All posts tagged: 18th century

1780s American Duchess cap review

The 1780s cap from the American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking

It’s always a good feeling to finish the year and a sewing project at the same time.  This time I finished the 1780s cap from the American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking just as 2017 closed. Literally! I was sitting on my couch sewing on the bow and watching bonnet movies as the year ticked over, because that’s how I party! As far as I know, I’m the first person to have made the 1780s cap, which means I had the dubious distinction of discovering the typo where it says to cut one piece instead of two for the both the ruffles. I should have figured out the typo on my own.  Two makes so much sense!  But I was pattern testing for Scroop Patterns at the same time.  The cap was my ‘down’ time from pattern testing, but my brain was 100% in pattern testing mode.  That means I turn off independent thought and logic and follow what a pattern says exactly.  And I really wanted to do the patterns as AD gave …

Robe a la Francaise, Italian, about 1775, Silk taffeta brocaded with silk and metallic threads, MFA Boston, 77.6a-b

Rate the Dress: Rosy Pink & Roses Française

I have robe  la françaises on the mind, so they have inspired this week’s Rate the Dress pick.  It’s the most pink and cabbage-rose-y Française I could find.  I’m interested to see if you’ll think that’s a good thing or not! Last week: a crinoline-to-first-bustle-era transitional gown in jewel green patterned silk Generally speaking, you liked last week’s dress as an example of its type.  A few of you even loved it.  Most of you just weren’t that inspired by it, even if you didn’t actually like it.  I did find the various interpretations of the print most amusing.  Bats!  Seagulls!  (or, in reality, little berry or bud sprigs.) The Total: 7.1 out of 10. That’s definitely a nice-but-not-inspiring rating. This week: a pink and gold and so many florals française: Sacque dresses were really just vehicles for a lavish amount of sumptious fabric and a froth of decadent trim.  This one is no exception.  The extremely wide square hoops show off meters of the rosy silk.  The front of the dress and sleeves feature expensive …

Queen Charlotte by Zoffany, 1765

Queen Charlotte in detail by Zoffany

Don’t you love it when you find a large version of a wonderful historical artwork that you’ve only ever seen in very small versions? Like this fantastic Zoffany portrait of Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz: It’s full of the most glorious details. There are her sons, with George IV in Roman inspired armour: Prinny looks a wee bit petulant, possibly because the dog clearly loves mummy more than him!   (and honestly, who wouldn’t be jealous over that dog’s look of adoration?  I’m not even a dog person and I want to hug it!) The whole outfit is fantastic, but oh, his boots!  Aren’t they just the most adorable things ever? If he isn’t mad about the dog, perhaps Prinny is glaring at his little brother, wishing he were wearing Prince Frederick’s Orientalist attire.  It is rather fabulous isn’t it?  And the turban is doing a cunning job of doubling as a pudding cap – the padded caps worn by small children in the 18th century to keep them from injury when they toppled over. It’s …