I know it’s been forevah

I have not abandoned the blog, I have not abandoned the project.  It’s actually because I’m now sewing for this about 40+ hrs/week in addition to TAing, trying to put together the exhibition all this stuff is going into, and starting on my actual MA thesis that I have not got on here in so long.  That, and I just ignored everything over the month of December/over the holidays for the sake of my sanity.

I am slowly working on updating pages and adding new ones, but thought I would post a few teaser pics of what’s coming to prove that I have been working steadily away:






Bad blogger, no cookie

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and….seamstresses.  I had hoped to be all caught up on here by now, but as you can see…..um…..yeah.  It’s nearly the end of term, I have a paper to write on the material culture of 18th century sewing tools (I’ve limited it to the big 4: pins, needles, scissors, thimbles) that’s due in….hmmmm….3 weeks today!  Yippeee!  And I still need to tackle the Old Bailey Records online for some primary source material (from which I’m hoping I may get some info regarding ownership and possession *fingers crossed*).

Again, I have continued working on the sewing steadily/regularly, such that the calico jacket and petticoat ensemble is almost finished.  However, in order to get more updates posted I may not try to write that page in its entirety at one go.

I did have a question for people though: I am curious as to whether any of the processes/methods I’ve used during this project so far have been surprising to anyone, or different from what you might expect from garment construction of this period?  I’m hoping there might be at least something, after all, that’s part of what this whole thing is about!

I’m not dead yet!

After a somewhat prolonged absence, wherein I felt swamped by other schoolwork and obligations, I have posted an update!  I have kept working on this project regularly, just didn’t have time to work on the blog.  So there will be several updates coming, hopefully, soon.  The one I just finished is for the mantua, which is itself pretty much finished now!  (And there was much rejoicing…rahhhhh…..).

Other new stuff to expect soon: some work has been done to the pet en l’air; the riding jacket has been started; as has the calico jacket.

So all of the ensembles have now been started and are at some stage along the way towards their completion.  I think I just *might* be able to get this all done by the time I need to after all (but I’m keeping my fingers tightly mentally crossed all the same).

New Stuff!

Okay, I finally got a new update posted, with another new garment – wheeeee!  It’s the Mantua page over to the left.  There are still a few photos to be added into it, but I thought it was best to post it asap. 

I’ve also posted the beginnings of a list of suppliers.  I thought some people might be interested to know where I’ve been getting my materials from.  This is also in a somewhat unfinished state, but I thought something was better than nothing.

Something for Marie Antoinette Lovers….

I recently found out through a European online 18th Century costume group called Lumieres that the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) is exhibiting a dress once owned by Marie Antoinette and possibly made by Rose Bertin.

The ensemble is only on display between Oct 11-26 due to conservation concerns, and some of the programming is already over, like a talk by Caroline Weber (author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution)

However, the ROM has a webpage about the exhibition of the dress, and a short visual podcast on the process of getting an artifact from vault to gallery.


So, I thought this might be of interest to some people!  I’m just annoyed that it’s all happening about a month before I go home to Toronto for Christmas, boo-urns!


The stays have been started!  And I think that if I can survive making these, I can manage just about anything! 

They’re actually not really so bad, nor even as time-consuming (so far, I think) as I expected.  However, I don’t think the fact that I own the entire Sex & the City series on DVD has even come in so handy before!  Take a peek at the new Stays page at left to see how I’m doing so far.

And please give me opinions on journal entry format: whether you think ascending or descending order is better.

I have finally posted stuff on the quilted petticoat that has been started.  I think it might actually be the masterpiece of the whole project once it’s done!  Although, since it takes 12+ hours to quilt one repeat of the design,  and there are about 6 1/2 repeats to do perhaps “if” it gets done is more accurate.  I really hope I get faster at this as I go along.

Another day of working on the sack will be added shortly.

Aaaaand…(drumroll please)…I received shipment of the materials for the innards of the stays last week and I enlarged the pattern today.  So that will be started this coming week – wish me luck with sewing all those boning channels (100+!) and look out for stuff on that to be posted next Sunday.

In other news, I have changed the format for the sewing journal pages.  Both the pet en l’air jacket and now the quilted petticoat have the days going in descending order.  I have left the sack in the original format so you can compare the two.  Do let me know which you think is better/more reader friendly.

Update and changes

I have finished an update for the pet en l’air, so do go check out how that’s coming along.  I ought to have the first installments of the next garment, a quilted petticoat, up within a day or two.

As for changes, I think there may be several.  The first and most important is that I have definitely decided to alter the scope of time and garments of the project slightly.  I the time period is now changed to 1750-70 (from 1750-75).  Here’s the reason why:

The intent of the time period in the first place is to show contiguous styles that may have been present in a woman’s wardrobe throughout it.  Between observations at the Museum of London, elsewhere, and in several written sources, I realized (which maybe I should have beforehand), that styles began changing right around 1770 too much for anything later to be included.  For example, no woman of c.1760 would have had a caraco, that appears to be an innovation of the late 1770s (if anyone has info contrary to this, I would LOVE to hear it I really wanted to make this ensemble!)

In light of this I have decided to remove the polonnaise dress and caraco jacket + matching petticoat ensemble from the list of stuff to make.  However, this leaves me with 7yds of a historic print cotton that I otherwise don’t know what to do with, so I am hoping to make a more period appropriate jacket and petticoat ensemble from it (I really wanted cotton represented in this project).  I will update you when I’ve found an appropriate design/pattern.

I will make changes to the project outline stuff (currently under the heading of Exhibition Proposal), which I was intending to try and break down into more palatable bites anyway.

I have also been debating where to include my personal impressions and questions that arise as a result of this experience.  I wonder, should I make a separate section for these, or incorporate them into the journal pages for the garments themselves?  What do you think?

New Janet Arnold Book coming!!!

Ok, for those of you who geek out on costumes, and goddess Janet in particular I have some NEWS.  I was on Amazon the other night looking at yummy books I want (and impulsively ordering a few) and discovered that a Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion IV is coming out in November!


Keeping the Ball Rolling

I can’t finish the sack until my pinker arrives from William Booth, Draper, hopefully soon.  So the next item has been started, along with a page on its progress so far.  It’s the pet en l’air you see listed to your left.

I would have liked to start something that differed more from the sack dress, but have been doing some re-arranging and re-thinking of a few things, and this was just ready to get started!

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