18th century common woman

I got invited to a 18th century event with the question “I’m sure you have some 18th century clothing”, my answer was “No actually not, but the event is one month away and I am sure that I can make something”.

I have liked the 18th century for years, started a outfit years ago but it never got any further then a par of stays, a chemise, a pocket, bumroll and a half finished jacket. So it was not really a hard thing to start up with again. Last time I wanted the big silk dress, but now I had acquired the taste for lower class. The “undressed” is so nice, very forgiveable and a god place to start. It can easily be made on a budget as you can wear miss matched skirts and jackets; perfect for thrift shop fabrics.

I asked for a Swedish 18th century artist to Google and was told that Per Hilleström was the way to go and I quickly decided on this picture.  He paints a good amount of more common Swedish people an around a time that I like. The picture of the women and the fish is dated to 1775, a period that I like shape wise and I really like the shape of her jacket, simple but nice.

I looked around some more and added my findings to a album on my pinterest .

18th century common woman - 1
My old stays was way to small, so I made a new one. The pattern is the 1776 stays from “Corsets and crinolines” by Norah Waugh. I decide to not hand stitch the stays as I had only a month for this project. So therefore I choose to use coutil for the base fabric and also steel boning, I will make a more correct one when I have the time for it. The top fabric is a old linen table cloth that was mangled into shine by some old lady making it look almost silk like, I thrifted it for almost no money at all.

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I choose to sew the middle section by hand, if it decided to peek out under by bows or if I needed to undo the jacket for some reason, faking it until you make it.

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The stays are bound with red wool, leftover from my medieval hose making. Wool is a very nice material to bind with as it can be steamed and pressed flat after binding and have some natural stretch even if I actually did cut it on bias as well. when binding tabs, you want all the help you can get. The binding was machine stitched thee first way around and then stitched down on the back by hand. Making it very neat and nice on the outside.
I choose to make the lacing holes by hand, I as I am crazy and actually love button hole stitching I stitched them with button hole silk thread from Gütermann.

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I really like the finished result of the stays, they are nice to wear and does no compress anything, as stays are not made for tight lacing but to only give the correct shape, something that my soft body very easily does. I would say that stays are on the hole more comfortable to wear then other types of corsets, as there are no reduction. The measurements of my waist and bust of me in stays and without are the same, or to be honest my waist is slightly bigger in the stays. But the tabs makes by hips look even more huge then they are, perfect for the 18th century silhouette.

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In the pictures of me in my stays, you can see my old hand stitched chemise, I used it almost as it was, but I added a small ruffle of a finer linen around the neckline, inspired by this extant chemise. I also swapped the green string in the drawstring neckline into a pink faux silk taffeta ribbon.

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My next dilemma was the shoes, I had no budget at all to buy finished shoes and I had no shoes at home that might work. SO I turned to my local second hand shops. I wear a size 42 (US size 11) and had no real hopes about finding shoes, my local second hand shops are not that good. So I was very surprised to actually find a pair of never worn size 41 shoes in real leather and with a heel that might actually pass as nearly right for under 10 USD. They were a bit frumpy and in a boring colour, but I instantly knew that I could make these work. And we have a shoe stretcher at work, so that they were one size to small was not an issue.

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I did some creative cutting, gluing, and then binding it all with a thin leather I had at home already, adding a tongue and buckles made out of other buckles. To make it all into one shoe again, I slapped some black leather paint on them and; Tada! Passable as 18th century shoes! The stockings I bought from American Duchess ages ago, I was very happy that I had them just laying around.

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Next up was the jacket. I already decided that I wanted a 1770:ish jacket with bows in the front. So I turned to the very good book called “Kvinnligt mode under två sekel” by Britta Hammar and Pernilla Rasmussen.” (Female fashion over two centuries). A very in depth book using Swedish extant garments, looking at everything from the fabrics to the way the sleeves were set and the seems where sewn.
I choose a silk jacket in the book for the simplicity of the cut, and the short sleeves and bows as in the painting that I was inspired by. Using my stays pattern a base I made the pattern for the jacket looking at pictures of the pattern for the silk jacket. I made two toilles to make sure that the shape was right, the gores put in at the right height and the skirt of the jacket wide enough. Also testing the sleeves and length.

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The fabric for the jacket is a brown wool that I found at a thrift shop for around two USD and the lining as a end of the bolt fine natural linen with sun bleached edges that I got for five USD at a fabric shop. Both in very nice qualities. The jacket was hand stitched together and fully lined of course. I got brown silk ribbon of ebay to put in the front and the sleeve ruffles are made in thin linen fabric.
I wanted t have the not so fancy embroidered sleeve ruffles, as also can be found in both pictures and extant examples. For one, I do not embroider that well, I did not have the time and also, I wanted to keep it simple. I wanted to keep the silk ribbons and silk socking the most fancy thing in this outfit.

