Inspiration – Pink 18th century

Because it’s summer, and even though pink is not my favorite color, the 18th century styles do it very well.

 

Some existing garments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And some paintings:

 

Portrait of a Lady as a Shepherdess (Mrs. Colt according to a label on the reverse) by Circle of Joseph , 1692-1780.

 

Portrait of Miss Bache, by Christopher Steele (1733 – 1768)

 

Lady Charlotte Boyle, Marchioness of Hartington (1731-54) c. 1740 Attributed to Dorothy Savile, Countess of Burlington

 

ca. 1780 Maria Teresa of Savoy, countess of Artois by an unknown artist

Kokoshnik

In the last weeks I’ve been working on making a kokoshnik. A kokoshnik is a tiara-like Russian headdress as worn with the traditional costume. There’s many shapes and styles of kokoshniks, in various sizes and detail of decoration. Here’s some of the prettiest ones I could find online:

19th century, from the Met

Metmuseum, 19th century

Metmuseum, 18th century

 

Those were the really fancy ones, of course. Some smaller examples:

Metmuseum, around 1800

 

Metmuseum, late 19th century

 

There’s also a lot of examples of Kokoshniks being worn in russian paintings, such as these:

Before I started, I made a couple of sketches of different shapes to see which I’l like best. I didn’t want to make it too big, and all the embroidery would be ribbon or beads stitched on, to make it a bit easier for myself. I picked the top one.

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Next came cutting out the pattern, and then the reverse so I could lay it on the fabric and see what pattern looked best.

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And this was the front I choose (the blue line is the pattern, the rest was for seam allowance)

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All tutorials I’ve seen on making kokoshniks have used buckram to stiffen the piece, but as I don’t have a clue what the Dutch word would be or where to get it, I opted to just use the stiffest interfacing I could find. Instead of millnery wire, I used a simple metal wire to go around the edges and hold it up. I ironed the interfacing onto the back & front piece and stitched the wire onto the edges. I tried this by machine first; it didn’t work and my needle broke after 1,5 cm. A sign to not be lazy.

 

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Next up was laying out the trimmings. I used two trims, one for the circle pattern and one around the edges. The second one was put on later after I’d joined the front and back, but I wanted to check how it looked first.

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After the main trim was attached I joined the front and back layers and attached the thing onto a rectangular strap (with interfacing) to serve as a headband.

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After this I trimmed the outer border, but I felt it was still missing something. I eventually ended up making small loops at the front out of a black-beaded string type of trimming. I finally added more of this trim to fall down to under the chin. A simple lacing cord was used to tie the whole thing behind my head.

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