Friday, 16 January 2015

Regency Progress


Well, all three of my dear followers, you get another post.

Last night I finished my Regency bodiced petticoat and took some photos. They're really horrible quality photos, due to my not owning a better camera than the one in my phone, but you'll get an idea, at least.

This is a continuation of the HSF's January "Foundations" challenge, and is part of the ensemble for the 1815 ball gown (Deadline for that: February 13).

The bodiced petticoat is loosely based on this one, from the Met (left), although I did not slavishly recreate it. My fabric was cotton gauze, instead of stiffer linen, and I wanted the waistline low enough that it will allow for a slim-fitting gown in front (ie, no extra fabric there to force the skirts outwards - I want them to hang close to the waist for as long as they can) but contribute to volume in the back (ie, lots of pleats). I also ignored the tucks at the bottom, because I didn't have enough yardage, and the lace, because I don't really have time for extra bits right now. However, overall, the construction and shape are the same as the museum piece. It's more a corset cover than anything; the gauze is too flimsy to do much in the way of shaping the heavier fabrics that will go over top. My underdress will have a stronger constitution, with a slightly higher waistline and tucks for bottom volume.

Anyways, here it is, worn over my new short stays and my *cough*1850s-60s*cough* chemise. Again, sorry for the awful photo quality, and also for the black pants underneath - it's all a bit see-through.

It's held together with a tie at the back waist and two sets of hooks and eyes. The original has self-fabric buttons, by the looks of things, but hooks and eyes have less bulk and I really didn't fancy the prospect of making buttons out of the gauze.

 The back panel is 30-some inches wide with a little placket at CB, and all that length is pleated into the space between the two side-back seams, so lots of volume there. I also went with a pretty deep V in back because I'm not yet sure how low the back neckline of my ball gown will be.

This petticoat could work for 1820s or even early 1830s gowns, too, which is nice. I like versatility in my foundation pieces.

On to the undergown!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Looking Ahead to 2015, and 1815 ball gown plans

Well, since I've begun here by posting what I completed in 2014, I might as well add what I'm planning on doing in 2015. These posts are always fun to put together, but I find they usually fall apart about a month later when life intervenes or a new event is announced and suddenly you're sewing new things you'd never even planned on and everything else has gone out the window.

That's what happened two months ago, actually, when I heard about the Regency Ball on Valentines Day. I've never done Regency before, so the 1840s gown I've been working on had to go on hold. In light of this, the Regency gown and the 1840s will be the first two things on my list for this year, and they're definites: I have the fabric and I've begun working on them. The Regency ensemble nicely fits into the HSF's January challenge, Foundations, since I started working on my stays over Christmas and have to make every other type of foundation before February 14. The copper 1840s gown would fit really nicely with one of the challenges this fall, Brown, but I'd really like to have it done before then...

The Real List

- 1815 white and gold silk Regency ball gown, plus cotton undergown, modified shoes, and other accoutrements

- 1850s-ish (might become an 1860s) corset to replace the Lavinia H. Foy 1868 patent corset I made years ago, which has finally given out. I really need to stop wearing my 1890s corset with earlier stuff. And I'd rather not finalize my 1840s-50s bodice pattern until I have a proper corset to go under it.

- 1840s copper silk-cotton day dress with removable sleeves and additional pelerines for wearing as a slightly-behind-the-times-Rural-Ontario dress for the 1850s-60s. The waistlines are quite different for these periods, but based on some of the more rural day dresses I've seen it's not impossible to have a plain gown that, with, interchangeable berthas, pelerines, and sleeves, could be reasonable for each decade.

The Wish List

- A light blue Edwardian girl's dress for regular wearing for HSF February (Blue). If anyone's seen Tin Man, I'm thinking something a little like Young Azkadellia's dress from the Finaqua scenes, but with some influence from Little Red's dress in the new Into the Woods
- An 18th century quilted petticoat, finally (I've been planning this for two years now and it still hasn't happened)
- Edwardian corset from "hearts" patent
- Edwardian lace tea gown (I actually have part of a bolt of lace for this - I just don't have time for it right now)
- 1830s day dress for the Lowell Mill sew-along going on on facebook right now
- Something for each of the HSF challenges
- The 5 or 6 other corsets I've been eyeing (hah)
- A black wool and velvet English fitted gown from the mid/late 16th century - but now we're really getting into the "wishful" category.

