All posts tagged: chintz

The compere front of the pet

With the back of the pet draped, I tackled the false compere front. I mentioned previously that I wasn’t sure that sewing on the compere front as a false front, sewed on to a solid bodice piece, was accurate.  I’m afraid I confused some of you, as you thought I wasn’t sure a compere front is accurate.  I know the aesthetic is right, I’m just not sure my way of doing it (creating a solid bodice foundation, and just tacking on the fashion fabric piece as a false front) is historically accurate. Janet Arnold’s pattern for a compere front gown, based on this gown, has the dress and compere front made up completely separately, with the compere front sewn in last (almost as if if was a stomacher that was sewn in), and all the other examples of compere front garments where I can determine the construction seem to have been assembled this way. So, sigh.  Mine may not be accurate.  C’est la vie.  I’ll get it right next time. I didn’t take pictures the …

18th century Orientalism and Theresa

It was interesting dressing Theresa in the pet-en-l’aire. I always visualize pet-en-l’aires on rounded, full-busted figures, with dimpled arms and round faces: the sort of figures shown in French fashion plates of the era.  Theresa is tall and slim.  The pet fit her perfectly, but the change in proportions completely changed my perception of the pet-en-l’aire aesthetic.  The pet suddenly looked elegant and exotic, rather than sweet and coquettish.  Theresa in the pet looks like a Gainsborough rather than a fashion plate. To play up the exotic aspect of the pet-en-l’aire, made as it is out of an Indienne chintz, and to worked with Theresa’s features, we focused on the orientalism so fashionable in the 18th century for the styling.  Theresa’s hair is not hedgehog-friendly, so we did a turbaned headdress, and skipped the full ‘poof’ of petticoats and bumroll. I wish I’d been able to find my proper ostrich feathers, not the skimpy ones I did find, and I still need to trim the pet and find proper silk (or at least rayon) ribbons for the …

Re-pleating the pet

After deciding that the original linen lining of my 1780s pet-en-l’aire simply wasn’t going to do, I unpicked all my back pleating, put on a soft unbleached cotton lining, and started again. Luckily the pleats from my first pleating were still pressed in, so it made the re-doing process much easier, and the soft cotton was much more amenable and cooperative than the linen I first tried to use was. I’m very happy with the re-do, even if my stitching isn’t absolutely even and perfect.  The silk is very, very tightly woven, hard to stitch through, and shows every stitch that has ever been put in it.  My new stitches are literally exactly the same as my old stitches. With the pleats all hand-sewn in, I bound the top of the pet with a strip of the silk.  I was worried I wouldn’t have enough to fold the binding over, so I cut my binding rather wide, and then of course it was too wide, and isn’t as neat as I would like. Because the …