Chintz in the Fries museum – color & pattern

Last weekend I finally got a chance to visit the current exhibition on chintz in the Fries museum, ‘Sits – Katoen in bloei’, or ‘Chintz – Cotton in bloom’. It was stunning! I had to force myself to look at one thing at a time, because as soon as I turned around I’d see so much more loveliness. We went on Friday and saw the exhibition, and then enjoyed a lovely day with talks on Saturday, organized by the Dutch costume society. This included a very interesting talk by the curator of the exhibition Gieneke Arnolli, and we took the opportunity to visit again after her talk and see some things we’d missed first time! (To all my Dutch readers: it’s definitely recommended, I’d go again for a 3rd if I lived closer by. It’s running until September 11th)

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Seriously, I could look at this all day

 

Because I love chintz (see this post for a very extensive history and background), I’m going to split my blog about the exhibition into two parts. I’ve learned some more things, and because I now have loads of photos of the lovely chintz items I can illustrate this post with! Click the image for a larger version. I’ll also work on uploading all my images and link to those in the next post, as there’s way too much for even two blog posts.

For this first post: a little more about the use of color in chintz, and the various patterns.

The colors and patterns or chintz are made on bleached cotton, making white the first color you see in chintz. Lines are made in a black/dark brown color. Aside from this, the main colors are often made with meekrap (red) and indigo (blue), and you see shades of red and blue a lot. Additionally, purple sometimes occurs, as well as yellow and green.

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Beautiful wall-hanging with tree patterns and a wide array of colors.

Nowadays, we think of chintz mainly having a white ground, with colored flowers and leafs. But that’s quite a western view on chintz. Many chintzes for the Asian market were made with a read ground. In contrast, the English (and I believe also the American) market greatly favored white-ground chintz, and you barely see any colored grounds. Although the majority of Dutch chintz also has a white ground,  In the Netherlands, you see a relatively high amount of chintzes with colored ground. Mostly red, but also blue, green, purple, dark brown and even ‘spotted’ ground. I personally love these, and the museum had some lovely examples.

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Young girl’s jacket in red ground chintz.

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Dark brown ground on a girl’s dress

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Blue ground sleeves

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Spotted ground on a jacket. This shows the pleats in the back

 

 

Interesting to note is that the colored ground chintz is mostly used for blankets/spreads, sleeves, baby caps and jackets. Skirts of chintz are most commonly white. All the sunhat linings in this exhibition were also with a white ground. For the kraplappen (I’ll go into their use in the next post!), you see mostly white but also some red.

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Detail of a skirt.

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Detail of a kraplap, Indian chintz with a white ground.

 

In contrast, the town of Hindeloopen uses a lot of red ground in their traditional costume.

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Detail of a Wentke from Hindeloopen. This might’ve been the prettiest fabric in the exhibition.

 

Traditionally, chintz practically always included white (either as ground or detail color), black (mostly lines), and both red and blue as main colors. However, in the Netherlands we also have a number of two-colored chintz. White-black, white-blue and white-red. These were probably specifically made for the Dutch market, and especially in Hindeloopen worn for very specific occasions.

Hindeloopen had a very specific mourning tradition, with up to 7 stages of mourning. Although chintz wasn’t worn for the heaviest stage (all black), the black-white chintz comes into play for the ‘slightly-less heavy’ stages.

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Back of a Wentke for heavier mourning.

 

In an even lighter mourning stage, blue would enter the scene, and you get gorgeous white-blue ensembles for light mourning. As ‘out-of-mourning’ dress was mostly red, this relatively light-colored combo of white-blue would still clearly signal mourning.

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Wentke for lighter mourning.

 

Finally, you see red-white chintz in Hindeloopen as well. This was called ‘milk & blood’ chintz, and was worn by the bride.

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Milk & blood chintz on a kassekijntje, or cassaquin from Hindeloopen

 

Something else I’d never seen before this exhibition was the use of gold. This was usually reserved for the Indian upper class instead of export, and therefore very rare in European chintz. Nevertheless, the museum had a couple of sleeves and a spread with leaf gold on display.

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Detail of sleeves from Hindeloopen with leaf gold.

