garsault to the rescue

As expected both the text and the illustrations are much easier to understand in Garsault than Diderot.

The Lingerie Stitches from Garsault, I think I need to use c. I was wondering if there were more variations on this- such as running the needle through the fold to hide stitches almost entirely but it looks like a slanted stitch as per the text.

A, Le Surjet.
B, Le Point noué ou de boutonniere.
C, Le Point de côté.
D, Le Point devant.
E, Le Point de chaînette.
F, L’arriere-Point.
GMH, Trois Figures pour la Couture rabattue.

A, The Overlock.
B, Knotted or buttonhole stitch.
C, The Side Point.
D, The Point in front.
E, The chain stitch.
F, The backstop.
GMH, Three Figures for Folded Stitching.

The Lingerie Stitches of Diderot

The Tailors stitches for hemming:


Of note is the upper of Fig 6; the thread is clearly seen passing through the underside to the top, then the thread not returning through the upper but between upper and lower then through the lower and back up.

Also of note is that k, or the same figure also shows this clearly as the under layer is set slightly under.

And this helps with the text:

Le point à rabattre sous la main.
Il se fait comme le précédent, excepté qu’ayant percé l’étoffe supérieure,vous allez par dehors piquer l’étoffe inférieure au travers; puis vous les percez toutes deux en remontant: on se sert de ce point pour coudre la doublure au-dessus quand il la dépasse : k dessus, n dessous.

The point to fold at hand.
It is like the preceding, except that having pierced the upper stuff, you go outside to stitch the bottom stuff through; then you pierce them both up: we use this point to sew the lining above when it exceeds: k, above, n below.

This is not as clear in the Diderot plate of the same stitches, the stitches do not seem to weave in Fig 16, and in Fig 17 there is no indication of the underlayer.


So that has made it much easier for me to not use this set of stitches for my mantua hemming as it is not formed this way.

I think a simple slanted stitch like I normally use will be fine for the seam allowances along the joins of the mantua petticoat and seen in the Lingerie sections will be enough.

easy mantua cutting

I did manage to cut my fabric panels for my mantua, it really is pretty darm easy as it is all on the grain rectangles. It is pretty much exactly what I expect from a pre-1920s measure, cut, fit process. It looks a bit different but ultimately it’s a case of wait to floor, shoulders to waist and that’s it. Everything else is adjustable to suit.

I knew I wanted my side extensions to be only one full width of fabric (so two widths of a more in era width. I cut (tore) one width from waist to floor plus a hand width for turnings. Then folded on the diagonal to form the two side extensions.

The underskirt is cut from three drops of fabric as these tend to be between 5-7 widths of in era fabric widths. I will wind up with side openings which will allow me to wear pockets underneath. The Henri Bonnart illustrations show a lot of openings for pockets.

The front of the robe was cut from one full width of fabric as long as from my shoulder to floor plus two hand widths. One hand width is to extend the fronts over the shoulder, the other is for turning.

To cut the back panel I laid the extensions next to the front panels and lined up the remaining fabric from top of the front panel down to waist and then followed the diagonal of the side extensions.

I didn’t want a very long train so I cut a curve about 3-4 hand widths.

The rest of the fabric will be used for sleeves and facings.

Since these I have machine stitched the joins and pressed them back ready for stitching. I haven’t yet done so as I need to really look through the Diderot stitches. Okay. Not totally clear but:;rgn=main
The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project.
Tailleur d’habits et tailleur de corps

Livre L’Encyclopédie. [38], Arts de l’habillement : [recueil de planches sur les … Diderot, Denis (1713-1784)

Points de couture.

Fig, 1. 2. & 3. Elévation & places de dessus & de dessous du point de devanten piquant les deux étoffes de haut-en-bas & de bas-en-haut.
Fig, 4. 5. & 6. Point de côté ramenant le fil en-deffous par-dehors après avoir piqué les deux étoffes.
Fig, 7. 8. & 9. Point-arriere ou arriere-point, repiquant de haut-en-bas au milieu du point-arriere après avoir piqué de bas-en-haut.
Fig, 10. 11. & 11. Point lacé comme le point-arriere, lieu qu’il fe fait au- en deux tems, revenu en-hauton ferre le point, & retournant l’aiguille on repique en-arriere commeau précédent.
Fig, 13. 14. & 15. Point à rabattre fur la main piquant le haut-en-bas & de bas-en-hauten-avant les points drus espacés & également.
Fig, 16. 17. & 18. Point à rabattre fous la main commele dernier au-lieu qu’ayant percé l’étoffe supérieure on pique-l’étoffe inférieure par-dehors, ensuite on pique les deux en remontant.
Fig, 19. 20. & 21. Point à rentraire comme le point à rabattre fur la main se faisant en deux tems en retournant l’aiguille avant tout il faut joindre à point fimple les deux envers l’étoffe retournée on ferre de ce point les deux retours il faut pour cela très-peu d’étoffe &les points très-courts.
Le point perdu n’eft qu’un point-arriere ajouté au precédent.
Fig, 22. 23.& Point traversé, couture à deux fils croisés.
Fig, 25. A, premiere opération; point coulé ou la passe, c’eft la boutonniere tracée de deux fils. B, la passe fermée du point de boutonniere. C, la passe achevée & terminée de deux brides à chaque bout quel’on enferme de deux rangs de points noués

