1630 Satin Gown in Bolsover

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Can you do posh 1630  for a photoshoot  in Bolsover Castle? For next week? A friend asked… well,  I have quite a lot of kit, but my 1630 and 40 is middle upper class – but since I could get a few days free for making a new gown, and indeed I already had all the fabrics to make a stock 1630 frock, the answer was yes… The shoot was for English Heritage magazine, advertising masque event happening in Bolsover in July.

Since I had just a few days to play around with the frock, I decided to go for the styles I was familiar with – but also  use  techniques and information from a recently bought book –  Seventeenth Century Women’s  Dress Patterns ( fantastic book,  and volume 2 is just as good as volume 1, invaluable resource). I decided to base my bodice on the  slashed Ivory satin bodice ( p.70) but to go for tabs instead for peplum – in the styles of  a few of Maria Henrietta’s outfits. ( the inspiration board here)

Bodice, though based on a relatively uncomplicated pattern was tricky due to the amount of layers…

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Bodice foundation in linen and linen canvas. there are 2- 3 layers in places, and they are boned with reed

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bodice put together, boned and lower edge bound

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the inside showing the layers

Once the foundation was ready, the bodice was covered with satin. It was time to  prepare the tabs, wings and lacing strips…

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tabs – silk satin, decorated with silver metallic lace

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lacing strips, 2 layers of linen, v=covered with silk, handworked eyelets

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preparing the wings – they are boned with reed too

Tabs attached

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time to place the wings on….

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It was time for the sleeves next – the sleeves were made separately in silk satin, lined with white slilk, with the head partially cartidge pleated. they were sewn into the armholes using a string silk thread.

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The skirts were very simple –  shaped panels were cut, sewn,  decorated and lined – the skirt was then cartridge pleated to the waistband

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pleating

the last corrections and the stomacher could be made, and lace attached

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On the day the dress was worn over a chemise, 2 petticoats ( a silk and a wool one – it was a bit nippy!) and a bumroll. The bodice was very comfortable, keeping all the things in and I was able to stay in it for about 6 hours including some stately dancing:-)

Very pleased with it – This particular gown has already been sold on to another dancing lady, but I do need one of my own – and I have an eye on a nice Olive satin – gold lace already purchased….

The results on the day:

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and the spread in the English Heritage members magazine….

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Fabrics:

Silks – James Hare

metallic lace – Barnett and Lawson

reed for boning- Vena Cava Design

lace – Tudor Tailor

dodgy wig – Ebay…

clothes  the frock and the gentleman’s outfit – Prior Attire, naturally  ( and though the dress is now gone, we still have a bumrolls  available from my online shop :-)

photography - Pitcheresque Imagery ( minus the photos as a couple – the local tog offered to snap them for us!)

Cost – fabrics  – about £300, not counting the linen; lace – about £60,  labour – £300.

Fabrics for historical costuming

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We all know that very often it is the fabric that makes The Dress. A wisely chosen set of materials will bring out the beauty of the design, will enhance the tailoring – or even hide some dressmaking mistakes.  A less than perfectly sewn dress will look amazing if the fabric is right – and a fantastically well stitched creation can be badly marred by a poor fabric choice.

Naturally what fabrics we chose differs – all depends on the purpose of the garment. If it is a one off frock cobbled together for a friend’s fancy dress party,  you may not want to spend a lot on expensive silks; however if you are planning  a creation that you are going to wear a lot, or if you strive for authenticity, the correct fabric choice is essential.

In this post I shall mostly concentrate on the historical accuracy and will try to provide a basic reference on which fabrics to use in which period. The list is aimed at providing a very general overview, so I won’t be getting into details like which weight for which garment in which century – would take ages and would make for a very, very long post indeed!  I have learnt a lot over the last 20 or so years in the field – but am not omniscient, so if you know of an article or a reference that would be helpful with researching which fabrics were used  when, please post in a  comment and I will add it onto the article –  it would be very much appreciated!

I will also get a list of providers of the fabrics I use most often.

So, there we go!

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Medieval.

Linen:  for undergarments, shirts, basic tunics, lining, gambesons, etc. Bleached linen for the unmentionables for the wealthy, unbleached, natural one for the less fortunate. Other colours ( reds, blues, browns, pinks etc were used for tunics, kirtles, linings etc. Different weights were used for different  garments.

Wool –  different weights and types were used – including   patterns – herringbone and diamond were apparently quite popular in the dark ages and Viking era for example; fulled wools tend to become popular from 9-10 century, whereas plain weaves were generally available throughout the period.

Silk –  plain weaves and some patterns are used from mid medieval period in the north of Europe,  earlier in the south – proximity to Byzantium and the silk route.  Available only for the wealthiest, really – and even then was used sparingly considering its great value. Plain weave, early taffetas ( 13-14th century), basic brocades and damasks were used. Silk velvet starts to appear in the end of 13th century, if I remember well, and by 15th has evolved into several styles ( cut, uncut patterns etc).

Raw silk was probably used more by the steppe tribes, and duponi was not used much either, apparently.

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14th century dress in wool, lined with linen

Cotton – although there are some references to cotton imported from India, they are very rare – fustian was used however (cotton/linen blend) and there were several fustian manufactures established on the continent.  In England cotton as a name is used in the 16th century and most likely refers to woolen cloth!

Great article on the use of cotton in the medieval, Elizabethan and Stuart era – here 

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silk/linen brocade, fleur de lys pattern

16-17th century

 Linen – different weights any types ( cambric, lawn, Holland, buckram etc) – for undergarments, linings, ruffs, coifs, interlining, aprons, doublets, waistcoats etc

Wool – lots of varieties by that time, including blends with linen and silk; looks for broadcloth, scarlet, kersey, worsted, stammel, russet, cotton etc ); also, as mocado ( velvet using wool pile instead of silk)

Silk – again, lots of silk types used, in a variety of weights, patterns, blends ( cloth of gold, cloth of silver, tinsel) and grades. Look for satins, damask, velvets,grosgrain, sarcenet, taffets) Different types and patterns were popular in different decades. A good link showing some types- here 

Don’t be tempted by duponis ( existed, but very rare as second rate fabrics – contrary to today, slubs were frowned upon apparently), noil, stretch or crushed velvets…. Not period….

