All posts tagged: 1600s

The Sewing Workshop, 1760 Musee Reattu - Arles, France.

Terminology: What is sewing carbage? (or cabbage, or garbage)

Carbage or cabbage, and more rarely garbage, is the name given to the bits of fabric left over from cutting out an item. You can see the box of ‘carbage’ under the tailors table in Amman’s woodcut. The term dates back to at least the 17th century, where it was also used for ‘shreds and patches used as padding’. In 1648 Robert Herrick wittily commented on tailors credit: Eupez for the outside of his suit has paid But for his heart, he cannot have it made The reason is, his credit cannot get The inward garbage for his cloathes as yet In another poem he complained of women’s fashions: Upon some women, Pieces, patches, ropes of haire, In-laid garbage ev’rywhere Some versions Herrick’s poems use carbage instead of garbage, and I would dearly like to know which were used in the original. Butler’s 1660s Hudibras makes clear how important cabbage was to tailors: For as tailors preserve their cabbage, So squires take care of bag and baggage In the mid-17th century play Hey for Honesty (usually attributed to Randolph, though this seems very unlikely) the character …

Rate the Dress: Caspar Nescher’s Lady in Gold

Last week I showed you a ca. 1908 gown in shimmering beaded black, with just a touch of blue around the neck.  Quite a few of you had problems with the touch of blue (clunky fringe), and the oh-so-fashionable for 1908 asymmetrical sash.  Despite the universally agreed utter fabulousity of the skirt, those two elements dragged the otherwise sterling sparkle of the dress down slightly to an 8.6 out of 10. To finish off the year, here is a lady from one of my favourite time-periods in a lavish golden gown: The dress features the fitted, boned bodice of mid-17th century fashions, which would later become the 18th c. robe de cour bodice.  The sleeves look back to the 16th fashion, with strips that form a slashed effect, allowing the fine linen of her shift sleeves to peek through, and fall in ruffles below the short sleeve.  A fine ruffle of lace or shift frames the low neckline, which is framed with a twisted scarf of fabric, pinned with a jeweled ornament. Caspar’s lady pairs her …

Rate the Dress: Adolescent Swashbuckling in 1608

Last week I showed you an 1880s ensemble that has been enormously popular.  There were a few naysaysers (as always) but the general consensus was extremely positive.  I haven’t tallied the votes yet (The Project has completely taken over my life and I’m afraid you aren’t likely to hear from me again for a few days more), but I’m sure it will be in the 9s. Moving away from the feminine and the colourful, and the super popular, it’s time for black.  Early 17th century (always a worrisome era on Rate the Dress) black menswear (also problematic), to be precise. Well, kinda menswear.  Prince Henry was between 10 and 15 when this portrait was painted.  Not exactly manly, though the tailor and Peake the Elder tried their best with the pose and costume. Poor Henry barely got to be a child, his life overshadowed by what was essentially a custody battle between his still married parents.  And he never grew up to be a man either, his life tragically cut short by typhoid at 18, …