finally printing Mcdowell!

I have foam core board to make a test run of the McDowll cutting system 🙂 So I may be able to get a third tool printed off tonight too 🙂

Oky, since posting that I actually have. My firt prints were twice the size, then 1/4.. now I think I have it. It looks right. I have them in light card and paper for cardstock so I’ll cut the card tonight and see if it looks right!

This system is mentioned in Cutting a Fashionable Fit and there have been a few examples up for sale:

OMG!!!!! $US80?!?!?! That’s less than my ink. So and an ebay search…..

Tool ready to print!

Actual cost to print.. we won’t think about it! But I will have to make these from card first!

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!

ooooh sunburst beading

So obviously one uses silver lined glass beads and the other uses pearls. Of note, fake pearls. Which is very exciting. Beacuse I have vintage fake glass pearls so I suspect they are made the same way- I think it’s an enamel paint over glass.

Anyway notice the other big thing.

The pearls do not have a shadow line. I was originally working from The Opulent Era which includes a close up of the pink gown that shares photo space with the yellow sunburst. And in that the beads are outlined with fine seed beads. But that is not what is going on!

The yellow sunburst apparently has a silver cord laid down and the silver lined beads sewn around that. You can see the couched threads once you look for them but especially on the cloud circle to the inside of the furthermost star. Also metal would explain how the cord stays so crisp as opposed to a silk over cotton core. Compare how firm they appear compared to the known beads and thread. The gown has a lot of shattering of the silk but how soon did the silver corrode? Was it a factor calculated into the making? Or did the gown get stored in a way that wasn’t completely optimised?

So I suspect the same rational I used to decide the pearls were the better option for me played a part in the original. I think the beads alone were not going to give enough definition so the couched silver does that.

I however love the effect of the the corroded metal! I love how it outlines in such a sharp graphic line. So I am really really torn as to just how “accurate” I want to go. I should only couch cord iff I use rocailles but it should also be silver. Also the rocailles are one size while the pearls graduate… will going for a single sized pearl and dark silver cord work? As somthing that could have been done?

But the same can be said of the sequins. I will likely use modern non tarnishing sequins so will that affect how this changes over time?

 

And now I am remembering why I stalled the last time! My historic gear is rarely a copy. I much prefer to do as was done which is to take a fashion plate or photo of a celebrity and say “I like this, but do this” as is how the pink version came about anyway! But I love so much about the yellow (with hints of pink and green and bright yellow).

CF Worth disposition gowns

Help. Obsessed. There may have been a Pinterest board created and it may be strictly properly sourced and maybe just updated with a gown that is included in one of the few Lafayette photos to have lots of close views. Such bliss.

I know a lot of people have been inspired by RedThreaded’s Worth gown, but there may be some weird web archiving glitch so here it is for anyone not yet seen! Cynthia’s gown next to the originals!

Garment entirely created by Cynthia Settje of red threaded.
Date:1898–1900 Culture:French Medium:silk Credit Line:Gift of Miss Eva Drexel Dahlgren, 1976 Accession Number:1976.258.1a, b
Date:1898–1900 Culture:French Medium:(a, b) silk Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. C. Phillip Miller, 1957 Accession Number:C.I.57.17.8a–d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So while looking for themes and understanding my favourite gowns in context the velvet and satin gowns came up over and over again. So I shall add to this blog post as more pop up, and I wrestle with WP layouts.

First one that I adore:

Sitter: Lillie Langtry (stage name) Lady De Bathe, née Emilie Charlotte Le Breton (1853-1929).

LANGTRY, MRS
Neg. No: 2194
Neg. Size: 15″X12″
Neg. Date: 10-11-1899

I think this may be my favourite of all the gowns Worth produced like this. Though that may be because it’s Lily Langtry!

Yes, I often combine my interest in theatre, costume, and stage so of course I have a lovely file archive of Mrs Langrty.

 

I think my other favourites would have to be these

Date:1899 Culture:French Medium:silk Credit Line:Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Edith Gardiner, 1926 Accession Number:2009.300.2981a, b
Date:1898–1900 Culture:French Medium:silk, cotton Credit Line:Gift of Miss Eva Drexel Dahlgren, 1976 Accession Number:1976.258.4a, b
Date:1898–1900 Culture:French Medium:silk, glass Credit Line:Gift of Miss Eva Drexel Dahlgren, 1976 Accession Number:1976.258.5a–c

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These next three fascinate me, the high neck of two and the delicate butterflies of the third.