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I knew I needed something on my head, and I opted for the small linen cap with ruffles or lace edges, the ribbon in the back was inspired by this painting also by Hilleström. Still keeping it simple without lace but adding a matching ribbon.

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One of the other things I already had was the embroidered pocket, inspired by extant pockets of forest and deer but with a very modern twist. I made this for several years ago and it is actually taken from a mug made by my all time favourite designer Klaus Haapaniemi. The mug was part of the summer collection Satumetsä he made for the Finnish company Iittala that I adore. The pocket is made in linen with linen embroidery, so not very historically accurate.

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I also had a bum roll, but it was quite big so I deflated it a bit by opening it up and removing more then half the stuffing. I already have so mush hips, and for a common persons outfit you don’t need that much oopmf in the back. But as the stays gave me superhips I looked almost flat in the back and it looked kind of off, so the bum roll only took the sharp edge of the flatness.

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The fabric for the skirt is the only fabric that I bought specificity for this outfit, it is a woad blue wool from my favourite shop “Medeltidsmode”. I made the skirt the “apron way”, with the back part tying in the front and the front tying in the back, giving you natural pockets slits in the sides. In many of the skirts from the book “Kvinnligt mode under två sekel” the front part had a wider waistband then the back so I made my skirt according to this fashion as well, it is very simply pleated to the waistband.

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I am very pleased with my outfit, but the only thing that I am no all that happy with is my bangs, They are to short for me to try and hide in a hairdo so I simply left them out this time, perhaps I need to get myself a good wig in stead so I don’t have to bother with my hair, wigs are period correct after all.

Now follows a bunch of pictures I took by some 18th century cottages that are situated only a short walk from my apartment, I feel so spoiled to live in Sweden sometimes, we have so much history that is just around the corner from where we live.
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The event I attended was awesome, very cosy in a 18th century cabin in the woods in Stockholm, filled to the brim with nice people in awesome outfits. If you want to see pictures from the event, check out these facebook albums

18th century pocket

Hi and hello again, long time no see as usual ;) Now my summer holiday have started so I might be able to keep this place a bit more updated.
Lets start with the 18th century outfit I am making, all 18th century ladies need some pockets and so do I.

pocket - Satumetsä
A pocket required embroidery, or at least I think so and it is a great way for me to try it out, I have not really done it for ages. As I am currently in love with Klaus Haapaniemi and his Satumetsä design that can be found on dinnerware from Iittala I decided to make his design on my pocket. I have found deer featured on historical pockets, and forest, flowers and birds are also common objects on pockets from the 18th century so the step to making the deer blue was not that big.
The pocket will be on a bleached linen fabric that I also have for my petticoats, chemise and bum roll and I will embroider in a linen thread. The thread is actually made for weaving, but there was no problem using it to embroider with.

pocket - Satumetsä cup
pocket - Satumetsä cup2
pocket - sketch full
pocket - sketch
To make my design I looked at Klaus Haapaniemis Satumetsä and took the elements and drew them myself but rearranging things to fit onto a pocket. It was a bit hard to see at the pictures from the internet but at my birthday I got two of the cups and that helped a lot, especially with the second bird, the one in the tree.

pocket - embriodery
The it was just a matter of transferring to the fabric and start embroider it.

pocket - embriodery 2
pocket - embriodery detail
pocket - embriodery 3
I started with the trees, so that I would have gotten better when I started with the important things; the animals.

pocket - embriodery on the way
Things went really smoothly and it was a lot more fun that I initially thought, In the beginning it seemed like A LOT of embroidering to do. But I spent most of my time in front of movies, at lectures or travelling by embroidering it is an excellent way of making use of ones hands in places where it might be hard to do other creative things.

pocket - embriodery finished
pocket - embriodery finished detail
pocket - embriodery finished detail deer
pocket - embriodery finished detail sleeping deer
pocket - embriodery finished detail bird 2
And then, all of the sudden, I was done! And t felt so empty not having anything left to embroider.

pocket - embriodery finished detail bird
pocket - embriodery finished detail 2
I really like the 3D feeling of it.

