They are inspired by the stockings worn by Manet’s Nana:
They aren’t perfect because, hey, I’ve only just figured out the pattern, and I didn’t have quite the right shade of blue merino-silk blend knit (also, I doubt I’ll ever be able to find another length of merino-silk knit of any colour), but I am still thrilled with them!
Here is what the pattern looks like:
They have a centre back seam, and ‘Cuban’ V heel shapes.
There is shaping at the heel and ankle to mold the stockings to my foot.
To mimic the embroidery that would decorate the front of a real pair of 1870s stockings, I had a cunning idea. I have a whole length of amazing vintage floral trim from the amazing Lynne:
I cut out two full repeat motifs, and carefully pinned them to the front of my stockings, making sure that they were perfect mirrors of each other:
Then I carefully took off the stockings, slipped them over a metal tray, and sewed them down with silk thread, inside and outside the motifs:
This was by far the most time-consuming part of making the stockings – an hour to draft and test the pattern, 15 minutes to sew the stockings together, and then an hour and a half of handsewing of the motifs on each stockings.
But the end result is pretty spiffy!
I am SO excited, because I’ve always wanted perfectly matched stockings for my outfits, and now I can have them. This pattern should be reasonable for everything from medieval to the 1930s. Squee!
The Challenge: #10 – Art
Inspiration: Manet’s Nana, 1877
Fabric: 60cm of silk-merino blend knit (found at an op-shop, can you believe it!).
Notions: 2 repeats of vintage embroidery and organza trim, thread.
How historically accurate is it? Not really. 19th century stockings would be specifically knit as stockings, either by hand or machine, not cut from flat cloth and sewn. And, for the look I am going for, they would be more likely to be pure silk, not a wool-silk blend. Plus the motifs should be knit in or embroidered on, not applique!
Hours to complete: 4 hours & 15 min, including figuring out the pattern. Un-adorned, I can now whip these up in 15 min!
First worn: Just for photos, but watch out for a full Nana shoot!.
Total cost: Believe it or not, I found 2m of the silk-merino knit at an op-shop for $8! And I could get about 20 pairs of stockings out of that, so 40 cents!