correct shape or trick of the eye?

I am also finding it hard to trust all staged images, as there is a tendency to pouff out draped fabrics when they should fold inwards. I wonder how many people remember the infamous natural form pattern?

The Simplicity 4244 pattern with the paniers turned out and padded?

The original has the area padded out in display, though not turned inside out:

http://www.victorianbridalmuseum.com/about/index5.phtml

I would love to see this updated, polonaise style princesse dresses are a staple in the pattern books of the era that it’s nice to see real examples whenever possible. Seriously, every book has at least one princess and at least one is really a polonaise.

 

And if the Met can have a garment padded in inverse to what would be expected, then yes it’s very easy to to!


Centraal Museum too! (but this is another good example of the mid-late 1880s shape to the skirt, the pouffing over the hips and of the little puff over the bustle.. not really feeling it. But yeah, that’s another Sunburst reference!)

This is simply more a case of feeling too full at the front hip. But I have seen more extreme forms of firm support in contemporary photos.

But I was looking at a gown I adore but feels later than the date as well, and I am trying to tease out whether it is staged or original to the gown.

 

So what is it that makes this feel later than 1875?

Simply put the shoulders. They are very square. Very square indeed and that is not because the mannequin has square shoulders. The sleeve shape also is very angular, another feature of mid to late 1880s patterning.

Compare the shoulders to this very definitely mid 1870s garment:

See the slope of the shoulder, more obvious from the back. The front arm seams are further under the arm than above too. But this is a very well made example of the time so the structure is a bit firmer and so holds a firm line compared to other examples of this decade.

The split and pointed tails of the scaled gown can also be seen right through to early 1890s in Worth garments (see the silvery blue gown also from the met on this page.)

 

But this is why I am devouring everything I can find about what is absolutely known as far as dates of garments. There are a few garments dated to mid 1880s that have a very gored skirt shape that is, as above, original shaping. Even the above has a mix of gored and flat panels. So it may be that the house was experimenting in shifting fullness around very early. That though is proving difficult.

 

Anyway if anyone would like to sponso a trip to see the Worth Archives- maybe a month stay to be able to actually go through all documents then maybe my mind would be rested!

 

I already know the pattern books and periodicals do not show the flared gored skirt shape earlier than the early 1890s. I have gone through every single issue of Der Bazar that has plates and patterns, I have random patterns from other periodical, and of course the cutting books. In fact skirts go extremely boxy before they get pulled to the back and then the hem flares out again. But again Maison Worth was known to anticipate fashion as well as push it in a direction most especially in cut. SO that could apply to shoulders and elbows too…

So yes. Grubby mitts on the archive. Well very well cleaned and gloved mitts.

seeing double- are these both worth?

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Left & right: Woman’s Evening Dress: Bodice and Skirt (1978-2-1a,b and 1978-2-2a,b)

Left vs right: Worth vs Artist/maker unknown, American.

Left & vs right: Worn by Mrs. Ernest Fenollosa

These are much too closely matched to be coincidence and were worn by the same woman.

Nearly identical in cut, the brocade gown doesn’t appear to have the same fit in the bodice. And that is what really marks a Worth garment. The curve at the side of the waist and generaly sweep feels very Worth. As well as the colours and fabrics.

This is part of my research as I try and identify when Worth started using very flared panels in skirts. These do feel mid to late 1880s. The gores are not heavily angled and there is a bit of bulk of fabric right around the front of the hips as well as sides, and obviously the bustle. But it is the slightly boxy shape of the front that makes these match perfectly to fashion plates.

I do know this flat boxy front was still in use in paterns by 1894! And that is the year we see three distinct skirt patterns.

 

books galore and well..

So my books are already winging their way from Central Basement (where all the cool books live.) and I did fond at least one maybe two online references from the Worth bibliography.

Still no sign of The cloud pattern nor The ray pattern. There are stars though (yuss!!) but the clouds prove elusive.

And then I saw an ad on facebook.

How To DIY a Balloon Garland

And this is lovely, I’ve seen them before and like the idea of one like this with pastels and…..oh dear.

I can no longer unsee.
 

No but seriously the cloud patterns used on other garments use tapering scrolling shapes. So the hunt for the original design continues!

whoops, fell into a research rabbit warren

In order to figure out history of the gown I wound up with dozens of reference notes about the production of garments and how there are multiple copies and why.

I still haven’t found the specific references I want (all secondary atm) but enough to feel confident in several statements made.

But there are some conflicting descriptions of materials, I have my suspicions about why so will also have to discuss those.

So yeah. I can now start the day and do things.