(Duponi lovers, do not despair, modern powerwoven duponi has hardly any slubs at all may be used as an alternative to taffeta. just avoid the slubby stuff where it shows…)

Cotton – see medieval note

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Tudor gown in cloth of silver

 18th century

Linen – underwear,  waistcoats, breeches, also dresses in the second half of the century ( especial pattern or printed) – polonaises, jackets etc

Wool – breeches, waistcoats, coats, capes, cloaks, riding habits, travelling outfits, uniforms etc

Cotton – at last! Getting more and more popular – and cheaper (cotton from the West Indies and America); I believe the first cotton velvet is mentioned in 1790 or thereabouts – there is an extant male waistcoat made in cotton velvet

Silk –  taffetas, brocades, damasks, velvets –plain or very specific patterns –famous Spitalfields silks ; used for dresses, petticoats, coats, breeches, waistcoats, frockcoats etc

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striped silk for a polonaise

19th century

Linen, as before

Cotton – including muslin, lawn, voile and plain cottons for dresses, pelisses, breeches, linings etc also undergarments including corsetry

Wool – coats, habits, suits, cloaks, dresses, uniforms,  – everything goes! A variety of types and weights are used, broadcloth, superfine, shallon, worsted etc

Silks – velvets ( still mostly silks, cotton velvets or plushes used as furnishing fabrics too), tafettas, grosgrain, damasks, brocades, twills, satins etc – a great range of fabrics of different weights, weave and patterns used

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more stripes , wool this time, made into a Victorian bodice

 A few generic notes

*avoid man-made, artificial fibres whenever you can. Polyester taffetas may be cheap – and not only do they looks so, but they are a nightmare to work with too.

*Sometimes (well, almost always!) quality will hit your pocket hard – but in the long run, it is worth it.  Don’t sue plastic embroidered duponis etc – save up  for a month or two and get plain silk taffeta; if you cannot afford a dress in silk velvet, use a cheaper silk, or blend – or wool – a very period thing to do, plus it is easier to clean.

*Hunt for bargains –  I have searches set up on ebay looking for  different silk fabrics and sending me reports every week – some of the listings are useless, but sometimes you can  stumble upon real treasures! Go to sales at silk mills, fabric stores etc.

*If possible,  do not skimp on fabric. True, sometimes you get  a fantastic end of roll silk –  and there is only so much of it – then piece the panels up and of course use it – but if you are at liberty to  get the proper amount of the fabric for the project, do so.

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Silk brocade, Victorian

Trims and embellishment.

More or less similar things apply – avoid artificial stuff!  Elastic plastic lace will spoil any Victorian outfit, rayon guipure  lace will clash with proper Elizabethan fabrics. Also mark that different type of lace or braids were used in different periods – putting a cluny lace onto a 12th century bliaud instead of tablet woven braid will not do you any favours.

Again, please mark all those notes are for historical attire – if you are making fantasy, bridal, steampunk, etc garments, you have  much more freedom with the fabrics and embellishment choice – I  love experimenting with the alternative bridal styles or Steampunk looks as my imagination can run wild and I can go for the trims and interesting fabrics that I cannot use for historical gear!

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steampunk wedding gown using poly taffeta and satin – looks ok, but was an absolute nightmare to work with!

 Suppliers, in no particular order

Historical textiles – great quality  broadcloth, superfine and other

Hainsworths – wool

Whaleys – cotton, linen, silk

Bernie the Bolt – wool, linen, cotton – frequents UK and Europen markets – no website:-(

 Herts Fabrics – wool, linen -

 Renaissance fabrics – wool, linen, silks – lovely stuff!

Sew curvy – corsetry fabrics ( coutil, broche, drill)

 James Hare – lovely silks,  great lace,- you will need a trader’s account

 Silk Baron – silk velvet ( 80/20%), taffetas, duponi

Quartermasterie – lovely silks, also stunning silk velvet on cotton backing  – no website though! frequents UK markets

Harrington Fabrics – lace, silks, lovely brocades  – trader’s account needed

Watts&Co – church fabrics, absolutely gorgeous but very pricey ( looking at   £100 – £250 per metre, many fabrics made to order only)

Sartor - – historical textiles –  – great fabrics, do check the fibre composition information, some of them are blends!

MacCulloch and Wallis – cloth, lace, haberdashery

Duran textiles AB – lovely silks and cotton prints, suitable for 18th and 19th century

Tudor Tailor – lovely wools suitable for Tudor and later costuming, plus linen and calico

Happy shopping!

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Officer’s jacket, Napoleonic era – Military bling galore!

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I do not do men’s garments after 1800.  But some people are very persuasive ( or simply very stubborn)…

In this case one of my existing customers ( I made a whole set of Regency wardrobe for his lovely lady last winter) managed to persuade me that I wanted nothing more than to make his new gear. A consensus was made, I gave under pressure and agreed to making shirts, waistcoats and the blingy coat, but drew a line at pantaloons. I shouldn’t have bothered at that line as it later turned out that since another tailor was a bit behind and wouldn’t be able to do the pantaloons – and  so I ended up making 2 pairs of the trousers. And a nice redingote for the lady…

 

The inspiration was the dress jacket from the National Army Museum 

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Over July measurements were made, toiles were fitted and all the ingredients were assembled – and there was a lot to assemble!

The cloth ( broadcloth) came from Historical Textiles,  silly amount of military lace and braid from Hand&Lock, and some more braid and buttons were provided by the customer.

I started with the waistcoat….

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pockets!

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eyelets at the back

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the waistcoat closes with hooks and eyes

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ready!

Time for the jacket….

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lace was applied and i started applying the trim….

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all the wriggly bits ( official term!) in place

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time to play with the front decoration…..

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the innards showing the stitches – the braid was attached with a strong linen thread.  The whole jacket was later lined in red light woolen cloth ( shalloon)

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sleeves ready!

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and the result:-)

 

the pantaloons were next – and they worked surprisingly well! 2 pairs were maid, one on navy broadcloth, one in white one…

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back waist detail

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done!

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front detail

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and the navy pair

 

The whole set was worn at Bath during the Jane Austen festival – and as we were there for the Ball,  Lucas took some pictures of it all being worn together:-)

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very dapper….

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back view

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undressed…

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and chatting with the ladies….

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At the ball with his lay wife, who is also sporting a Prior Attire kit:-)

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and if you are wondering about the prices…

well, the blingy bits ( lace, braids, buttons) were well over £200,

fabric – broadcloth is at around £50 a metre ( and worth every penny!) –  6m were used.

1m of shallon for jacket lining, – £21

shirts, lining and neckclothes –  linen – 3m – £26

calico for toiles and interlining – £10

altogether the materials cost more or less around £400

Labour for it all – roughly £1000…..  it took altogether about 60 hours to complete….more or less.

 

Not a cheap  set – and obviously the accessories  were of fantastic quality and also , I imagine, rather dear. But gosh, doesn’t it all look fantastic! :-)

And surprisingly – I really enjoyed making it, so watch this space, I don’t think it is the end of military bling for me!

 

 

Credits

Cloth and help with patterning – Sean Phillips from Historical Textiles

Military lace:Hand&Lock

braid and buttons and the barrel sash:Stitch in Time

leatherwork – Peter Stroud – Menagerie Leatherwork

Photography – Pitcheresque Imagery

and all of this has been brought together by Prior Attire

 

 

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First Impressions – Regency Ball

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Pray excuse my blatant use of the original, unofficial title of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, but it was exceedingly appropriate here for once :-)

Let me explain.

