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Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns scrooppatterns.com

The inspiration behind the Marie Mantle

Reminder: the Marie, Charlotte, and Sophia patterns, and the combined pack with all three, are on sale until Tue 13 December – don’t miss out!

The Scroop + Virgil’s Fine Goods mantle patterns actually started more than three years ago…

Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns scrooppatterns.com

In addition to running Scroop Patterns, I teach Costume Construction at Toi Whakaari, the New Zealand Drama School.  Toi Whakaari has an amazing graduation tradition.  Rather than wearing standard gowns and hoods, the continuing students make the graduates personalised ‘cloaks’.

The cloaks can be anything.  There have been classic capes, knitted shawls, hats, veils, wooden shields, jackets, kimono, and even a perfectly realised, exquisitely made, cardboard guitar.  Anything that speaks to who the graduate is as a person, and reflects their journey at the school.

You can get a glimpse of this year’s cloaks (including the guitar!) here:

The ‘cloaks’ are made in secret, and given to the graduates by the makers as part of the graduation ceremony.  It’s touching, and beautiful, sometimes hilarious, and yes, makes me cry.

Three years ago there was a costuming graduate who had a strong interest in historical costume.  The students making her cloak came to me with a request.  Would I help them pattern an 18th century mantle for her cloak?

A couple days of research and some quick patternmaking later, and I had the very first draft of what would become View A of the Marie.

Made up by the students in black gauze trimmed with black lace, it made an adorable ‘cloak’ that the graduate loved.

Last year there was another costume graduate with a love of historical costuming.  It was also well known that she really wanted a cloak that she’d be able to use over and over: not one that was just an art piece for graduation.  I did more research and patternmaking and she got a cloak made from an updated version of the mantle pattern: and she loves it.

I had so much fun researching and patternmaking the mantles, and everyone loved the graduate’s versions: obviously this needed to be a pattern.

I also knew that Amber had been working on and off on a mantle pattern for a few years.  Could we combine ours?

We tried, but realised that with the amount of research I’d done, and the amount of research she’d done, and the number of techniques we had covered, and all the different views we had, it was WAY too much for one pattern.

So we split it into three patterns – and each of them is still extremely extensive and detailed!

Here are the primary inspirations we look at for the Marie Mantle.

Marie View A: The Inspiration

The primary inspiration for View A of the Marie was this utterly darling mantle from the V&A.

That shape!  Those double ruffles!  The interior ruffle!  It’s all too perfect!

There are portraits showing similar ruffle-trimmed mantles, like this one of Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony:

Georg Desmarées (1697–1776), Portrait of Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony (1728-1797), Museum im Wittelsbacher Schloss Friedberg

For further material and construction information, we also looked at the two figured gauze cloaks in Colonial Williamsburg’s collection.  The black one is included in Costume Close Up, which was a helpful resource.

Cloak, 1750-1800, English or French. Cotton sewn with linen threads, Colonial Williamsburg 2018-278

Cloak, 1750-1800, English or French. Cotton sewn with linen threads, Colonial Williamsburg 2018-278

Cloak, 1760-1775, Spitalfields, England, Sheer silk gauze (leno weave, brocaded), Colonial Williamsburg, 1993-337

Cloak, 1760-1775, Spitalfields, England, Sheer silk gauze (leno weave, brocaded), Colonial Williamsburg, 1993-337

And this lace mantle at the Met:

Because this is such a classic 18th century shape, I photographed the sample both over a 1760s robe à la française:

Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns scrooppatterns.com

And the 1775-1790 Angelica Gown, to really show how versatile it is:

Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns scrooppatterns.com

Marie View B, the inspiration:

While we loved the curved front points of View A, there are also a number of extant mantles, and portraits of mantles, showing a much more triangular front shape, with straighter edges.

This shape shows up in the 1740s:

November, ‘The Months’ by J.June 1749, British Museum

And there are examples of this shape all the way up to the early 19th century.  Almost all of them are in figured silk with simple lace trim.  Obviously lace trim is a technique we needed to include!

