nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
1. Lavender Earl Grey tea. Ah.

2. Cozy house moccasins.

3. Switching to the very lightest-weight needle (70/09) to minimize puckering on this super lightweight taffeta. Works decently even when sewing through two layers of linen as well.

4. Setting down the iron on top of my finger. Ouch.

5. No home should be without an aloe plant. It even survives when you forget to water it for *mumblety* weeks.

6. Realizing that since the gown is open all the way down the front, there HAS to be a petticoat underneath.

7. Desperate thoughts of overnight shipping from Burnley & Trowbridge.

8. Discovering that the green/silver shot taffeta remnant bought in L.A. is the perfect amount for a decent petticoat. Whew. And hurrah for smart stash-building.

Back to the old grindstone!
nuranar: (details)
These are pretty much the same sleeves as of my 1790s curtain along dress, and they were surprisingly tight and hard to bend my arm in because of the lining. In that case, the curtain fabric was a sturdy cotton sateen, and the linen lining was a rather nice not-too-heavy piece that's all gone. In this case, my white taffeta is lightweight but of course not flexible, and the midweight linen I've got left is definitely heavier than it.

I'm thinking I need to line the sleeves; raw edges just doesn't seem right. Alternatives to the heavier linen are some lighter-than-hankie linen gauze stuff that's very soft, but it does match the weight of the taffeta; and various lighter cottons, which come to think of it might be reasonable to use in a high-fashion gown like this. And this is just for sleeves; I do want the sturdy linen to stabilize the bodice itself. Thoughts?

My goal is to cut out tonight (easier said than done, because I need to noodle skirt lengths and how in the world I'm going to cut the front panel), and to assemble most of the pieces to each other.
nuranar: (details)
Forgive me, I'm going to ramble again. ;)  And ask lots of  questions, because I'm tired of weighing probabilities and making decisions!

I had a pretty productive day on Sunday. I spent a long time in my stays and got a pretty good 1780s base pattern. Then I traced off versions specifically for the white silk chemise gown (front lining piece, back in two pieces and one with tuck) and for the matelasse waistcoat (lace up front, separate side front/side back tab/peplum pieces).  I still need a sleeve pattern; first an elbow-length base pattern, and then the long one with a cuff for the chemise. It was late by the time I finished drafting on Sunday, so I didn't even consider testing a sleeve. That may wait until the weekend. Which means I shouldn't cut out the white silk yet anyway.

But on that subject, there are two things I'm not sure about how to do:

1. Cuffs on the sleeves. (picture) They're the regular long, slim sleeves, but they clearly have a two-button cuff that's probably about 2.5" wide. Is this a structural cuff, or just a band laid on top of a regular sleeve? There are several similar sleeves in Cut of Women's Clothes, particularly the polonaise jacket on page 96, but it's just a diagram showing placement.

2. How to cut the front and how full to make the skirt? These two things are pretty closely related. I missed the chemise dress boat a loooong time ago, so I've been re-reading a bunch of stuff.  And none of it really helps, because this is a rather unusual chemise dress: it is gathered only slightly. And I want to keep that slight gathering, because I think the neck ruffle is straight-sewn to the edge. If it's too full it will look silly.

But how full is too full? My fabric is 36" wide, lightweight taffeta - still opaque, I wouldn't call it tissue. It won't be too stiff to gather nicely, but too much will be obvious.

Hmm... how about splitting a single length for the gathered portion? The front portion is, say 14" across (more across the bust) so that's a little over 2:1 gathering ratio. It won't be hard to hem the split for the center opening, either, and I can use selvedges for the skirt seams. Speaking off... then I could use three panels for the rest of the skirt. That's a total width of 144", which is comparable to other non-chemise gowns of the same period.

Opinions welcomed! :)

Now for the other issue - this waistcoat.  In most examples, it looks like the edges are bound with tape, self fabric, or ribbon.  Of course I'm on a deadline, and this isn't a critical-accuracy garment (more important to have it at all!), so I'd rather not spend all that time on it. However - I'm apparently allergic to visible machine stitching! I thought of stitching on some tape, right sides together, and then turning around and whip stitching down; stupid idea, or will it work? Any better/easier ideas? I feel like I'm missing something.