Google translated:

Sewing stitches.
Fig, 1. 2. & 3. Elevation & places from above & from the fronten point pricking the two fabrics from top-to-bottom & bottom-to-top.
Fig, 4. 5. & 6. Side point bringing the wire in-bursts from outside after stitching the two fabrics.
Fig, 7. 8. & 9. Point-back or back-point, pushing up and down in the middle of the back-stitch after dipping from below upwards.
Fig, 10. 11. & 11. Point laced like the point-back, place which it is made in two tenses, returned to the top, turns the point, and turning the needle backwards.
Fig, 13. 14. & 15. Point to be folded on the hand, stitching up-down and down-up in front of the thick points spaced & equally.
Fig, 16. 17. & 18. Point to be folded in the hand as the last one instead of having pierced the upper stuff, the lower stuff is thrown out, then the two are stitched upwards.

Fig, 19. 20. & 21. Point to point as the point to be folded on the hand being done in two times by turning the needle before all must be joined at the same time the two to the returned fabric we iron this point both returns require very little material and very short points.
The lost point is only a back-point added to the previous one.
Fig. 22. 23. & Crossed point, cross-stitched seam.
Fig, 25. A, first operation; cast point or the pass, it is the buttonhole traced two sons. B, the closed pass of the boutonniere point. C, the pass is completed & completed with two straps at each end which enclose two rows of knotted stitches

Google translate can’t really understand it. But I am no better off reading heh translation here:;rgn=main

Figures 13. 14. and 15. Overhand hem stitch piercing from top-to-bottom and from bottom-to-top in front, the stitches densely spaced and even.
Figures 16. 17. and 18. Underhand hem stitch [is] like the last, except that having pierced the upper fabric one pierces the lower fabric at the outside, one pierces the two together fortifying.

The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project.;rgn=main
The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project.

Livre L’Encyclopédie. [38], Arts de l’habillement : [recueil de planches sur les … Diderot, Denis (1713-1784)

Fig, 1. 2. & 3. Points noués simples de neuf différentes formes.
Fig, 4. Points noués doubles de trois différentes sortes.
Fig, 6. & 7. Points croisés de simples & doubles de neuf différentes sortes.

Google translation:

Fig, 1. 2. & 3. Simple knotted stitches of nine different shapes.
Fig, 4. Double knotted stitches of three different kinds.
Fig, 5. 6. & 7. Cross points of single & double of nine different

To be honest it is the section on linen items that has nice clear hemming illustrated.

LivreL’Encyclopédie. [38], Arts de l’habillement : [recueil de planches sur les … Diderot, Denis (1713-1784)

Livre L’Encyclopédie. [38], Arts de l’habillement : [recueil de planches sur les … Diderot, Denis (1713-1784)

Fig, 1. Le point de surjet.
Fig, 2. Le point de côté.
Fig, 3. Le point-arriere ou arriere-point:
Fig, 4. Le point devant.
Fig, 5. La couture rabattue.
Fig, 6. Le point noué ou point de boutonniere.
Fig, 7. Le point de chaînette.
Fig, S. Le point croisê.
Fig, 9. Peignoir en pagode:
Fig, 10. Bonnet piqué.
Fig, 11. Coëffure de dentelle.
Fig, 12. Coëffure à deux rangs ou à bavolet.
Fig, 13. Grande coëffe en mousèline. A coëffure en papillon sur une tête de carton.

Google translation:

Fig, 1. The overlock stitch.
Fig, 2. The side point.
Fig, 3. The rear-end or back-point:
Fig, 4. The point in front.
Fig, 5. The seam folded.
Fig, 6. The lockstitch or boutonniere.
Fig, 7. The chain stitch.
Fig, S. The point crossed.
Fig, 9. Bathrobe in pagoda:
Fig, 10. Quilted hat.
Fig, 11. Scallop Coif of lace.
Fig, 12. Coeffure Coif with two rows or bolster.
Fig, 13. Large mussel cockerel mouseline coif. A butterfly coif on a cardboard head.

