All posts tagged: 1800s

Experiments in ca. 1800 petticoat making

A part of my Jane-Austen sewing-a-thon* I decided it was finally time I made a proper set of Regency petticoats, and stopped just using my 1910s petticoats, pulled up to the underbust and pinned in place! The first dress that needed a petticoat was the ca. 1800 Madame Recamier gown.  It’s sheer, so it definitely needs a petticoat.  It’s also flat fronted, so the petticoat can’t have any front gathers, or it won’t sit smoothly over it.  The Madame Recamier gown is based on the ca 1800 bib-front dress in Janet Arnold, and the skirt panels are rectangles – no angles at all. I went looking for extant examples, period mentions, and period images, and quickly ran into a problem.  There aren’t many of any of those. There is this 1799 caricature, which mostly shows drawers worn without petticoats, though the woman having her stockings pinned up appears to be holding up a pink petticoat with no bodice, and the woman at the far right appears to be wearing a blue un-bodiced petticoat.  Neither tells us much …

A simple Regency chemise

One of my goals for the Historical Sew Fortnightly, both 2013 & 2014, has been to expand my Regency wardrobe. So far, progress has been slow.  I’ve made mitts, and my 1813 Kashmiri dress is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, but my wrap corset a la paresseus is a disappointment on. But look, now I finally have a proper chemise, so I can stop wearing my 1880s ones under my Regency dresses! (and I just feel the URGENT need to point out here that I’m wearing a bra, camisole, knickers, tap pants, and a slip under the chemise, so any weird shadows in the photo are JUST weird shadows!) It’s entirely hand sewn, in a lightweight (not quite handkerchief weight) linen I picked up at Fabric-a-Brac for $5. The chemise is classic fabric-saving geometric construction: one rectangle for the body, little rectangles for the sleeves, the extra fabric cut into long triangles to add width to the chemise, and square gussets under the arms to help with movement. All the seams are flat felled, to reinforce them and …

Regency sleeve mitts (more or less)

I’m doing two entries for the Historical Sew-Fortnightly ‘Separates’ challenge, and neither of them is the project I had originally planned, and started working on in week 1 of the the fortnight. However, I’m pretty excited about my first entry, soft as it is, because it is inspired by an image that was shared on the HSF facebook page, and the ensuing discussion. Sarah posted these knit sleeves from the collection of the Nordiska Museet: Made of fine wool or silk, they were worn with evening dresses in the chill northern winters, to keep the wearer warm while still being elegant and fashionable, combating the problem of “Dressing in French and freezing in Danish” that Tidens Toj mentions. I looked at these and thought how perfect they would be to go with my 1813 Kashmiri gown, which, being made of wool, is pretty warm, except for all that exposed arm and chest.  There are other examples of similar sleeves or mitts (maybe) in the Nordiska collections, and at the MFA in Boston, indicating that wearing …