Last weekend we partook of a Regency Ball in Bath – marking the end of the week-long festivities going on there during the 14th annual Jane Austen festival. It was our first ball there, and my first visit to Bath –  Regency is not my favourite period and I felt that I couldn’t be bothered to make something specifically for the occasion, but as last December  I had to make an evening gown for the 1820 Christmas feature for NBC (details here), I thought – I have the frock, I might just as well use it! Since Lucas had appropriate kit ( his wedding gear plus a pair of new breeches I cobbled together ), the decision was made and tickets were bought.

More on the clothes that I finally did make in other posts –  today we are looking at our own ‘First Impressions’…

 

 

The Ball was a fantastic event- even better, there was a dance practice in the afternoon, preparing us for the exertions of the evening, and the town was lovely – especially the gardens. In the evening there were about 200 people strolling around, dancing, drinking, playing cards and other games – a very convivial evening. The food was fantastic and there was plenty of it, and the musicians excelled.

All together, a perfect evening – we danced until we could hardly walk, we talked and laughed ’til we couldn’t speak and generally had fun.

Of course, all through the evening,  my professional costumier’s eye was noting the details of the clothes being worn. Naturally, there were no ‘authenticity police’ rigorously barring the entrance  to all those whose kit didn’t pass ‘historical inspection’ – so a huge variety in quality was observed.

Some dresses were amazing, some mediocre, some fairly awful – however,this was not a fashion show but a social occasion so it didn’t really matter. The idea was for everybody to have fun – and so no unkind words were said by anybody, which I thought was terrific – after all, many guests simply rented the costumes for the evening, or cobbled things together for themselves at the last minute, whereas others had evidently been sewing for years and preparing for the occasion for months.  Good breeding shows in good manners, and manners were excellent all round that night!

Having said all that, my professional inner self was taking notes – I noticed a few interesting facts and thought I share them with you.

It was interesting to notice that on average the gentlemen’s wear was of a much higher quality than ladies': all the men looked very dashing, be they in regimental or civilian gear. I may not be too enthusiastic about the ladies wear of the era, but by Jove, the men’s fashions were just amazing. What was even more interesting – the cut of the dolmans, jackets, tailcoats, etc, made all the blokes walk and move differently, with a proud and graceful posture – no slouching, no dragging feet or shuffling to be seen. Amazing!

As far as ladies wear is concerned, I realised  a very peculiar thing. The costumier in me looked at every gown, true – but as the evening progressed I noticed that the ladies who stood out most and looked the most authentic were not necessarily the ones with the best dresses…  It was the lasses who took care of all the elements together who looked the best overall. I have previously ranted at length about period silhouette, hair, accessories, etc (links to the  relevant posts  at the end of this post), and now I have the perfect proof.

Some amazingly well made dresses, all hand stitched silks, lovingly embroidered hems, etc, looked rather sad without their proper undergarments, (and yes, a lady’s posture without them is immediately recognisable); a few otherwise lovely gowns were also somewhat marred by modern hairdos and faces caked with make up and mascara.

On the other hand, there were gowns that were not really that well made, or where the fabrics were not that fantastic – but they looked spot-on as the wearer invested in proper undergarments (or perhaps had a naturally Regency suited figure ;-), had a proper hairdo (and not necessarily a complex one – there were a some very good, simple hairstyles that worked beautifully!), and went easy on the modern make up.
Add a pair of gloves, a shawl  and sometimes a reticule – and  all together the wearer stood out from the crowd – not merely a woman in fancy party dress, (however good it might be), but a woman truly wearing the clothes of the era.

The effect of taking such care was really amazing- indeed it was often easy to overlook how simple a dress really was, or what fabric was used – because it was the whole picture that caught the eye, not the mere details.
And it so happens that a girl in a borrowed,  poorly- fitting or cheaply made dress looked better (and at no great cost!) than  some ladies who spent a fortune on an elaborate silk gown but neglected the rest. The underwear and details do make such a difference – So voila – the First Impressions!

And yes, some first impressions would not pass a closer look unscathed – but for this particular occasion it simply didn’t matter :-)

Disclaimer: It is not my intention to offend anyone with this post, criticize their outfits  etc. it is just an impartial observation about the difference the attention to detail can make.

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Looking the part1:(undergarments)

Looking the part 2 ( hair and make up)

 Looking the part 3 ( accossories)

 

and a few photos from the event!

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great cap and bonnet combo!

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yep, that’s us!

 

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loved that blue gown in the later style, fantastic!

 

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How to make French Hoods

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French hoods, the bejewelled headpieces of the Tudor era, seem to be one of the most mysterious and difficult to recreate items – a real challenge for any Tudor re-enactor wanting to portray an upper class persona. Throughout the last few decades a number of patterns and a number of ideas has been employed to recreate the look – some more successful than the others, some less. The main problems lies in the lack of evidence other than pictorial one – to my knowledge, not one of the headdresses we now call French hoods has survived to our times. There are surviving examples of the wire base used for the gable hoods, but not a single one that would cast some illuminating light on the construction of the French ones.  The only way then, it seems, is to rely on the portraits and accounts of the era, which, though immensely helpful, seem to be insufficient to resolve the burning issue once and for all – how  were the things made and how they stayed on the heads!

In the present article I will briefly discuss the origins or the history of the hoods and then proceed to show how Prior Attire hoods are made.   I do not pretend to come up with the pattern I have been using, and a full credit is given to the ones who did, nor will I claim that the method we employ is the best ever – I am confident it is only one of many, and it just happens that it has worked best for me and my customers. The purpose of the article is to show, step by step, how to achieve the creation – and for that you may want to buy the commercial pattern, as it will help you a great deal, but it is by no means necessary.

In my career I have come across several different solutions to the problem, and indeed a few of them seem to be working just fine. The two most popular for the last two years have been the following:

  1. All elements ( coif, paste, veil, crescent) are separate and are pinned together on the wearer’s head –  and the method has been discussed in great detail in an excellent article by another costumier, Sarah Lorraine (http://yourwardrobeunlockd.com/articles/historicalperiods/medievalrenaissance/280-reconstructing-the-french-hood-by-sarah-lorraine) )
  2. The Tudor Tailor’s way – the elements are stitched together in a sturdy headdress – with a few items being removable as needs be (coif, bongrace, separate billiment). The idea is not new, as I managed to dig out the references to it in an earlier publication by Denise Dreher, but is now enjoying a well deserved revival.

I believe that in the 16th century there wasn’t just one pattern for the hood – ladies were making do with different arrangements, striving to achieve the fashionable look by a variety of means and no doubt women across the world are doing the same nowadays. For me the latter way really worked as a way of making a headdress that is historically correct, easy to wear, looks good and most importantly, stays on my head.