Now all I need to do is to actually sew it into a pocket :P

busy and a 1790 jacket

Sorry for not posting in a while again, there are just so much things to do! I have been sewing a lot by hand, watching a ton of Jane Austen movies (wrong era but lovely anyway) . I have finished a chemise, a petticoat and almost a bumroll. I have the binding left on the bumroll but I wont do that until I get some proper stuffing, the polyester stuffing is just there for now. Polyester stuffing seems really off to use even it is is not seen, but after bothering with hand sewing and all I find it a bit of so I am stuffing it with wool in stead.

Silly thing I don’t have pictures on them, but I will take some.

1790 jacket - fabric
So this month I had to pay the school fee for this semester so there is no way I can afford silk at the moment. So I am making a addition to my 18th century wardrobe, A caraco made out of a red cotton damask my sisters hubby gave me for Christmas, and a matching skirt for it of course, but that might have to wait a bit.

1790 jacket -pattern diagram
The pattern is made using a diagram from A History of Costume of Carl Kohler and it went together beautifully, when made up it comes out fitting a bust at about 84 cm (33 inches) but that is much to small for me but it was just to enlarge it.

Is this a caraco? I am not sure, I am afraid that I am not entirely sure about what is what in the jacket department yet.

I changed the tail part a bit, it did not turn out as full in the back as pictured on the diagram so I added some pleats to it.
1790 jacket
1790 jacket - back
1790 jacket - side
I am not really sure about the look of the tails, they seem a bit off, a bit to long or a bit to short, in a weird middle. I an not entirely convinced I want the pleats either, I might change it and make more of a full skirt kind of appearance and no pleats.

I took a deep breath and dived down once again

Into the 18th century!
the stolen kiss 1787-89

So I have been quiet for some time, school starting again and a new year to, this new years resolution, sew and wear more dresses the same as last years.

So what is all this about 18th century, well but yes, I had that grand plan about the green Madame Pompadour dress last winter, but it was to much money for the silk, not the right colour was anywhere to be found and it all ran out in the sand.
But an internet friend showed of her new pink robe a la francaise and I totally fell down into the deep sea of 18th century clothing. Last plan was a robe a la francaise, this time I’m going with a robe à l’anglaise with zone front and different coloured skirt (and zone front to) this way I don’t need to buy all the silk at the same time, smart thing right :P
robe à l'anglaise

So first I needed to finish my pair of stays I started February last year but never finished. The only thing left was to deal with the shoulder straps and bind the top. The shoulder straps did not work with my body and the issue seemed hard to deal with at that time, I was just to lazy. So yesterday I researched the internet for a while looking for sources for pair of stays without the straps, since I have seen people do them before so I hoped that there were some historical sources to support that. I found a bunch of drawings and over at http://www.laracorsets.com I found that her two oldest corsets both had no straps.

pair of stays
So I just chopped my of to! It took about 1 hour to take out the steel boning and trim them to new lengths, cut of the straps and some of the back and then bind it.

And then I needed a pattern for the dress.
I had gotten a new book this Christmas it was “A History of Costume” by Carl Köhler and it actually had a diagram over exactly what I needed, the diagram was easy to follow and it was easy to draw a pattern from, I just needed to fix it to my size but that was easy to. After one mock up I had a nice bodice to work from.

robe à l'anglaise - with bumroll
Then I made a makeshift bum roll out of scrap fabric and pleated some fabric to see how much I might need for the “over dress” part.

robe à l'anglaise - pleating
I am making the dress “en fourreau” so ignore the incorrect shape of the “tail”, It will also have more seams in the back but since they are not shaping anything I ignored them in the mock up.

2009

So one is supposed to summon up the year that have passed and here comes my 2009

January
necklacesembroidered pendantsblack on black pincushionpair of stays2009-01-09 pocket hoops
I came up with a new version of my burned books necklace, did some embroidery. I started on a pair of stays and pocket hoops but it took me quite some time to finish them up.

February
casualsteam  shirt 1the finished jacket frontmy birthday cakegates print - under "construction"gray wool dress - front18th century pair of stays almost done
I made a steampunk inspired shirt, finished my striped jacket, became 21 and therefore made a cake, posted my panties tutorial, printed on fabric, made a gray wool dress and thought that I would finish the pair of stays soon. (it is not done yet ;))

March
summer dress finishednew dressbutton corset - details backPhotobucketnew necklace designblack warpcoin purses and a bow
I started march out with making a summer dress, then I made another dress to, I had a mini photo shoot all by myself on my balcony, I covered a corset in vintage buttons, I posted my “Victorian skirt” tutorial, I made more pretty necklaces, I wrote about the school I studied at and I also made some bows and purses.

April
finished rag rugcollectionre:design24 setup 5weaving damask - closeup on pattern
I made a rag rug, my sister turned 13 so I made her a cake, I was busy working with a final collection in school, I entered a competition and won my own sewing machine and I started to weave damask a technique that I totally loved.

