All posts tagged: 1880s

Nana’s Corset – beginnings

Remember how I posted that I wanted to finish a corset so I could make shorts so I could make panniers?  Well, you have seen the shorts, the panniers are done but yet to be posted about, but the corset isn’t quite finished. But it looks pretty amazing anyway, and here is a sneak-peek: This corset is my long planned, long awaited version of the Nana corset for me. I’m never going to achieve quite as many curves as Nana (and also, I’m not a teenage courtesan who destroys the lives of every man she encounters – but Manet didn’t know that) but I’m pretty pleased with how I look in it. The images of me in the corset are courtesy of Mrs C, who kindly took photos on her camera at a sewing night at her place when I stupidly forgot to bring a memory card for my camera.  D’oh! I’ve been working on it since the sewing night, and the corset is almost done.  I just need to finish the binding on the …

A historical account of the perils of dyeing

This story comes to you courtesy of the Grey River Argus, 13 June 1883. A lieutenant in the Russian Army, and a Count pardessus le marché, having paid marked attention to the prettiest girl in Moscow, her father, by profession a dyer, asked him if his intentions were honorable or otherwise. As the young nobleman’s reply was evasive (says an exchange), the worthy dyer naturally concluded that they were otherwise, and requested that he bestow his attentions elsewhere. The young gallant kept out of the way for some time, but at last passion got the better of prudence, and he re-commenced his flirtation with the dyer’s pretty daughter during the absence of her worthy sire. The inevitable occurred.  Papa surprised the lovers, and without much ado collared the young warrior, doused him in the first handy vat of dye, and then reasoned with him a posteriori. When the Count got home he discovered that neither cold water nor hot, neither spirits of wine nor benzine, neither soap nor silver sand, would remove his new complexion – …

More terminology: What is a pardessus?

Continuing on from my post about guimpes, I’ve been noticing all sorts of costuming words that I see, and can guess what they mean, but never properly research. My latest word is pardessus.  V&E posted a gorgeous 1874 pardessus pattern that started my research. Pardessus, unglamorously enough, just means ‘overcoat’, from the French ‘passed over’. We can see the term, or variants of it, used in early French fashion magazines. The notes for this fashion magazine from 1814 described the garments as  1. Robe de Levantine et fichu-canezou garni en broderie. Chapeau en Gros de Naples garni dune ruche de gaze. 2. Canezou de velours. Jape de reps garnie en rouleaux. Chapeau en velours epingle garni de plumes d’Autruche. 3. Par-dessus four-6 en merinos garni de chinchilla. Toque de velours plein garni de roses. The term pardessus gained popularity in English in the 1840s as a term to describe a mantle, along with pelisses, paletots, camails, and crespins.  Mentions of pardessus are most common in English fashion magazines in the ’40s & ’50s, and American …