Category Archives: Early 19th Century Costumes

Dickensian Ken Doll

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From the MET. That pattern matching though! *twitch*

A long time ago (we’re talking years here) I was lamenting wanting to make Rob hideous plaid pants, and not being able to find fabric. Amanda happened to notice some truly loud orange and navy plaid flannel shirting at her Joann’s.  Being the benevolent friend that she is she purchased me some (do I remember how much? of course not).  And then it sat in my stash for *mumblty*years.

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muuuch better matching.

Spirit of Christmas and the Fezziwig ball 2017

Last year Amanda, Adrienne and I went on a recon mission to New Castle, DE’s Victorian Christmas shindig and deemed it totally worth going back. And thus an excuse for the plaid pants was born!

As previously mentioned they’re made out of a flannel cotton shirting, period? Heck no, actually findable in a garish plaid at a price-I’m-willing-to-pay-for-boy-who-doesn’t-care’s-clothes? yup. Because I was worried about the strength of the fabric I interlined them with white muslin. a68ec9e4f1a67f1d7a0571bf977ae08c

I used the same Country Wives 1800-1825 Narrow Fall Trousers pattern that I had used for his Mr. Darcy pants.

I know by the 1830s fall fronts were on their way out and fly fronts coming into style. But I found a few sources for fall fronts from the early 30s.

 

 

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Suit ca. 1830From National Museums Scotland

 

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1834 from the NY public library

As Rob isn’t the cutting edge of fashion, I already HAD the pattern and I happen to find fall front trousers quite sexy I decided to a few supporting references was GOOD ENOUGH(tm).

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Aside from the neurotic amount of time it took me to cut them out so that the plaid would match up I was quite pleased with how they went together. This pattern is light on illustrations so having made fall fronts before was definitely a leg up. The one tip I would include to remind both myself and others is that when you attach the flaps that close under the fall there is a maybe 1″ gap of slit below and that’s okay. They get caught into the fall binding. But that isn’t pointed out in the instructions and left me trying to remember if that was a cock up on my part.

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If only I had enough fabric

Spirit of Christmas and the Fezziwig ball 2017
I covered nickles in circles of fabric rather than buying buttons cause I’m cheap. Other than that the only change I made to the pattern was a layer of heavy linen as interfacing in the waist band.

For the ball he wore them with his shoes, but he really wanted to wear them tucked into the boots during the day. Farby? yes. Is a happy husband in costume worth it to me? yes. I should add loops for the next wearing.

All in all I’m very happy with the finished look. He wore his vest and coat from the Mr. Darcy costume and a nice plaid muffler to complete the ensemble.

Spirit of Christmas and the Fezziwig ball 2017

Stay tuned tomorrow (or you know July the way I roll..) for a write up of my new ballgown

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1830s lavender voile dress

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1830s lavender voile dress

For those who haven’t been to the Historic Village in Allaire NJ it’s a sweet working village set up from the 1830s at Mr. Allaire’s iron works. Our friend Tessa was getting faked married as Maria Allaire on Sunday and that mustered some of the local Philly costume contingent to invade.

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The blushing fake bride is in the middle

It being June and hot as hades I figured a new voile dress would be a great idea…what was NOT a great idea was starting the dress the Tuesday before I needed it.

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Am I capable of not being talking during photos? I KNEW IT WAS BEING TAKEN

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I ordered 7 yards of voile form this AWESOME etsy seller, fabric was fabulous, got here ASAP from NYC, will be ordering again. ($2.99/yd?! yes thank you) I miss cut the front and had to recut it and ended up piecing one sleeve..so yeah only scraps really left.

The bodice is the Truly Victorian Ballgown bodice with a few alterations, second time I’ve used it for 1830s. The sleeves are out of Janet Arnold. Bodice and sleeves are lined with muslin and there’s a yard of hex net cut in half and gathered up in each sleeve. I would like to get around to making real sleeve puffers..but like I said started tuesday. The skirt is three panels two of which are in the back one in the front.