 

 The genesis of the French hood.

It is becoming more and more evident how the English, or gable hood evolved on the UK, transforming from the open hoods into bonnets with paste and frontlets, and then in the most iconic form known from the portraits of  Jane Seymour or  the More family.

Similarly, it is possible to trace the evolution of the French hood – though it must be noted that its origins seem to be developed on the continent rather than in England.   Although they derive from the same ancestor, an open hood worn in the last decades of the 15th century, the evolution took the headdress two separate ways. In England, the front of the hood became stiffened, and started to fold in the middle over the forehead, creating a point (style also worn with some hennins). With further stiffening and additional decoration of the brim, the gable shape started to emerge – first with the long frontlet, laying on a stiffened and decorated paste, then with the paste shortened, frontlets folded back and pinned to the crown and divided veils.

Charles d'Angoulême et Louise de Savoie jouant aux échecs

Charles d’Angoulême et Louise de Savoie jouant aux échecs

On the continent, the hood was also changing at the time, but the emphasis was on the roundness – the stiffened and decorated part of the hood followed the shape of the head, eliminating any possibility of the rectangular shape of the English bonnet.  The beginnings can be seen in the portraits of Anne of Brittany or even Katherine of Aragon, who, contrary to common misconception, did wear the early version of the French hood as well.

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Katherine of Aragon, Michael Sittow,

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  Anne of Brittany, Jean Perreal

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Margaret aged ten by Jean Hey,

 With time, various elements were added and new styles were developed – ornaments and basic shapes of the crescent changed, the veil changed through the decades and the hairstyles changed as well – but the most recognizable style of the French hood seems to have persevered through many decades, starting as a simple hood and transforming into one of the most complex headdresses.

Materials:

Buckram (linen or hessian) 0.5m

Wire – 2m

White linen – 1m

Veil – black velvet or satin, 0.5m

Silk for the paste and the crescent, can be the same colour, can be different. Silk taffetas, satins and velvets work best. The most common colours were white, black, tawny-gold, though reds and colours coordinated with the gown were also in evidence. You will need very little; 0.5m for both in the same colour is ample.

Silk organza – a thin strip (fine linen also works)

Linen and silk threads

Ornaments – freshwater pearls,  lass beads, metal beads, gems –   depends on style.

Thimble, pliers, wire cutters, different size needles, including a curved one

A scrap of silk velvet or wool for cushioning the inside of the paste.

A bit of cardboard for mock up

Pattern:

I used an adapted pattern from the Tudor tailor book. The pattern is available in hard copy http://www.tudortailor.com/patternshop.shtml

 Method

It is a good idea to make a mock up of the pattern in cardboard or stiff paper – just to see how it lies on your head. The paste part is the most important as it provides the base for the whole construction. It should sit on your head snugly, with the front parts resting just below your cheekbones, and the back ‘wings’ cradling your head. Remember to make sure your hair is coiled in a bun or a plaited into one at the top back of your head- it provides additional support for the hood. If your hair is short, it is worthwhile to get a basic plait extension – coiled and pinned, it will do the job just as well. Depending on the shape of your head that should be sufficient to keep the hood on very securely. For very heavy hoods with lots of bling on them, I find I need to pin them just over the ears as well.

Experiment with the mock up till you find the best fit and adapt your pattern accordingly.

  1. Cut out the pattern shapes for the paste and the crescent in buckram. No seam allowances are necessary.

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The paste cut out.

 

  1. Cut out the pieces : in linen – 2 of each, with an inch seam allowance all around; in silk, 1 of each, with the same seam allowance
  2. Put the fabric pieces aside for the time being- the buckram pieces need to be wired first.
  3. Cut a length of wire – should be enough to go all around the paste, with a little overlap. Sew on the wire to the edge of the buckram – you can do it by hand, with a strong linen thread, or on a machine. If using the machine, set it to a wide zig-zag stitch and sew, slowly and carefully, making sure the needle goes down on both sides of the wire, and not into it. Do not hasten the process– it will most likely result in broken needles…

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  1. As you near any corner, use the pliers to bend the wire around it.

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Paste with the wire sewn on by a machine

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And the crescent with the wire

  1. Pin the back ends of the paste together and try it on. You will most likely notice that the buckram squashes your ears or at least feels unpleasant – take note of the areas and mark them on the buckram – they are the places that will need some cushioning to make the hood comfortable to wear.
  2. Cur small rectangles of wool or velvet – any thick and smooth fabric will work well. Fold it and stitch it to the inside of the buckram where your ears will be.

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The ‘ear protectors’ stitched in to the inside of the paste

  1. You are now ready to cover the outside of the paste with linen. Pin the linen layer to the paste, folding the seam allowances over onto the inside. Stitch around, keeping the fabric taut and secure – remember that it will not be seen as the silk layer will go over it, but if your silk is thin, try to keep your stitches small so that they do not show through it.

Bedford Borough-20120222-02368

The paste covered with linen

  1. Once the linen base is in place, you can cover the outside with your fashion fabric – it can be silk taffeta, velvet or satin. Again, fold the seam allowances under and stitch carefully, ensuring the fabric lies smooth on the curved surfaces and that the corners are well defined.

Bedford Borough-20120222-02371

Paste covered with black velvet

 

  1. Next step – pleated frill. You can skip it if you plan to wear a coif with a frill. If your coif has plain edges, you can add the pleated strip to the hood.
  2. Cut a length or organza (utilising the selvage, if you can – if not, you will need to hem it) and pleat it in even knife or small box pleats, securing each pleat with a pin.

 Bedford Borough-20120222-02380 Bedford Borough-20120222-02382

Once you have enough to fill in the front of the hood, secure the pleats with a simple stitch, pin the trip onto the ironing board and set it with steam. Do test the fabric first to see if you can iron it – if yes, go ahead, if no, just steam.

  1. Pin the strip to the inside of the paste, so that only about half an inch extends beyond the paste. Sew it onto to paste, at the back, and carefully, at the front, making sure you catch the fabric folded under but not going all the way through all the layers.

Bedford Borough-20130318-02401Bedford Borough-20130318-02402

Frill pinned and stitched on

  1. Leave the paste aside for the time being – it is easier to line it later on, once the crescent is attached.

Time to work on the crescent.

  1. Cover the outside of the wired crescent first with linen, and then with your fashion fabric, just like you did with the paste.

 Bedford Borough-20120222-02373

Crescent covered – outside view

Bedford Borough-20120222-02374

And inside

If you plan to decorate the crescent by sewing the ornamentation directly, do it now.

Decoration options: you can stitch each individual bead and pearl directly – useful particularly if you are planning a more elaborate decoration option. Alternatively, if your embellishment is just a single row, you can string all of the beads etc on one thread, and then simply stitch between them, securing the string onto the crescent.