And I had immediate bum envy when I saw [personal profile] girliegirl32786's new project.  So of course I'm doing that! :) But I had a sudden thought.  I've tended to assume that multiple petticoats go over  skirt supports in all periods. I still know the 1860s best, when multiple petticoats are really important for a nice smooth look under the skirt. But that might be coloring my assumptions too much. Will an over-petticoat mess with the silhouette of the new skirt support? This matters because of my white silk.  If I use non-white for the bum, I will have to wear a petticoat over it to prevent shadow-through.  I have white linen earmarked for an under-petticoat. But if it will obscure the line, should I just use it for the bum itself?

Ah, decisions... and in the meantime I've gotten nothing done this evening...
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I've managed to laze around for two weeks after my vacation, but now it's time to get serious about some sewing.  So back to the white silk gown, as painted by George Romney in Mrs Moody's portrait:

It's essentially a chemise dress, though clearly of silk, not terribly full in front, with fitted long sleeves. It's probably open all the way down the front, with little pink silk ribbon ties to hold it closed.  The ruffle at the neck is probably just the upper part of the front above the top drawstring, so it's straight and only gathered when the dress is on.  There are drawstrings at the neck, waist, and a few inches above the waist.

What I'm not so sure about is the back and the inside of the front. I want to do a fitted back. But if the front is just gathered with drawstrings, will the dress want to shift around? Was an under-lining ever done, and is it necessary?

As for the back, I'm thinking a fitted four-piece back with a deep-ish point. Like this, which may be very similar to Mrs Moody, except for the sleeves:

I did a little research, and I found very few back-of-dress pictures. Aside from the true chemise dresses - full all around - the few others are more 1790s, with a straight or raised back waist seam. Of those, some had multi-piece backs, and some were intricately pleated. Again 1790s.  So that's why I'd rather do the simple back. Thoughts?
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)

I spent a rather frustrating Wednesday evening. I did wear the stays around, which was good for them. But I broke the tape lace again. (This is developing into a very bad habit!) I scaled up and printed some patterns, which was good. I also estimated yardage for a few purchases. But I got myself worn out trying to decide how to make a period-appropriate 1916 petticoat (i.e. one that helps the skirt stick out) with a minimum of new fabric and work. (The catalogs full of silk taffeta petticoats with rows of tiny frills and bigger flounces and cutwork were not helping.) (I think I've decided just to settle for pimatex with three flounces [of pimatex or stiff organdy] and starch from there.) And also trying to estimate what lace I need for the princess slip and the envelope chemise. Ugh. This stage is just paralyzing!

So I need to make a master list, for each piece of each outfit if necessary, outlining specifically what patterns I need, what I will use, and what I need to buy/source.

1780s white silk Romney
Source: Portrait of Mrs. Moody
Materials have: white silk, pink silk, fine cotton for ruffles, linen lining
Materials need: button forms for cuffs
Pattern: Fit a basic 1780s block, starting from 1780s gown in POF p. 40, then altering for this to a straight front and back waist and fuller front with tucked (?) casing. 

1780s sprigged silk
Source: _____________ (several possibilities - separate brainstorming post)
Materials have: sprigged silk, linen lining, ivory striped sheer silk for ruffles
Materials need: trim?
Pattern: ______________ (also part of the brainstorming! I've never done a sacque-back gown and I'm getting scared)

1810s yellow muslin
Source: here and here
Materials have: yellow muslin, lining, cording
Materials need: nope
Pattern: hopefully something with the wide-set sleeves c. 1815. Either start with my white muslin pattern from years ago and try to fill in the armhole a bit, or use (a) 1818 pelisse from POF or (b) 1816 evening dress from Cut of Women's Clothes. Maybe do like [profile] the_aristocat and just free-hand trace it from my pattern and modify according to the two samples. ;)

also needed:
* 1810s shift 1 - nearly finished
* 1810s shift 2 - cut out, needs assembly
* 1810s petticoat (shorter and fuller, maybe with cord in hem) - use Pimatex
 Materials need: cotton cord for hem
 Pattern: narrower version of Skirt D from Hunnisett

1910s Envelope Chemise
Source: article from [personal profile] fancyfrocks's magazine, dated 1916
Materials have:
Materials need: batiste from Farmhouse Fabrics; __ yds various lace
Pattern: pattern from [personal profile] fancyfrocks

1910s Corset
Source: none really; reference above article
Materials have: white brocade coutil; garters (search "hose supporters" on ebay for the wide ones), lace
Materials need: busk, boning, corset lace
Pattern: [personal profile] jenthompson's pattern

