1909 “Beatrix” Skirt Pattern


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Created from an original 1909 May Manton pattern, this is my nine-gore “Beatrix” Walking Skirt pattern. This pattern can be used with the Edwardian Walking Jacket or with the “Beatrix” Jacket pattern. The skirt has options for straight back and “habit” back, which has a demi-train appropriate for side-saddle riding! Both this skirt and the jacket were inspired by the example of Beatrix Potter, who managed a large farm, took care of animals, sketched, and watercolored — all while wearing sturdy tweed skirts and tailored jackets!

  • Sizes 6-26 all included in one envelope!
  • Includes options for pleated back or “habit” (straight) back, walking length or train.
  • Combine this with the “Beatrix” Jacket to create an authentic Edwardian riding habit! Perfect for side-saddle riders!
  • Perfect for a beginner — all straight seams!
  • Photo Instructions online (available soon in PDF format).
  • Click to download the Beatrix Skirt Pattern yardage chart.
  • Available for instant download as an ePattern in PDF format!

31 Comments on 1909 “Beatrix” Skirt Pattern

  1. Elizabethbennet1 (Millie Carpenter)
    July 2, 2010 at 4:21 pm (7 years ago)

    The picture or information on this page isn’t showing up . Do you think that this could easily be done by hand ? I am looking for an easy beginner skirt that I could do by hand , and that will look nice . This looks beautiful from the picture on the previous page and it says beginner on it . Will it work well for me ?

    • Jennie Chancey
      July 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm (7 years ago)

      Hello! If you’re using an older version of Internet Explorer (prior to 7 or 8), the photo galleries on my site will not show up. It is a good idea to upgrade to the latest IE, since the older versions have security issues. To see which version you are using, go to http://bit.ly/sensibilitysupport.

      The skirt is definitely one you can sew by hand if you’ve a mind to–it’s all straight seams. 😀


  2. Elizabethbennet (Millie Carpenter)
    July 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm (7 years ago)

    Thank you so much for the encouragement! Maybe I’ll try it .

  3. Elizabethbennet (Millie Carpenter)
    July 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm (7 years ago)

    What fabric would you suggest for this type of skirt , someone told me cotton with lining or a slip , but I wanted to hear your advice also .
    Thank you .

  4. Elizabethbennet (Millie Carpenter)
    July 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm (6 years ago)

    I couldn’t resist !Thank you for your encouragement !

  5. Elizabethbennet (Millie Carpenter)
    July 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm (6 years ago)

    I couldn’t resist !Thank you for your encouragement ! I think it’s great how you sell old patterns .

  6. Beth
    September 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm (6 years ago)

    I have made this out of wool as well as flannel which is what the skirts were made of in the early 1900’s. Just make sure you have flannel washed which will ‘size’ it do when you make it it wont shrink. Also makes a nice summer skirt if made of linen, or 100% pre washed cotton.

  7. Arizona Girl
    October 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm (6 years ago)

    As a mom, I always need pockets in my clothes. Would pockets be easy to add to this skirt? In which seam and how far down from the waist would you recommend? Or, would pockets spoil the lines of this skirt?

    • Jennie Chancey
      November 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm (6 years ago)

      Hello! You could insert pockets into the side seams, though you’d want to use a thin pocket material rather than thick fashion fabric. For instance, I’d use cotton if your skirt is denim or wool. That will prevent pocket outlines from showing and will make the skirt less “hippy.” Hope this helps!

  8. Esther N
    December 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm (6 years ago)

    I don’t know how you feel about your pockets showing, but if you don’t mind that then maybe patch pockets might be an option to consider. Just sew a square of fabric on the front of your skirt wherever you want your pocket and leave the top of the square open. It may not be accurate to the era; don’t know. It is any easy way to get those must-have pockets though!

    • Jennie Chancey
      December 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm (6 years ago)

      Patch pockets definitely were not used in this era for this slim style. If you have to have pockets, I recommend making slim pockets of pima cotton and inserting them into the side seams. 🙂

  9. Amy at CreativeSpace
    January 23, 2011 at 11:24 am (6 years ago)

    Hi, Jennie! I’m a beginning seamstress and your skirt was my first project that involved installing a zipper and a waistband. I felt that the design was perfect for a beginner, however your directions are better suited for an intermediate person, someone already familiar with the basics of zippers and waistbands (since you directions are very general at those parts). I appreciated the photos you had on your tutorials for sewing a placket and pleating the “habit” back for the Beatrix skirt, but sometimes the lighting was so poor that I couldn’t see the details of your explanations in the photos. Overall, I’m very pleased with the final results (you can see a picture of it on my blog) and I plan to sew another one. Thank you!

    • Jennie Chancey
      January 23, 2011 at 11:34 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks for the note, Amy! I have plans to do a video tutorial on zipper installation, as that is definitely more intermediate than beginner (the hooks and eyes are beginner level). I’ll also reshoot the photos for the zipper at the same time. Way back when I created the “Beatrix” Skirt, I had a really old digital camera that took a floppy disk–LOL!–so the photos do leave much to be desired. 😉 Hope to redo those this Spring!

  10. S.L. Gabriel
    September 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm (5 years ago)

    Lovely. Would like to get one of those for myself.