 

Although not really a color, something very specific about chintz is it’s glaze. I’ve seen a lot of reproduction patterns which feel like chintz, but don’t have this shine. It’s gorgeous though, and definitely best experienced in person. Although some chintz has lost some of it’s shine (it can wash off), the museum had a piece of a roll which is still in an amazing condition.

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Piece of two-tone chintz still on the roll and in very good condition. The angle of the picture makes it catch the light.

 

Pattern wise, all chintz has flower inspired patterns. Originally, these were very stylized and oriental in appearance. However, the European marked also started to influence Indian makers. Although it’s exoticism was a big draw of chintz, you do see it becoming just a little more European in style as well. From very large, asymmetrical patterns and stylized flowers, you start to see more geometrical patterns and more natural flowers.

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Indian chintz, flat flowers and asymmetrical placing.

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Back of a jacket. Chintz made in India, but the rose motif is distinctly more European looking.

 

Additionally, you also get European cotton prints imitating Indian chintz. Some is of high quality, but most of the time the European prints are just a little less in quality.

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Detail of an informal jacket. The sleeves are made of higher quality Indian chintz, while the body is European cotton print, which would’ve been cheaper.

 

 

And despite the flower theme, you get other motifs as well! Little insects and birds show up in chintz, but every now and then you get other patterns. On blankets you see heraldry, but also more animals and people. There was a skirt with hunting scenes. And one of the skirts had a very unusual border of ships of the West-Indian Company.

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Detail of a skirt border showing hunting scenes amid the flowers.

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Exotic bird on a jacket (re-made from skirt fabric).

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Unusual skirt border, showing ships of the West-Indian Trading company.

 

 

That was it for today, in the next post I’ll go into the different items of clothing (jackets, skirts, etc), some particularities of the items and how they might’ve been worn. I’ll also include a link to all my pictures in that post, as I have way more than fit into a blog!

Depot visit – Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

The website ModeMuze brings together the fashion collections of several large Dutch museums. Aside from having an online collection of the items, they also write blog posts about items, and organize a lot of events! I went to one of them recently, where we got the chance to see some items in the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague up close, presented by the fashion curator Madelief Hohé.

In this post some pictures of the visit, as well as some of my own observations. This is a selection of the items, I’ll post these and some more on my Facebook page for who’s interested!

 

We saw a lot of 18th century things. Let’s start with this gorgeous blue silk Anglaise. Below is the museum’s picture, click to go to the collection page.

 

These are my pictures. This is a shot of the lining of the bodice. You can see the bodice was lined in linen, while the skirt is unlined. You can also see the stitching lines from the back, where the folded silk was stitched to the (unfolded) lining. You can also see the skirt is cartridge pleated onto the bodice, leaving quite a large allowance.

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A shot of the top of the bodice lining, also showing the robing (pleat over the shoulder). What I also liked was the little blue wool tapes attached to the shoulder corners for extra protection of the silk fabric. The little cord you see was in the neckline. Although the front closed with hooks & eyes, there was a little tunnel at the top for a cord to pull the dress close to the body.

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The dress closed center front, the center front flaps attached to the robings on either side. On top of the center front panels, these little horizontal strips ran, with the pleats on top, as you can see in the bottom left corner. They were lined as well, and closed with hooks & eyes. As you can see in the official museum image, the fichu would be worn on top of the dress, but underneath these flaps. I’ve seen this a lot on other Dutch jackets and gowns, so I believe this was most common in the Netherlands. The curator also mentioned that comparisons of collections show a relatively high amount of blue dresses in Dutch museums, which this is a gorgeous example of!

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The back of the dress! You can see the folded back pleats run into the skirt. They were very narrow. The back is heavily pleated with tiny pleats. If you look closely you can see that the threads running through the cartridge pleats actually extend a bit below the bodice to keep the pleats in place.

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An inside picture of the hem. The fabric was folded over for the hem, and on parts of the skirt this blue wool tape was attached to protect the fabric. I found it particularly interesting that it wasn’t actually attached all the way around on this particular dress!

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On to the next item, a stunning pair of stays in light blue. I couldn’t find an official, full image of these. The stays were continuously boned, but the stitching was covered both back and front. The tabs were covered separately, as you also often see in linings. The stays weren’t bound, as they were covered completely I think this wouldn’t have been needed.

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A view of the linen lining, stopping just before the eyelets. Again, the tabs are covered separately.