 

But I also will have my abs juice ready to go today and the latex work of yesterday will hopefully pay off today. Unless it didn’t adhere in what case I get to strip the base back and redo it. IsoPro does work but it is a PITA to time correctly. The latex needs to be clean and dry for the next layer of latex. But with a very damp climate there is a fine layer of moisture on anything outdoors- or in a room without insulation.

 

What else… Oh yes. I need to bleach my sateen panels for my 1870s gored stays. I worked out what I need vs the original pattern styles so will also see if I can make one in red sateen finally. I have tried to do this in the past and somehow wound up with stays too short.

What I need from stays is less about squish as it is about reducing stress on ribs. My current pain is a very good reminder! My ribs are very long, there is barely two fingerwidths distance at the side of my waist between ribs and pelvis. So this means if I want a wasp waist I either deal with ribs being heavily squished or I make it nip in only at that narrow point. Or I can avoid too much restriction and taper the stays to the waist then flare out over the hip.

This last one is what I find gives a shape that is both acceptable to a modern eye as well as historic. If I nip in only at the waisy it tends to make everything else seem disproportionate rather than drawing the line in.

So today will be spent cutting fabric and bleaching to have a summer and winter variation. There may even be enough silk satin left over, though that feels a bit extravagant!

 

why one must use all resources!

After removing all the dye from my Sunburst silk I had another look at the information available. I wanted to see what the silk would do as UV light worked on the last remaining colour remover molecules. before even thinking about dyeing it.

I can’t dye the skirt, it has already been fused to a cotton backing 🙂

And then promptly lost the exact quote I wanted. And just found it again. Anyway. There will be a references guide added to my site soon as a page, because I think it needs a little more formality than a blog post 🙂

I noticed also an historic homestead has started folloiwn on instagram so feel a tinybit of pressure to you know, include content they might be interested in!

And I have gone and cracked the cartilage in my ribcage. I am used to being able to sort of.. slip it- painful- but this was a little extra pressure on one point and so now it needs to repair. Luckily it is quite a sharp continuous pain- no I don’t like pain but as a warning, as a limitor it’s fine 🙂

And there is a steampunk event tomorrow. I really wanted to wear Mina, but I would have to spend all day on the bodice… hmm… but I cn’t really do any kind of corsetry until my rib heals. So no. I’ll wear something else 🙂

sewing day

I wound up breaking out the overlocker all day instead of working on horns. Which was probably wise. The rain is still leaving everything damp so curing would be risky.

So I zipped around the edges of my Worth sunburst skirt (the satin is so perfectly buttery that it was just nice to do!) and used the drafted bodice pattern from the 1876 tool to trace a new pattern for my new Phantom wedding dress bodice. I did use the vintage organza after all so that leaves some of the crepe for a potential Moulin Rouge dress. If I ever find a trim that works!

So that was tracing and transferring the pattern to a layer of twill, a layer of calico, and a layer of organza then overlocking all the edges tidy.

And then finally I cut the trim for my Cleves sleeves having removed the colour from the silk. And that leaves some softer trim for the undersleeves.

 

And finally, my last cast from my Ahsoka molds finally worked!

the other victorian projects

I keep coming back to a very small handful I really want to work on, and realised I have a major love for very stark gowns.

I mean Sunburst or not on that skirt that gown would be on my Must Make list anyway.

 

Virginie Gautreux by JS Sargent and Rose Caron by Toulmouche.

I have actually made part of each, but I really want a nice silk satin for Mme X. I need about 8m and in a nice heavy weight that’s just not really been on the cards. But, sales are sales so fingers crossed one coincides with a bit of luck 🙂

My day ensembles have tended to also be a bit stark like my grey dress and this is in keeping with that with a touch of Worth:

Worth’s Cleopatra yellow wool dress.

I also have to admit the fabric I just cut for my new duvet cover (one of a set of curtains) has such a huge pattern it’s super tempting to make a Worth-a-like based on those oversized patterned velvets. The front is a crinkle silver with chenille waves, but the reverse.. now the reverse looks like black velvet with flat silver waves and that is just too much to resist. Well I hope I can because I *might” just be able to get a frock out of it. But I want a high necked version. That might be a bit much. The curtains had huge eyelets at the top which est into the amount that is free. That said I do have a strip.. but also my new duvet cover is so pretty that it really needs a bit of matchy matchy in terms of pillow covers.

It might be possible for a more 1890 vs 1895 look.

the books arrived

While I was at the library the Ultimaker was also there XD It felt brilliant being able to talk historic costume nerding while also talking about the printer and the software to use it. Just fun 🙂 Also it’s a nice size machine so seeing it in person means potentially being able to plan to get my Maleficent horns printed piece by piece.