Working on the mantua

I finally put pencil and ink to paper and got my idea in colour.

Why? The direction of boning is as important as the shape of the pieces. If the boning is vertical it tends to follow the shape of the body more closely- it scoops in at the waist and out over ribs and bust and padding. On the diagonal it acts to channel soft body tissue into the seam with the V. So this gives us the variation in the conical shape.

I think I have found the perfect set of stays to mimic for my own. I am not sure about the breadth across the upper front for me but otherwise it is close.

Date: late 17th–early 18th century
Culture: French
Medium: silk, metallic thread
Credit Line: Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 1975
Accession Number: 1975.34.2a–c

early 1700s – Auction House Coutau- Bégarie – Corps à baleines, début du XVIIIe siècle,en damas ramagé rose, piqûres rectilignes soulignant les baleines. Devant en pointe arrondie à effet de corset lacé matérialisé par des dentelles aux fuseaux en sorbec argent, basques gainées de peau. Laçage à oeillets dans le dos, (quelques usures).

I am mostly happy with my stays but I’ll unpick the front panels as I want them on the straight. A whole lot of stays in museums are just labeled “18thC” which is not really helpful given how much the engineering of these stays changed.

I used my Effigy stays for fit and redrew seam lines. I used the Garsault diagram not the Diderot pattern. Garsault is slightly easier to see all the seam lines.

Compare Art du tailleur : contenant le tailleur d’habits … Garsault, François-Alexandre-Pierre de (1693-1778):

with “Tailleur d’habits et tailleur de corps,” Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 9 (plates). Paris, 1771.


I also had Leloir in mind to look for consistencies and differences.

I also used the two sets of stays from Corsets and Crinolines to again look for consistencies and differences.

And also used Hunnisett as a guide, there is a pattern scanned out there labeled as from Waugh which is actually from Hunnisett.

This 1680s set has vertical boning strategically placed at CF CB and sides. This keeps the shape very straight and in fact with a little scoop and tilt back of the front. This follows fashion.

This from the 1730s has a lot of boning on angles to allow for the front to tilt forward every so much. There is still a sweep to the waist it is the start of the very lilted forward shape we see once busks really start to take hold.

Interestingly a very similar bit of engineering goes on for the S front corsets of the 1900s. A very rigid straight busk cases the hips to tilt back and the upper tilt forward, it’s not just the rigid straight busk that is similar but also the use of very diagonal, almost horizontal seams.

I need a nearly vertical front that curves at almost the same degree from top to bottom.

Maria Luisa of Savoy (1688-1714)

This portrait neatly shows the push up effect of the stays (narrow and tall with lots of vertical bones) but the start of a bit of a tilt forward due to the start of a very straight and rigid font.

I’ve cut them so that I can use the front of each panel for vertical support while the back is tapered more or less.

I love stays with a laced open front as it can allow for a pair of stays to be adjusted a bit to mimic some later styles- eras where length becomes defining. In fact there are a few sets of stays dated to the 1780s that use so many of these features- long skinny tabs that mostly have the boning going straight through, lots of vertical boning.

I do though need some new boning. It’s difficult because no two manufacturers use the same process. My favourite was very clearly extruded and so there are parallel lines running through it. It was very rigid, and was quite oval in cross section. This is important for structure as it’s harder to bend that shape than a more flat cross section.

But I do have steels to help support, once I can cut them. So many projects on hold as I need the support structure to start patterning. I can’t use the aviation shears that came with them. So I’m trying to get creative.

Instruction book for the French and English systems of cutting, fitting and basting

Instruction book for the French and English systems of cutting, fitting and basting

by McCall, James. [from old catalog]
Publication date 1881
Topics Dressmaking. [from old catalog]
Publisher [New York
Collection library_of_congressamericana
Digitizing sponsor Sloan Foundation
Contributor The Library of Congress
Language English
Call number 7753846
Openlibrary_edition OL23634383M
Openlibrary_work OL13841925W
Page-progression lrPages 110
Possible copyright status The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright restrictions for this
Full catalog record MARCXML

Oh this is great! Note that the above image shows one way of reducing wrinkles at the waist. There are others also inside the book.

image showing seams taken in at the back and extra added at the side hip.
Image showing wrinkles at the waist of the left, on the right a solution by opening all seams from hem to waist and taking fabric away at the back and front and adding to the side.

Hecklinger’s ladies’ garments

Hecklinger’s ladies’ garments

by Hecklinger, Charles. [from old catalog]
Publication date 1886
Topics Dressmaking. [from old catalog]
Publisher New York
Collection library_of_congressamericana
Digitizing sponsor Sloan Foundation
Contributor The Library of Congress
Language English
Full catalog record MARCXML

Rarely, for this time, this book looks like it is indeed published within a year of cerating! The illustrations look like they are straight from the 1885 Butterick catalogue so this book is one I’d highly recommend along with articles from magazines of the same year.