Cloak, 1770-90, America or England, possibly worn in New York, silk with linen lace, Colonial Williamsburg 2020-11

Cape, 1800, lace, silk National Trust; Killerton, NT 1362052

However, the similarity between mantles dated to the mid-18th century, and ones dated to the early 19th makes us cautious.  There are certainly more depictions of this cloak shape in the mid-18th century than later.  As a result, we’ve given our pattern an extremely conservative end-date of 1779.

Cloak, ca. 1750, England (probably), Silk, Colonial Williamsburg, Gift of Titi Halle, 2014-177

There are depictions of mantles in this general style in a variety of materials, from satin to wool to velvet, to lace:

Mengs, Anton Rafael, Maria Amalia of Saxony, 1761-1763, Museo Nacional del Prado

Mengs, Anton Rafael, Maria Amalia of Saxony, 1761-1763, Museo Nacional del Prado

An 18th century portrait showing a lady with powdered hair, seated at a slanted table with her sewing basket in front of her, wearing a black silk mantle over a pink dress, with striking black hat

Princess Marie Charlotte Amalie of Saxe-Meiningen, ca 1770, by Johann Georg Ziesenis

Winter, 1753-1766, British Museum, Accession Number 2010,7081.491

Winter, 1753-1766, British Museum, Accession Number 2010,7081.491

In lace and silk it’s a decadent accessory for a lady of leisure.  In wool (shown here in the hoodless version), it’s a practical but chic wrap for a working woman:

Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns scrooppatterns.com

Lace Mantle Inspiration:

In addition to all the gorgeous ruffled silk, figured gauze mantles, figured silk, and practical wool mantles, there are SO MANY portraits of lace mantles in both View A and View B’s shape:

The artist's wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, c 1726 – 1782 by Allan Ramsay. National Galleries Scotland

The artist’s wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, c 1726 – 1782 by Allan Ramsay. National Galleries Scotland

Anna Rosina de Gask, Augusta Dorothea of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Abbess of Gandersheim (1749–1810), daughter of Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

Anna Rosina de Gask, Augusta Dorothea of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Abbess of Gandersheim (1749–1810), daughter of Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

An 18th century painting showing a lady with dark hair in 3/4 view, wearing a pink-red dress with a sheer lace mantle over it.

Thomas Gainsborough, portrait of Louisa Barbarina Mansel, Lady Vernon, 1763-7 (c) National Trust, Sudbury Hall; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Lady Frances Erskine (1716–1776, by David Allan, ca. 1764, (c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Lady Frances Erskine (1716–1776, by David Allan, ca. 1764, (c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

I adore lace.  I’ve even gotten to work with 18th century lace and lace mantles in museum collections.  Lace mantles are so gorgeous, and such an iconic 18th century accessory that’s so often overlooked, because it’s difficult to replicate.

While it’s impossible to replicate actual handmade lace mantles without actually making lace by hand, there are ways to fake it.  So I was determined to include instructions on making lace mantles in the Marie pattern.

I made a very simple lace mantle as a sample, to really show off the pattern shape, but I’ll be doing a photo essay on making a much more elaborate one:

Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns scrooppatterns.com

So the Marie has two shapes (both of which are easily adaptable for even more mantle shape fabulosity).  It’s unlined, and can be made in wool, silk, gauze, or lace, and trimmed with hemmed or pinked ruffles, or lace.  And all of that takes 26 pages of detailed instructions…

No wonder we had to break the pattern up!

More inspiration:

I have an entire pinterest board of inspiration for the mantle patterns, sorted into sections for Marie, Charlotte and Sophia, with an extra section just for lace mantles.

Keep in mind that some of the images are not extremely clear, and may actually depict fichu or cloaks.  They are on the board for fabric, colour, or lace type inspiration.  Be sure to do your own research if you need to be extremely historically accurate.

