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Rate the Dress: Oversized stripes in 1912

Last week disappeared in a haze of overwork, and this week isn’t looking like it’s going to be much better (last week of term is stressful for everyone…)

So this week’s Rate the Dress is brought to you by ‘it was the first one I randomly selected from my ‘this would work for Rate the Dress’ list.

Last-last week: a yellow silk 1780s redingote

Many of you liked it, but many of you thought it was nice, but boring. And nobody loved it – not a single 10.

The Total: 8 out of 10

Pretty good, but not fabulous from a usually favourite era.

This week: a 1912 afternoon dress by Jeanne Hallee

Despite being a random selection, this afternoon dress does flow on rather nicely from last week’s pick. The frock, with its wrapped fichu collar, and open overskirt, is a perfect example of 1910s-does-18th century historicism.

Afternoon dress, Jeanne Hallée (French, 1880–1914), 1912, French, silk, Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.49.2.4 detail

The rest of the dress, is, of course, pure 1912: high waist, slim skirt, high collar and layers of trim, with quirky details like skirt pick ups, and innovative details like cut-on kimono sleeves.

Afternoon dress, Jeanne Hallée (French, 1880–1914), 1912, French, silk, Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.49.2.4 detail
Afternoon dress, Jeanne Hallée (French, 1880–1914), 1912, French, silk, Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.49.2.4 detail

I’d always assumed this dress was wide stripes, but on closer inspection, its actually stripes over a floral pattern.

Afternoon dress, Jeanne Hallée (French, 1880–1914), 1912, French, silk, Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.49.2.4 detail

What do you think?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting.  It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste. 

(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it!  And 0 is not on a scale of 1 to 10.  Thanks in advance!)

The Quest for Regency Uplift: 1790s Achievement Unlocked

One of my goals for 2018 was to make two pairs of Regency stays that worked on me: one for the 1790s, and one for the 1810s.

I did not achieve this goal.

I made The J.S Berhnhardt 1810s Stays, View C (and took them in and altered them so they have a better, if not great, fit), and another pair that I was equally unenthused about, but my year got rather taken over by settling in to teaching at Toi Whakaari, so personal sewing took a back seat.

I’m determined to get back on track with this goal in 2019, and so far I’m halfway there:

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

I have 1790s jumps that are super comfortable, give me lots of support, and actually create lift!

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

I used the 1790s jumps pattern given on pages 102-107 in Salen’s Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques.

The pattern as given in the book fits about a 40″ bust (and bigger if you want space in your front lacing)

I drew it out and graded it up and down last year for members of the Wellington historical sewers who owned the book, but weren’t the size given in the pattern. They have been sewing their own versions, so I’ve now seen it on a 46″ D cup, a 34″ DD, a 40 F cup, and a 38″ A cup – and it has worked pretty well on all of those.

So I had high hopes for my version, and so far I’m not disappointed. There is actual lift!

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

And they are comfortable!

I’ve yet to wear them under a dress, or for a really extended period of time, so that will be the final proof of success. But for now, I’m pretty delighted!

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

I generally used the construction methods given by Salen, although I’m not entirely convinced that they are how the originals were really put together. It works well enough though.

My jumps are made from a midweight linen-cotton blend. They are entirely hand-sewn, and have German plastic whalebone boning.

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com
1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com
1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

The overwhelming consensus from the Wellington sewers has been that you don’t want the back bones: even in the lightest fabric you might use, they aren’t needed, and they are just uncomfortable. Although I don’t plan to put them in, I sewed in my back boning channels, to hold the layers of fabric together, and just in case.

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

Those who made the jumps in heavier fabric found they didn’t need bones at all, but I find them really helpful in my lighter linen.

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

I have sewed my boning channels in a running backstitch, and may need to reinforce them with a full backstitch in the future.

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

Even though this wasn’t a big or hard project, I’m counting it for the Historical Sew Monthly 2019 April challenge: Upping Your Game.

These are the culmination of a lot of practice and trial, and help me to fulfil a long held goal: that’s definitely upping my game. And they will up my Regency costuming game for sure! As well, I managed to make them during an incredibly difficult period, and I’m extremely proud of myself for that: sometimes your personal game level is much lower than usual, and you have to work with where you are.

And finally, the jumps literally ‘up’ me.

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

What the item is: 1790s jumps

Material: two layers of midweight cotton-linen

Pattern: 1790s jumps pattern given on pages 102-107 in Salen’s Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques.

Year: 1795-1805

Notions: synthetic whalebone, cotton thread, cotton lacing cord

How historically accurate is it? I followed the instructions in Salen’s Corsets exactly, but am not sure I 100% trust that they are accurate.

Hours to complete: 12 or so

First worn: For photos on June 8th

Total cost: $5 or so – the fabric was a piece I picked up for very little at an op shops, the only real expense was a bit of boning.

1790s jumps from the pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets, thedreamstress.com

Rate the Dress: Sunny 1780s Redingote

I’m deep, deep in 1780s stay madness at the moment, so it’s probably not a huge surprise that I’ve picked something on-theme. And I’m always in favour of yellow, so yellow it is.

Last week: a red velvet Edwardian frock with a hint of pinaforeness 

After the silence of the week before, there were so many comments on the pinafore dress. I must admit, I was quite surprised at how popular it was. I guess the pinafore look is in historically as well!

The Total: 8.7 out of 10

And many, many thanks to Cynthia Amneus of the Cincinnati Art Museum, who weighed in with additional information on the dress in the comments.

This week: a yellow silk 1780s redingote

This 1780s redingote is a wonderful example of the variation in garments seen in the last quarter of the 18th century.

Redingote, 1785-95, silk, Musee Galliera

It features a fitted bodice, front fastening, with slim, curved 3/4 sleeves, a wide double collar with decorative reverse-scalloped edging, and a cutaway front (the so-called zone-front). The photographs are not clear enough to see if the back bodice is cut in one with the skirt, or separate. Either is possible, but the latter is more likely. There is some sort of fringed decoration at the bottom of the bodice front – possibly a type of fly fringing.

Redingote, 1785-95, silk, Musee Galliera

The flat, single-colour fabric is a definite departure from the brocaded floral silks popular in earlier decades, and anticipates the lighter fabrics of the centuries end. The overall effect, with pastel hue and trained skirt, is decidedly of a garment for someone who wasn’t worried about stains.

What do you think?

(I have restrained myself mightily and am not availing myself of all the puns that ‘redingote’ so readily suggests (well, mostly).

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting.  It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste. 

(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it!  And 0 is not on a scale of 1 to 10.  Thanks in advance!)