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I did also finish a corded petticoat which I’ll pretend will get it’s own post someday…for when I never get around to it it’s two length’s of Joann’s Premium muslin (not that crappy crappy stuff) and sugar and cream cording. I was very pleased with it, body but now super stiff.

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And a few more pictures

Before I re-wear it I need to add real closures (it has one at the waist and one at each wrist causing gaping) and actually iron it.

A red wool spencer

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A red wool spencer
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The birthday girl with Alice and Jessica at the Betsy Ross house

We celebrated Amanda’s birthday with a fun day in historic Philadelphia on saturday. We went to the Betsy Ross House, Christ Church, Independence hall and had a delicious lunch at City Tavern.  As it was winter and we were going to be outside a lot none of my other regency dresses would do, I would simply have to make something new!

I started with this dress from the MET as my inspiration

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But as I was finishing up the bodice portion on Thursday night I suddenly realized it was pretty much a complete spencer…and if I just put a bodice on the top..voila a jumper! And then I could have a dress and a spencer and be warmer! The only downside of this brilliant plan was that I hadn’t planned to put something under my sleeves so I had not cut them with extra space. I used red gabardine because it was in the stash, but we’re going to pretend I did it for Go Red for Women! Don’t forget how dangerous heart disease can be in women.

I remembered to get ONE photo of me ta da!

I remembered to get ONE photo of me ta da!

The skirt is two panels, one the 60″ width of the fabric and one 40″ wide, why 100 inches? I dunno it seemed full enough. One seam is on the side front for the closure, the other is buried somewhere in the back pleats. I did scallop trim around the hem. I traced a hot chocolate container and then stitched piping around it, very easy but I was pleased with the impact.

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The collar took me the most figuring. It’s a roll collar, but not a full role, and it’s a peter pan collar, but not a full peter pan..so in the end this is as close as I got.

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fashion fabric

In the end I was pretty pleased with how it came out. And aside form stuffing way to full shirt sleeves under a spencer with fitted sleeves it was very comfortable.

Sitting in Washington's Pew at Christ Church

Sitting in Washington’s Pew at Christ Church

It's so preeetty

It’s so preeetty

Last two photos stolen from Amanda, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

 

My own Mr. Darcy

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My own Mr. Darcy

Ahem…I apologize for neglecting my blog so. I do still intend to do a things-I-made-in-2013 post…and I’ll probably blog about my Gettysburg adventures in November…and there’s more things from Alice’s Attic to blog about. Okay okay this blogging thing is clearly not my strength at the moment but I shall try to do better. And by try I mean Alice is pestering me again.

But back to the point of THIS entry. Alice of the famous attic announced (read: we forced her to) she was having a Christmas regency party and while I have several things my man-sized accessory was still completely naked. And that is frowned upon in parties around here. Okay he wasn’t COMPLETELY naked, he did start out with a shirt. He had a lovely linen shirt from his 18th century outfit that I deemed close enough!

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Shall we discuss the particulars of my lovely manor?

The waistcoat: was the first thing I made. I just draped that myself. Really it’s a simple garment with a back, a front and no sleeves, not much to tell there. It was made of a remnant of ivory dupioni I got ages ago at Joann’s.Stuff was evil to work with, but it looks pretty. I had no scraps larger than 2″ left over!

Photo courtesy of In the Long Run

Photo courtesy of In the Long Run

The Pantaloons: were too the Country Wives 1800-1825 narrow fall trouser pattern and overall I have to say I was really pleased with them. I used a basic Kona quilting cotton flat lined with muslin. The pattern pieces all matched up really nicely and there were enough illustrations that I could figure it out. As historical patterns go it was way better than many I’ve used. I’d recommend it pretty strongly for anyone wanting to try out some trousers. My one negative is that while the pattern says on the envelope that it offers a pantaloon option (the option I bought it for) It doesn’t really. It has one paragraph about how “easy” it is to just take them in. So I had to figure out how MUCH to take them in myself. Oh and his big flat “buttons” are quarters I gathered fabric over. It was blizzarding that day and I didn’t want to go out in the snow to Joann’s…

