I’m workin’ on it!

I’ve just arrived in London (well, arrived yesterday, but was about as active and with it as mashed potato after the 9hr flight, being up 24hrs by time I arrived, and fighting to not fall asleep early so I could actually start getting back to normal).  Tomorrow I start l my internship/research of 18th century garment construction at the Museum of London – wheeeee!!!!!  Ironically, being here will afford me more time to work on this blog and get it going (and hopefully interesting) than I had at home in boring Edmonton – go figure!

My immediate plans for the blog are to break-down the reproduction components into the separate garments and do a post for each on their individual histories and construction.  I will include as many yummy and useful photos as I can scrounge up.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I can use photos I take of Museum of London photos.  I have received permission to use them in my exhibition next spring, but I think the internet is asking too much.

I am also thinking of adding a section that explains and demonstrates the types of stitches I will be using to construct my reproductions, and where in the garments they are found.  For example, while backstitches are the strongest, they are also quite time consuming.  Therefore, quick running stitches appear to have been the technique of choice for long, stress-free seams like skirt panel.  Backstitching appears to have been mostly reserved for seams that experienced significant tension…mostly.

I have brought some linen fabric with me to practice my hand-sewing while here, and will likely have some comments about that as well in the future.  Probably something along the lines of: ohhhhh…..this takes so much longer than I’d anticipated, I am so not getting any sleep this fall.

p.s. I went to the V&A for a bit today (yay for free admission!!), and saw this georgeous green brocade woman’s banyan dated 1750-70.  So now I am, of course, thinking of adding one to my project….’cause you know, I don’t have enough to do already.  I’ll try and get a better shot of it with my spiffy new digital SLR sometime soon!

woman\'s silk brocade banyan, c. 1750-70, on display at the V&A

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7 Comments »

  1. dellybean Said:

    Glad you got there safely, if with little sleep! I hope you have an awesome time (I’ve subscribed to your blog…so I’ll be kept well up to date!) and that you’re not too spoiled by being in Londontown.

  2. dellybean Said:

    I was just perusing my bloglines, and inhabitat.com had a link to green tours at this company: http://www.insider-london.co.uk/itours_green.html
    Turns out they also do Bespoke Tours. Bestill my beating Bespoke loving heart.

  3. brocadegoddess Said:

    I checked those insider tours out, they look like they could be interesting. However, I think by bespoke they mean they can “tailor” a tour to your needs/wants. I wonder if they could actually do one all about fabric and clothing construction! Hmmmmm….

  4. Kate Said:

    Hi! I’m Delly’s friend that was working on the corset a while ago during the day… (in case you’re wondering who the random commenter is!). I LOVE the V&A. Every time I’m in London I try and get there – and if I only have a little while to spend, it’s usually in with the textiles and clothing and such. 🙂 I’m so excited for your project – I can’t wait to see more, especially when you start your reproduction.

    I feel your pain with the jet-lag-ish-ness. When I was studying at York, that was the worst bit – you’ve been up 24 hours, but you don’t want to sleep ‘cuz then you just throw everything off… :-S

    Take care, and looking forward to more soon!

  5. Julia Said:

    Dude, what are you talking about, no one will dress up in 18th century clothes and have picnics with you? (via Demode) I’ll do it! I’ll have to make my outfit from scratch, of course, but… I do have the fabric! And the wig! That’s a start!

  6. brocadegoddess Said:

    Alright then Julia! I’m gonna hold you to it! And I’ll even give you a head start, since I won’t be beginning my stuff till I get back in Sept.; and you’ve got lots of time – you still around next Spring? Do you already know what style you want too?

    Hey! Here’s an idea – what about an in-costume picnic held in conjunction with my exhibition? As a sort of media/publicity event? If you make something, then with the number of ensembles I’m putting together that should make about 5 or six – seems a good number.

  7. Julia Said:

    Oh God, now the pressure is on. Teaching, curating, writing ye olde PhD, and now – sewing! Sleep? What sleep? But OK. I am sure my dress will look like a horrible Halloween-y pastiche next to your things, but you’ll just have to put up with it!


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