Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The real century of the décolleté?

Everyone who has ever worn a pair of stays knows that it’s the best push up bra in the world. However, if you turn to the world of art, the fashion in the 18th century seem to have been all about ignoring what happens to the female chest when its pushed up and compressed instead just treating it like a smooth expanse of flesh.

When it came to the 17th century I had the notion that it was all about high neck and cartwheel collars by the beginning and those straight over the shoulders neckline by the end of it. You know, you carry an image in your head, but the more I look, the more I find that in the 17th century, breasts were not something you ignored if you were an artist. Did that nice low-cut gown show the chest, then, by all means, pain the chest.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

A blog you really should take a peek at

I really, really have to point you toward this blog; Before the Automobile . Absolutely stunning 18th and 19th century clothes made by a Finnish lady. The only problem with it is that it gives me an acute inferiority complex… :D

Monday, 19 September 2011

How to make a robe de cour in six weeks and hopefully not go crazy, part 4

As I have a deadline and work full time, so my sewing time is limited, I’m using both machine sewing and hand sewing. The machine for such things as boning channels and inner seams, hand sewing for everything else.
Hour 2-4 Sewing the boning channels. Easy work, but quite tedious.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Anthony van Dyck

I have always been very fond of the portraits of Sir Anthony van Dyck who lived 1599 to 1641. He was a Flemish painter, but also worked in Italy, not to mention England- he became a painter at the court of Charles I. He painting often show off the clothes very well and I love how his persons really do look like persons with their own individuality. He also paints children that look like children, even if they are dressed like adults.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

How to make a robe de cour in six weeks and hopefully not go crazy, part 3

Materials The inner layers of the bodice will be made in linen canvas. I love linen canvas- it’s the 18th century stay maker’s best friend, if you ask me. I have used it in two previous pairs, but had ran out of it when I made my 1790’s stays. In retrospect I blame the fact that they turned out too large on using more lightweight linen that stretched too much.

Monday, 12 September 2011

How to make a robe de cour in six weeks and hopefully not go crazy, part 2

Construction: I will base my robe de cour on the ones extant in Stockholm, but though they are similar in construction, they are not identical. All the bodices are in effect fully boned stays, covered with silver brocade so the boning channels aren't visible, laced in the back. The lacing holes are not visible; the outer layer extends over them. They have short sleeves of the same fabric as the rest of the gown and on them sleeves, or cuffs, in starched and pleated silk gauze are (or have been) basted. They also have long trains, attached to the bodice with the help of cords and hooks.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

How to make a robe de cour in six weeks and hopefully not go crazy, part 1

Preparation time: Years. The armoury in Stockholm is lucky to have four robe de cours from the 18th century and at least one of them are displayed at any given time. It was the first 18th century gown I ever saw and despite my father's horror stories that the dress walked around at night with no head, along with the empty armour, I still loved the gown. When I first started to make 18th century clothes I dreamed of making a robe de cour, but there never seemed to be a good opportunity for it. A court dress are, after all, meant for the really grand occasions. But now I have a big party coming up- the masked ball at Kalmar castle in October, so why not take the chance now.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

17th century ladies

I found a little treasure here. Click on the pictures to get the details.

I love the black lace and look at her skirt. It seems to have been pleated into small pleats first and then pleated into big ones.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Still dreaming about the 17th century

The 17th century seems to be moving closer. A few months ago I created a Facebook group just to see if there were any interest for the 17th century apart from me and the few I have talked with; I jakten på 1600-talet. (In Swedish only, translates to “The hunt for the 17th century”). To my surprise and delight the interest was larger than I thought and now some drifty people has proposed a first meeting to see if we can’t make this into a society. I think it’s a great suggestion!

Another nice thing; To my delight I have found out that Susan North and Jenny Tiramani are editing this; Seventeenth-Century Women's Dress Patterns: Book Two . Scheduled to be published in June 2012. Seems there will be a book on later 17th century clothes after all.

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