The Devil Wears 17th Century…

In October last year I got a group of friends together for a Halloween themed photoshoot, then life happened and I never got around to post the photos.
So finally – here are my Halloween-inspired 17th century gown.

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IMG_9582Modell: Jessie Lewis Skoglund.

1900s Brown Plaid Skirt

As soon as I laid eyes on this fashion plate I knew I wanted it
(and of course the costume ;-))0aa238a070b160e1062e58eda9df1551

Jen at Festive Attyre made the most fabulous recreation of it a while back.auto4And even though I knew I could never match her skill or perfect Edwardian look, I really wanted a similar look.

So when the HSM challenge 9 – “Brown” approached I scouted out my stash for the perfect brown and plaid wool fabric, and got to work.
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I drafted the pattern using Nora Waughs “The cut of women’s clothes”
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I cut the pieces on the bias, carefully matched the plaid to meet at an angel at the seams.
IMG_8788 IMG_8790Matching the plaid

I used some white cotton for the foundation and stitched bias-tape to make boning channels to get that nice body-hugging look of the corseted skirt of this era.
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The skirt closes at the front with hooks and eyes, over a placket and secured with another pair of bones.
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I finished by hemming the skirt using a 10 cm wide strip of beige cotton for hem-facing.
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And that’s it.IMG_8823The skirt from the inside

The finished Skirt:
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Just the facts:

Challenge: HSM15 nr 9 – Brown

What: A 1900s brown/plaid walking skirt.

Pattern: I drafted my own using Nora Waugh’s “The cut of women’s clothes”

Fabric: 3 m of plaid wool an bits and scraps of cotton for interlining and hem-facing.

Notions: Thread, 2 m of bias-tape, 2m of boning, and hooks and eyes for clouser.

Time: About 10 hours – the fabric matching and hand stitched hem took more time then usual.

Cost: About 200 Sek (32Usd) – all material came from stash but I bought this fabric on sale about a year a ago with a similar project in mind.

How historical accurate: Pretty good. The fabric and pattern are all good. Even though most of the skirt is made by machine the finishing are hand-stitched, as it should be fr this period. I did use some modern techniques on the foundation piece. I’d give it a 7/10.

First worn: Will be worn for photos on October 4th.

Final thoughts: I like how it came out, both the sweep of the skirt and the pattern matching looks really nice, but I’m not completely happy with the raised waistline and I might go back to tweak it a bit later on. But a ll in all it’s a nice piece to have in the costume wardrobe.

 

Past Brown Creations

This months theme for HSM/15 is “Brown”.

The Dreamstress whites:
it’s not the most exciting colour by modern standards, but brown has been one of the most common, and popular, colours throughout history. Make something brown.

I actually like brown.
It’s a great color that (in my opinion) accentuates almost any other color. Its softer then black and cooler then white when making color combinations. Brown also comes in a lot of different shades from dark chocolate to golden and soft nougat. It’s also been a (more or les=) popular color throughout history.

Here are some of my brown pieces I’ve added t my historical wardrobe theses past years:

IMG_1375One of my favorite dresses is this 1780s robe a la Anglaise in a lovely flowery cotton matched with a golden petticoat and brown stockings.

IMG_02181850s lend itself great to the brown color pallet.
This walking dress in printed cotton makes an impact on everyone around.

IMG_0406The dress also comes with an evening bodice.

IMG_2004A photo from 1929 inspired this simple cotton dress, the brown boots and white collar ads perfectly to the authenticity.

IMG_5660Who knew a 1880s evening gown in brown could be so glamours. The light teal skirt, white gloves and the dark brown fringe perfectly sets of the nougat in the gown.

IMG_0657The same 1880s trained bodice, paired with leather pants and heavy duty boots, also works for a softer Steampunk style.

IMG_8728Simple rural 18th century woolen bodice in light nougat/dark beige perfectly matches the plaid in the skirt and the softness in the nature all around.

IMG_1115-ok18th century menswear in a wide spectrum of brown hues, with the coat as the obvious focal point, matched with golden/brown waistcoat and beige/brown suede breeches.

IMG_6202A simple white shirt made fabulous with the help of a nice brown 1990s woolen skirt and cola colored belt.

IMG_4587This dark chocolate 18th century skirt reads as black, but makes a softer contrast to the white apron and stockings then black. The bodice is actually yellow with purple stripes, but can very well be read as brown.

IMG_3444Dark wine paired with chocolate brown makes for a serene medieval picture.

