in Australia would send me them for birthday and Christmas until I had the whole set. I've still got them :)

  7. Pretty darn fabulous. And a bazillion times better than a garbage bag with green streamers! You've done her and Anne of GG proud! Gorgeous :)

  8. This is so well made !!!
    I look forward to when my daughter starts reading & falls in love with the characters.

  9. Gilbert is definitely dishy ! love AGG books...hope my girls too when they're older... then i can make them a dress as fab as this!

  10. Oh so sweet! Anne is one of my all time favourites too, I never get tired of reading them.

    PS. Have you read The Blue Castle too?

  11. What a gorgeous costume! She's one lucky girl.

  12. Fantastic costume!! I'd like one too.

  13. Ack! I'm having trouble leaving a comment! What a wonderful mum you are! She looks terrific. I had a very similar costume when I was a kid, as we used to go on school trips to a pioneer village, to simulate going to school and living in such a rural Canadian farm community. We are very proud of Anne in Canada. Sadly, LMM herself did not have a happy life. That said, she left us a great set of stories to cherish. It's cool to think of her reach around the world (the Japanese, too, love Anne, and make pilgrimages to Prince Edward Island every summer!). (PS Gilbert is the most dishy of all!)


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