Time to get the first thing off my UFO pile! I started these quilted jumps, a kind of casual 18th Century substitute for stays, back in 2015, using an older sewing machine. I re-found them in 2017, and put them in my working pile again, and now I am finally done! (Just as Spring arrives and I have no reason to wear them for months!)
Today an informative post about the development of French needlelaces! As I previously defined it, needlelace is lace made by embroidering with a needle rather than braiding with bobbins or crocheting or knitting. During the reign of Louis XIV (the Sun King), the French government made a deliberate investment in lacemaking, as part of a wide-ranging plan to become Europe's center for luxury goods, fashion, and taste. They had stiff competition in all those fields: the Italians and Dutch were already Europe's sourcebook and marketplace for luxury goods. In particular, as relates to lace, the bobbin laces of the Netherlands were fantastically expensive and popular. But the needlelace of Italy was also prestigious; Italy developed needlelace from its history of drawn thread work and reticella, and by the 1600's the Italian gros point de Venise, which was sculptural and meant to look like carved ivory, was the needlelace to beat. The French set out to beat it.
It seems I am not the only one who likes nightcaps! While visiting my family recently, I was wakened by my five-year-old niece. She asked me what was on my head, and I groggily explained that my nightcap kept my head warm, my hair neat, and spiders out of my ears. So she decided she wanted one! Knowing the transience of a child's desires, I didn't jump to make her one... until she'd asked over and over for a week and a half.
All right, then! Into her mom's stash we went, and she selected raspberry-colored satin and blue-green sari fabric. Knowing the cap would need more body than those flimsy fabrics provided, I fetched out the same white fabric I'd used last year for my cap, and decided to use it for the interior.
My first essay into my Elizabethan-inspired ensemble is a blackwork ruffle, mainly because a ruffle can be used anywhere, so I could make it even when I didn't have any clothing patterns. It seemed a good way to get started on the project and see how I liked blackwork.
Do you ever watch historical movies and wish we dressed like that today? Or wished, as I do, that we dressed something like that... cherry-picking the aspects we like and eschewing the cumbersome or ugly parts? Well, as the genius behind xkcd reminds us, we are grown-ups, and we can decide what that means. And for me, it means I don't have to settle for cobbling together outfits from the remnants of only the last few decades. I can make and wear whatever pleases me. There's no law on the books that says I have to look like everyone else in my decade! So I'd like to begin a sartorial art project... to look at my favorite times and places, and use them as inspiration for clothes that are thoroughly my own. I'll start with the Elizabethan era, because it's got a ton of embroidery and handwork, and lots of layers. I figure it'll be nice to wear in the winter, but I need to start in the spring if I want it to be done in time.
And, as luck would have it, I found just such a fabric at Goodwill one day! Actually, they had a ton of it, so I bought it all! The fabric is a woven (not printed) check in dark green. Very nice drape to it, and nice hand. I want to make the long-sleeved version of the dress for winter.
Right-over-left, that is. In the Western world, women's garments traditionally close right-over-left, while men's close left-over-right. As an example, the Moss Brothers jacket I showed you on Monday is a women's jacket because of the right-over-left closure (as well as the princess seams giving room for the bosom, and the flared hips with slanting pockets for style). That's why I was surprised to find no womenswear on their company website!
Several years ago, when I was newly arrived in Portland, OR, and I had a basic, borrowed sewing machine and no experience with either pattern drafting or quilting, I found Sharon Ann Burnston's website and was taken with the idea of making my own version of 18th Century quilted jumps. Mainly, I wanted them because I was cold. I'm always cold in the winter, and I simply hate being cold. The jumps appealed to me as a garment to keep my core warm and leave my arms free, which would be an improvement over wrapping myself in blankets, and more interesting and unique than the "puffy" vests which were then fashionable.
Way back in 2015 I took it into my head to make Teens Era dresses for myself and my sister, so we could have a "Titanic Tea" together in costume. The process started with a shared Pinterest board where we batted around ideas and identified our favorite elements of various dresses. Then I collected fabrics in the color schemes I liked: green and gold for myself and purple and burgundy for her.
For each dress I started with muslin and made a self-draped bra-bustier contraption (to approximate the bosom support that the Edwardians would have achieved with a long line corset). Then I draped the dress on top. However, as this was a few years ago, and I had neither blog nor camera at that time, you only get the finished pics.
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