All posts tagged: 1850s

Rate the dress: Tiers of rectangles in 1855

I’m always reluctant to post ‘Rate the Dress’ images which feature very well known people as I’m afraid that our pre-concieved attitudes towards historical notables sometimes colour our assessment of their clothes.  I’m not sure how much of that played into the rating of Marie Antoinette in hunting attire last week, because the most overwhelming response was the one I didn’t expect: total and utter boredom.  Sure, it rated a 7.3 out of 10, but most of you couldn’t even be bothered to rate the dress.  I do think I should start subtracting a point from any Rate the Dress that collects less than 25 votes, because 6.3 is probably a better reflection of total indifference! Anyway, onwards, and upwards, hopefully to much more interesting frocks! This dress has fascinated me ever since I first came across it, and I thought that the Historical Sew Fortnightly ‘Squares, Rectangles, & Triangles‘ challenge was the perfect opportunity to rate it.  For all its elaborateness, the tiers of ruffles in the skirt are just rectangles, and the stripes …

Rate the dress: 1850s rainbow striped fringe

Last week I showed you Liotard’s mid-18th century ‘up-market shop girl’ as Lynne aptly identified her.  La Belle Chocolatière’s rust and grey-blue outfit was deemed equally beautiful – of only she hadn’t tried to pair it with a pink hat.  This dropped the rating from a perfect 10 down to a round 9 – still exceptional. I feel that I’ve shown too many muted, colourless dresses lately.  To remedy that, rather than showing you something black and white and stripey for the HSF Stripes challenge, here is something colourful and rainbow-stripey, with horizontal stripes and vertical striped fringing. What do you think?  Too much?  Does it look a little too much like a cupcake, or is it a fun twist on the usual floral, lacey 1850s evening gown? Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

The Raspberry Swirl at tea

I loved the chance to get the Raspberry Swirl out for the Afternoon Tea talk at Premier House.  It’s had so few proper outings, and I still can’t decide if the evening bodice is actually ‘finished’ or not. Does it need a bertha?  I’m beginning to think not.  As a cotton dress, an evening bodice is never going to be properly historical, and there are examples of plain evening bodices, sans berthas and much in the way of trimming, in the 1850s. So then all I really need to do is actually make the day bodice that was always meant to go with this skirt! Some of you may be wondering what a paisley evening gown has to do with afternoon tea.  It gave me a chance to talk about the continued links between England and India, and the cultural cross-pollination that characterised Victorian England. It also gave me a chance to talk about the re-thinking of manners and mores in the mid-19th century.  In the 1850s Queen Victoria attended official day events in evening …