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The Coat: was actually an out of print Butterick Pattern 3648 that I shortened in the waist (it was HUGELY long waisted) and beefed up the construction of. But the changes I made were actually pretty minor. I pad stitched the collar and lapels, and I used heavy linen for interfacing instead of the iron on interfacing it suggests. I’m a firm believer that iron on interfacing is evil. If I was doing it all over (and I might make him a longer waisted version for later events) I wouldn’t mess with their extremely bizarre collar method. I would just sew the collar right sides together, turn it out and seam it into the neck edge. I found it fiddly, annoying, and I didn’t like how the corners looked when I used their method. The coat itself is a beautiful burgundy wool from B. Black and sons. Not cheap but the fabric was just a DREAM to work with.

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For my first attempt at really tailoring something I was pretty chuffed with how it turned out! Oh and those boots? $40 from target! And worth every penny. Rob said they were super comfortable.

The happy couple

Doesn’t a well dressed gentleman just complete an outfit?

Thanks to Alice for throwing an amazing party and thanks to In the Long run for the Photo above …Now if only he had come with HIS own Netherfield…

Some regency stays

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Some regency stays

I have not one but TWO pairs of regency stays to share with you. The first pair I made for Madame Kat’s Pride and Prejudice Tea last month.

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Please don’t mind Polly’s Falsies. She just doesn’t lift the way I do.

 I used the 1804 stays from Jean Hunnisett’s Period costumes for the stage and screen with only a few minor tweaks. Things I’ve learned:

  • Paint stir sticks are a weeeee bit too short as busks. But it’s still working for now
  • Cording under the bust makes a HUGE difference
  • The hip gores in the pattern are for someone who has more of a curvy shape than I, but I’m not redoing them :-p
  • You don’t need all the bones the pattern calls for, I only put three on each side.
  • If you use thin quilting cotton on the outside you will see your busk and your hemp cording through it, oops.
close-up of gores and cording

close-up of gores and cording

 

The second pair of stays I have to share with you today were a pair I made for Judy of Learning to Costume. They are finished more nicely than mine because I’m kind of neurotic when sewing for other people. Her’s are made with a layer of cotton duck and a muslin lining. Machine sewn with hand finishing. I started with Simplicity 4052 and added a few things. I put in a diagonal bone on the sides to help lift the bust, as well as my new favorite thing, cording under the bust. Jennylafleur has great instructions on how to insert the cording on her website.

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She’s so much smaller she doesn’t fit my dress form. So extra thanks for her modeling them for me!

A dress for Tea

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A dress for Tea

On Saturday Madame Kat from madamemodiste hosted one of her famous parties (Kat is the originator of the Francaise dinner party, a killer annual Victorian party, the original moon landing and many other exploits).

I decided that I simply required a new dress and that it was the perfect time to try my hand at making a bib front style regency. I started with Simplicity 4055 that I’ve used in the past and started making mock-ups. In the end I made three of the bodice. I changed the shame more to coincide with shape of the bib front gown in Patterns of Fashion

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They told me to strike a dramatic pose, America’s Next Top Model WATCH OUT

 

I used white cotton muslin as it was affordable and easy for my first bib front, if it didn’t turn out I was only out a few bucks. And in the end I DID go through two skirts so it was a GOOD thing I didn’t mind burning through some fabric. (and I turned the bad skirt into my petticoat)

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a boring front view

 

My bonnet, No mine! I saw it first!

My bonnet, No mine! I saw it first!

Some of the other beautifully dressed guests

Some of the other beautifully dressed guests

Julia from The Bohemian Belle was there selling her gorgeous wares

Julia from The Bohemian Belle was there selling her gorgeous wares

Taylor from Dames a la Mode satisfied all our ribbon cravings (and cravings we didn't know we had)

Taylor from Dames a la Mode satisfied all our ribbon cravings (and cravings we didn’t know we had)

 

A group photo courtesy of Gloria from In the Long Run

A group photo courtesy of Gloria from In the Long Run