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.

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/90404

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 🙂

Maurice’s system of dress cutting..

Maurice’s system of dress cutting..

by Sivarz, Maurice. [from old catalog]
Published 1889
Publisher [n.p.]
Pages 28
Possible copyright status The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright restrictions for this item.
Language English
Call number 6267213
Digitizing sponsor The Library of Congress
Book contributor The Library of Congress
Collection library_of_congress; americana
Notes There are no page numbers listed
Full catalog record MARCXML

This one has a ball taille, and yes, there is a single seam at the front bodice! This is what I had been noticing in garments so it’s nice to have it confirmed.

Studies in plain needlework and amateur dressmaking .

Studies in plain needlework and amateur dressmaking ..

by Ross, Harry A., Mrs. [from old catalog]
Published 1887 Topics Sewing, Dressmaking Publisher Battle Creek, Mich., W. C. Gage & son, printers
Pages 56
Possible copyright status The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright restrictions for this item.
Language English
Call number 9622452
Digitizing sponsor Sloan Foundation
Book contributor The Library of Congress
Collection library_of_congress; americana
Full catalog record MARCXML