All posts filed under: 18th Century

A simple Regency chemise

One of my goals for the Historical Sew Fortnightly, both 2013 & 2014, has been to expand my Regency wardrobe. So far, progress has been slow.  I’ve made mitts, and my 1813 Kashmiri dress is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, but my wrap corset a la paresseus is a disappointment on. But look, now I finally have a proper chemise, so I can stop wearing my 1880s ones under my Regency dresses! (and I just feel the URGENT need to point out here that I’m wearing a bra, camisole, knickers, tap pants, and a slip under the chemise, so any weird shadows in the photo are JUST weird shadows!) It’s entirely hand sewn, in a lightweight (not quite handkerchief weight) linen I picked up at Fabric-a-Brac for $5. The chemise is classic fabric-saving geometric construction: one rectangle for the body, little rectangles for the sleeves, the extra fabric cut into long triangles to add width to the chemise, and square gussets under the arms to help with movement. All the seams are flat felled, to reinforce them and …

Rate the Dress: 18th century brocaded silks

Last week’s 1910s suit had a few serious admirers, but also cropped its fair share of criticism: the colours were quite dull, the collar too frivolous, the cuffs awkwardly sized, the proportions off, the pressing issues too distracting, and the presentation poor. I think you’re going to have to learn to forgive the last two from time to time, as if I only chose perfectly pressed and styled and presented garments, my pool to choose from would be so limited, and my choices so well known, it would quite take the fun out of Rate the Dress!  Whether it was the styling or just the cumulative effect of all the little flaws, the suit only managed a 6.8 out of 10 – not terrible, but certainly not stellar. This week’s dress also comes from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  Made of rich, brocaded silk (of plain weave, with supplementary wefts forming the pattern, alas the MFA does not tell us if they are left loose as continuous wefts, or cut short on the back …

Rate the Dress: Fra Galgario’s Count in patterns

We missed last week’s Rate the Dress because I was down sick.  Sorry 🙁 The week before, most of you were quite taken with Toulmouche’s blue dress.  There was only one dissenting view, and not that many 10s (there have been many dresses with lower overall scores but more 10/10s) but with a whole swathe of 8 & 9s, the outfit came in at 8.6 out of 10. This week I’m combining the just-finished HSF theme of ‘Art‘, with the just-started HSF theme of ‘The Politics of Fashion.’  This portrait of Count Giovanni Battista Vailetti is a beautiful piece of art, but his garments also gives us a glimpse into societal changes in the early 18th century. The Count’s waistcoat and banyan are made of exuberantly patterned ‘bizarre’ silks.  As the Age of Enlightenment progressed, patterns became smaller and more naturalistic, reflecting the 18th century obsession with botany. His banyan also shows the increased exposure between the West and India, and the influence that India would have on fashion, and through the demand for Indian goods, …