All posts filed under: Textiles & Costume

Voile, lawn, muslin. What’s the difference (the short answer)

A Note: this post is a refresh and an update of a post that was originally written in 2010 In response to my post on the history of muslin, the Baroness von Vintage has asked what the difference between voile, lawn and muslin is. The problem with defining fabrics is that fabrics are an art, not a science. You can clearly define the chemical makeup on anything, but strictly breaking all art into particular periods or definitions? Not as easy. Especially since definitions have varied throughout history, and vary across countries today. I’ll try though. All three are lightweight fabrics, with some element of sheerness.  Today they are usually made of cotton, but you also fine them in linen. Basically, if it has an open weave, it is muslin (except in the US, where muslin is a cheap, plain fabric, and muslin gauze is an open weave).  This weave is also called mull or book muslin.  It’s just a little tighter and smoother than cheesecloth.   If it is very tightly woven with fine, glossy …

A red silk 1780s petticoat thedreamstress.com

A red silk 1780s petticoat

I made a thing! Right now my life is a sea of toiles for the next Scroop + Virgil’s pattern, and it seems like I will never get to sew anything that isn’t calico (that’s muslin for those in the US). So it’s doubly exciting to have taken a little time to make something not-toile, and in such scrumptious fabric too. I have some 1780s sewing (to go over the Scroop & Virgil’s Augusta Stays of course!) planned for this year, and I looked at all my fabrics, and realised that what they all had in common was that they would look great with a red petticoat. I had no suitable red in stash, but when I was shopping for fabrics for the Robin Dress samples I let myself linger in The Fabric Stores silk section (always a dangerous activity) and they had an amazing silk-cotton faille in bright red. I wanted a dark red, but the fabric was so scrumptious, and such a perfect match to the weight and hand of one of the …

Waitangi Day Garden Party thedreamstress.com

The Governor-General’s Waitangi Day Garden Party

Or, an awkward post that combines pretty and serious about an awkward event that combines fun and fraught history Waitangi Day is NZ’s founding holiday, somewhat analogous to the American 4th of July, Canada Day, or France’s Bastille Day. It commemorates the first signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840. Te Tiriti was signed by representatives of the British Crown, on one side, and Māori Rangitira (chiefs) on the other. The British was drafted by British representatives with the intention of “establishing a British Governor of New Zealand, recognising Māori ownership of their lands, forests and other possessions, and giving Māori the rights of British subjects.” (quote taken directly from Wikipedia, as I don’t want to risk paraphrasing and getting it wrong!) As the major legal agreement whereby non-Maori have the right to be in NZ (making us Tangata Tiriti – ‘people of the Treaty’, and Māori are Tangata Whenua ‘People of the Land’), all aspects of modern NZ law & government are considered based on whether they agree with Te Tiriti. …