Further reading:

  • Baumgarten, Linda & Watson, John with Florine Carr.  Costume Close Up: Clothing Construction and Pattern, 1750-1790.  The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia: 1999
  • Bradfield, Nancy.  Costume in Detail, 1730-1930.  Harrap Limited, London: 1981
  • Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costume for Stage & Screen. Patterns for Outer Garments, Book I: Cloaks, Capes, Stoles, and Wadded Mantles.  Studio City, CA Players Press, Inc. 2000
  • Waugh, Norah.  The Cut of Women’s Clothes: 1600-1930.  Faber & Faber Limited, London: 1968

Tomorrow: the Marie tester makes!

Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns scrooppatterns.com

Meet Marie, Charlotte & Sophia: three fabulous 18th c mantle patterns!

We are so excited to introduce the first Scroop + Virgil’s Fine Goods mini collection!  Marie, Charlotte and Sophia are three fabulous mantle patterns that can be purchased individually, or as a combined pattern of mantle amazingness.

Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns

Buy the patterns here! – and get 15% off for the first week!

Each of these patterns features two mantle shapes and a range of trim and construction techniques.

From the darling Marie (1740-1779), to the chic Charlotte (1770-1795), to the dramatic Sophia (1775-1810), these three patterns will elevate all your 18th century costuming ensembles, be the perfect addition to your cosplays, and add a fun historybounding touch to your modern wardrobe.

Between the three patterns there are 6 different body views, and instructions for:

  • Lined or unlined mantles.
  • Hooded and hoodless versions.
  • Interlining for extra-warm mantles.
  • Three hood styles: the small Marie with star pleating, the medium Charlotte with fan pleating, and the extravagantly large Sophia with hem pleating
  • Working with lace to imitate the look of 18th c all-lace mantles
  • Almost every possible type of mantle trimming:
    • pinked trim
    • hemmed trim
    • ruffled trim
    • pleated trim
    • purchased fringe as well as self-made fringe
    • marabou
    • faux fur
    • lace

If you buy the combined pack (and get 3 patterns for the price of 2!) you can mix and match hood pleating, linings, trims, and finishes between patterns for a practically limitless array of choices.

The detailed historically accurate sewing instructions cover everything you need to make your own beautiful versions, from first stitches to final trimming.

The pattern comes in four size packs that cover bust sizes 30”-52” (76-132cm).  The pattern is very flexible in size, and can be worn above and below the range sizes.

Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns scrooppatterns.com

I’ll be writing individual posts on each pattern over the coming week.

Scroop + Virgils Fine Goods 18th C Mantle Patterns scrooppatterns.com

Buy the pattern here! – and get 15% off for the first week!

The 18th Century Mantle Trio is the fourth collaboration between Scroop Patterns and Virgil’s Fine Goods.  Our patterns combine Amber of Virgil’s Fine Goods’ extensive mantua making skills with my patternmaking and teaching skills.

Our goal is to bring you easy-to-use historical patterns with comprehensive size ranges and detailed historically-accurate instructions. The patterns are available as downloadable print-at-home patterns, to make historical sewing more accessible to sewists everywhere, and as paper patterns through Virgil’s Fine Goods and other stores.

We’re extremely proud of this pattern, and are so excited to see your versions!

All the gorgeous tester versions will be coming shortly! Their makes are so inspiring. They combined views, used our trim suggestions, and styled the mantles to their own taste.

Hand coloured mezzotint showing three figures in 18th century dress: a gentleman in a red coat and black breeches between a lady in a yellow dress with white mantle, and a lady in a white dress with blue sash

Fabric requirements for the upcoming Scroop + Virgil’s Fine Goods Mantle Patterns

The mini-collection of Scroop + Virgil’s Fine Goods mantle patterns are due to launch the first week of December, and we’re SO excited about them!

