Saturday, January 3, 2015

Vernet 1814: Preparation - Petticoat

My first post of the new year, and for the Vernet 1814 project, will be about a very important foundational garment....the petticoat.  I already have a long line set of stays that I made a few years ago.  I've since altered the straps on the stays...they used to slide easily off of my shoulders, but moving the back seam in toward the lacing solved that problem.  I have also made several Regency era petticoats in the past...examples here and here to highlight a couple...but most of my foundational garments have been made with long, floor-length or further, trained, early Grecian inspired gowns from circa 1798-1805.  The Vernet gown I will be creating is nearly a decade later, and requires a petticoat that barely reaches beyond mid calf, and is much more streamlined along the waist.  I suppose I could have gotten away with wearing my laced bodice petticoat, but the shaping of my Vernet gown is very important to me, and the  laced bodice petticoat just wasn't doing it for me, so I decided to start from scratch.  

(original Met petticoat - American, linen, early 19th century)

One petticoat from The Met Museum collection stood out to me as having the shape and fit I was looking for. So, naturally, I decided to reproduce it.  Normally, for the Vernet project, I won't be showing finished garments until December...snippets and construction will be all you will see...but, since this petticoat is not technically one of the fashion plates, I feel it's ok for you to see the whole thing. 
 I used linen fabric, and cotton thread.  And as everything for this project will be, it was hand sewn.  Most of the stitching used in this petticoat were back-stitching or whip-stitching...and of course the blanket-stitch used for the button holes.  These days I rarely use patterns, draping and drafting is almost alway what I do to create my garments, and this petticoat was no exception to that.  Here's a step-by-step picture tutorial of how I made the petticoat.

Part one: Drafting the bodice.





Part two: Sewing together the bodice.








My quality inspector, Owen.  He reserves judgement until the very end.










Part three: The skirt - Pleating and tucks.



Part four: Attaching the skirt to the bodice - finished petticoat.











A simple garment, but now I'm ready to dive into the yummy Vernet 1814 fashion plates!


Friday, November 21, 2014

It's Official....



...yes, it's happening.  I am participating in the Vernet's 1814 Merveilleuses and Incroyables project!  I am over-the-moon thrilled to have been invited to be a part of this group...humble, and feeling a bit unworthy...but uber-excited none-the-less!  2015 is going to be a wacky costuming year.  Best of luck figuring out which outfit I will be creating!  Although posts on construction and research will be regular throughout the following year, the final outcome won't be published until December of 2015.  PLEASE share in this journey with me by following along not only here but on the group's Facebook Page.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More Embroidery: 1730's style

I've been keeping my hands busy with crewelwork embroidery for the past two months, and here are the results...



...an early American seat cushion design from the 1730's...only I made this one into a pillow.  

I got the pattern from Alicia Paulson's book "Embroidery Companion."  I'm loving this book...so many wonderful things to decorate!  I'm sure you will be seeing more.  Embroidery is a fantastic way to pass the time during the long, cold, winter nights.  Sign on to Netflix, start a long series, and away the needle and thread go.









Also, for fun (and because I live in a chilly Victorian beast of a house) I embroidered some hot-water bottle covers...design also from Paulson's book.  Snowflakes and fur trees...mmmm...cozy.





Two of our three furry butts approve.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

18th Century: Caraco Jacket (No more Mrs. Claus)

A few months ago I made an 18th century Caraco Jacket, but it turned out looking more like something Mrs. Claus would wear than something I would wear.  Remember this?


 Well, it took some time before I found the courage to redo it, but I finally got around to it knowing that I needed something to wear to the 18th century market fair at Locust Grove.  I stripped off all of the white trim and completely redid the green trim on the sleeves. 

Here are some pictures of me at the event...it was a gorgeous Autumn day.  Other than needing a few extra pins in the front to keep it from wrinkling, and possibly a larger bum roll, I think it turned out rather well. 
Thank you, Laura for being my paparazzi!