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The top, showing off the eyelets. I also love how tiny the tape is which covers the seams. It was super thin.

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More 18th century! This was a chintz jacket, below is the inventory picture, again, click the link for the official page.

My pictures. This one shows the back, and how the sleeves were actually cut on. I hadn’t seen this on 18th century garments before.

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The ‘skirt’ part of the jacket layed open (again, the jacket is on its back on the table). The whole jacket was lined in wool. I love how extremely wide it is. You can also see the deep pleat at the center back.

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The center front closed with hooks and eyes, but again also had a cord running through the neckline, you can see a tiny bit of gathering at the top. You can also see the stitches where the hooks & eyes are attached if you look carefully.

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The back pleat of the jacket, with a little stitching to protect the seam from ripping.

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Next up are two 18th century skirts, neither of which I could find a good full picture for.

First is a petticoat, made with matelasse, or ‘zaans stikwerk’. It’s quilted in a way, but through the little channels small cords would also be drawn to create the 3d effect.

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Showing the inside and hem. Again, a wool tape was attached on the inside. I found it interesting how the tape actually extends a couple of mm from the silk hem.

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The top of the petticoat wasn’t quilted, as this wouldn’t be seen anyway. Probably also to reduce some bulk. This is the front of the petticoat, which isn’t pleated.

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The back, however, is pleated to the waistband!

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Another skirt, this time in a glazed wool damask. Such a stunning fabric! The skirt is pleated to the waistband.

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A close-up of the fabric.

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The inside, showing the selvages are used for the main seams. No tape covering the hem this time, instead a narrow cord is stitched to the hem to protect it. You still see this method being used in some skirts of traditional Dutch costume!

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As a final step, we take a big leap from the 18th century to the 1840s. It’s the dress on the left of this image. Click the link for the official page.

This image shows that the center front point of the bodice isn’t actually attached to the skirt all the way. It’s definitely boned though! The point is finished with thin piping, and look how prettily the lines are matched!

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A slightly odd image, but it shows that the boning center front doesn’t actually extends all the way up, only to the fold in the fabric.

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This is the center back closure. The skirt is heavily pleated onto the bodice and actually consists of 2 layers! The top one is silk, and forms the top of the 2 flounces. The bottom layer is made of netting, but the bottom edge of the skirt is silk again to form the bottom flounce. Less need for the expensive silk! I also liked how there’s a small modesty placket beneath the eleyets, and how there’s a hook & eye closure at the bottom (& top, not in this image).

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The top of the back closure. Pretty lace at the top, and the neckline was finished in piping even tinier than around the bottom of the bodice. This was 1mm wide at the most! I also love how there is a small bit of flossing at the top of the bones in the back.

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Final image, showing the side back seam & sleeve insert, which is again piped. You can see how the seam isn’t a ‘normal’ seam. I was wondering how this was done, and the day after the visit saw a great blog post by the Fashionable past. She does it by cutting the fabric ‘bigger’ than necessary to the sides, folding the fabric over and stitching it down to create the effect of a seam. I suspect that on this dress though, the side back was actually cut separately instead. See how the lines match up perfectly? You can’t get that if you fold the fabric, it would shift slightly.

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A visit to Bath

The first week of May I visited Bath with a friend. The main incentive was the Victorian ball held there, but we also took the time to visit the city and a bit of the countryside. More about the ball later, but for now pictures of the rest of our visit!

We arrived in Bath late Wednesday morning. After dropping off our things we went into the city to just wander around a bit. Wandering turned in to visiting loads of shops very quickly… Just a warning: Bath isn’t very good for your wallet.

After browsing the shops and getting some souvenirs, it was time for tea! My friend arranged a high tea in the pump rooms for my birthday, and it was really great. It’s such a lovely setting, and the food was very good.

foto van Myrthe Tielman.

 

After tea we had just enough time to visit the Roman baths, which originally gave the town its name. The whole museum around the baths was very well set-up, and it was definitely an impressive place to visit! This picture is of the King’s bath, which is the original hot spring. You can see the windows of the pump rooms above the bath.

foto van Myrthe Tielman.

 

Because we had tea late in the afternoon we wandered around Bath a bit more before going do dinner, visiting the Georgian streets, including the Circus and the Royal Cresent. The roses and wisteria were in bloom. So pretty!

foto van Myrthe Tielman.

