Thursday, 8 September 2016

1750 Mantua - Norah Waugh XIV. Anglaise en fourreau

Pattern: 1740-1750 Mantua, diagram XIV from Norah Waugh The Cut of Women's Clothes. Extant garment described as heavy white silk damask and housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I could not find images of the extant garment.
Fabric: 100% silk Taffeta, beige/cream. Medium weight.
Available on Etsy HERE
Measurements: *These reflect a range due to the nature of the front closure
Chest: 36/27"
Waist: 31/32"
Shoulders: 17"
Back Width: 13"
Upper Arm: 15.5" (Sleeves in the early 18th century were wider and more relaxed than later)
Armhole to Waist seam: 8.5"

The pattern has no lining closure. The lining is meant to end before the folds, leaving the front to be filled with a stomacher. Since I did not like the idea of the strain and fit of the bodice relying entirely on pins, I added front lacing panels attached to the lining. The stomacher is then pinned over the lacing.

~The Robings~
This was my first time making any version of an 18th century garment with hanging robings (the folds on either side of the front, which are not part of the skirt and are thus 'hanging'). I have made several Francaise gown in the past with folded robings, but all were the type that had no waist seam and in which the folds extended straight down into the skirt. One would think this was a simplistic variation, but I found it to be a nightmare.

As you can see from the pattern (right), the overlapping folds on the fronts are achieved in a sort of accordion style. The illustration shows them coming to straight, blunt ends below waist level. It was a mess getting them to eventually look like that. When you do the folds are shown, you end up with messy, pointed ends that are then folded and snipped and manipulated in a manner too ridiculous and long to describe. As you can see (below), I have quite the bit of slap dash whip stitching behind there to get it to create the desired outward look.

Quite frankly, I doubt I will do it this way again. In the future, I will use separate long pieces for the robings, in the manner shown so well by Fashions of the Past. Or, I will cut the bottom of the front pieces straight rather than with these points that don't seem to serve a purpose.

The next area of frustration you will have to contend with are the slits on either side of the back, which are part of the waist seam. The problem is that the pattern provides virtually no room for a decent seam allowance to do this, unless you are comfortable pleating on the skirt with barely 1/4" to spare! The good news is that the formation of the back folds (top stitched down) go over the inside of this slash and will cover whatever messiness you might be forced to create there.

These pictures correspond to step #7 in the list given farther down.

~The Order~
Because of the way the folds on the back are formed, there is a particular order of construction you have to follow when making this gown, otherwise you will end up saying, "Damn! I shouldn't have done that part yet!" at least a few times.

1) Sew fronts to backs at side seam only. Do not attach the shoulder yet. (You may have already done your folds and dart on the fronts before this step, or afterward. It won't really matter)
2) Sew backs together
3) Cut waist seam slash in backs as indicated.
4) pleat on skirt. Pleats facing toward center so they meet in an inverted pleat on the side. (You can hem the front of the skirt first or just make sure your hem is folded in the seam for later. Whichever)
5) sew up the lining, center back seam and front to back at side seams. Also shoulders.
6) lay lining under back, wrong sides together.
7) Now begin manipulating and pressing down the back pleats, pining them down through the lining.
8) Top stitch all the folds down with lining.
9) Phew! Now you can continue in whatever way makes you happy now. It was all about getting those skirt pleats done before doing the back folds.


Friday, 26 August 2016

Making an 18th century cloak

Making an 18th century Cloak 
~It's All in the Hood~

Like a lot of people, I assumed cloaks were one of those "generic" garments that changed very little over the centuries when when it was worn, sort of like the standard lady's shift (which isn't as generic as we thought either). I soon found, however, that the hood shape was the easier way to tell if something was 18th century or later. 
Available on Etsy HERE
Fabric: Cotton jacquard, charcoal black. 100% silk lining, gold-orange.
Construction: Hand stitching for all visible areas, including hem edge stitching. 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Casaquin Jacket - Purple & Green Silk

Pattern: Drafting using the Norah Waugh, Diagram XXX "1760s Jacket" as a base. Petticoat is self drafted.
Fabrics: 100% silk. Main body is a two-tone silk consisting of magenta and deep blue, creating a final "ultraviolet" hue (this is also the name of the thread that matched perfectly, lol). Contrast trim and the stomacher is apple green silk.
Available on Etsy HERE
Measurements: *As they are on the dress form pictured
Chest: 39"
Waist: 31"
Hip: Free
Hem: 39" at front, 42" at sides, 41" at back.
Bicep: 13"
Back Width: 13.5"
Shoulders: 17.5"
Stomacher Length: 12"

1770s Casaquin Jacket - Deep violet silk. The Antique Sewist

Friday, 5 August 2016

Pet en l'air - Silk Taffeta with embroidered stomacher

Pattern: diagram XV "1740s Sack Dress" from Norah Waugh The Cut of Women's Clothes. Cut to Pet en l'air length. Other alterations as well *see further down*
Fabric: 100% Silk taffeta for pet-en-l'air and petticoat. Lining done in 100% cotton.
Available on Etsy HERE
Measurements: *Taken as they are on the dress-form
Chest - 42"
Waist - 37"
Hip - Free
Back Width - 14"
Shoulders - 19.5"
Sleeve length (shoulder to back of elbow) - 13.5"
Upper Arm: 16.5" max
*The overall fit of the pet-en-l'air is more relaxed than most. The back width is wider and the shoulders are further forward than typically seen in extant pieces. The dress has been made to be more suited to a modern posture and shape. 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

1870s Truly Victorian Polonaise - Blue & White Cotton

Pattern: Truly Victorian #410 "1873 Polonaise"
Fabrics: 100% cotton, printed, blue/white mini floral print. 100% cotton twill for interfacing. Flat lined in white cotton.
Available on Etsy HERE
Chest - 47" (large cup)
Waist - 37"
Hip - Free
Hem - 40" at front.
Back width - 16"
Shoulders - 20.5"

Saturday, 2 July 2016

1770s Polonaise - Blue & White Stripe Linen

Patterns: Diagram XXI from The Cut of Women's Clothes, by Norah Waugh; "1770s Polonaise"
Fabrics: Blue & White stripe linen/cotton blend (yarn dyed, not printed). Cotton muslin lining. Cotton cambric for white trim.
Available on Etsy HERE
Available on Ebay HERE
Chest: 42" max
Waist: 32 - 37" (Because this garment is not fitted to the waist and is comprised of a pinned stomacher and petticoat with overlapping side closures, it suits rather a large range on the waist)
Upper Arm: 14"
Armhole: 19"
Neckline: 8" below base of throat
Petticoat Hem: 37" at front, fading up to 40" at center back
Back width (actual garment): 11"
Back width (functional body measurement): 14"

Thursday, 23 June 2016

1788 Pierrot Jacket & Petticoat - Shot silk Taffeta

Patterns: Used as a base for drafting...Bodice from the 1775 Robe a l'Anglaise from Norah Waugh, diagram XXII.
Fabrics: 100% silk Taffeta; an interesting shot silk made up of pink, yellow, and gold threads, resulting in a shifting orange/pink hue (2 yards at 54" for jacket)
               100% linen, white, for lining. 100% cotton, off white, for petticoat.
Available on Etsy HERE
Also available on Ebay HERE

Inspiration: Various jackets of the 1780s and 90s, but also the red and white striped Pierrot jacket from the Kyoto Collection 

Chest - 43"
Waist - 35"
Hem - 40" at front, 42" at sides, 43" at back (cut to fit over large bum roll/rump pad).
Back width - 14"
Bicep, sleeves - 15.5"