Bedford Borough-20130318-02404

Once the decoration is attached, line the crescent with the other piece of linen. Pin the piece around and stitch carefully so that it doesn’t peek from the underside

.Bedford Borough-20120222-02386

Stitching the lining to the crescent

 You are now ready to tackle the most difficult task of all: attaching the crescent onto the paste,

If you have vice, it may come useful, but a spare pair of hands or long pins could do the job just as well.

Mark the centre points on both paste and crescent. Pin them together, and continue pinning at the sides so that the crescent is in position.

Bedford Borough-20120222-02387

Crescent pinned

Sew with needle (curved ones are best for the purpose) threaded with strong thread, catching both items. It helps if you first place a few strong stitches at both sides of the crescent – hidden by the decoration, they will not be seam, but they will go through all the layers of the crescent and the paste. They are the main anchor. Continue along the edge of the crescent, catching the crescent’s fabrics and going through the paste, the stitches will show a bit – but you can cover them later with more decoration.

Using normal needle – and a curved one, below

 Bedford Borough-20120222-02389  Bedford Borough-20120222-02388

Bedford Borough-20120222-02387

  1. The two pieces are now in place – so the worst part is done! You can now decorate the paste with your choice of embellishment –braid, pearls etc.

Bedford Borough-20120222-02390 Bedford Borough-20130319-02408

Pearls sewn onto the paste, covering the stitches.

  1. Line the paste with the last bit of linen.  The stitching will have to be careful and require some dexterity since the shape of the hood is now slowly emerging and you have to deal with concave and convex surfaces – again, a vice or a third hand can be useful. Pin the lining in first:

Bedford Borough-20120222-02391 Bedford Borough-20120222-02392

Then sew with small stitches

Bedford Borough-20120222-02393

Lined hood

Bedford Borough-20120222-02395

  1. Time to connect the back ends of the hood; pin them first, so that they overlap a bit, and try the hood on. Again, remember to arrange your hair as described previously.   Make any necessary arrangements until the hood feels secure.  Once satisfied, take it off and sew with strong thread, connecting the two parts. Since you will be going through all the layers doubled, you will need a thicker and stronger needle, and possibly pliers too, to help you draw the needle through.

Bedford Borough-20130319-02409

Trying the hood on

Bedford Borough-20120222-02400

Last bit – the veil.

Cut the veil in silk satin, silk velvet or taffeta. Sew the back seam and hem the edges.

Pin the veil to the hood – mark the centre top first and pin that first, then pin the sides onto the crescent. Where the crescent merges with the paste, pin the veil onto the past, so that it goes smoothly in one circle.

Bedford Borough-20130319-02410

Pinning the bottom centres together

Bedford Borough-20130319-02411

Hood pinned

 Sew with small stitches – again, a bit of manual acrobatics will be necessary, but it can be done – with experience you will work out which way of holding the hood works for you. Again, a curved needle is a blessing!

Bedford Borough-20130319-02412

Sewing the veil on…

Bedford Borough-20130319-02415 Bedford Borough-20130319-02414

And the hood is ready!

Optional: if you plan to sew the crescent billiment onto a separate base, you can do it as the last step.

Cut a narrow strip of buckram, mirroring the shape of the upper edge of the crescent. Wire it, cover with lining and fashion fabric just like the other items before. Attach any decoration and pin the billiment onto the hood – it can sit on the top of the veil too. Attach the billiment.

Hood in silk velvet with a separate billiment:

Bedford Borough-20111126-01600 Bedford Borough-20111126-01598

Other examples of hoods:

IMG01463-20100826-1006

Silk taffeta base and crescent, silk satin veil, freshwater pearls and metal beads decoration on the upper billiment, gold metal braid on the lower

 IMG01466-20100826-1009

 Silk satin base and crescent, freshwater pearl and garnet beads decoration, silk satin veil

DSC00186

Silk velvet base and taffeta crescent, satin veil, freshwater pearls and gold braid decoration

your turn now! :-0

And if you need a gown to go with these –  How to make a Tudor Gown, and Katherine of Aragon gown…

Bibliography

Boucher, François. A History of Costume in the West, Thames & Hudson; Enlarged edition (23 Sep 1996)

Mikhaila, Ninya and Malcolm-Davies, Jane. The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing sixteenth–century dress. London: Batsford, 2006.

Caroline Johnson,  The Queen’s servants, Fat Goose Press, 2011

Hayward, Maria. Dress at the Court of King Henry VIII. Leeds: Maney, 2007.


 

 References:

 

Boucher François,  A history of Costume in the West, Thames & Hudson; Enlarged edition edition (23 Sep 1996)

Denise Dreher, Fromm the Neck up; An illustrated guide to hat making, Madhatter Press

Mikhaila, Ninya and Malcolm-Davies, Jane. The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing sixteenth–century dress. London: Batsford, 2006.

Caroline Johnson,  The Queen’s servants, Fat Goose Press, 2011

Hayward, Maria. Dress at the Court of King Henry VIII. Leeds: Maney, 2007.

Medieval & Renaissance

1-Sarah Lorraine, “A Lady’s French Hood”, Mode Historique, 2002.

Royal adventures In Carlisle Castle

Edward & Margaret-4

This summer Carlisle Castle has hosted a different royal couple each weekend – and on the 8/9th of August it was our turn :-)We were hired by History’s Maid to provide interpretation as Edward I and Margaret of France.

The period was familiar to us, though not in great details, so it was an excellent opportunity to do some more research and learn more about the social and military aspect of the late 13th and early 14th  century- as well as study the lives of the two monarchs in more detail. Here Lucas had a more complex task – at the date we chose to base our visit to Carlisle ( 1307, the second Scottish Campaign) Edward was at the end of a long, rich life – so a lot to learn about!  As Margaret was 40 years younger, I had a much simpler task…

It was a very interesting research – and it was great to be able to pass it on to the visitors as well – most of them arrived knowing that Edward, or Longshanks as he was called, is the king who had Mel Gibson, sorry, William Wallace, :-) killed – hopefully they left with a bit more knowledge!

As far as the costume bits were concerned, we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, as the booking came in when I was already booked with commissions till  October, but  managed to free 2 days  for working on our kit.

Lucas already had his fur lined mantle, hose and chemise  he uses for earlier periods – but he needed a tunic and a surcoat.  As it was hot at the time, we opted for linen in rich midnight blue for the tunic – decorated with bands of gold metallic silk, and a silk for surcoat – with metallic braid used for decoration.

Hair was a bit of an issue – we needed a graying blonde…  A wig was bought at a local shop – I trimmed it, styled it and it did the job!

IMG_20140805_221744

original wig

IMG_20140808_001611

styling – just before steaming it

IMG_20140808_001914

result!

A crown was borrowed from the English Heritage staff , the sword came from Black Knight Historical, and the bling from Gemmeus – and voila, we have a king!

