atherleisure: (reader)
I have a couple more pictures of the mantua I made last fall. I posted some construction and dummy pictures here. It was a lot of fun to wear.

DSC02836

DSC02840

Read more... )
I had so much fun wearing this dress. It's definitely an amusing style to wear.
atherleisure: (reader)
Last fall I made a 1690's-1700's mantua. Why? Because I wanted one. They're cool or even nifty. Unfortunately, it's not a period that has a lot of events. As far as I know there's nothing people celebrate from that period - Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC were both founded right about that time, but I haven't seen anyone breaking down doors to have celebratory parties, and anyway the tricentennials were twenty or thirty years ago. I thought I'd stretch the point and go to the DFWCG's Georgian Picnic as a relic from the Queen Anne period. Life intervened so I had an excellent time at Liendo Plantation instead. That left me with nowhere to wear my mantua so I decided to solve the problem by throwing an any-period party - wear whatever you want from whatever period you want.

Illness and a daughter moving out kept some of the people who had planned to attend from coming, but we still had seven guests and a really good time.

You've probably seen the whole timeline on [livejournal.com profile] nuranar's LJ, but here it is again.
Timeline

More pictures behind the cut... )

As always, thank you to the Grahams for supplying the pictures and giving me permission to post them.
atherleisure: (reader)
This ended up seeming to be a year of little pieces more than full garments, though I did make costumes from the skin out for the 1690's and 1910's. I did a lot of knitting this year. One of my goals for the year was to do better with my hair for events, and I think I succeeded. There were some hairdos that I was very proud of. I got to go to a lot of events in different periods and had some opportunities to wear things that I had never really gotten to wear. One of the best parts was getting to meet a couple of LJ friends in real life in July.

I finally made the Le Baiser dress I had been planning for years.
Le Baiser

The rest is behind the cut: )
atherleisure: (reader)
I was going to put the mantua on last night to take some pictures, but I decided I really didn't want to do that. I'll get good pictures at the picnic next month. I did go ahead and put it on the dummy, though, so I could get something to share out of a month's sewing.

The usual disclaimer that it fits me better than the dummy applies here. The dummy is also currently shorter than I am for reasons beyond me, which is why the petticoat is poofing out at the floor.

Mantua - Front

Mantua - Side

Mantua - Back

I also took some construction detail shots.

Construction pictures )

Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] isiswardrobe for her help and suggestions when I was planning the gown and stays.
atherleisure: (reader)
Just posting a progress report on the projects I have in hand.

1912 knitted vest: Still on hold pending the purchase of new yarn. It has to go on sale, or I have to have a need for other yarn before I order it. This likely will not happen for a few months considering the pineapple and stockings will keep me occupied for quite awhile.

19th century knitted pineapple bag: I'm halfway through the fifth repeat of eight in the gold part of the bag, but I have been making progress.

Sheer cap: Haven't touched it unless putting other things on top of it counts.

1892 knitted Zouave jacket: I've finished about 3/4 of the knitting. I only work on it while I'm reading at home, and I've been trying to get my reading done on the bus so it's a little slow.

18th century stockings: Almost a tenth of the way through the first stocking! I'm halfway through the decreases for the knee.

1690's/1700's mantua: I still need to put it on and take pictures and set the length on the belt so I can hem the other end of the ribbon. I don't see it happening in the next few days, but perhaps I'll feel like it this weekend.

1897 Harper's Bazar dress: This is coming along well. I've cut it all out except for the trim and hem facing/ruffle. The skirt is all sewn together and is hanging awaiting a hem and trim. The hem isn't as simple as it sounds since this is 1897, but at least the skirt looks like a skirt and is long enough for me to wear my boots with (as opposed to the rose wool skirt I made earlier this year). The next time I get a chance to sew I'll be running up some bodice and sleeve seams.

Things have gotten busy lately so I don't know whether I'll have all that much time to sew in the next few weeks, but that's why I made the children's Hallowe'en costumes in August so it's not like it's a surprise. My sewing machine has started acting up too. When I run it in reverse, it doesn't want to come out of reverse immediately - the feed dogs keep working backward for a bit before they come right again. I don't know whether it's a connection problem in the switch or the cams are getting stuck or what so I guess I'll have to take it to the shop, but I don't want to do it until I've gotten the bulk of the 1897 dress together. Maybe it's punishing me for doing so much hand-sewing this summer!
atherleisure: (reader)
The mantua itself is done! I still need to procure something for a belt because I don't want to use self fabric, and I still need to make the petticoat, but the mantua is done. The panels are cut for the petticoat, and I've pinned pieces together for piecing the back. I goofed cutting the mantua and didn't do it the way I planned so I didn't have a solid piece for the back, but I do have enough fabric to make the petticoat solid taffeta, just not one solid piece.

Next up is the petticoat, but petticoats are quick, easy, and simple. I have vague hopes of finishing it before the weekend.

I was going to take pictures last night while I had it on, but I couldn't get anything that looked decent with my phone. It wasn't worth getting the camera out and doing pictures with the timer when I didn't have a petticoat so you'll just have to wait.
atherleisure: (reader)
The body of my turn-of-the-eighteenth century mantua is nearly finished. I need to hem it and tack down the pleats at the waist, but after that I'll be ready to start on the sleeves. I don't expect them to take too long. I'm definitely pleased with the progress, though fitting something so loose was interesting.