 

On Thursday we first visited the Jane Austen Center, and afterwards went to the fashion museum! They had two exhibitions on, one ‘a history of fashion in a 100 objects’ and the other one was ‘lace’. It was really impressive, and great to see a number of true icons I’d only seen pictures off. I won’t post all my pictures here to avoid cluttering, but there’s more on my pinterest. Also go there to see the full size! Much better for drooling over details.

This one I was most excited about beforehand, and it didn’t disappoint. The silver fabric still has some sparkle to it, which definitely comes across better in real life! Silver tissue and parchment lace dress, ca. 1660

Ca. 1660 silver tissue dress with parchment lace. Fashion museum Bath:

 

Another one of the very old items. A gorgeously embroidered jacobean jacket, ca. 1620. The embroidery was stunning, incredibly detailed and colorful. As always, the pictures don’t do the metalwork (the golden swirls) justice. They sparkle as you move.

ca. 1620 Jacobean jacket. Fashion museum Bath.:

 

This dress I didn’t know beforehand, but immediately fell in love with. (I’ve got a thing with black lace, in case you hadn’t noticed). The color was very pretty in real life as well, and that trim…

1860s Victorian dress in pale green with black lace. Fashion museum Bath:

 

Final stop of the day was Bath Abbey, which was very impressive as well, and had the most amazing ceiling.

foto van Myrthe Tielman.

 

Friday we rented a car to go exploring a bit, and ended up visiting Lacock and Glastonbury. Lacock is a very scenic town used in a lot of movies as a location. Just next to the town is Lacock Abbey, which is part medieval abbey part aristocratic country house. Also a lovely place, and with all the flower bushes growing outside it was stunning. And of course, the halls of Hogwarts are inside!

foto van Myrthe Tielman.

 

In Glastonbury we mostly just visited the grounds with the old abbey ruins. Most of it is gone now, but it is still an incredibly impressive and beautiful place.

foto van Myrthe Tielman.

 

Saturday morning we took the opportunity to visit the Victoria Art gallery, shopped some more (tea shops!) and afterwards met a friend for lunch. And after lunch it was time for the dance workshop! More about the workshop, ball and breakfast on Sunday in the next post!

Givenchy

The Gemeentemuseum in the Hague has a large fashion collection, which means they often have fashion exhibitions! I’m mostly interested in the ‘older’ collection, but as that’s also more vulnerable, they display their modern pieces more often. The past fashion topic was ‘From Audrey with Love’, an exhibition about Givenchy, and Audrey Hepburn. As that’s approaching the era I’m more interested in (’50s and older), I was curious to go.

I didn’t take loads of pictures, but I did photograph some of my favorites. It was interesting to see the changes through out the years, but I did notice (again) that I definitely favor the 50s and 60s pieces over the 70s, 80s and 90s. The skill and craftmanship remains clear, but I’m not a big fan of the bold colors and broad shoulders of the latter eras.

To start with: some back views! Some of the black evening gowns had the most gorgeous back details.

 

This was one of my favorites, this back was stunning.

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This one was also very nice, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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This one is a little less my style, but I did like the nod to the 18th century Watteau pleats with the little cape.

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Generally, there was a lot of black, white and bold colors. This dress stood out a bit in it’s sweetness, but it was very pretty.

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The one below was one of my favorites. I’m not the biggest fan of the beading on the bodice, but the skirt is stunning.

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The final room was filled with wedding dresses. The one below was Audrey Hepburn’s first wedding dress. I had to get used to the size of the sleeves for a moment, but quite liked it after that.

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This one was a movie costume I believe, with stunning lace. The one in the background was Audrey’s second wedding dress, very different from the sweet innocence of the first!

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To end off, the top of a wedding dress with the most stunning flowers.

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Black & White lace

I’ve been quite busy working on several projects, but none are quite ready yet to be blogged about. (For progress pictures etc. see my instagram and facebook page). So for now, some more very pretty pictures. The topic was inspired by the last inspiration post, where I couldn’t include all of these.

Lace has been used for centuries, but the height of it’s popularity might be the turn of the 20th century. I adore these dresses, and would love to recreate them, but the cost of suitable lace is frighting, so instead I just admire. Although there were a lot of solid white and colored dresses with lace, this post would be too long if I included them all. So the theme will be black & white.