Ed and Marj-39

and the king in question on his lunch break :-)

IMG_20140809_130907

 

As far as Margaret attire goes, I already had a cloak, chemise, shoes and a dress in wool – but there was just enough time to make a surcoat and a silk dress, and an alternative headgear.

There are very few images of Margaret, so I based the cut on the Codex Manesse garments – and recreated the headdress from  one of the statues of her.  Margaret wasn’t crowned – but she still wore a crown, and her seal shows her doing just that! – for the  original images for both Edward and Margaret, as well as clothing of the era, there is a modes board on pinterest

The hair was interesting –  the image shows curls, and probably coiled plaits which were jut becoming fashionable at the time – so it was a hairpieces  time for me!

I plaited my own hair, attached plaited extensions, coiled and securely pinned, and then pinned my own meager plaits around them

Ed and Marj-13

2 sets of plaits, work in progress…

then I added clip on curls – and pinned them around too.

IMG_20140810_104229

The barbette and veils were next – and a crown on top. Or the alternative look,  based on the original image, a linen headdress with a frill and a veil on top of it…

IMG_20140809_131732

a medieval selfie

and the other look -

Ed and Marj-8

 

and the whole picture

Ed and Marj-7

 

The  weekend passed quickly – we were at the gate doing the meet and greet, and priming the visitors for the royal audience when they could ask  us questions. The audiences were  inside the castle and  they were great fun – lots of questions, followed by some more in depth discussions as there were a few history teachers visiting too – fascinating!  The kids learnt about what a person their age could expect in the royal service, what skills and arts they would have been taught and what duties they would have had. Adults inquired about the manners, armour, tactics, food, clothing, day to day life of a royal and their retinue. Battles tactics were discussed, pilgrimages and wars were talked about, languages and marital strives were elaborated on –   lots of interesting questions.

The days finished with a Walk with Longshanks – a stroll on the battlements, talking about the castle, the defence mechanisms and the area around. We even had a chance to practice our French as there were quite a few visitors from Canada, France and Belgium :-)

 

And at the end of the day we were given leave to take some photos  -

Ed and Marj-55

Ed and Marj-51

It was a bit windy…. :-)

 

On the second day we took photos of Gemmeus jewellery and I changed the hair for a wig, to get thea ‘ Codex Manesse’ look :-)

Ed and Marj-16 Ed and Marj-18

 

Ed and Marj-35

silk dress with a stylised bridal belt from Gemmeus

In short – the whole event was both enjoyable and educative – the best kind, well worth the long drive there:-) – many thanks to all who made it possible  – greatly appreciated:-)

and the credits

History’s Maid

Carlisle Castle

Black Knight Historical

 Gemmeus

 Prior Attire

Pitcheresque photography

 

Fifty Shades of Sepia…

50SoS-29

 

With the trailer of the film running amok in the internet and showing in every feed, we were a bit fed up with the 50 shades of Gray overexposure.  I do sincerely hope the film is going to be better than the book, which was a serious abuse of my gray matter – those who have read it know it, those who didn’t – well, if you fancy a badly written parody with hardly any plot, no character development worth speaking about and seriously bored soliloquies  and dialogues ( blessedly short, mind you  ) – have a go, you’ll enjoy it once you realize it is a bit of a parody:-). Anyway, fingers crossed the film will be at least a bit more interesting.

In the meantime, we decided to have our own 50 Shades – but in sepia… Lucas  went through our few last stock photoshoots ( the Edwardian corsetry and Stock photography) and picked out the most tasteful/funny/ridiculous/atmospheric  shoots of historical lingerie and render them in sepia….

 

Here is Mr. Sepia himself…

50SoS-1

and  his girls…

10491109_736822963032039_9065389548081585348_n 10515247_736851889695813_9010012840341949551_o

50SoS-19

50SoS-22

50SoS-16

 

 

 

50SoS-11 50SoS-2 50SoS-18 10456247_736823053032030_4127156420423489100_n 10495360_736851953029140_933387450005127669_o 10592798_736851896362479_7438602987999615935_n 50SoS-21 LJP_5733sepia

 

 

 

 

Hope  you like the experiment – some of the corsets etc are still available in our shop!

Many thanks to our elegantly playful models : Miss Lilian Love, Helen Radlett, Adrianna Renarde  and Anett Novak

Photography -Picturesque Imagery – you can find more  images from the session here

 

1883 Walking Dress – tutorial

47. at Holkham (4)

 

Well, as much as I love flowing trains swishing behind me, there is no denying the sheer elegance and practicality of a walking-length costume. Considering that we do quite a lot of Victorian interpretation work in all seasons, particularly the muddy ones,  I had to consider making one that would not suffer damage when working on muddy floors or streets. Last winter we were hired again for Victorian Christmas celebrations at Holkham Hall, this time for 4 days; although I had already decided to make a nice winter polonaise with a train, I simply needed another outfit – and a practical one too.

1.christmas polonaise

The Christmas polonaise

A perfect excuse to make a walking dress, if I ever saw one, and since I had picked up some interesting silks at a recent market, the decision was made.

The inspiration – Harper’s Bazaar, Autumn costume 1883

2.Autumn costume 1883

Autumn costume 1883

 Materials:

Cotton for lining, 6m

Silk brocade 5m

Silk twill 3m

Interlining for the waistband/front vest

Antique buttons

Bones

Cotton tape (5m)

Velvet ribbon (2m – but cotton tape can be used here as well)

 

Patterns

Bodice: my own – well, I did adapt my wedding bodice pattern (again), experimenting with how to best  achieve the front with the ‘false vest’ effect . A similar pattern is available from Vena Cava (http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/Products/1884_French_Vest_Bodice.html)

 

Skirts – again, I have adapted the pattern from my wedding skirt, simply by making it shorter at the back, so that with the bustle it was an even length. Similar pattern of a plain underskirt can be found here – http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/Products/1885_Four-Gore_Underskirt.html

 

Apron front – adapted from: http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/Products/1886_Autumn_Overskirt.html

 The Skirt.

If this is the first Victorian skirt you have ever made, then I recommended that you make a simple toile in calico, just to get the length, darts etc right. It is much easier to get the desired even hem when draping it on a dummy than when trying to wrestle with maths. Also, you can use the calico pieces as a template for future skirts, saving you loads of time.

