All posts tagged: 1780s

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 …

Pet-en-l’aire and petticoat

Having finally finished my 1780s pet-en-l’aire I was eager to do a photoshoot in it, but I delayed it for a few days so that I could do one more quick project: make a 1780s walking length muslin petticoat to go with it.    I’m so pleased that I took the time to complete the ensemble! The pet ruffles (particularly the little twists at the front ends) are just delighting me, and the petticoat is much better with the outfit than the old long one I’d paired it with before. For the photoshoot Madame O and I got dressed up in our respective yellow pet-en-l’aires and headed out to a park for end-of-day photos.  It’s been a very dry summer in New Zealand, and the whole country is in varying stages of drought, so the photos are ochre when they would usually be green.  It didn’t look much like our usual vision of pretend 18th century Europe, so we just pretended we were in Provence. Unfortunately we didn’t see a single other person at the …

The fully embellished 1780’s Indienne silk pet-en-l’aire

‘Tis done!  Fully and completely! Finally, after over a year, the pet-en-l’aire is fully sewn, fully embellished, the correct front ribbons sourced and custom dyed, and the insides finished to perfection (really, they are almost as pretty as the outsides).  Whew! I tried a number of options for the sleeve ruffles, and finally settled on a pattern that, while not historically documented, I felt was best in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the pet-en-l’aire. I found white silk cuffs too distracting, and engageates clashed horribly, and defeated the idea of fashion moving towards a more casual and informal aesthetic.  I did like the idea of a slight bit of volume at the edge of the sleeves, and so my pleating pattern released below the sleeve end, to balance the fullness of the side pleats and back of the pet-en-l’aire. Alas, I couldn’t find a historical example to back this pleating pattern up, but every step of this garment has had to be a balance between historical examples and modern fabrics. It’s been a lot …