A Victorian Sailor Suit for The Just Cause

Sailor suit collar

With only five weeks to go until Worthing's Victorian Community Play The Just Cause opens, here are some photos of the sailor suit I made for my daughter to wear – she plays the part of a poor boy thief. Thankfully it was a much easier make than my own Temperance woman's costume and took just a few hours over a weekend to complete. 

Victorian boy's sailor suit costume
Boy's sailor suit costume for The Just Cause

My starting point was Pattern S, a pullover hooded top from Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids but I redrafted the hood to fall into a rectangular sailor collar. Scathingly Brilliant has a good tutorial showing how to do this. I used a lightweight striped cotton (bought from Worthing Market's fabric stall) as her role involves a chase scene in the hot packed church, so heavier fabrics were out! The trim on the collar is a piece of velvet ribbon, and I cut up an old embroidered cotton belt (not worn for years) to make the tie.

Sailor suit sewn using modified sewing patterns from Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids

The simple elasticated waist shorts with back pockets are also a design from Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids –  Pattern M. The finished garment looked good but a bit too smart for the part, so I soaked the whole costume in a stew of tea bags for an hour to get a more 'vintage' and well worn look.

Sailor suit stewed in tea and hung out to dry
Sailor suit stewed in tea and hung out to dry

Here's a sneak preview of her in character wearing the sailor suit. For a better look and to experience our exciting and dramatic production be sure to come along and see The Just Cause in June!

Victorian child thief costume for The Just Cause

The cast of The Just Cause, Worthing's Community Play
Cast of The Just Cause, photograph © Steve Speller

Three performances of The Just Cause take place at Christ Church, Worthing on 14th, 21st and 28th June 2014. Entry is free but priority will be given to those in Victorian costume! Visit Worthing Community Play or follow us on twitter.