All posts filed under: Historical Sew Fortnightly

Frou Frou 1760s Stomacher

A frou-frou stomacher (based on an extent original) and making buckram

I made a very, very frilly stomacher to go with my Frou Frou Francaise! I based it on this stomacher, from the MFA Boston: I was searching for stomacher inspiration to go with my Frou Frou Francaise, because I wanted something a little more dynamic and interesting than the usual stripes-of-ruffles or bows (not that they aren’t charming, but this one just needed something different), and I stumbled across this one, and it was perfect, and (amazingly) it’s also the only extant plain blue silk stomacher that I know of. I realised that it would be the perfect project for the HSF Challenge #8: Extant originals, where you copy a period garment that is still in existence. I tried to replicate the exact shape & dimensions of the stomacher, but I just couldn’t get it to pin onto me and into my francaise and looking right. So instead I worked with a shape and dimensions that did fit my body and my dress, and adapted the trim to fit. To make my stomacher first I …

Bridesmaid dress, House of Worth (French, 1858–1956), silk with pearl trim, 1896, American, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Historical Sew Monthly 2018: Inspiration for Challenge #7: Sleeves

The July Challenge in the Historical Sew Monthly 2018 is Sleeves, and I’m extremely excited to see what people do with it.  It’s such an easy challenge to interpret and fulfil, and there are so many possibilities. Because it’s such an easy challenge to find a project for (just make anything with sleeves that are in some way interesting and significant!)  I’m just going to show you some of my favourite (or, in the case of late 16th century examples, least favourite) sleeves from throughout history. And I mean it when I say throughout history, because the oldest known extant garment, this 5,000 year old tunic/shirt, has fascinating sleeves which have been purposefully pleated or ruched to give them shape and interest: Only 3,400 years later, this Coptic tunic from the same area of the world features quite simple sleeves, but beautifully decorated: I love Medieval fitted sleeves, especially ones with lots of buttons.  If you’re trying to fit your own pair of 14th century sleeves, you may find my post showing how I fitted …

Theresa with a Fichu at Old Government House Parramatta,

A new 18th century fichu – HSM 2018 #5

I always try to have a bit of handsewing on the go, so I have something to work on while sitting in a waiting room, or whenever else I have a tiny bit of down-time (an all too rare occurrence in my life at the moment, sadly). My last handsewing project was another 18th c fichu – a twin to the one I made back in December, because it’s easier to cut a square and divide it into two triangles than to cut an individual triangle, so you might as well make fichu in pairs! I finished my fichu on the flight to Sydney, just in time for Theresa to wear it for my talk and our photoshoot at Old Government House in Parramatta, Sydney. There isn’t a great deal to say about the fichu’s construction.*  I cut it at 80cm/31.5″ along the straight edges, which creates a 132cm/52″ angled edge.  The little slit in it is 12cm/4.5″ long. The slit allows it to sit nicely and snugly against the back of the neck. The …