 

DressJeanne Paquin, 1902The Museum at FIT:

Jeanne Paquin, 1902, The Museum at FIT

 

Ball gown dress of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. 1900-1901:

Dress of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. 1900-1901

 

From the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev:

From the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev

 

From the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev:

From the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev

 

Half-Mourning Dress  1889-1892:

Half-Mourning Dress 1889-1892

 

Circa 1906 black silk and lace evening gown, Bonnaire, Paris.:

Circa 1906 black silk and lace evening gown, Bonnaire, Paris

 

Dress, Evening  Date: 1898–99 Culture: American:

Dress, Evening Date: 1898–99 Culture: American, MetMuseum

 

1900s evening dress:

Musée de la Mode

 

 

30 times inspiration

At the beginning of this month, Jennifer from Historical Sewing started a 30-day inspiration sharing project. I only commented occasionally, but really liked the idea. So, in retrospect, my entries. For this post, I choose to do all existent pieces. Links to the museum pages are included.

1. Favorite Time Period

Immediately one of the most difficult. I don’t really have 1 favourite, I like different things about different eras and what I like most changes from moment to moment. But, one that has always been high on the list is the second bustle era, ca. 1883-1890. I love the clean lines, dramatic fabrics and shape.

MetMuseum

 

2. Blue

I’ve always had a soft spot for this dress. The fabric is absolutely stunning.

Evening Dress  1850-1852. With detachable long sleeves. Dark blue / Emerald green, patterned fabric such as in the picture.:

MetMuseum

 

3. 1890’s

One of those eras that needed to grow on me, but I quite like it now. Especially the jackets, those are maybe the best from all time periods.

Emily Reynolds Historic Costume collection

 

4. Skirt

The Dutch 18th century chintz skirts are one of my favourite items. This one has a border, using the pattern on the fabric to its fullest.

Fries Museum

 

5. Pleating

Loads of pleating on this Edwardian dress. Pin-tucks in the sleeves and main part, with another pleated drape around the shoulders.

Gemeentemuseum the Hague exhibition on 19th century fashion - Edwardian Dress bodice detail:

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

 

6. Darts/Tucks

I love the tiny gathering on 1840’s  and ’50s dresses to give shape.

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

 

7. Red or Pink

I’m much more fond of red than pink, which is soon a little too sweet for my taste. I love the fabric on this dress, along with the cut-out design of the bodice.

Victoria & Albert

 

8. Bells

I’ve always loved the huge dramatic shape of the mid-19th century. My first big historical project was a recreation of this gown.

MetMuseum

 

9. Regency

Although rare, my absolute favorite Regency dresses are the ones made fully of lace. I’ve seen this one in person, and it’s even more stunning in real life.

Japon van zijden kant, `Blonde', in empirestijl met laag uitgesneden hals en pofmouwen., anoniem, ca. 1815 - ca. 1820:

Rijksmuseum

 

10. Shoes

Lattice-worked boots are probably my all-time favorite type of shoe. I want these.

1905 boots:

Vintage Textile (missing record)

 

11. Sewing Technique

One of the great joys of seeing historical garments in real life is seeing the details. Tiny stitches on the far left of this image, setting the pleat. Tiny cartridge pleats along the embroidered cuffs.

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Rijksmuseum

 

12. Fringe

I’m generally not a big fan of fringe, but the effect on a full dress can be stunning. This fringe I do really like, very creative.

Metmuseum

 

13. Braids

Intricate braiding on the sleeve of a regency spencer. I love details like this.

Spencer Date: ca. 1820 Culture: British Medium: silk, willow Dimensions: Length at CB: 18 in. (45.7 cm):

MetMuseum

 

14. Gathers

Smocking is a way of strategically gathering fabric to form a pattern. This blouse is a gorgeous example.

Paarse blouse in de stijl van reformkleding met lange mouwen en smockwerk langs de hals en op de mouwen. De sluiting is middenachter met knopen. De combinatie van blouse en rok was gebruikelijk in deze periode, maar in de reformbeweging werden doorgaans japonnen gedragen.:

Amsterdam Museum

 

15. Green

The 18th century does green really well. This is a beautiful example.

MetMuseum

 

16. 1830’s

Another one of those eras that had to grow on me, but I now quite like. This particular dress I’ve always loved though. Those sleeves!