DSC_0776Golden poly knit makes for a nice Egyptian masquerade costume.

I’ve also made several accessories to my costumes:
IMG_5188Brown fake fur hat, matched with bought fake fur muff and fox stole, worn with my 1900s walking outfit.

IMG_8039A 1660s (or any period really) fake fur stole/shawl.

IMG_1106Chocolate velvet sleeveless spencer, made to go with my yellow regency gown.

IMG_4160Velvet cape trimmed with fake fur and 1840s velvet bonnet, make for some pretty Dickensien winter picture..

pump-ståSometimes the simplest of items make a huge different, This 1550s outfit wouldn’t be complete without the brown apron.

What do you think of the color brown?

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – Photoshoot

For the photoshoot I got some help from my friend, modelling my new 17th century outfit.

She wore the 17th century bodice, skirt, coif and fur over my quilted petticoat, accessoriced with a string of pearls and a Violine.
Here are the result:

Gerard_ter_Borch_(II) - The_Concert ca. 1675

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IMG_8086Model: Annika Siljat

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 3 – Finishing)

And here comes the final part of the making of my new 17th century bodice. (Part 1 & 2)

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 Once the outer fabric, lining and sleeves where set it was time to deal with the tabs.
(Every stay makers dread)

I started by cutting them open and then I pinned the three layers together, and basted 
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I ran into some problems when turning the front edges under, and no matter what I did they came out awfulIMG_7829This is seriously my third re-do, and unfortunately the best of my tries.

I had no idea how to fix i and the problem caused me to loose steam (and love) for the project.

After some nights to cool of and think, I figured to just hide it.
So I went trough my stash and found some lovely golden lace, to see if that would do the trick.IMG_7831 IMG_7827
In the end I decided not to use the lace, even though I still think it looks stunning (maybe something for a later date).

Once I excepted the less then perfect front, it was time to start covering the tabs.
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20150801_135414_resizedI used red cotton bias-tape cut to a smaller size.

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Starting to look like something….
But a lot of work remained.

The last thing to do on the bodice was to make all the lacing holes.IMG_7867I use pins to mark the distance before I use my chalk-pen
IMG_7916Practice makes perfect.
Ok, not yet perfect but pretty decent looking eyelets if I may say so myself.

Then the only thing left to do was to try it on a last time…20150804_224828 Crap…

Yup, that’s the sad truth – the bodice I to small, and not “If I lace a bit harder it might work” to small, but “There is no way in hell I can close this sucker” to small.

Luckily my inspiration painting’s only shows the back of the bodice, so hypothetical there is a chance the girls wear a open laced bodice over a stomacher – far fetched I know, but at his point there was no way I would redo it or try to ad to the sides. And logically they must have size shifting back then too, right?

So I will make a stomacher for this bodice before the next wearing, but for now I’m considering it done.

The finished bodice:
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Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 6/HSM15 – Out of your comfort zone

What: A 1660s bodice

How it fit the challenge: This is my first venture into 17th century, and even though I made both bodices and stays before the way this garment combines the two was a new experience for me.

Pattern: “1660s bodice lining” from Waugh’s “Corset and Crinolines”, with some alterations.

Fabric: 1,5 m red polyester “silk”, 1,5m white cotton/linen blend for lining and 1 m un-bleached sturdy linen for interning and foundation.

Notions: Thread, button-hole thread, 15m plastic whalebone for boning,  5m cord for lacing, 60cm white bias-tape for edging the sleeves and 3 m red bias-tape for binding the tabs.

How historical accurate: So so, the bodice is made 50% on machine with all the outside seams made by hand. The fabric is modern but the shape and look of the garment is good for the time period. About 7/10

Time: A lot! probably about 60 hours – I worked on this for most of the summer.

Cost: About 300Sek (45Usd)

First worn: At old town beginning of August for photos, and I’m thinking on using it next weekend for a “all times” dance recital.

Final Thoughts: I’m so happy with the look and feel of it. My only concern is the size – Why do I keep making things to small? And no, I have not gained weight – I’m just constantly over estimate my “squeeze factor”, and underestimate the difference boning and extra fabric layers make to the size.
And if it ever is to be worn again I might have to redo the front, or just slap some trim over it…

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 2 – foundation)

Lets continue on with the bodice:
(read the previous posts in this series here: costume analysis, skirt, coif, fur shawl, bodice part 1)

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The first thing to do (once I had a working pattern) was to make the foundation for the bodice.IMG_7433So I cut two of every piece in a sturdy unbleached linen, and basted them togeter.

