The skirt is a three-panel thing with box pleats. One seam in the back and one on each side/front. A waistband keeps it all in place.
The closure of the skirt is my second cut corner. I think that the HA option is hooks and eyes + snap buttons in the side/front seam on one side, and it also looks like that on the original inspiration picture. I find it hard to get the fit right with such a closure, though. My second reason for a slightly fuller skirt is that I find the original inspiration a tiiiiny bit backwards for 1916-17. Not at all unreasonable, not everyone can have the latest all times, and also my character could be more than a bit conservative, fashion-wise, but I still thought I could get away with a tiny bit more of shorter-but-fuller look of the late 1910's.
Therefore, I made the waistband about 10-15" too large, and then added hooks and eyes to an inverted box pleat (in the back, see above) and on the underside of a regular one (in front) with snap buttons to keep the pleat in place. I then added hooks to the bodice waistband and tiny loops on the inside of the waistband, to keep the two together also when I am moving about. The corset also helps a lot, but since I have a long back and not a very defined waist, blouses tend to slide upwards and skirts downwards...
To give the taffeta a tiny bit of weight, I added a strip of raw silk as an interfacing on the hem. Worked fairly well. Ideally, I'd have like to handstitch the upper edge (a visible line of "dots'" can just be made out in the photo above), but there wasn't enough time - so a machine seam it is.
A bit of pulling in the taffeta, but I decided I could live with that. Sorry about the blurry photos. My mobile phone camera hates anything but good outdoor light with a passion.
And here it is. I added loose pockets (loops on the pocket, buttons on the waistband - if the pocket is removed, the buttons looks like they're there for decoration). The blouse is a cheat, viscose modern stuff. The lovely lovely photo (c) is by John-Paul Bichard
. He's on Facebook, too, there there for example are lots of more portraits
What the item is: Silk dress/suit
Who your hero is and how the costume applies to them: Several combined. First and foremost Leimomi Oakes who started the HSM group, which has done wonders for my productivity, and secondly my great grandmother, born in 1900, (and her mother): her handicraft and dresses (and some of her mother's) are still around at my grandmother's and started my interest in both fashion and sewing, I think.
Fabric/Materials: Silk taffeta, and some raw silk for the lining.
Pattern: None, looked at photos, read descriptions of patterns and improvised.
Year: The inspiration photo is said to be from 1916, but wasn't likely the most fashionable for that year. 1910's.
Notions: Polyester threads, snap buttons, hooks and eyes and som plastic buttons for attaching the pockets (a practial cheat)
How historically accurate is it? I don't know. It looks right, but since this is not my period and I had to improvise a bit due to both practical stuff and time constraints I probably cut a few corners. Machine sewn.
Hours to complete: Too many, but not as many as it could have been. No real mistakes, made everything once!
First worn: 4th and 5th November, at the Fariweather Manor LARP
Total cost: About 100 euros for the fabric, perhaps another 10 for lining, buttons and notions. 3,5 meters of silk taffeta used.