  11. J. Zachary
    January 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm (5 years ago)

    I’ve been looking for a simple skirt to make and wear as a 2pc wedding dress. I’m a beginner, so this skirt seems perfect! What sort of material would you recommend my using? The skirt does need to be white. I’d like it made of a somewhat heavy but not see through material.
    Thanks in advance for any advice you may have!
    I’m excited to have found this pattern and your website!

    • Jennie Chancey
      January 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm (5 years ago)

      Hi there! This is a great skirt for a beginner, as it’s all straight lines. If you’ve never inserted an invisible zipper before, I recommend getting the inexpensive foot and following the tutorial at http://sewiknit.blogspot.com/2006/03/invisible-zipper-tutorial.html. As far as fabric goes, I’d recommend using dupioni silk or silk taffeta, both of which are lightweight and beautiful for wedding garments. The best source in the States for these silks is SilkBaron.com, which has fabulous prices and deals. Hope this helps, and congrats on your coming marriage!

  12. Lydia Esse
    July 5, 2012 at 1:58 am (5 years ago)

    I would just like to tell you I am addicted to this pattern! I used it to craft the first garment I’ve made in over two years, and it was just a perfect reintroduction into sewing. I can safely say the hardest part of this pattern is piecing together the epattern pieces! 🙂 I think this skirt is going to very quickly become a “signature” in my wardrobe.

    • Jennie Chancey
      July 5, 2012 at 2:01 am (5 years ago)

      So glad you’ve enjoyed the pattern, Lydia! I love how quickly it goes together, too. But you are right–the ePattern piecing is the longest, most tedious step! Trace off your pieces onto interfacing, and you’ll have a sturdy pattern you can use over and over again! 🙂

  13. L. Kamerman Ouwersloot
    July 16, 2012 at 11:32 am (5 years ago)

    The zipper didn’t exist till 1893, and I want my skirt to be a traditional as possible, what do you recommend instead of a zipper?

    Thank you very much for your answer.

    Mrs Kamerman Ouwersloot

    • Jennie Chancey
      July 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm (5 years ago)

      Hello! This is a 1909 skirt, so a zipper is still authentic, but if you prefer, you can make a hook-and-eye placket (I recommend flat skirt hooks for comfort) or a snap placket (also authentic). These options are explained in the instructions. Hope this helps!

  14. Lyric
    September 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm (4 years ago)

    After searching for an Edwardian skirt (that fits me) most of this day it looks like this may have to be the “it”. I saw several online that have a slim silhouette which I like because I am so large. This brings me to my question: is it possible to make the skirt with less gores? I am not a pattern drafter and it is difficult for me to envision possible edits. I want an Edwardian skirt, but one that is “slim”. I was hoping to use the skirt of my 1914 Afternoon Dress, but after making three I know it is wider than what I am looking for. I’m a size 22 by the measurements on the envelope; don’t need lots of fabric around the hip area.

    I liked the explanation about the inspiration for I too live on a farm and tend animals yet need modest, cute, functional garments. The Edwardian skirt fits the bill, I believe.

    • Jennie Chancey
      September 14, 2012 at 11:37 am (4 years ago)

      Hi, Lyric! Yes, you can overlap gores by 5/8″ if you want to make fewer. I recommend overlapping the front and side front, then the back and side back. Cutting out will be a bit different, so add more yardage (at least 1/2 yard) to play with. I hope this helps!

  15. ladydetemps
    May 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm (3 years ago)

    Is it ok to interface the waistband as I noticed in the instructions you don’t mention that this is required?

    • Jennie Chancey
      May 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi there! If you’re using a stiffer material like denim or wool, you won’t need interfacing. The original pattern didn’t call for an interlining or interfacing, though for the higher waistband it recommended webbing for a very firm fit. Hope this helps, and Happy Sewing!

  16. Maria
    October 22, 2015 at 1:50 am (1 year ago)

    What about a petticoat? Would that be necessary or apropriate for this skirt? How could the pattern be used to create one if so?

    • Jennie Chancey
      October 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi, Maria! Yes, indeed, on both counts. A lady would definitely wear a petticoat, and you can use the pattern as-is to create one out of pima cotton or another fine, thin material (silk, taffeta). Just add a flounce to the bottom, which would have been used to add fulness at the hem. I’ve got an Edwardian Undies pattern coming out, but the illustrations aren’t finished yet, so using this pattern for a petticoat will work for now!

  17. Angelique
    November 1, 2016 at 3:28 pm (3 months ago)

    I have decided I wanted to use this pattern for my wedding dress. I made a first try, in linen, and it fits me nicely but I find the fabric to be too stiff. In the pattern, it says silk dupioni would be appropriate but the swatches I got I found them too stiff as well, paper-like… And it is to be worn in summer so I want it to be flowy enough. So I wondered, could it be done in a lighter fabric like silk crepe or a silk and cotton blend ? I intend to make the corselet version with bones in the waistband so it should keep its structure.
    Thanks !

    • Jennie Chancey
      November 2, 2016 at 7:38 am (3 months ago)

      Hello, Angelique! What a lovely idea for your wedding! Yes, you can definitely use a lighter weight material, but you’ll need to use interfacing in the waistband to help it maintain its shape without “wilting,” even with the boning. Hope this helps, and happy sewing!

      • Angelique
        November 2, 2016 at 2:10 pm (3 months ago)

        Great, thank you ! It opens a lot more of possibilities. 🙂


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