1910s Brassiere
Source: article again, confirming what was worn in 1916
Materials have: probably Pimatex
Materials need: boning (probably)
Pattern: article/pattern for hooked brassiere, from [personal profile] jenthompson

1910s Princess Slip
Source: n/a
Materials have: some lace
Materials need: batiste from Farmhouse Fabrics; 2.5 yds narrow beading for minimum
Pattern: pattern from [personal profile] fancyfrocks

1910s Petticoat
Source: catalogs from [personal profile] fancyfrocks, showing the crisp taffeta petticoats necessary to hold out the flared skirts of 1916
Materials have: Pimatex cotton, super stiff "cambric" (have 2 1/4 yds, 39" wide)
Materials need: 18 yds edging if I do three frills and edge them all, stiff organdy from Pure Silks if it's better than Pimatex or there's not enough cambric
Pattern: princess slip pattern as base, using circular flounce; mount flounces on it

1910s Empire Negligee
Source: May Manton pattern
Materials: white crossbarred muslin, pink silk ribbon & lace trim unused from 1860s sheer
Materials need: none
Pattern: same as the source

1916 Blue Sprig Dress
Source: middle dress, from a 1916 catalog owned by [personal profile] fancyfrocks
Materials: semisheer white cotton with woven openwork and woven dots, printed with a blue sprig pattern, very similar to the catalog picture. Blue silk taffeta left over from the Star dress for the sash and buttons. Some nice cotton for collar and cuffs.
Materials need: pleated net for collar and cuffs trimming
Pattern: waist and skirt patterns from [personal profile] fancyfrocks

1920s Bandeau
Source: n/a
Materials have: vintage pink medium-heavy rayon satin from antique mall
Materials need: 3+ yards 1/2" ribbon for straps; 2" wide elastic (pink if possible)
Pattern: Women's Wear of the 1920s

1920s Teddy
Source: Les modes, showing this as the most common/fashionable undies
Materials have: some lace; white silk ribbon
Materials need: white crêpe de chine from Dharma
Pattern: Women's Wear of the 1920s

1920s Pannier
Source: shape from model image
Materials have: narrow steel hoop wire
Materials need: black silk organza from Dharma
Pattern: Costume Close-Up and 1920s example with similar a-line shape

1920s Navy Beaded Robe de Style
Source: 1 and 2
Materials have: navy silk; cotton for lining
Materials need: beads, cotton net, organza for lining (maybe)
Pattern: pattern from [personal profile] fancyfrocks and Women's Wear of the 1920s (Lanvin copy)

1940s Open Midriff Evening Gown
Source: Lauren Bacall, To Have and Have Not
Materials have: heavy-ish rayon crepe in dark teal blue
Materials need: metal ring (try Home Depot); hopefully fresh tropical flowers for hair
Pattern: Draping from ebay image and basic blouse and skirt patterns from stash

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I noticed that the Costume College "dress code" removed the weasel wording about hoops and bustles in class; instead, they requested none at all. (They didn't mention big hats or bonnets, which I remember used to be in the wording!)  And that brought to mind that although I've planned a lot for the robe de style, and some 18th century things like the Jesuit, I really hadn't planned out a schedule.

Tiki Chic pool party (Thursday evening) - 1940s midriff evening ensemble
Classes (Friday day) - ???
Ice Cream Social (Friday evening) - ???
Classes (Saturday day) - ???
Red Carpet/Gala (Saturday evening - beaded robe de style
Sunday Undies Redux (Sunday morning) - 1910s peignoir
Classes (Sunday day) - 1916 blue sprigged gown

Two other outfits are planned
* Embroidered silk Jesuit
* White silk Romney gown

Obviously I need to (a) figure out one or two more outfits and (b) figure out when to wear the ones I have.  It would be a nice bonus to coordinate with others a bit, at least for time period. So far, I know that the_aristocat is wearing a seaside bustle gown for the Social, but that's it.

Of things in the stash, I got some lemony cotton lawn last year for a Regency dress. That would be fun to wear with my yellow AD slippers. But I don't really have an idea of what I want it to look like. I'm feeling it should be simple, but not TOO boring.  I've also got the blue striped sarcenet, which I want to use to copy that blue striped gown in the Danish (I think?) museum. But that probably will take more work.