May
button corset 2 - back
May was a bad month for me, my father passed away and that made me tired and I had no energy, to be able to keep the school work up I did not tell my teachers or classmates about it either, I had no time for being sad or being treated different since we were at the end of the term. I did some some things this month, I posted a tutorial on how I sew my corsets which is the thing that is most visited post in my entire blog and I covered a second corset with buttons.

June
swim dressfashion showorganic cotton jersey balloon dressdamask weave nr2empire waist balloon dressdamask dresscherries dresscarpetbagpanniers
This month was mostly about dresses! I made a swim dress, we had a fashion show in school, I made a organic cotton jersey dress, I started on a new damask fabric, I made a dress for my fathers funeral, I made a dress out of the damask fabric I made, I made a dress with cherries on it, I made a carpet bag and I finally got around to taking pictures of the finished panniers.

July
sewing a balloon skirtsteampunk heart - beside a pocket watch movement
I worked all of July so there was not really a creative month for me but I managed to make a tutorial on how to make a balloon skirt, drafted my first corset pattern for someone else then me and I also made steampunk hearts.

August
I did not make anything this month, but I moved and started a new school.

September
pencilskirt20simpleskirt1
This month I did not make anything either, I felt bad about it and made a tutorial on how to make a pencil skirt and a tutorial for a really simple skirt.

October
six by six -  furrosa - finishedgreen dress - onstriped corsetleatherworking - iron on transfer and d-ringsleather colour sampleswool balloon dress - mirror picturemoose apron - frontruffle skirtanother woll dress in the makingbook binding
My new school started in the end of august but I ha no time blogging about stuff until October, crazy crazy but fun fun! I tried out hands on new machines, made a leather rose, I made a green dress, I started on and almost finished a striped corset, I learned leather working techniques and how to colour leather, I made a wool balloon dress that became my definite favourite this year, I made a apron out of moose leather, I started some projects I never finished as this ruffle petticoat and this wool dress and I tried my hands on book binding.

November
scrapswool balloon dress - close up
Busy in school making stuff I had no time for blogging but I managed to post about how to turn leather scraps into useful things, I also translated my corset sewing tutorial to Swedish and made a peter pan collar drafting tutorial.

December
Xena outfit - on dollChristmas chocolateChristmas wrappingknäckcray dupion corset - lacingpaper model - straight onChristmas dress - closeupstriped corset - onmanipulation fabric - honeycomb smocksmocking leather - in progress on dollCordula B.-Morich
In December I made a lot of stuff but I have not posted about all I made yet. I did make a Xena outfit for a costume party at school, I did a lot of Christmas related stuff, chocolate, gift wrapping and “knäck”. I also made a gray dupion corset. built stuff out of cardboard, a Christmas dress, I finished the striped corset, I smocked a lot of fabric, and some leather to and then I also bought a kick ass pitcher that costed so much more then I could actually afford as a poor student.

Panniers

These were finished for soooooo long ago, but silly me had forgotten them and I found them under a pile of fabric. But here they are!

panniers

Sewn in what I think is a linen fabric, but it could be cotton to, but it feels more like linen. The pattern is from Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh It went together really easy and for the boning channels I have a simple cotton ribbon.

panniers - pleating

All the raw edges are folded in and sewn together by hand.

panniers - detail

All the visible seams except for the boning channels are sewn by hand with flax waxed with beeswax.

panniers - pocket slits

what is hapening atm

Oh my, have I been busy, yes. But well I am ALWAYS busy. I’m doing a damask weave right now, and there is a lot of preparing work involved in the process. And I have also finished my “Six little black dresses” a project we were given in our design class. “Make a collection of 4-5 garments” was the assignment.

collection

I kind of took it to overkill since I made six dresses, and also made 1:4 of life size mannequins and dresses. I also tried my hand on bookbinding for the first time making a book. If you wish to see the full collection please visit my “bilddagbok” (picture diary, it is in Swedish, but there is not a whole lot of text anyway) I am really pleased with it all, it all turned out as I wished.

almost finished

18th century pair of stays almost done
the 18th century pair of stays are almost done now! The upper edge needs binding and there are a few small things left to be done, but I can see the light in the tunnel now ;)

pair of stays – binding

pair of stays - binding
I am binding the lower edge of my pair of stays, it is a real pain but I am doing it by hand, it seems to be the only way of doing it. I realize why a lot of people make the pair of stays with the big tabs, I have small and MANNY tabs, why did I do this? Oh well, no pain no gain.