I'll post more on the other projects as I get to them, but for now, here's a look at the 1815 project.

The 1815 Ball Gown

The gown is loosely inspired by this one, on display at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto in their "Fashion Victims" exhibit:

However, it will be more closely based on these, which have the diagonal details on the bodice and various incarnations of stripes:

 <--- Silk gauze dress, 1806-1809. The main body and sleeves of my gown will be in a white sheer silk organza with the same teensy little opaque dimity stripes - they're about 1/16th of an inch wide.
<--- This is what I'm basing my bodice off of. It's blue pleats with tiny little folds of white silk net inserted between each pleat and sewn down. My inserts will be strips of figured gold silk organza, inspired by the figured gold silk edges on the gown in the Bata.

This is a white and gold silk gown from 1804-1814, held at the Met. It has the sort of stiff fabric and slim fit in front which I am aiming for (although it's hard to tell when it's laid out flat because the pleats in the back push the skirt out to the sides).

Above, left, is a fashion plate for a bridal dress from 1816. Ackermann. More little white-on-white stripes!

Above, middle, is a French evening gown from 1815, worn by Empress Josephine. This has the lower waistline which I prefer, and will be mimicking. No heavy beading and pearls for me, though, alas.

Above, right, is a striped silk dress from 1815, held at the Nordiska Museet. Stripes!

And finally, right, a fashion plate for a ball gown from 1819, this one not only striped but also sporting a stiff silk organza skirt. This one still has quite a high bodice, which is unusual for such a late gown. I will be ignoring that part of the design. =P

So, that's the plan for my Regency gown. White/sheer and gold silks with vertical woven-in stripes in the main fabric and diagonal gold pleats in the bodice. I have finished the stays and have only one more hook and eye to add to the bodiced petticoat. I'll buy fabric for the undergown tomorrow, drape it on Saturday (if I can drag my butt to the studio), and begin stitching asap. I have all my silks, and exactly one month from yesterday until the ball. Crossing my fingers that this is enough!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

2014 in Review, and a new blog!

Welcome to my new blogspot! This is mostly cross-posted from my LiveJournal entry, but with more photos. I thought it might be a good way to begin this blog.

I have added in extra photos of my Louisbourg project, including stays, francaise, and stomacher. The full dress diary for those can be found here.

Completed in January: 

- Louisbourg stays of wool twill, lined in linen and bound in leather, with metal boning - entirely hand-stitched. (1740s stays from Norah Waugh.) Since these photos, they have been re-laced front and back with linen tapes, and 1/4" linen tape has also been passed through the eyelets to strengthen them.

(And here's an awful photo of all of the undergarments together! Chemise, stays, and hoop, all hand-stitched. Stockings from American Duchess. Shoes made over from 1940s thrift store shoes.)

Completed in February:

- Smokey purple wool petticoat for under the silk petticoat of the Louisbourg gown (you can see it worn with the 1770s caraco down in September).

- 1530s English kirtle of red wool and silk velvet with silk velvet sleeves, entirely hand-stitched, worn with a black wool partlet lined in white linen, also hand stitched. All of this was made in one week before an event, because I decided I needed accurate Tudor clothing for the Renaissance theme.

Completed in March:

Nothing actually finished. I was plugging away at the Louisbourg gown and stomacher.

Completed in April:

- Louisbourg gown, petticoat, and stomacher! There's far too much info on these to put here; a link to the LiveJournal dress diary is above. Suffice to say the gown is entirely hand-stitched of pomegranate-dyed silk and the stomacher is hand-embroidered by me using naturally-dyed silks hand-reeled by my friend Greta from silk worms she raised. Based on the 1725 Robe a la Francaise in the LACMA.

Photo taken at Government House in Halifax. The book I'm holding is from 1720, so I couldn't resist bringing it along.

This stomacher was my first piece of embroidery. I began between Christmas and New Years last year, and finished in early April.

- 1840s tucked petticoat (entirely hand-stitched of cotton twill and cotton eyelet; cartridge-pleated onto waistband with hook and eye closure) - I need better photos of this! Remind me never to hand-stitch this many tucks on a 150" hem again.

