All posts tagged: 1700s

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 …

Accessorizing

The Accessorize challenge is coming up on the Historical Sew Fortnightly, and there is so much choice when it comes to what to make.  So many beautiful period accessories, so many periods! These are just a few of the items that are at the top of my ‘need an excuse to make this’ list. First off, every girl needs a beautiful fan.  I collect vintage fans – I should show you my collection.  I also aim to make fans.  I have hundreds I love, but one particular favourite is this spangled mid-19th century beauty.  It has Greek key motifs around the brim! As you have probably realised, I’m a bit of a shoe aficionado, but there are certain pairs that just make my heart go pitter-patter with adoration. Like these: Oh happiness in shoe form!  I’ve looked into Regency sandals, but before these I hadn’t realised there might be early 17th century sandals.  I want to know more about them, and I want to make them, and I don’t think the latter is entirely beyond …

Celebrating the common man (and what he and she wore)

Next fortnight’s challenge in the Historical Sew Fortnightly is Peasants and Pioneers.  It’s all about making clothes for the lower classes – the most common group, but also the ones whose clothes were the least documented, and the least likely to to have survived. I’ve got a serious soft spot for the clothing of the lower classes across almost all periods.  They may not be as bright or sparkly as the clothing of the upper classes, but they often managed a restraint and elegance that the fancier clothes of the wealthy and fashionable of certain periods (*cough* *cough* *Elizabethan*) were sorely lacking in.  Their practical nature quickly weeded out any cumbersome additions which made work difficult. I think my favourite peasant outfits and images are those from medieval manuscripts and Books of Hours from the 15th century.  The details are just so clear (look at the beautiful torn and ragged sleeves on the white tunic in the first image below), and the colours so vivid, though the clothes probably weren’t so bright in real life. …