In knitting news, I ordered some of the Simply Silk beading cord that Amazon sells to see how it compares to the Purely Silk beading cord that Fire Mountain Gems sells. I needed it to sew the pom-pons on my rigolette, and then I'll use it for my 17th century garters, whenever I get around to them. Maybe having it in hand will spur me to finish the rigolette. I made two dozen pom-pons. Now I need to get worked up enough to make another two dozen...and then another hundred! Maybe after the mantua is finished.
atherleisure: (reader)
I am happy to say that I have started my turn-of-the-18th-century mantua. I started draping it on the dressform the other night and tried on what I had so far last night. As usual, it doesn't fit too well straight off the form because it's not the same size and shape I am. Still, it wasn't awful. I'll be fiddling with the side seams to get them looking decent - somehow there were about 2" extra in the back waist, probably because of the shape of the dummy. Hopefully, I'll have it all sorted out within a couple of days and can start sewing things together. I do not expect this to be a lengthy project, even with hand-sewing the dress.
atherleisure: (reader)
I finished off the petticoats for my 1830's underwear, and I tried it all on last night. Sorry, no pictures. I think the silhouette is pretty good, though I still need to make sleeve puff things before I do the dress. I did find that I need to add just a little boning to my 1820's stays to be able to wear them for the 1830's. They bunch up a bit at the waist, which is fine for the 1820's with its raised waist, but by the time the waist is back to the natural waist (or really close to it) in the 1830's, it's not going to work. Rather than making new stays just for the 1830's, I'm going to add bones at the center back and possibly on the side seams.

Now the big project for the weekend is kitchen painting. We'll see whether I get time to start the turn-of-the-eighteenth-century mantua over the weekend or not.
atherleisure: (reader)
Now that I've nearly finished my stays, I've started thinking a in more depth about the mantua that will go over the stays. To that end, I reread the article about the Kimberley Mantua from the Met and looked at the pattern taken from it in the Waugh book and reread the pages in Patterns of Fashion about the Clive mantua.

Somehow I had been thinking that these dresses were constructed like later 18th century dresses in the most basic form - make a fitted lining and pleat the outer fabric to it. That doesn't seem to be the case. While the article about the Kimberley Mantua says that it may have had a bodice lining at one time, there only seems to be a small piece of it at present to which pleats are stitched. Janet Arnold says that the Clive mantua has a small piece of fabric holding the pleats but no real lining. So either both gowns have lost their linings or these were made without linings in the first place. I'm voting for the latter.

From looking at the pictures of the Kimberley Mantua more closely, I see that the pleats certainly aren't stitched down along the outside of the pleat as they are on a robe a la anglaise. The could be stitched to a lining along the inside of the pleat, if there were a lining, but there's no lining so I conclude that they are loose except where they're probably tacked in place at the shoulder and waist. I haven't seen good enough pictures of the Clive mantua to decide about it, but the Arnold description doesn't make it sound like they are sewn down except to the little straight-grain piece of fabric.

I have only found two reproductions of this type of garment with any kind of construction information so far, and both of them made bodice linings for the gowns and mounted the outer fabric to the lining. (See here and here.) One of them shows sewing down the pleats. While [livejournal.com profile] isiswardrobe made a mantua from this period recently, hers was a different sort with the bodice cut separately from the skirt so it doesn't help there.

So where does this leave me? I'm going to forego the bodice lining and stitching down the pleats, but I will tack them in place at the shoulders and waist. I don't know whether this will make the dress easier or not because loose fabric could be obnoxious. I'm using a taffeta so it should be fairly obedient when I fold it into pleats. I don't expect to completely understand the skirt draping until I've got the lengths sewn together and can play with it on the stand.

Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] isiswardrobe for her invaluable articles about late 17th century or early 18th century mantuas.

And now to finish the stays and a couple of odds and ends, and I'll be ready to start it in the next couple of weeks...assuming life doesn't get in the way!
atherleisure: (reader)
I had about an hour to kill by myself yesterday and was about ten minutes from the public library so I went to check it out. They had the second volume of Jean Hunnisett's outerwear book. Now I have a ridiculous desire to make a domino. I've got twelve yards of black silk taffeta with no specific plan so it would actually come from stash fabric and be in just the right fabric. It would be fun to have but not very practical. I could wear it to [livejournal.com profile] m_of_disguise's Twelfth Night Ball this winter, if it comes to fruition, and if the weather cooperates. I don't know how likely the former condition is (though I hope extremely likely!), but the latter is unlikely. Even Texas is cold in January.

I don't need a domino.

In other costume scheming, I finally found a picture of someone in an early 18th century mantua that looks like it's made from an unpatterned fabric that is not satin. I've got some green/gold taffeta that wants to be made into a mantua sometime in the 1690-1710 range, but I've been having the devil of a time finding one that isn't either patterned or satin. If it was sort of informal clothing, I would think there would be plain ones out there, but I had been having trouble finding one. But here's one in a painting. Only one of the three is plain, but that's okay with me. Plus it's an at home with the family kind of scene, which also makes me happy.

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