All posts tagged: 1800s

Rate the Dress: brief bodices and beads, ca 1810

Sometimes I know exactly what I want to post for Rate the Dress, and that it is the perfect theme. Other times, like this week, I have no idea. What I finally settled on this week wasn’t my first choice, or my second, or even my third.  Sometimes settling is a good thing, because if I hadn’t, I might not have looked at it up close, and found out that it was so much more interesting than I had thought. How so?  Scroll down to find out! Last week: A Wedding Ensemble from 1887 Well, Louise Carnegie picked well, both when it came to men, and to fashion, because her choice of wedding ensemble was very well received.  A few of you didn’t care for the red-trimmed bodice variation (but then, some of you did), and not all of you were entirely sold on the colours. Interestingly, most of you saw the dress as sort of a khaki or light olive colour.  Personally I thought it was a grey, with just the tiniest hint of brown. The …

Rate the Dress: Madame Houbigant in all-white

Last week’s very vividly green 1840s dress sparked a lively discussion over whether it was actually poison-green (i.e. arsenic green) or just poison-green coloured.  Deadly or not, most of you liked the brilliant hue, and while not everyone was keen on the ruffles and ties and overall silhouette, it still came in at a rather nice 8.5 out of 10. Whew!  We’d been on such a bad streak, nice to have a good score again.  Will this week’s choice revert back to the poor scores, or set us on another winning streak? This week let’s look at Madame Houbigant, wife of perfumer Jean-François Houbigant.  Her feather-trimmed cap, heavy satin over-robe, lace chemisette and Kashmiri shawl provide a more mature take on the ubiquitous all-white ensemble of Regency and Empire fashion. Nicole Adéläide Deschamps was the daughter of a perfumer herself, and her husband entered the trade by apprenticing under her father in law, and then founding his own business.  After rising in prominence under the ancient regime, and surviving the revolution, Houbigant Parfum went on …

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 …