Apparently you’re so excited too, because we’ve been receiving messages asking about the fabric requirements for the upcoming patterns, so you can shop the Black Friday sales for your fabric and get sewing as soon as the pattern launches.

As always, happy to help!  Here are the suggested fabrics and requirements for each pattern, so you can start shopping and dreaming 💛

Sizing:

All three patterns will be available in four sizes which cover the full Scroop + Virgil’s Size Range of 30”/76cm bust to 52”/115cm bust.  Because mantle patterns are so adaptable, the patterns will easily fit larger and smaller sizes as well.

Scroop + Virgils Cloak and Mantle Patterns Size Chart

The Patterns:

The Marie Mantle:  1740-1779 

The Marie is an unlined short mantle with two body views and an optional small hood.  The pattern includes instructions on self-fabric trim variations, as well as instructions on making it in lace or gauze in addition to standard fabrics like light-midweight silks.

 

Marie Cloak ScroopPatterns.com
Recommended Fabrics:  

Light-midweight silks including silk satin, silk taffeta, and silk lustring/lutestring.  Lightweight cottons including muslin and voile.  Gauze weaves, lace, and net in silk and cotton.

Consult period images and extant mantles for examples of accurate fabrics and colours.

IMPORTANT: The fabric requirements include the amount needed for cloaks cut in one piece with no centre back seam and the grainline running along the width of the mantle, and mantle cut with a centre back seam and the grainline running up and down the mantle. Directional fabrics should be cut with a centre back seam, or otherwise pieced.

Mantles with hoods and without hoods require the same amount of fabric.

Notions:
  • 1½y/1.3m long x ½”/1.2cm-2”/5cm wide silk ribbon for the neck ties
  • 100/2 linen or silk hand-sewing thread
  • Hoodless mantles: ⅝y/.5m ¼”/3mm wide cotton or linen tape to reinforce the neck
  • Lace Edging for Fabric Mantles, hem, front edge, and hood edge trimmed with lace:
    • View A: 5⅛y/4.7m long x ¾”-2”/2cm-5cm wide lace trim with one straight edge and one scalloped
    • View B: 5¾ y/5.2m long x ¾”-2”/2cm-5cm wide lace trim with one straight edge and one scalloped
  • Lace Edging for Fabric Mantles, hem only:
    • View A: 2⅝y / 2.4m long x ¾”-2”/2cm-5cm wide lace trim with one straight edge and one scalloped
    • View B: 2⅞y / 2.6.m long x ¾”-2”/2cm-5cm wide lace trim with one straight edge and one scalloped
  • Lace Edging for Lace Mantles, to create the effect of an all-lace mantle:
    • View A: 5½y/5.2m long x ¾”-2”/2cm-5cm wide lace trim, either with one straight and one scalloped edge, or with scalloped edges on both sides of the lace
    • View B: 6¼y/5.8m long x ¾”-2”/2cm-5cm wide lace trim, either with one straight and one scalloped edge, or with scalloped edges on both sides of the lace
  • Self Fabric Trim: Add an additional ¼y/.2m to your fabric requirements for self-fabric trim cut into strips.

The Charlotte Mantle 1770-1795

The Charlotte is a lined or unlined mantle with two body views and an optional large hood. The pattern includes instructions on self-fabric trim variations.

Charlotte Cloak ScroopPatterns.com

Recommended Fabrics

Outer Fabric: silk taffeta and satin, figured silks. Midweight fulled wools. Sheer cotton for unlined versions, and printed cotton for lined.

Lining: Light-midweight silks including silk satin, lightweight taffetas, and silk lustring/lutestring. Cotton and wool cloaks sometimes had cotton or linen linings or part-linings. If using silk, the outer and lining may be the same fabric.

* Additional piecing is required to fit the pattern pieces on the fabric. See cutting layouts for suggestions.

Consult period images and extant mantles for examples of accurate fabrics and colours.

