All posts tagged: 18th century

Rate the Dress: Princess worthy summer whites?

Last week I showed you a very brief (from a historical perspective) 1920s Jean Patou dress with heavy beading and a bit of an Egyptian twist.  You generally agreed that the mannequin wasn’t doing the dress many favours, but after that your opinions diverged: some of you thought it would have been so much better in bolder colours, some of you though that the restrained colour scheme was all that kept it from being garish; some of you though the dark beads were off, some thought it was exactly what the dress needed.  Most of you thought that it was complete perfection, and the dress came in at 8.9 out of 10, just a hairs breath away from making a perfect 9. This week, let’s move from silk to cotton, and from beading to embroidery, for a dress that sounds much simpler, but has an even more illustrious pedigree, as it is said to have belonged to Madame Élisabeth, younger sister of Louis XVI. This ensemble is an excellent example of the transitional styles of the …

Rate the Dress: Emperor Yellow

I do apologise!  Yesterday was Wellington Anniversary Day, which made it a public holiday in the Wellington region.  I was so busy painting and photoshooting and going on walks with Mr D and having such a typical weekend day that I entirely forgot that it was Monday, and didn’t finish my Rate the Dress post. Last week I showed you a WWI era dress in muted stripes, with quirky tassels & buttons.   Alas, Kathryn was the only one to my private opinion that the buttons are just the bit of unexpected not-matchiness that the dress needed: most of the rest of you took points off for the buttons not matching, or simply for the buttons overall.  While there were a few scores in the middle, in general it was quite a divisive dress: you either really loved it, or really didn’t (and one of the middle scores was from Hana, who loved the front and hated the back – those buttons! 😉 ) So the dress came in at a perfectly round 8.0 out 10. …

HSM16 #1: The chiné a la b’retch petticoat

Have you ever been obsessed with a period garment made from very unusual fabric, and, of course, you’re heartbroken, because you think you’ll never have the chance to recreate it, because where would you get that fabric? That was me with 18th century chiné a la branche. I’ve loved ikat in all its forms since I was given a hand-woven ikat skirt when I first started sewing, but chiné is definitely my favourite. But so hard to find! And then, three years ago, ikat became fashionable, and Wellington’s The Fabric Store started having the occasional bolt of silk or silk blend chiné.  Oh, the temptation!  But none of it was quite right : wrong blend, very modern pattern, colours that are only achievable with modern dyes, etc. And then, they had a short bolt of this: Oooh! So I snapped up everything they had, which was only 2.3m.  I really wanted to make a française, but at least I had a bit, so could do a pet en l’aire if nothing else. The idea of a …