I don't want to load up on intensive gowns; did that last year and barely survived. And I got a much better head start last year than this year. The spring has been so busy!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (busy nothings)

Last fall, Burnley & Trowbridge got in some lovely lightweight striped silks. But along with the stripes, there was white silk taffeta for $10/yd. Only 36" wide, but still. Whee!  So I decided I needed a fancy 1700s dress, probably 1780s or early 1790s.  All I have right now is a cotton print and a solid wool.  ;)

But then I had trouble figuring out the style. I've long been fascinated by the turque; those adorable little sleeves over the slim long ones, in two colors, are so spiffy. But I couldn't find a fashion plate or portrait that really appealed to me. Then the levite was an idea; super-fashionable for a few years, too. But again, I couldn't find any particular inspiration that called to me. And both the turque and levite are multi-color ensembles, and none/very few of them are with white.

I've said for a while that if and when I do a sacque, it will be white. (Or maybe pale pink.) But the sacque was more fashionable in earlier decades, and I just didn't want to go back that far. And I really wanted something fairly simple. I suspected, too, that the B&T taffeta was slightly lighter weight than I'd want for a fancy sacque.

After staring at fashion plates and portraits sites for way too long, I found it.

Portrait of Mrs Moody, George Romney

So simple, but so pretty. It's basically a chemise dress with a gathered front bodice and fitted sleeves. I love the little cuffs with buttons and the sheer frill. And there's the collar, plus the wide pink sash and ribbon bows all the way down the front. It makes me happy. :)  Now I just need to find the right color of ribbon and silk to match. That might be hard!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I just said that I'm lousy at round-up posts. But I am good at planning posts. Planning posts actually help me organize my thoughts and map out a course of action, whereas round-up posts are a list of short-comings - it's always less than I wanted in quantity and quality - and serve no practical purpose.  That sounded pretty cynical! Maybe I overstated the case a bit. Round-up posts would help a bit for reference purposes, come to think of it.

Anyway, I do need to do some planning. Last year I had the most elaborate planning ever, for two reasons: I had ambitious costuming plans with a tricky travel schedule, and the Historical Sew Fortnightly gave structure and motivation.  The results were mixed. I did accomplish most of what I wanted, but I had the tightest/most stressful pre-Costume College summer yet.  Plus, the HSF resulted in a lot of projects that were good, useful things, but took time away from my primary sewing goals. When the schedule got tight, many of them were set aside unfinished. I'm usually pretty good about minimal UFOs (un-started objects are a different matter), so this is also stressful for me. And the piecemeal challenge announcements made it more challenging and stressful to re-assess and try to fit in the big projects.

So you'd think the 2014 HSF would be a stupid idea for me. Nonetheless, I'm undecided. Moving the date up to 1945 is a huge help, because a BIG part of my fabric and notions stash is WWII-appropriate. And since I keep attending reenactments with widely varied weather, plus vintage shows, I can get good use out of a 1940s wardrobe.

But I still have ambitious plans for other costuming:

* Beaded robe de style
* 1780s white wool stays
* Jesuit (already have fabric!)
* 1780s white silk gown
* Quilted Brunswick (haven't found the fabric, so this may be shelved for a while)
* 1916 ensemble

Maybe I'll wait on making an HSF decision until she announces the rest of the year's challenges.  Honestly, while the beading is an unknown quantity at this point, I still don't think it'll take forever.  The 18th-century stuff shouldn't be too terribly difficult, either, particularly if I let the Brunswick slide for a while. I can probably make the stays in a reasonable amount of time. And once I make a new basic bodice and sleeve, most of the rest shouldn't be too hard. Draping the Jesuit/Brunswick back will be interesting, but there's lots of info out there.

Since I mentioned the Brunswick: I want to make it in a medium/light blue. The quilted examples are all in satin. $40/yd satin is totally out of the question for this, particularly since it will be stuck full of holes and stiffened as it's quilted; but I know there are cheaper silk satins. So far I've found mostly whites, with maybe a pink.  White would be accurate (both English examples are white) but I'm already doing one white gown, and darn it, I want blue! I've done enough dyeing to know that it's not for me, but that doesn't seem to be the case for all of you. So, just on the chance: Would anyone be willing to dye white satin blue for me? It should be a straightforward dye job, since I want just a straight shade of blue - no green or turquoise, nothing to match. And I would definitely pay for the job.


nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)

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