Last week’s striped 1680s frock did very well indeed, with most of you loving it. It rated an impressive round 9 out of 10, missing out on a perfect score because of her awkward headscarf (hey a girl’s got to keep her hair tidy in the wind!) and the fringing. I’m clearly not the only one who doesn’t like fringe.
I have no idea what last weeks frock has to do with this weeks frock. I could get really convoluted and say something about from stripes to dots, or your liking the classic ‘go together’ red, white, and blue, but what do you think of the classic no-no of blue and green etc, etc. In reality though, I wanted to post the 17th century dress, and now I want to post this one. That is it.
But now that I’ve mentioned it, this week’s dress is indeed in blue and green. Clearly Jeanne Hallee and the wearer didn’t think that the colours needed ‘something in between’, or the wearer wasn’t afraid to be a fool, or felt that her blue flower nullified the clause about only fools and flowers wearing blue and green.*
Evening gown, Jeanne Hallee, 1913-1914, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Whatever the case, this dress is most definitely petrol blue and grass green, and proudly so! How do you feel about it? Bad colours? Good colours but bad design? Meh?
Rate the dress on a scale of 1 to 10
* And yes, I’m aware the phrase probably dates to the 30s and 40s, but I can’t find out anything more about it, so if you know any reliable sources, please tell!
I promised to post about Kerry’s steampunk bustle a few weeks ago, but my life got busy and my computer crashed my teaparty, so it didn’t happen. Better late than never though: here’s the finished bustle!
Love that bustle silhouette!
The smooth, sleek front
And the super ruffled back
I absolutely love the ruffles! I want to make something completely covered in them!
It was a super fun project, for an absolutely lovely client.
I know that last week, when I blogged about the evilness of pintucking, before life and a lack of internet derailed the blog, I promised to tell you what the pintucks had taught me.
But that’s the wrong way to tell the story of Emily’s dress, because before you can pintuck fabric you have to have the right fabric.
I already told you about the quest to figure out the correct term for the fabric type, and then to find a modern replacement, and that I ended up buying white silk taffeta. Obviously Emily’s dress is extremely pink, not white.
An extremely pink dress
So, how to get extremely pink fabric? Dye it!
When I went to dye Emily’s fabric, I was a little scared. It was a very precise colour, and a LOT of fabric to dye at once.
I kept trying to put it off, but when I looked out the window I noticed that our camellia bush had put out its first bloom of the year, and it was exactly the right shade of pink. Obviously a good omen. Time to dye.
Unfortunately, in the unhappy computer problems of the last week, I lost my images of the undyed fabric
So you are just going to have to imagine huge swathes of white taffeta.
To prepare the fabric, I prewashed it. This is a mistake. I know the dye packet says to, but when you prewash silk it crumples and then doesn’t dye evenly, and I get caught up in the prep and what the dye packet says and forget this, and then have to dry and iron my washed silk before I can dye it.
Do you know how much time it takes to iron 10 metres of silk taffeta that has been washed? Yeah, total stupid time waster.
For my colour I used a packet of idye pink dye (sidenote: why does idye come in 5 shades of yellow and 7 shades of blue, but only one shade of pink?). Since I wanted a slightly coral-y pink, I added a bit of yellow dye to my dyepot.
Like any sensible dyer, I tried a small piece of my fabric first. It came out icky sicky cold blue-pink.
So I added a bunch more yellow to my dye pot, and tried again. Success!
Can I add at this point that ‘trying again’ means dyeing the fabric, hanging it out, waiting for it to dry, ironing it, and then deciding if it will do. Not a short process.
So, after two whole trials, I was ready to go.
Masses of fabric shoved in dye pot, frantic stirring and turning and trying to get huge swathes of steaming fabric out of boiling dye all at once got dye all over my kitchen.
Pink dye all over everything
And boiling dye for an hour got steam all over my windows.
Not the best view after a dye job!
And the fabric hanging out on my line freaked me out. It looked ombre!
Eeeek! Ombre pink is not right!
But at least it was a gorgeous shade of ombre pink. Still very Emily, but with the icky bubble-gum shades taken out.
Once it dried, and I ironed it, it was good. Still some very slight variants in colour, but the pintucks hide that beautifully.
Pintucked pink loveliness
I guess pintucks aren’t all evil