1837 dress. printed challis lined with glazed cotton and linen.:

Victoria & Albert

 

17. Plaid

When Victoria showed an interest in Scotland, using tartan became very popular. Hence, there’s a large number of plaid mid 19th century dresses. This might be my favorite.

An exquisite Canadian plaid/tartan evening gown from circa 1860. The popularity of plaid exploded after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert chose Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands as one of their royal residences:

Musee McCord

 

18. Reticules

This one was actually first shared by Historical Sewing, and caught my eye. My mother has picked up tatting for about 1,5 year now, so I immediately had to think of her. Also, she’s trying her hand now at recreating this in black, which is really cool!

foto van Historical Sewing with Jennifer Rosbrugh.

Kent State University Museum

 

19. Challenge

This is a close-up of a spencer jacket I’m using as inspiration. My recreation has proven to be a bit of a challenge, and so far the most time-consuming project I’ve ever done, but it’s also starting to be really pretty. My trim won’t be quite as ‘close’ as in the original, but close enough. I also really like how even the original isn’t 100% symmetrical, obviously hand-work, and a challenge to get as perfect as possible!

Maart historical - Spencer Jakcet - in progress:

MetMuseum

 

20. Outdoors

This couldn’t be anything but a large big cloak. Still on my wish-list to make.

MetMuseum

 

21. Undergarments

You’ve got to love Edwardian underwear. It’s the epitome of ruffled and lace undergarments.

MetMuseum

 

22. Lace

I love all types of lace, but black might be my absolute favorite.

Museum of Decorative Arts

 

23. Black or White

I have a weakness for black dresses in general actually.

MetMuseum

 

24. Parasols

I repeat the black lace comment from above.

MetMuseum

 

25. Edwardian

Not initial my favorite era, but once you look at it more the details are so gorgeous.

Dress      1909–11:

MetMuseum

 

26. Ruffles

No era does ruffles like early 1870’s.

MetMuseum

 

27. Oop-sies!

Not so much an oops in the dress as in the display. Museums are generally pretty good at displaying their costumes, and getting even better. Auction houses are more of a hit-and miss. This 1770’s dress looks like it’s got a round crinoline underneath. That counts as a miss.

STRIPED SATIN GOWN, 1770’s.:

Withaker auctions

 

28. Corset

This one was difficult just because there are so many gorgeous examples. I always love flossing on corsets, and the contrast on this one decided me.

Corset ca. 1893-97 From the exhibition “A Century of Style: Costume and Colour 1800-1899″ at Glasgow Museums:

Glasgow Museums

 

29. Unusual

Maybe not so much unusual as rare, this is one of the few surviving 17th century gowns. It will be on display when I visit Bath in May, so really excited to see it in person.

9f04d1519def01b735f28ef4570f7589.jpg (736×1605):

Bath fashion museum

 

30. Favorite Costume

This is another really difficult one, but at the moment it’s this chintz ensemble. Probably not worn together originally, but such print mixes were common in parts of the Netherlands in the 18th century. I absolutely love chintz, and very excited for the upcoming exhibition where this will also be on display.

Activiteiten sitsen - Activiteiten - Te zien en te doen - Fries Museum:

Fries Museum

2017 plans

After the overview of last year’s projects, it’s time to look ahead!

In the beginning of the year, I want to make a baleyeuse to fully finish my 1870’s ballgown ensemble, to spare the train a bit of harm.

37.  Balayeuse ready

This wonderful baleyeuse is from Prior Attire, who also gives a tutorial!

 

I’m also looking into maybe making a day bodice to go with the dress. I have plenty of yellow silk left and some of the narrow black lace. I really like the idea of making both evening & day bodices for dresses, it opens up a lot of opportunities to wear things!

Aside from my own dress, I’m also helping a friend with hers. The base skirt is done, but I’ll be helping her with the overskirt. The bodice I’ll make for her as well. She’s a beginning seamstress, so the current division of labor is that she’ll do the pleats for trimming and I’ll do the bodice. This is the plan:

foto van Marije de Vries.

 

Also planned for first half of the year is the red spencer jacket. I’ve been working on it for a while, but it’s a slow progress. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it next year! A teaser:

foto van Atelier Nostalgia.

