Friday, October 21, 2011

Visit - NYS Museum

Yesterday I made my first visit to do research for my thesis!  I went to the New York State Museum and met with Connie Frisbee Houde, who took me up to the collections.  I saw, sketched, patterned, and photographed:

- a yellow silk damask anglaise with an en fourreau back, ca. 1750.  Pretty standard as far as they go, with little unexpected or ground-breaking - it was still amazing to see up close and handle, though.  Such a beautiful gown (if not my favorite shade of yellow).  There was also a yellow taffeta quilted petticoat, maybe worn with it: the ground is all-over quilted in a geometric floral pattern, and there are more naturalistic flowers all over it.

- a gown from the later 1820s with bodices from the 1810s and the 1790s. I think it may have originally been an anglaise in the 1770s, as there are some weird long pieces on the back of the 1790s bodice and the sleeves are elbow-length and curved at the bottom, with stripes running around them.  That set was very good for comparing construction methods.

- a white gown, ca. 1800.  This was the absolute best find and the gown I make is going to be very, very similar to it. At first the back looked like it had been cut with a long hexagonal CB piece, but then I realized that it was only cut where the shoulder straps attached, and the two lower sides were pleated up.  There was more pleating over the side seams (and pocket slits!), and the sleeves were set in far to the back like you see on earlier gowns.  The front's one wide piece with a slit down the CF, and drawstrings at the neckline and waist to gather and tie.  Perfect, perfect.

- a white cotton gown ca. 1808.  I think it shows the continuation of the transition - the sleeves are puffed and on the shoulder, like later styles, but the gathering of the puff is all concentrated on the back.  The skirt is also gored rather than gathered.  (My date might be a bit off, I haven't been doing my research there.  But I will later, obviously.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Anglaise Revisited

As I seem to have misplaced a large bag full of fabric, I'm planning to purchase some sale ($5!) linen from Fashion Fabrics Club in order to make my future Rev. War gown.  I went back to look at my posts on the polonaise, the levite, etc. to check which cut of dress I might go with, and I remembered that I never really did a post on the anglaise - not looking at fashion plates and everything.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Frontier Style (1700-1800) Symposium

Yesterday I attended the first half of the symposium Frontier Style: Culture and Fashion at the Edge of Empire, Mohawk Valley of New York, 1700-1800 at the Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown.  I did buy the collected papers over the mid-afternoon break, but I took notes before then - and then the penultimate presentation was from Mark Hutter, and he didn't have a printed paper so I took copious notes.  In hopes that some of this might be of interest, I've written up my notes here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lessons learned

After wearing my 18th century outfit for four or five hours yesterday, I think I've learned some things about fit, etc. that I can take into account the next time I make something.

- the neckline should be much wider, like almost-falling-off-my-shoulders wider

- the problem I'm having, shape-wise, seems to be stemming from the fact that the armscye is too large and there's nothing pushing my bust in from the sides, just up from the front.  This is a good thing to notice
- I boned every channel with one reed, and am not having any problems with breakage
- the reeds are starting to mold to my shape with body heat, which is really cool

- my underpetticoat is just too long.  If I tie it under my stays, it shown beneath the top petticoat; if I tie it over, it interferes with the top one somehow
- my top petticoat is too wide in the waist, so the it slips down below the waistband of the underpetticoat (when tied over stays)
- the pocket slit on the open side of my top petticoat is way too long
- the fullnesses are just right, though

- side seams should be side-back seams, of course
- 18th century armscyes need to be right up into the underarm on the bottom, and into the back on the top. Especially if you scaled up the sleeve pattern so that the sleevehead is only the right shape for that
- it kept falling off my shoulders, maybe because of the sleeves or maybe some other fit issue
- the hook and eye at the bottom CF kept coming unhooked because the waist was slightly large
- the stomacher should be a little stiffer, I think, and wider
- the cuffs were too light, needed an interlining of some sort, and could have been smaller

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stone Fort Days!

This morning, as Mom and I drove to the Old Stone Fort Museum for their Stone Fort Days re-enactment, I was still finishing up the hem on my fichu and sewing on the twill tape ties for my hat.  But since it was more than an hour drive to get there, I had more than enough time to finish and get everything in place.

In the parking lot, with everything in place.  Hands strategically in front of the worst spot on the jacket, arms in the only position the sleeves look right in.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Project is basically DONE

It feels really, really good to see all of the finished pieces.  (Well - I think I need a kerchief, but that's quick.)