Palais Galliera Worth, Tea gown, 1895 © Photograph rights reserved / Mairie de Paris
Date:1896 Culture:French Medium:silk, pearl Credit Line:Gift of Miss Agnes Miles Carpenter, 1941 Accession Number:C.I.41.14.1
Date:1898 Culture:French Medium:silk, Credit Line:Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Paul Pennoyer, 1965 Accession Number:2009.300.1324a, b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This first one has horizontal bust darts! As well as curved bust seams and a waist seam to get that beautiful shaping of the velvet.

Date:1889 Culture:French Medium:silk Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. James G. Flockhart, 1968 Accession Number:C.I.68.53.11a, b
Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally we have the gowns for those slightly more conservative. Which is nice- obviously the gowns caught the eye of many and they wanted a part of what made these gowns so special. No less care, just a slightly less start style!

REFERENCE46.258.2A-BTECHNICAL DETAILS Black voided velvet with branching floral and foliate motif Label: Worth / Paris; 66271 (handwritten)
Date:1898–1900 Culture:French Medium:silk, cotton Credit Line:Gift of Miss Eva Drexel Dahlgren, 1976 Accession Number:1976.258.3a, b
WORTH EVENING DRESS with COURT TRAIN WORN by FORMER FIRST LADY HARRIET LANE at the COURT of ST. JAMES, c. 1898.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But all this has been part of my life tidying that has been happening- organising books, papers, digital files. So this has meant reorganising my patterns and WIP and thus my recent flurry of posts.

 

I’ll be trying to get all my Mina posts from before the website changeover, but that may be a bit difficult!

rock the frock

era: 1870s

Material: silk satin, cotton, baleen

found: possibly ebay 2012

This corset is exactly what I need 🙂 I am truly sorry for not reverse image searching but this corset is so perfect I just want to share it!

And this photo is exactly why I love it!

I am pretty narrow for the Victorian shape, I need very straight up and down support everywhere except my hips and bust. This photo? Wow, it’s flat. I mean flat. This flat profile around the torso with room for hips and bust is exactly what I need to be comfortable and still achieve one of the ideal shapes for the eras I love. Yes, you can often find a range of ideal shapes for any given era with a bit of time to go through all the resources out there.

 

The only aspect of this corset I want to change, as I have already recreated a similar set- is to move the shaping at the frome of the hip (ie over the belly) to the side hip. This is just much more comfortable for me and keeps my hourglass shape that tends to be pushed towards the front in corsets of this era. I’s also avoid boning over the side of the hips as these would be inclined to cause the stays to stick out at the hip not mold around.

And the final image shows the construction is in keeping with the Der Bazar corsets (found in my Antique Fashion sections.)

rock the frock

I reecently shared this image of a test pinning session over my princess dress (well underdress- it’s going to be used under a few gowns.

 

This saree was a chance find in my nearest Save Mart store, I regularly scour them for saree and anything able to be transformed such as shoes, lengths of fabric, but mainly saree!)

 

But I haven’t shared the images that inspired them.

 

Over the years I have hoarded images from eBay sales as often the display does not do justice to the gown but do offer fantastic chances to understand contructions and physical properties.

 

Or sometimes there are amazing finds.

The two overgowns below are from such finds. They have a few things in common- polonaise style with a shorter bustle feature.

 

form and function

Over the years I have come to the conclusion I have a very distinct style, even across multiple eras and genres. There is a very obvious pattern to what appeals when one is a maker first, fan second.

I am a fan of when function meets form. So working out a puzzle of construction is incredibly satisfying. If it has to be draped on the stand all the better. Fabric manipulation for fit especially.

 

Contrast. Big colour and texture blocks. But that can sometimes be subtle, like the seam details on the backs of late 18thC bodices.

I keep flicking between eras/genres and it’s because I want to understand how the very different constructions affect fit and perceptions of ideal body types. The 1920s velvet gowns I’m making superficially look like the bias cut gowns of a decade later but really rely on different fabric use to achieve it.

