All posts tagged: 1780s

Rate the Dress: Dudes dress-off

WOW!  Such consistent ratings for the red-velvet-and-chains 1880s dress last week!  8-10 across the board!  I don’t think we’ve EVER had a Rate the Dress before (exempting, of course, the one and only 10/10) where everyone concurred so wholeheartedly on a frock.  The final tally was 9.3/10, for being unusual, striking, and restrained in the face of overwhelming temptation to just be…overwhelming. It’s feeling very spring-y here in Wellington.  The kowhai are in full flame of glowing golden yellow, my freesias and irises are blooming, and the promise of summer is in the air.  It’s also been a few Rate-the-Dresses since I’ve posted a Dress-Off, where you compare two garments on a similar theme, and rate each of them.  So this week’s Rate the Dress will be a spring-themed Dress-OFF. For your sartorial judgement, I present a spring-green gentleman’s suit from the end of the 18th century. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art gives us two views of this ensemble.  First, an elegantly sober variant, with matching pale green coat, waistcoat and breeches: Version …

The unseen accessory: my 1780 bum-rump

When I originally planned the ‘Accessorise’ challenge for the Historical Sew-Fortnightly I envisioned all the things that qualified for it as being things worn on the outside of an outfit: shoes, gloves, parasols, jewellery, headgear. Then, when I planned a photoshoot with one fully accessorised outfit, I realised that sometimes an outfit doesn’t look right without an un-seen accessory. Silk stockings, a bergere hat, a parasol and the right shoes all brought my pet-en-l’aire outfit together, but the ensemble just looked a little flat and deflated without one last accessory. Enter my bum-rump. Yep.  Without it my ass just wouldn’t look big in this. I based my bum-rump on Kendra’s excellent research into skirt supports in the late 18th century and this caricature of the ‘Bum Shop’: I went for the shape shown on the lady in the far right, only I assumed (this being a cartoon) that the original it was based on would be a bit more…restrained. I liked the shape of this bum-rump best of all the ones that Kendra trialled, and felt …

Striped and pleated petticoat details

I’ve already shown you all the glamour shots of my new subtly-striped 1780s petticoat, but I thought some of you might be interested in the construction details. For the overall look of my petticoat I was inspired by fashion plates like this one from 1778: Obviously my petticoat doesn’t match my pet-en-l’aire, and I’ve made my ruffle a little narrower – less than 1/3 of the petticoat length, rather than almost 1/2 of the length, but I’m comfortable with the overall look. The skirt is made from three 36″ long widths of 45″ wide cotton muslin with a subtle self-stripe in bamboo.  The widths are sewn together with a 10″ long gap for the skirt opening left unstitched at the top of one seam. Sewn together, I had 132″ of skirt to gather in to my waistband.  This is a little too much width for an 18th century petticoat – most examples that I can find are no more than 112″ wide, and if I did it again I’d probably omit that extra 20″. To …