Completed in May:

- Nothing completed, but everything was sewn on the 1770s caraco except the hem and I'd begun to paint it (see September).

Completed in June:

- 1850s/1860s pin-tucked chemise (entirely hand-stitched of very fine cotton batiste with two types of cotton lace) - please excuse the HORRIBLE bathroom selfie photo of this (I'm so embarrassed to post this!) - I need new photos of all my recent things.

Completed in July:

Nothing. Working too much.

Completed in August:

- 1840s corded petticoat (entirely hand-stitched of cotton organdy and cotton cording; cartridge-pleated onto waistband with tie closure; based on museum examples from the 1830s and 1840s). The 90" hem on this is based on extant petticoats, and I think it's the outer limit in terms of hem length - even at 90" it flutes in on itself a bit when other petticoats go over it.

- Another 1840s petticoat, much plainer (no tucks; just a large hem), of white cotton broadcloth, cartridge-pleated onto waistband with hook and eye closure

Completed in September:

- 1770s Dutch ensemble (hand-stitched caraco jacket of cotton I hand-painted, with hand-stitched petticoats; the hat in the Citadel photos was not made by me. Fichu is a store-bought printed handkerchief with green dye painted in by me to make it match my colour scheme better, and a green border dyed by me and hand-stitched on so that it ties in the back).

   So much yardage needed painting!

  At the Halifax Citadel Encampment

Also: pockets! Hand-stitched, linen-cotton with linen lining and cotton binding.

Completed in October:

- 1770s silk-cotton brocade jacket to wear with the Louisbourg stomacher. Somehow, I still haven't taken any photos of the finished product. I'll be wearing it to an even later this month, so I'll post some then. I swear it has sleeves now...

Completed in November:

- Green velvet 15th century German "house book" gown with grand assiette sleeves and linen wulsthaube headdress, entirely hand-stitched, with cut brass details up the front, and red leather shoes with cutouts, hand-stitched in period turn-shoe technique. The shoes were finished last year, but I'm including them here because I haven't posted photos before.

Here you can see the grand assiette sleeves:

And a close up of the back pleats:

The demiceinte belt is leather covered in black silk, with brass belt ends purchased from a brass-smith in the Ukraine:

As I said, the shoes were finished over a year ago, but I've never posted photos before. This photo is from when the shoes were half-finished; there is cutwork done on both now and there is an extra leather sole on the inside to cover the seam allowances.

- Viking Norse garb for a commission, based on archaeological finds (skjoldehamn hood made of wool and hand-stitched with the same seam finishes and decorative stitching as the original, linen thorsbjerg trousers cut based on the original find but machine-stitched, linen tunic cut geometrically the historical way but machine-stitched):

Completed in December:


- medieval pavy weave wool and silk:

  Blue wool warp / gold silk weft.

- Mittens! These aren't historical, really, although they'd work for turn of the 20th century (there were lots of mittens like this from the 1840s on, but with much smaller-repeat patterns on the front), but they were my first crack at colour stranding and I'm really proud of them, so they're going in!



- 7 yards of 35" wide red wool for an under-petticoat and a blanket for reenacting (was originally going to be an 18th century cloak, but it's really too coarse a weave and I can't get it to felt properly - but it will be enough to make a really warm winter under-petticoat and a lovely blanket!)


Completed just after New Years:

These were mostly made over the Christmas break, so I'm including them. =P

- 1820s wrap stays front and back (entirely hand-stitched of various cotton layers, based on examples in the Met and the Kyoto Institute) - more about these can be found on my facebook page because I was too lazy to post it to my journal. Once I finish the full set of foundation garments for this outfit - which are my January: Foundations entry to the HSF (well, the Historical Sew-Monthly now) 2015 - I will post a full write-up.

Hope you enjoyed this! I find I much prefer this platform to LiveJournal, and since a lot of the bloggers I like to follow are on blogspot, it makes it a lot easier to see what they've been doing.

You can also find me on facebook at Isabel Northwode Costumes - all my little updates, daily costume musings, and funny costuming things from around the web get posted there.

Thanks for reading!