Sep 3, 2014

1809 Redingote update

My faux fur coat arrived and I'm feeling really guilty using it for applique, particularly as its a vintage coat that someone could wear. The silk velvet is gorgeous to touch and it really looks like fur.

After I've unpicked the lining
Close up of button area - maybe I'll use this part for the triangle shapes.

Playing with shapes.
Just needed to see this image from page 84 of the 1916 edition of http://amzn.to/1wYT1KO and I'm on my way to fixing the collar.

Collars...


http://www.metmuseum.org/.../the-collection.../search/107940 has made me think even more - would the trim have been sewn on with modern applique techniques or might it have been piped like the trim is on this garment?

Date: ca. 1818

Sep 1, 2014

1795-1799 Half-Robe

Plans are in the works to make a regency-era half robe.  Out come my two favourite books - Nancy Bradfield's Costumes in Detail and Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1. Both of these books are indispensable to a costumer's collection.

1795-1800 half robe as illustrated in Patterns of Fashion 1.
1799 Half Robe from Costumes in Detail

Underneath the half robe will be a round robe (or round gown) like the one that is presented in Norah Waugh's book, The Cut of Women's Clothes.





Aug 19, 2014

1850 Australian Mourning Gown

Mourning dress probably worn by Amelia Hackney, part of the Australian Dress Register
I've been asked to make an 1850s mourning gown for a permanent public display. My pattern of choice to start with looks like Laughing Moon's 1850 Round Gown.

I've had a close inspection of an 1850s mourning gown worn by its maker, Amelia Hackney, in Sydney in the 1850s. I really must thank Lindie Ward, Curator at the Powerhouse Museum, for locating it for me. It is made of silk satin and is still in almost pristine condition, although is not on public display.

How do we know if a sewing machine was used?
The earliest sewing machines produced a chain stitch, and garments with this type of stitching are likely to date from the 1850s and 1860s. The lock stitch machine (where both sides of the stitching look similar) was also in use by the 1860s. Machines were also developed in this decade which could sew on braid, do chain stitch embroidery, and produce pleated trimmings, which are much in evidence on garments from the 1870s. If there is evidence of machine stitching in a garment which definitely dates from before the mid 1850s, it suggests a later alteration.

I've seen antique silk gowns from 1890 and early 1900 shattered and falling apart. Why is the silk used for this 1850s gown looking almost brand new?
Silk is naturally tough and hardwearing, so 18th century silks survived for decades, and can be found re-made into garments up to the 1890s. The chemical finishes applied to silks, especially lining silks, from the 1890s onwards, however, were very destructive, and caused the splitting and shattering of silk dresses and petticoats from 1890 – 1920 that presents such problems to museum staff today. Patterned silks, which dated quickly, have survived in museums in much greater quantity than plain silks, which could be recycled into children’s dresses, linings etc.




Jul 28, 2014

1809 Redingote update

Last January I started to make an 1809 Redingote, but the heat of summer and other pressing commitments prevented me from making much progress. I wonder if I need to have another go at getting it finished while it is so cold outside in our Australian winter? http://aylwen.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/1809-redingote-for-australian-autumn.html

I've had invaluable assistance from Sabine Schierhoff, Judy Lukas, Charo Palacios and Bronwyn Parry translating the description at the bottom of this fashion plate and finding fabric online.


We've worked out that it is telling us that the Redingote is decorated with an Astracan imitation made from silk plush(velvet) and that the turban is made of Muslin. The L'evantine fabric of the Redingote- [F. levantine, or It. levantina.] is a stout twilled silk fabric, formerly made in the Levant. 

I found a vintage Astrakhan coat and some nice wool fabric in January, but with this more expanded translation and time for much thinking about where and when I'd like to wear the coat, I have decided that I will make the coat from this dusty lavender silk twill, and ornament it with silk plush.




Jul 26, 2014

Slippers, or the start of something new...

Today I attended a leather workshop in Goulburn, NSW and started learning to make shoes.
Table of tools used by our instructors. 
I have been reading all week about making historic turn shoes and hope to use a similar technique to make dance slippers, unless further research turns me in another direction.
I have learnt that different leathers are used for the uppers and soles, and that the leather I most prefer for uppers is called milled double shoulder. I found mine at Tandy leather and it feels so beautiful under the hand.
My goal is to learn to make a simple yet elegant handsewn dance slipper. I will document my progress here over the next few weeks.
The milling process, which produces the supple feel,
also produces a prominent grain that gives items a look of elegance. 
Materials in my box:
Sewing awl with straight and curved needles
Lasts
Waxed thread
Milled double shoulder leather
Pliers
Needles
Sharp blade for cutting leather
Overstitch wheel
Safety Beveler
Stitching Horse


References:

Mar 25, 2014

My hat arrived!

I have been very lucky to have made contact with https://www.etsy.com/shop/darnasderbyhats and was able to commission a hat to wear with my Astrakhan 1809 pelisse (when I eventually find time to make it!). The hat arrived today and looks gorgeous - especially as she was able to use a piece of antique black silk lace that I found on ebay. I love how the curly feathers echo the astrakhan fur.



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