Then I penned the boning channels (using some of my books as guides).IMG_7435

I stitched all the channels and then attached the pieces to each-other.IMG_7488

Then it was time to ad the boning.IMG_7507I used synthetic whalebone, and cut each piece to match the channels.
The whalebone itself is not as strong as metal or reed, but it is lightweight and in a fully boned bodice like this the thin quality is to prefer (in my opinion)

The one thing that worried me most was the “shrinkage” almost always caused by adding boning.
The thinness of the whalebone was really necessary to keep the difference in size as small as possible (the thicker the bones the bigger the size difference).IMG_7508You can clearly see the difference from left side (boned) to right side (un-boned) in this picture.

Once all the bones was inserted, I put it on for a try.
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IMG_7524It looks awesome, and with some minor adjustments (like adding a few more bones to the front and back) I was good to go.

I love how beautiful the interior is before being covered up.  IMG_7786

Then it was time to start on the exterior fabric.

After keeping my eyes open in my local fabric store since January, in June, I finally decided to take the 1 hour trip to the next towns fabric store (which is awesome by the way).
And I did not regret it.

Not only did I find lots of delicious taffeta’s and viscose, I also found this perfect dark red synthetic silk. 20150808_121343_resizedIt’s a bit darker in real life

Since the fabric was a bit slippery and thin, I decided to stitch it together using my sewing machine before adding the strengthening and decoration hand finishing on top.
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Then it was time to cover the foundation in red faux silk.
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I’d accidentally made the outer layer a bit to big at the side seam, and tried to pin it down to fit.
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After some fiddling I decided to let it be for now, and to take the excess in later if needs be – better to big then to small.
(a very wise choice as it proves later on)

The linen lining was a bit easier to fit into the bodice.
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Once the main bodice pieces was basted down I started working on the sleeves.
Drafting the pattern using my books as a guide.
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Then I just basted the red fabric to the interning (aka lining), stitched the seam together  and pinned the pleats.
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I pleated the sleeves by hand, and sewed chains of thread to keep the pleats in place.
And finished them of by folding some self fabric trim round the lower edge. IMG_7815The sleeves ready to be set.

Then I set the sleeves to the bodice and finished by binding the arm holes using bias tape.IMG_7833

Next up – the finishing touches

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 1 – The pattern)

The last piece I needed to complete the “Sew 17th century challenge” was also the main piece – the bodice.
Read about the other garments here: Skirt, Cufs,Coif, Fur Shawl
And to make this post a bit lighter I’ve cut it up in a few manageable pieces.
First up – The Pattern

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When researching the bodice I found several different patterns*, and after some narrowing things down, I ended up with two finalists to make into mock-ups. Both from Waughs “Corset and Crinolines”

The first pattern I picked was “1660s bodice lining”
It has the perfect neck scope and shoulders, and the much need lacing down the front.
The only thing I’m missing is the tabs down the hips.1650 waugh

I scanned the pattern, opened it in Paint and changed the printer settings to 400%
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Then I cut all the pieces and taped them together. IMG_7342

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I traced the pieces and made some alteration to my measurements.IMG_7354

Then it was time to bring out the cotton sheeting to cut the mock-ups.IMG_7356

I added boning at some vital places, and my pre-made lacing strip to the font, to get a more accurate fitting.
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IMG_7396I really liked how the pattern fitted my body – both comfortable and strong.
I also like the look of the off-the-shoulder sleeves, even though I can hardly lift my arms.

The next pattern to try was the “1680s court bodice”.
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I printed, attached and sewed the pieces in the same way as before.
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IMG_7378I love the shape it gives me, but It’s not nearly as comfortable as the previous one.
I’ll have to move the lacing to the front on this one, and to do some serious editing to the sleeves and neckline.

Hm, which one to choose…

In the end I opted for the “1660s bodice lining.

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So then it was back to the drawing table to ad some tabs to the otherwise perfect pattern.
IMG_7390I even tried it on with my (at the time) almost finished skirt.
Pretty rough, but you get the idea if the shape.

*I found patterns for 17th century stays and bodices in almost every book covering this period: Waugh’s “Cut of Womens Clothes”, Arnold’s “Pattern of fashion” and “Seventeen-Century Women’s Dress Patterns” by North & Tiramani.

Next up – making the foundation…