IMPORTANT: The fabric requirements include the amount needed for mantle’s cut in one piece with no centre back seam and the grainline running along the width of the cloak, and cloaks cut with a centre back seam and the grainline running up and down the cloak. Directional fabrics should be cut with a centre back seam, or otherwise pieced.

Mantles with hoods and without hoods require the same amount of fabric.

Add an additional ¼y/.2m to your fabric requirements for self-fabric trim.

Notions:
  • 1½y/1.3m long x ½”/1.2cm-2”/5cm wide silk ribbon for the neck ties
  • 100/2 linen or silk hand-sewing thread
  • Hoodless mantles: ⅝y/.5m ¼”/3mm wide cotton or linen tape to reinforce the neck
  • Optional: 2”/5cm wide silk ribbon for trimming. Trim can also be made from self fabric cut into strips. Add an additional ¼y/.2m to your fabric requirements for trim.
    • View A: 9¼y/8.5m ribbon.
    • View B: 11¼y/10.3m ribbon

The Sophia Mantle: 1775-1810 

The Sophia is a fully lined mantle with two body options featuring squared off lappets that fall to high and mid-calf, an enormous high-fashion hood, and instructions on adding fur, marabou feather, or handmade fringe trim.

Sophia Mantle ScroopPatterns.com

(and yes, this faaaaaabulous mantle is one of the primary inspirations for the Sophia)

Recommended Fabrics

Outer Fabric: silk taffeta and satin, figured silks, velvet and velveteen, fulled wools. Silks & velvets in black, ivory/white, and shades of pink and coral; and wools in black and red are the most common colors seen in extant examples and period images.

Interlining (optional): cotton or wool flannel, very thin wool quilt batting. Polyester quilt batting is NOT recommended as it is too bulky.

Lining: Light-midweight silks including silk satin, lightweight taffetas, and silk lustring/lutestring. The outer and lining may be the same fabric. Some images show mantles with contrasting linings: black or pink/coral mantles with white linings appear to have been most common.

All fabric requirements allow for cutting directional fabric. Extra fabric will be needed for print matching.

* This size and view can be made with ⅝y/.5m less fabric if Piece B is pieced on the corners.

IMPORTANT: Add an additional ¼-½y/.2-.4m for self-made fringe trim.

Notions:
  • 1½y/1.3m long x ½”/1.2cm-2”/5cm wide silk ribbon for the neck ties
  • 100/2 linen or silk hand-sewing thread
  • Trim for neck, hood edge, & lappet ends only: 4y/3.7m fur, marabou feather, or cotton or viscose brush fringe.
  • All edges trimmed: 8¼y/7.5m fur, feather or or cotton or viscose brush fringe.
  • Self-made silk fringe, neck, hood edge, & lappet ends only: Add an additional ¼y/.2m of fabric per layer of fringing.
  • Self-made silk fringe, all edges: Add an additional ½y/.4m of fabric per layer of fringing.

And that’s it!  Happy shopping!

We shared some mantle inspiration in our call for testers, but here’s a bit more:

An 18th century painting showing a lady with dark hair in 3/4 view, wearing a pink-red dress with a sheer lace mantle over it.

Thomas Gainsborough, portrait of Louisa Barbarina Mansel, Lady Vernon, 1763-7 (c) National Trust, Sudbury Hall; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Hand coloured mezzotint showing three figures in 18th century dress: a gentleman in a red coat and black breeches between a lady in a yellow dress with white mantle, and a lady in a white dress with blue sash

Carrington Bowles, ‘A Nettle between Two Roses’ 1790 hand-colored mezzotint British Museum

Carrington Bowles ‘A Decoy for the Old as well as the Young’ 1773, hand-colored mezzotint, British Museum

An 18th century portrait showing a lady with powdered hair, seated at a slanted table with her sewing basket in front of her, wearing a black silk mantle over a pink dress, with striking black hat

Princess Marie Charlotte Amalie of Saxe-Meiningen by Johann Georg Ziesenis