Well this has been a tough decision and I’m still not sure.
First is my 100% dino shot taffeta. It’s a really heavy weight incredibly crisp and is such a beautiful shade I can forgive the content. But I usually have a very distinct line between historic and historic inspired.
Second is my black silk. Very heavy, very heavy. Also able to be used front and back.
Seriously torn as to which to make from it. Other options for the blue is a francaise or 1870s convertable gown.
The black silk can be anything from 16thC on!
Also my beaded silk? Sigh it really does look fab as a Reinette inspired gown. But I also want to go total fantasy with it and yet it drapes so nicely over hoops.
Also coming soon, a fancier Leia wig tutorial. Also her buns are so much bigger than most costumers realise… I need to do a scale diagram. But her buns sit on her dress collar.
They may also get bigger the more sass she expresses.
And also I am having major issues with the way the lace sits at the crown. I have already done major work on this so I may as well get the sectioning clips out to stitch that down!
It’s not surprise I am obsessed with the style. I have been for more than a decade but never found a fabric I thought would do the style justice. Well now I do have a fabric! And thanks to an online friend sharing images from her own research that connection was sparked and the final push to actually make one inspired!
Many moons ago a very well respected costumier who creates the most amazing 18thC gowns gave me information on a few mantua especially one of my favourite gowns ever, he shared privately but there is now an official source:
National Museets Samlinger Online Kjole med slæb, grøn silke
Kjole med slæb. Af grøn silke med broderet guldmønster, antagelig 1740erne. Fra Valdemar Slot, Tåsinge. (I have a pattern for this)
National Museum Wales:
Silver embroidered blue damask court mantua (an open fronted gown with an elaborate train), (mix of suggested dates, 1720-1740) Tredegar Collection
Date: late 17th century
Medium: wool, metal thread
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1933 Accession Number: 33.54a, b (I have two patterns for this)
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Mantua (note the skirt is a series of reverse flounces!)
Date: ca. 1708
Medium: silk, metal
Credit Line: Purchase, Rogers Fund, Isabel Shults Fund and Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 1991 Accession Number: 1991.6.1a, b
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Woman’s Mantua with Stomacher and Petticoat
Italy, circa 1700
Costumes; principal attire (entire body)
Silk satin with gold- and silver-metallic thread embroidery
a) Dress: Center back length: 56 in. (142.2 cm); b) Petticoat: Center front length: 35 in. (88.9 cm) Costume Council Fund (M.88.39a-c)
Collections of the Lincoln Museums:
Usher Gallery, The Lincolnshire mantua
(There is a pattern to a similar garment in the first PDF, also a skirt layout and layout of the train. All three documents are available to download and are incredibly fascinating!)
I have another favourite from the Museum of London but there is no link online.
I will share a thumbnail though and hopefully in time the museum will have this on their site:
Museum of London
Dress 1720-30 (no. 2) front view, with added STOMACHER, 1720-1730 (no.39) (I have a pattern for this)
This does not appear to in their collections, I will update as soon as I know more. I much prefer to link to the collections rather than take from a book, but I can at least, hopefully, generate interest in this garment!)
So I have a fantastic start, a nice range of extant garments to look at trends and to decide on particular style.