Right now I’d love to do an essay on how extant items can tell us more about how clothes were made than first appearance. But it is a bit reliant on getting some of my own gear finished. So that is the aim this year. Finish the historic projects to really highlight what I want to say.

Got a lot of writing and sewing to do to actually get there though!

Marie Antoinette Stays

While these stays were worn for a specific scene, it is a really interesting look at how the bodices in general seem to have worked. It’s very modern in some aspects but not in others. So while not historically accurate in any way, it winds up as an interesting insight into Hollywood being creative, and also using the techniques they had.

invaluable, Profiles in History Auction

Lot 293: NORMA SHEARER MARIE ANTOINETTE CORSET

HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS AUCTION –

featuring property from the career of David Hasselhoff Day 1 session 2by Julien’s Auctions

H1088-L52100084 H1088-L52100089

Front and back. The front uses the same seam placement as on the bodices for Norma, with two long lines over the bust,  and straight seams from side around the back. The very large unboned tabs look functionless but have given me an idea- they would help protect pressure from the weight of the skirt around the waist- like real tabs in real stays through the 16th-18thC. I am not sure what kind of stays I do want to wear but I will be wearing something to pad my upper hips as I know too well the pressure of skirts right there.

H1088-L52100090 H1088-L52100094

These details feel modernly vintage- that lovely ruched ribbon work around the edges especially.

 

 

Extant Gowns I adore-3

I’m cheating, these are all doublets.

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Costume bodice, Spanish, possibly early 20th century, in the style of about 1600

If this is a copy it’s a remarkable wonderfully accurate copy! I know there was a lot of interest in historic costume and collecting extant items in the late 19thC especially but this has a good cut.So I’m keeping this here until I know for sure. There is a fold under the right arm that looks like a long dart, but that would be closer to the 1950s in terms of placement, as the same kind of side darts in the 1920s were shallower and longer on the whole.

So if this is a copy, this is the kind of copy I aspire to. It’s so well made that you have to look for details that show modern workmanship- the weave of the fabric, the order of construction, and nods to contemporary wishes. However this bodice keeps the conical shape while fitting for a more curvy shape than the fashionable ideal. The curved front join is correct for the period but also only until the late 19thC and it’s rare to see a garment deviate from established systems of cutting.

MT01037

Museo del Traje- Jubón

Jubón femenino de seda con bastas flotantes por urdimbre de color gris que dibujan una decoración en zig-zag y roleos.

This is very definitely of the time! But it is for a different body type. This is almost certainly intended to be worn under a ropa as there are no shoulder wings.

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Les Arts Décoratifs- Costume: pourpoint espagnol
Création: France, 1589-1610, Henri IV

Now this is what I mean by the MFA looking so close to the original. The placement of the trim (There are two distinct placements of trim on Jubons) the shape of the shoulder wings, the texture of the main fabric, the shape of the nib front, the proportion of the waist tabs. The most obvious difference is the set of the shoulders in the MFA.

As far as fitting this has a very similar method of shaping, which is to do the bulk of the general size in the back and pull the fabric from the sides to the front to pinch out for customised fit. You bring in under the bust and to the waist then smooth over the bust and over the point. And spread the fabric from the bust up and out to the shoulders. This way the most stable part of the fabric, the closest to the grain is under the bust and to the waist which then allows some ease over the bust and to the throat.

This is sort of similar to Victorian fitting as well and was mainly lost in modern pattern draping and drafting systems. It is still seen today in modern tailoring. ANd that is because these garments above were made by a tailor, dress making came about with the rise of the Mantua and lead to a very different kind of patterning and construction.

cf35f70a115a226c07eaa8493d917720

The Metropolitan Museum of Art-Jerkin

Date:1570–80
Culture:European
Medium:silk, metal thread
Credit Line:Gift of Bashford Dean, 1926
Accession Number:26.196

This garment is earlier than the rest but shows a shaping feature often overlooked in the various tailoring books, the side front seam. This appears to be optional as they are only drawn in occasionally but they do sit in the same place. But you can see some issues with trying to sew on this slight curve on the outside of the seam to our right. There is more fabric eased on the outer curve than on the opposite side.

This garment was patterned for Blanche Payne’s History of Costume. It’s not easier than the normal three part bodice types but it does allow for a little more ease over the bust and into the armscye.