 

I have a whole load of unmade vintage dress patterns, ranging from 1930s to 1950s and I’m hoping to make some next year. For one I’ve already got the fabric, so that one will be first.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor SIMPLICITY - 8050

 

After these projects, the plans get a bit more vague. I have several patterns, and fabric for several other projects. What will get made probably depends on occasion and mood. Time will probably also play a role, as I’ll also finish my PhD project next year which means busy times lie ahead!

None of these next ideas concrete in any way, but it’s fun to dream ahead.

One is the red cloak which has been on the todo list for 2 years. If I finish my red spencer, I’ll have a more appropriate outfit to wear it with. (A red wool cloak over a short sleeved ballgown is just a bit weird). That might help.

Cloak late 18th century The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

 

I also have a gorgeous orange/black silk brocade. I’ve been debating between a bourgundian gown and a Tudor gown since I got it. I’m leaning towards bourgundian now though. As I also just got a remnant of black silk taffeta, I can also now make undergarments. The silk isn’t nearly enough for a kirtle, but it should be plenty to fake the idea of a silk kirtle if I just make all the ‘invisible’ parts out of black cotton. Not HA at all, but practical and a lot cheaper. The painting below has been on my mind for a while. So it would be this, but with black cuffs and collar, and a black kirtle and belt.

My fabric:

Zijde Stoffering Zwart met oranje medallions 1 mtr.*

Petrus Christus | A Goldsmith in his Shop | The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Of course, that would also involve a headdress and veil. I’ve never done medieval, but I love the look of them.

I especially like the steeple henins with butterfly veils. Probably the most impractical, but so pretty. This image shows one worn with the same style of dress as the previous painting.

Burgundian hats! In all their ridiculousness.:

 

Another project which has been on my mind is a 1660’s satin dress. I love these ‘smooth’ dresses. I also realized I have 4m of cotton/polyester in my stash, which can pass for satin. I originally bought it for a regency dress, but in the end didn’t use it because it was a bit too heavy. Would drape perfectly for this era though, and it’s not really suited to many other eras. So who knows.

Queens of England, Catherine of Braganza, 1638 - 1705, not strictly English, but Portugese.:

 

Then I got some patterns recently, including the Truly Victorian 1875 Parisian trained skirt. I love this pattern, and really want to use it. I’ve been eyeing black/white striped dresses, and it would be perfect for this. Now it should theoretically be in silk, all cotton I’ve found used during this period was the light colored/sheer type, not really suited for black. But finding silk like that which is also affordable will be very difficult, and I’ve seen plenty of lovely cotton reproduction dresses. So if I do this, I’ll probably go for that option. A design like this would’ve made my 14-year old gothic self very happy in any case. (and still sort of does)

 photo Bustle paris skirt_zps9fsodpdo.jpg

 

Finally, I’ve been meaning to start on 18th century for a while. Other plans got in the way, but who knows?

Christmas tones

For some reason, christmas in the Victorian era is linked to Dickens. It might be all the Dickens festivities around christmas, and probably a Christmas Carol has something to do with it. So for this post, some christmassy dress inspiration from the Dickens era! Most Dickens events tend to bring 1860’s clothing, but his books were written from 1836 to about 1865, so these images cover that whole period. Prepare for loads of red, green and plaid, in chronological order (as far as I could find out).

 

Court dress | probably German | The Met:

l:

Le Bon ton fashion plate 1837:

Day dress ca. 1840’s:

Lady's Cabinet Fashion Plate - "MORNING VISITING DRESS (Green)" - Hand-Colored Engraving - 1840:

Litografia di moda d'epoca 1848: due signore di AntiquePrintsOnly:

Two-piece woolen plaid dress, 1855-1865, via In the Swan's Shadow.:

An exquisite Canadian plaid/tartan evening gown from circa 1860. The popularity of plaid exploded after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert chose Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands as one of their royal residences:

The Victorian Needle:1860 fashion plate:

La Mode Illustrée, 1864:

March 1865, Les Modes Parisiennes. From LAPL.:

1863 Vintage Victorian Fashion Plate from Les by PastPaperNPostcards,:

 

1870’s underskirt trim

While making the trim for my 1870’s dress, I also looked a lot at images of other underskirts of the period. There’s loads of different ways to trim the skirt, and although  skirts without any trim do exist, they seem quite rare. In fact, there are so many options available that I can imagine it’s difficult to pick how to trim a dress! In Dutch there’s a saying, that you ‘can’t see the forest through the trees’. Basically it means there’s so many options that you can’t clearly see any one choice clearly. So in this post I’ll give a brief description of different types of popular trim.