Anyway, I know the Opulent era well but it’s still really nice to have the luxury of having it at home. Also this is still a gown that keeps leaping up for attention:

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/155944

Date:1900
Culture:French
Medium:silk, rhinestones
Credit Line:Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of the estate of Mrs. Arthur F. Schermerhorn, 1957

My scanner has fallen over but The Opulent Era has a strip photo of the beading and it is just clear enough to make out the bead types 🙂 Looks like delica style pearelscent bead which is fabulous! One of the desriptions in the Worth Bio mentions “iridescent” beads which I always take to mean opalescent- rainbow refracted colours very pearlescent but either is of interest to me in terms of materials. I adore AB finish so figuring out an appropriate start date to use it is always of interest.

As a start:

http://blogs.houseofgems.com/index.php/2014/09/sparkle-shine-a-brief-history-of-how-glimmering-gems-and-beads-came-to-be/

Metallic sparkle and shine has long been a favorite among bead connoisseurs. The bead makers of Gablonz first painted metallic finishes on glass beads, including iridescent coatings. Next, they came up with iridized and electroplated glass beads. Iridized glass was glass sprayed with an almost hair-thin vapor deposit of metal oxides. The craze for iridized glass and beads reached its height during the late 1800s and again in the 1950s and 1960s after the introduction of aurora borealis coating.

http://www.karipearls.com/how-pearls-are-made.html

Wax Pearl with Essence Coating and Fragile Glass
Photos thanks to Diane Volkmann

Which I had only heard about, so it’s nice to see (click through.) For an example of the description of this kind of fake pearl:

MAN and SHELLS Molluscs in the History
By Riccardo Cattaneo-Vietti, Mauro Doneddu, Egidio

Though I think this has the closest explanation:

https://www.thespruce.com/stones-in-vintage-costume-jewelry-4026020

Saphiret is type of glass stone with a blue-brown hue used in Victorian jewelry.

This page also distinguishes carnival glass from AB (specially Swarovski method) so I think this one is the lead 🙂

 

Anyway. My desire for iridescence is generally tempered by being sure it’s slightly out of date for my most loved eras! But

solidot- rbabit hole of reseacrh

http://www.trademarkia.com/solidot-72191450.html

PIECE GOODS MADE OF NATURAL OR SYNTHETIC TEXTILE MATERIALS, AND PIECE GOODS MADE OF PLASTICS OF THE KIND USED FOR MAKING UP INTO ARTICLES COMMONLY MADE OF FIBROUS TEXTILES, ALL COATED WHOLLY OR PARTLY WITH THERMOPLASTIC RESINS, THE PIECE GOODS PREDOMINATING, AND BEING GOODS FOR USE BY LAMINATION FOR STIFFENING OR REINFORCING

So yes, it seems to have become a generic term as the tradmark and patents relating to the invention have expired/dissolved.

 

So working outward. Turns out a grandchild of the inventor of the specific solidot I think I am thinking of has a copy of his PhD.!

http://kimthew.com/2005/03/visit-to-the-peed-ii/#footnote1

1“Instead, a series of experiments were set up to devise a form of chemical finish which would partially block the interstices of the base cloth without stiffening it, and, at the same time, would reduce the wicking effect of the yarn fibrils, which otherwise removed the water from the resin emulsion preferentially.” (Page 28.) (Back)

3If anyone’s on the edge of their seat wondering what happens in the history of fusible interlinings, or has questions about the difference between producing resin granules by wet methods and by hot compounding methods, or the importance of the Solidot process (Very Important) or the fate of Staflex (A Sad Story), you’ll have to wait until IÌve finished the book. (Back)

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-jewish-chronicle/20091009/283021165730067

(actually yes, thinking about it the fabric I am thinking of has a slightly fishy smell, as do a lot of PVC coatings.)

And:

www.google.com/patents/US3067162

Method of forming uniform-sized plasticized resin granules and resulting product
US 3067162 A

Anyway. The fabric I am looking for appears to no longer be made. Unless perhaps if I order a 3000yard roll.

 

And it is the regular spacing of the granules that is important. The dots are also quite raised. So fantastic for a heavy satin as you can really melt the dots into the ground and not have it strike through!

solidot

It is real!

http://sewingchest.co.uk/pdf/p19-Interfacing.pdf

Cotton woven with PVC dot resin
is what is commonly called Solidot and
is probably one of the oldest interfacings
still used today.

Woo!!! I am very lucky to have just enough for my Sunburst as what I have I cannot find any more. What I have is a very well woven cotton fabric of a complex weave and a very distinct regular series of opaque dots. The closest I can find is in fact labeled as anti-skid fabric. And yeah. Very similar. But it’s annoying it cannot be found any more.

But I can’t very much info about who produced the stuff and why I cannot find any since about 2010.