Diana’s Wardrobe: Anne of Avonlea

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Have you ever watched a movie with your sketchbook in hand, trying to record the costumes as they move across the screen, asking yourself, “Now how does that dress go together?” If you have, this page is a wonderful reference of screenshots and descriptions of Anne’s dresses!

In this movie, Anne and Diana have grown into young women, both taking separate roads in life. Anne is now a teacher, teaching first at the school in Avonlea and then at a ladies college (or highschool to us Americans!). Diana, still in Avonlea, falls in love, marries and starts a family.

The beauty of the costumes in this film is their adaptability to modern wear. The styles of the early Edwardian period, while sometime lavishly embellished, have a cut and style that can still be worn today.

White Summer Outfit

White shirtwaist with standing collar. The material is vertically striped and seems to be similar to seersucker. The collar is of plain white fabric, opens down the center front and has a rounded notch on the upper edge; it is secured with a bar pin. The sleeves are long, set in at the cap, and gathered at the cuff; the cuff is 2″-2.5″ wide. The bodice has a yoke that is somewhat forward of the shoulder seam. The yoke extends to the back and forms a pleat. Topstitching is evident on the back of the yoke. The bodice is full in the center front, has a wide center placket, and buttons down the front.

The shirtwaist is paired with an ivory skirt. The skirt consists of three gores (one in front, two in back) and has fullness at the center back; there is one tuck at the hem. The outfit is completed with a soft blue, pointed, boned belt. Secures at the back, but the method of closure not evident.

Cow Chasing Outfit

The shirtwaist is made of an ivory embroidered material. The collar is standing with a point turned down at the center front, and edged with ivory lace. The bodice has two pleats (approximately 1.5″ each) at either shoulder that are stitched down to just below the bustline. The back has pleats that are stitched down to the waist. The sleeves are lightly gathered at the shoulders and fuller at the wrist. The cuff is approximately 2″ wide. Construction Tip: Sew the bodice at the shoulders before forming and stitching pleats-you’ll get more even pleats this way.

The skirt is a cream material and is made up of 3 gores. There is fullness at the center back with a row of buttons extending 10″ down from the waistband. There are 3 rows of tucks towards the hem; the hem is faced with a narrow tape.

Going Away Gown

This gown is made of a soft pink material. The bodice sports a standing collar of lace (approximately 2″-2.5″ tall) which is most likely boned at the sides. The bodice has tucks at the center front neckline (widest in middle, forming ‘placket’; narrower tucks of ¼” or 3/8″ flanking), with white shell buttons down center front. Lace bretelles at shoulders. Sleeves are elbow length and gathered at the cap and lower edge. The lower portion of the sleeves are fitted with lace overlay the pink material. The buttons down the front are non-functioning; the dress has a back closing. The lower edge of the bodice is gathered into the fashionable ‘pigeon’ front style.

The skirt is a cream material and is made up of three gores. There is fullness at the center back with a row of buttons extending 10″ down from the waistband. There are three rows of tucks towards the hem; the hem is faced with a narrow tape.

White Embroidered Outfit

The white shirtwaist sports elaborate cutwork embroidery, which was popular for the period. The collar is standing and is embroidered, using the motif to form the “hemmed” edges. The sleeves are set-in at the cap and lightly gathered at the wrist. The cuff is also embroidered. There is no evident method of closure, but I would suspect it buttoned down the back. The accompanying belt is blue and also boned. The skirt is white with a 10″ placket in the back and buttons.

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