It also has a lot of illustrations showing details such as facings, how to make all kinds of trimmings and what the pleated/kilted underskirts actually look like underneath the drapery.

Pattern plates

They are done! The scanner is unplugged so the caster can use the plug so I’ll start scanning as soon as I am ready.

I just went for my daily walk so am stretching while I decide on the order these will be printed.

Six skirt patterns, four bodices, several sleeves from a simple block. Only haven’t managed to work in my Anna Meyer block which is sleeve with no shoulder strap. But I can get that.

Making drafting tools!

I decided that I have wanted an authentic pattern drafting machine but I’ll never be able to afford one, so I’ve got a nice clear copy of a few originals and now with the power of image editing software it’s time to make some.

Step one, figure out where to scale.

Done and done 🙂 By the end of the day there should be a copy ready for any other drafting nerds 🙂

Also these might just be inspiring enough to hunt down originals 🙂

Skirt workshop this weekend

My workshop this weekend is on skirts. And drapery. Two polar opposites in terms of making but work together.

So I can do a conservative skirt, fully gathered/pleated (to waistband/yoke), very gored. And work through the waterfall drapery and then basically quote from resources at the time- you can’t work out a drapery pattern by looking at the finished garment in the 1880s. And it’s fairly true. So I’m collecting all the extant and contemporary ones I can find to put them into some sort of easy to visualise system.

Currently though printing All The Patterns so as to have them ready for the other workshops too 🙂

draping and workshop writing

I managed to get the hip gathers of my Padme Light Blue actually sitting nicely 🙂 So there has been a little bit of basting of gathers and sorting out layers. next step is to sew. Just need to look at piccies to see which direction the seam allowances lie, or if I’ll have to do some very careful hand stitching to set the SA of the gathers back into the gathered section. Not exactly doable with machined stitches, and so I’d have to look at handsewing them. Not totally ick but enough icky-wiggle room to make it a case of doing one side each evening. The fabric is stretchy so backstitches will be needed and so that means careful stretching as I stitch. Pretty sure that they are machined though and so the SA turns to the vertical gathers and could be hidden in the folds.


And so I then turned to other tasks which included plotting out my workshops in more detail and got a little confused. I started listing things to cover that were useful across different elements.

And then I found my initial online guides notes and realised that the answer was there all the time. Doh! The order in my notes is perfect. i just now need to set down and do some digarmas fr sleeves and bodices. And collate some notes on trimming as I have pleats and gathers and darts already written up 🙂


So I now have a really good flow for the workshops and have all my current notes sorted into different clear protectors and completely in love with how this current theme works printed up. It’s just so clear and the title and header even looks right. So happy. It meant I was able to print my tutorials for my meeting and it means my workshops will webify easily and then in turn be able to be printed.Pretty darn excited and even if not a heck of a lot was actually done it has been part of a longer term exercise in establishing a routine to get larger projects done.

In that regard as well I realised have have brilliant lining fabric for Missy and can still part with other fabrics. Might have to see if I can get them on TradeMe- the biog issue being that these are varying weights and they really should be tracked to make sure they get where they need to be. And so that makes for a bit of difficulty in setting up an auction. I know I like an upfront cost!

Workshops- A Modular Frock – The Gilded Age

Yep, doing another series of workshops this time with a “single” focus of getting participants a full set of patterns that work together to make a frock from 1870-1900.

Where: Waitakere Central Library, Auckland, New Zealand

When: Saturday afternoons

Dates- TBC, after the Steampunk Festival but over June and July.

The basic frock will be plain, but over the course of the series of workshops there will be moments to stop and be able to think about materials, patterns, layers. And there will be a whole workshop dedicated to draperies and trimming. Yep. Hands on waterfall!

Oh yes. I am keen to make this work for everyone from living history folks, to Steampunk, to cosplay (have I mentioned my Elsa is based on this modular system? Well she was. And that is why my skirt looks the way it does- it is actually a victorian skirt.

So the dates are yet to be confirmed but it will work around the Oamaru Steampunk festival and SCA midwinter. So I am putting out feelers for whether people want a weekly or fortnightly.

Also while these are frocks, and they are challenge there is no upper or lower age, nor experience needed, nor gender bias. The point of the workshops is to get a toolkit to be creative. If you have no experience with sewing you will pick up some handy hints as what I will be focusing on is the engineering. There will be new terms as well.

And I really am keen on getting at least two more cutting tools made up, so there will be a chance to play with them too 🙂