All posts tagged: stays

The Scroop Patterns & Virgil's Fine Goods Augusta Stays

Cries of London in Augusta Stays

The absolute highlight of Costume College for me was getting to spend time with my Augusta Stays collaborator: Amber of Virgil’s Fine Goods. We’d been working on the stays patterns solidly for three months, emailing almost every day. To get to spend three days together together to trade ideas in person: what a treat! And, to make it even better, our third roommate, Cait of Willoughby and Rose, was one of the testers of the pattern. We wanted to show off the stays, so we hatched a plan: dress up as some of the most famous depictions of 18th century stays: the strawberry seller and other street vendors from Wheatly’s ‘Cries of London’. Wheatley was a landscape and portrait painter who worked in Ireland and England, and was elected into the Royal Academy in 1790. Unfortunately the politics around his election put him out of favour with most artistic patrons, and he received no major commissions after 1790. Instead he completed a series of paintings showing the street vendors of London, and their cries. They …

Making linen buckram: gum tragacanth vs xathan gum

Making Linen Buckram: Gum Tragacanth vs Xanthan Gum

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with making linen buckram in the last year and a half, playing with using both historically accurate gum tragacanth, and a much cheaper and easier to source modern equivalent: xanthan gum. We’re getting very close to launching Scroop Pattern’s and Virgil’s Fine Good’s first collaboration: a 1780s stays pattern with extensive historical instruction. Historical stays use linen buckram, so here’s what I’ve learned about it to help you make your own. What is linen buckram? Linen buckram is stiffened linen. It was used in 17th, 18th and early 19th century sewing as support layers where stiffening was needed, such as in stays, stiff collars, stomachers, and hatmaking. It’s made by coating linen with a gum paste, usually gum tragacanth, or xanthan gum, and then letting the gum dry. The more layers of gum that are applied, the stiffer the linen gets. Here is what it looks and sounds like in motion: In addition to historical sewing, I think it has lots of potential for general costuming: particularly for …

George Romney Mrs. Billington as Saint Cecilia, 1787

What do you wear under a chemise a la reine? 2.0

Five years ago I wrote a post about chemise a la reine (also known as gaulle) dresses, and what was worn under them based on how they are depicted in paintings of the 1780s & 90s. Unfortunately that post is one of the ones that has fallen victim to the Photobucket 3rd party hosting debacle, so I pulled it.  I’ve had quite a few requests for it since.  I decided that as long as I was going to go to the effort of finding and replacing all my images, I should update the entire post.  I’ve learned a lot about chemise  and 18th century undergarments since I originally wrote the post – hopefully I can make more educated guesses.  However, the 18th century is still not my area of study and expertise, so my guesses are  just that, and not an expert opinion.  I’ve posted them to give people food for thought, and a jumping off point for more research of their own. So what was worn under a chemise a la reine?  Obviously you’d …