  1. Cut out your pieces (in my case: front, 2 sides, 2 backs, plus waistband) in top fabric.
3.skirt fornt panel

skirt front panel

4.skirt side panel

.skirt side panel

5.skirt back panel

skirt back panel

 

  1. Place the pieces on lining and pin together. (You can cut the lining first and then the top fabric – up to you!)
  2. Cut carefully, but DO NOT unpin – leave the pieces as they are, pinned together. If your fabric is ‘slithery’, baste the two layers together.
6.all pieces cut out and pinned together with the lining

all pieces cut out and pinned together with the lining

  1. Sew in the darts on the front piece, and press.
7. sewing the dart

sewing the dart

9.darts sewn, inside

darts sewn, inside

8.darts sewn, right side

  1. Place the side panel onto the front, right sides together, and sew through all 5 layers. Repeat for all the other panels, making sure you leave the back seam open a little at the back – that’s your placket opening.
  2. Press the seams open. You can pink the seam allowances to limit for fraying before couching them down – or simply fold under and secure them with small stitches. For the placket opening, simply fold the edges under and stitch on the machine – even easier if you are using the selvage as I did
10. pinked seam

pinked seam

11.back opening

back opening

  1. Put the skirt on the dummy.  Make sure the dummy is wearing correct undergarments – a bustle cage or pad, and a petticoat. Pleat the back panel: knife pleats towards the back work best in my opinion. Pin the pleats in place and take the skirt off.

12. pleats pinned

  1. Prepare the waistband – either baste in the interfacing material, of if using a fusible one, fuse with the top fabric.
  2. Pin the waistband into the skirt, right sides together, and sew. Press, flip it over, securing the edges of the skirt and pin on the other side – then  fold the raw edges of the waistband under and sew – either by hand or by machine.

13.sewing the waistband

  1. Work the button hole and sew on the button.
  2. You can add a proper placket – a piece of fabric to cover the opening; since my skirt is to be worn under the apron, the opening will not be visible anyway, so I decided not to bother in this case…
  3. Put the skirt on the dummy again –this time you are working on the hem. Play with the arrangement of the skirt itself, as well – more often than not it will need tapes attaching at the side/back so that the fullness is contained over the bustle and not at the sides. Only once you are satisfied with the fullness distribution/tape arrangement should you have a look at the hem.
13a. tapes at the inside of the skirt, restricting the fullness to the back

tapes at the inside of the skirt, restricting the fullness to the back

  1. Adjust the hem length as necessary, making it even all around.  To finish it, fold the hem under and stitch. You can also add ruffles etc.
  2. Since my skirt was to be used a lot, I decided to reinforce the hem by using a strong cotton tape. A ruffle would go on outside of the skirt, (though you can also attach it on the inside – both work :-)
14. pinning the cotton tape to the hem

pinning the cotton tape to the hem

15.sewing the tape to the hem

sewing the tape to the hem

16. hem on the outside

hem on the outside

  1. Ruffle – mine is of the silk twill, with cotton lining. Cut the ruffle (3 times the length of the hem usually works for me). Place the top fabric and the lining right-sides together and sew along one edge.
17.preparing the ruffle

preparing the ruffle

  1. Flip on the other side and press, positioning the seam not on the very edge, but slightly up on the wrong side, so that the lining is now longer at the top.  Stitch the top edge together, cutting out the excess lining.
  2. Pleat – Either pin every pleat, or cut corners- use machine ruffler (I love mine!) or a pleater.
18. pleating on the ruffler

pleating on the ruffler

18a. pleating on the pleater

pleating on the pleater

  1. Press and starch.
20,

pressed ruffle

  1. Once ready, pin and sew your pleats onto the skirt, right sides together.

21. ruffle being sewn

  1. Fold down and press. You may further secure the ruffle by stitching it to the hem by hand,
22. securing the ruffle to the hem

securing the ruffle to the hem

23. ruffle done!

ruffle done!

  1. Your skirt is now ready! ;-)  – here the inside view

24. skirt on the inside

 

The overskirt.

  1. Cut out the pieces in fabric (and the lining, if you are lining it).
  2. Sew the darts into the front section
  3. Hem the pieces and add ruffle or any decoration you would like to use
26.adding the ruffle to hem med apron

adding the ruffle to hem med apron

  1. Mark the pleats at the sides and sew the pleats in place.
27. pleateing the sides

pleateing the sides

  1. The back – hem this, including the placket opening. Pleat according to the diagram on the pattern, then pin.
28. back pleats (2)

back pleats (2)

  1. You now have the apron, the back, and the waistband. Try the pieces on, pinning them to the dummy, or on yourself; Check that the pleats look the way you want them to . If all is ok, sew the back pleats and add the waistband.
29. checking the fit

checking the fit

  1. Position the back and front pieces on the waistband and pin in place. It will overlap a bit with the back piece on top, this is ok.  Try it on yourself, or on the dummy, to ensure that the fabric hangs properly. If necessary, you can still change the position of the pleats.
30.pinning the waistband, note the back piece overlaps the front -

pinning the waistband, note the back piece overlaps the front -

  1. Sew on the waistband, and finish as with the waist on the skirt. Finish all buttons and buttonholes.
31. finishing the waistband - pining

finishing the waistband – pining

32 -

waistband ready

  1. The front pieces will require a tape, as they will pull the apron into position. Stitch a length of tape (enough to tie over the bustle) at each side as indicated by the pattern.
33.tape sewn at the sides of the apron

tape sewn at the sides of the apron

  1. Your overskirt is now ready!

 

 The bodice.

Again, if it is your first bodice, do make a mock-up – do not rely on the pattern to fit perfectly well onto your corseted form! Needless to say, wear your corset for all fittings.  I made a mock up with two different fronts – one  sported one dart and the vest part sewn along the second one , and the other  had 2 darts and a vest added in a third seam. The first option worked much better for me, so I tweaked this side and used the pieces as a pattern for the proper bodice.

34.

mock up, experimenting with different positioning of darts and vest seam

35. tweaking the armscythe

 tweaking the armscythe.

 

  1. Cut out your pieces in top fabric.
  2. Place the pieces on the lining, pin together and cut. Do not unpin – treat as one layer. If the top fabric is slippery, baste the pieces together. Again, you can cut in reverse order as I did – lining first,
37. cutting out the pieces - here lining on top fabric, front piece

cutting out the pieces – here lining on top fabric, front piece

  1. Prepare the vest part – I decided to interline the silk twill to make the buttonholes sturdier. I also used the silk brocade as a lining for the twill. Sew the piece right-sides together along the front edge and bottom, press open, poke the corner, and flip onto the right side, press again. Pin or baste the other edges together and treat as a single piece.
  2. Sew the darts onto the front piece first.
  3. Sew all pieces of the bodice together, (don’t worry about the sleeves or collar for the moment), and try it on.  This is the last opportunity to make changes to the fit, neck or arm scythe shape, so DO take your time checking the fit.
38.trying it on - the front

trying it on – the front

39. the back

the back

  1. Time to work on the sleeves – sew the parts together, hem the cuffs and add ruffle, decoration, etc as required. Pin into the bodice and try on.

