To make a Bergere (Take 2)

Thinking about my costume for the up-coming 18th century event in late August, I know I needed to solve the problem with what to make of my hair/head.

As a (really) short haired modern person, I always struggle with my historic personas hair. usually I just put a cap/hat on it, but sometimes that is not an option (or at least a lesser option). (Here is how I solved it for the 1825s party this spring).

I have a 18th century “hedgehog”(ish) wig that I’ve tried to restyle before to better but not perfect result.  But to wear a synthetic wig, inside in the mids of summer was not something I looked forward to. And besides, I know there would be a really talented wig-maker at the party, and I had no desire to sow her my meager skills.

My other option was to wear a cap, Which I think work just fine with les fancy stuff.
I did consider making a fancier frillier cap for the occasion but without the correct hairdo, a sheer organdy cap would look even worse then my old cotton one.

So, how would I complete this outfit in the best way?

A would wear a Bergere, of course!

But my old one is not really up to my standard any more Here you can see both the wig and the Bergere in is first adaption

So I decided to make myself another one.

Starting the night before the event(s), I found a cheap (real)straw hat in my stash that I bought on sale from a big clothing store, a few months earlier for just such an occasion as this.

I started by removing the (glued on) black ribbon  And un-picked the stitching a few rows up on the crown so I could lift it of and snip the straw braid at good level.Then I continued to un-pick the stitches on the crown. This went really fast since it all was made with chain-stitches which (if you got hold of the right thread) you can just pull right out. 

I removed almost all of the hight in the crown and then used some hot water to reshape the rest of the crown and brim to match eachother before stitching them together again. I stitched it on my sewing machine, just like I did on my sisters 1860s straw hat, and in a minute it was done. sitting on my wig-stand to dry.

Once dry, I tried out some different ways to shape and wear it, using a piece of dotted chiffon to tie around the head.

once I shaped the brim to my liking (a bit up at the back and down at the front), I attached the ribbons to the underside of the hat, as seen in paintings and extant pieces..

Once the basics was done, I tried the hat on to see how I would best wear it.

With my wig


Or with my cap

Then, as a final detail I decided to and a narrow band of lace to the edge of the hat to make it softer and to look more finished. 

The finished hat:


Just the facts:

What: a modern straw hat reshaped into a 18th century Bergére

Material: 1 cheap straw hat, thread, 80 cm thin lace and

Time and cost: about 2-3 hours if you don’t include the time it took to dry. And the cost was less then 100 Sek (8 Usd).

Final thoughts: I really like it, but I´m not sure how to shape it to look its best. I wil defienetly be wearing it for more events in the future.

And a few behind the scenes shots:

1865s Kaki Walking suit (HSM 7/2017) Part 2 – accessorize

A dress does not make an outfit, and besides the skirt and jacket, my sister also needed some additional items
(part 1).
inspiration

I’ve made her basic undergarments earlier this spring:
 Huge elliptical hoop crinoline
mid 19th century corset

But one thing I hadn’t had the time for was a proper petticoat
(one that actually was wide enough to fit over the huge hoops).
So that’s where I begun.
Using 2,5 white cotton sheets from IKEA I cut and pleated a whole afternoon and evening, before I could call it a day and consider myself done.  

When the under-layers was done (I know, I know – She could easily have used her another petticoat, but this will have to do for now) it was time for the rest of the outfit.

On the same event 2 years ago, I made my sister a more basic version of this years outfit, so some of the pieces she needed was already waiting in the closet.  We re-used the shirt and swiss-waist she’d worn last time.
Added a longer silk-ribbon to the neck and that was that 🙂

Well, actually she still needed something on her head…

I’d warned her beforehand, that I might not have the time to come up with something new, but when I came upon this perfectly cheap straw-hat (IKEA, once again) a few days before the event, I knew I needed to give it a try.
I Started by picking almost the whole hat apart.

I only left a few cm on the crown, before I (with the fashion plate as a guide)started to pin the braid back in a different shape. It took me several hours and multitude of re-pinning and starting all over again before I finally had a shape that was good.

after a first try at hand-stitching, I decided that if it couldn’t be done by machine it was not meant to happen this time (since this was the night before the event).
Turns out, it worked like a charm.   It was a bit fiddly to turn the brim around inside my machine but with the right angle (and the use of free space ove r the table edge) the hat was stitched in no time.  
Once the base was done I started adding decoration, using the same braid as on the jacket & skirt. Note the braid stitched both to the upper and under sides of the brim.

The final touch was to add some flowers and I opted for a nice pop of color with a few of these plastic flowers.

The finished hat: 

Bonus pictures of my little helper, getting the hat to sitt exactly “right” on my mannequin head. 

And the whole outfit completed