40. the sleeves

 

40a.sleeve cuff

sleeve cuff

  1. Once everything is in order, sew the sleeves into place.
41

sleeve pinned in, ready for stitching

  1. Press all seams open, or to one side; pink the seam allowances ( or fold over and secure with stitching)As for the seam connecting the sleeves to the bodice – use a cotton tape to enclose the seam, a simple, neat and period technique.
  2. Collar – place both parts (plus interlining) right sides together, sew along the top edge.

42.collar pieces

  1. Trim seam allowances, turn over, poke the corners out and press.
  2. Pin the collar into the bodice,( the top fabric and interlining but not the lining part) and sew. Fold over the lining and stitch, hiding the seam.
43. sewing the collar on - finishing

sewing the collar on – finishing

  1. Now for the edges – either pipe them, or bind them – I made binding in the brocade and bound all edges apart from the vest part. Sew the binding first, right sides together , flip open, press and fold over the seams, then sew the inside by hand.
44. sewing the self fabric bias bining to the edges of the bodice)

sewing the self fabric bias bining to the edges of the bodice)

  1. Mark the buttonholes  and work them – either on the machine or by hand
45. marking the buttonholes

marking the buttonholes

  1. Sew on the buttons.
  2. Pleat the peplum as indicated on the diagram , or as desired – and secure it with a  few stitches (or a piece of tape)
  3. Cut a piece of ribbon for your waist tape, ( grosgrain is best, but other tight-woven ribbons about 1inch wide will work as well), and stitch this at the back seam. Pin the tape at your waist, at the seams. Attach hooks and eyes in front – the tape will take some of the strain from the buttonsJ you can also attach the tape over the bones – will work just as well.
  4. Mark how long you want your boning to be and cut the bones.   File the ends and enclose the boning in the channel (here I used a few readymade ones).
  5. Sew the channels onto the seams, placing the boning over the tape . An excellent article on the boning and waist tape position in the bustle bodices can be found here- http://historicalsewing.com/boning-in-bustle-bodices
46. bones in the channels, stitched at the seams, on a front pannel

bones in the channels, stitched at the seams, on a front pannel

 

  1. Your bodice is ready!

Here the whole ensemble is worn at Holkahm Hall and Stoke Rochford, over the period undergarments.  ( and links to the articles on how to make the bustle cage and a petticoat )

49. at Holkham , back 48.at Holkham 50. at Holkham (3) LJP_9064 LJP_9177

 

 

 

Hot summer 1914

Edwardian Outfits July 2014-20

 

After the  WWI event at Hereford one thing became apparent – I  cannot wear my original mourning outfit in these temperatures! it was only silk, but black, and having it drenched with sweat was just a crime. So for the next WWI event, in St. Neots, I decided to  whiz something simple and more appropriate – a light cotton summer dress.

I had only 1 day to do just that – recent house move meant I  had to finish some commissions early and catch up with others after the move – but I managed to save up 1 day to get the frock sorted. I had a lovely cotton with embroidered border in stock (  to make one of the stock item dresses…) and decided to use that. my inspiration came from a few fashion plates picturing a skirt and a bodice/jacket combination – you can see the board here.

The whole thing turned out to be a bit more complex than I had originally imagined. The top needed a sitted waist ( underbodice) with the looser , longer layer being mounted directly on it. I did not have time to make a late Edwardian corset in lighter fabric, and my black one showed through the layers – so I had to use my early Edwardian corset – shorter and without suspenders, but it turned out to work just fine. I also added some vintage lace to the borders of the jacket…

IMG_20140727_091135

fitted waist under the looser layer…

The only pair of shoes I had, were my new Gibsons from American Duchess - and so to match them I found a scrap of beige silk in the scrap box and made a belt  to compliment the shoes – whatever as left of the silk went on the hat…

And so, the layers were –  The stockings, drawers and the chemise with a corset on top….

Edwardian Outfits July 2014-3

 

then the petticoat in light cotton and lace…

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Camisole  and the skirt next…

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And then the jacket. It can be worn in 2 ways – as a cross over…

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or open in front, revealing more of the decorative waist…

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back view…

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 The hat was an original item, restyled just a bit – added silk bow, velvet ribbon , some bling and ivory and brown feathers.

 On the day I forgot my gloves – and felt half naked wondering around town looking for a shop that would sell anything suitable… Fortunately, lovely ladies in Beales found s the last few pairs of net gloves somewhere in the stock room – and they were perfect!

  Here am leaving for a day’s work on the second day – this time with a parasol as sun was merciless!

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The event itself, ran by St. Neot’s museum  and Black Knight Historical, was great – we chatted to the public, recruited nurses, encouraged young lads to join up – and talking about the impact the great War had on the history and everyday life…

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- and in between all that we sat at a nearby vintage cafe, enjoying amazing scones, tea and lemonade… If you ever are in St. Neot’s this place is well worth a visit –  Betty Bumbless Vintage tea Rooms.

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 I also spent some time making sketches  – to be used by one of the local artists –  and it turned out to be a real magnet for the public, and inspired a few very interesting discussions about the war fashions….

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At the end of the day we indulged in a little photoshoot session in the cafe – their first floor turned out to be a time machine – styling was mostly WWII, but generic enough for us to have a go at a few pictures…

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  Lastly, we paid our respects at the local monument…

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  All through the weekend the temperatures were scorching – and the new dress worked well – it was light, breathed well and I felt much cooler than in the black silk – success. in fact, it proved so popular that I got some more of the fabric to make another one, this time for sale:-). Considering the fact that in the next 4 years we will be doing quite a lot of the WWI events, I suspect I will be making a few more summer dresses, day dresses and walking suits… a few of them are already done, available in our shop! ore to come over the next few months….

 Credits:

 Photography – as always, huge thanks to Pitcheresque Imagery

 Shoes – American Duchess,

 Clothes ( my dress, Blue silk dress, and Lucas’ breeches (  try as I might, I simply couldn’t get out of making theses…) – Prior Attire

 gloves – Beales

Stock Photography Fun

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So we have got a new website – and it comes with a shop! Online shoo for some essentials has been on my to do list for quite some time,  and so I decided to go ahead with it. And your products need to be photographed, right? Well,  since we were moving house, we decided to get as many pictures sorted before we do so – and 2 long sessions have been set aside and done!

The first was a fun session with Miss Lilian Love – featuring our modern corsets – the elegant sheer…

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and a cyberpunk/sci fy underbust – in a few looks!

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Lady Darth Vader….

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then a week later we had Anett, and Adrianne..

preparations…

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and a few outtakes from the shoot…

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after the shoot the girls went to bed…. ;-)

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The  next day  Helen joined us for more fun..

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and then Lizzie  got to model some more stuff too :-)

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even I got to model one of our stock items!

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and after all the shooting was done, it was editing time – photos, of course, by Pitcheresque Imagery

All the items here ( and many more) are  already available in the shop - but will get a proper post on the shop at some point too!

Many thanks to all our models  for their hard work, creativity and simply being great company!