To illustrate how different trims were used in combination, I’ll be using pictures of existent 1870’s dresses. All of these are in the Metropolitan museum of Art. I’ve decided to only use this source, as it’s very extensive and many of the dresses are photographed in high resolution so close-ups of the trim are available.

Nearly all trim on bustle skirts is a combination of lace, fringe, fabric/ribbon strips, ruffles and pleats.

Lace

Lace existed in many forms and shapes, and would be made out of silk, linen or cotton. In the 1870’s, lace could already be made by machines although hand-made lace was still an industry as well. I’m not an expert on lace, so I won’t go too much into types and history here. From what I’ve seen, nearly all lace used on dresses was either a shade of white  (white to yellow-ish) or black.

 photo 1995352andashc_Fb_zpsojhtpr8e.jpg

A skirt close-up. Rows of lace attached to ruffles of sheer fabric.

 

Fringe

Fringe is the type of trim Victorians loved but which doesn’t get used a lot today. It seems it’s just not that appealing to the modern eye. Fringe is mostly seen on the lower edge of the over-skirts, but it does also occasionally pop up on underskirts. Fringe can also be beaded, or consist of more adventurous shapes.

 photo 19752273_d_zpst28o8r8k.jpg

An example of very pretty fringe, with tiny tassles and what looks like beads

 

Fabric/Ribbon strips

Contrasting strips of fabric or ribbon are often used to create (mostly horizontal) stripes. These strips can be turned over, used as bias tape or finished by bias strips themselves.

 photo 1986304b_d2_zpspa7yxxsg.jpg

Fabric strip decorations. You can see how they’re cut on the bias, the edges seem to be folded under.

 

Ruffles & Pleats

Ruffles & pleats are by far the most common way to decorate a skirt and come in a massive number of variations. A ruffle is a gathered strip of fabric, a pleat is folded. You get strips of ruffles, strips of pleats, folded pleats, or gathering on the whole fabric creating a smocked effect. Loads of different versions exist.

 photo 197934670andashc_Fb_zpsaslfdubz.jpg

Three rows of ruffles. The top one is gathered with multiple rows to create a smocked effect.

 

 photo 451684a-b_front_CP4b_zps431owmzn.jpg

Two rows of pleats. The top strip is frayed and box pleated, stitched down in the middle. The lower strip has spaced double box pleats. (and a row of lace at the bottom).

 

Some more examples, for inspiration. The dress below has a dark brown skirt with a lot of tiny pleats.

 photo 12_zpsskvqgiua.jpg

In the close-up you can see that the top two rows of pleats have tiny folds in them. They seem to be knife pleats, stitched down at the top. The bottom has just 2, wider rows. The fabric in-between seems gathered down just a bit. There are some folds as well, but they’re very uneven, so I’d guess that this is just a result of the gathering. Might be that they originally had very shallow box pleats as well.

 photo 12b_zpsrxb4osmg.jpg

Another one. A very dark blue one with light accents.

 photo 441471a-b_front_CP4_zpsz625f0tq.jpg

In the close-up you see that black lace was used in a very clever way. A lighter strip of fabric was sewn on, with the lace overlay. Below are ruffles, slightly gathered. The ruffles are lined in the light fabric, being sewn in such a way it just shows around the edges.

 photo 441471a-b_front_CP4b_zpswpmlymml.jpg

Another blue number

 photo 19784774ab_F_zps8ofshsfo.jpg

This dress also has trim lined in a contrast fabric showing around the edges, similarly to the previous one. In this case the strip is knife pleated and then folded in the middle to create the zig-zag effect.

 photo 19784774ab_Fb_zpspdvsvugw.jpg

 photo 56129100a-c_threequarter_front_CP4_zpstwqf9u2d.jpg

A combination of a lot of different things! On the overskirt, a strip of lace covered in a strip of fabric. The underskirt has a wide strip of fabric, which seems to have been gathered near the top, in the middle and near the bottom. These gathers are covered by fabric strips. The slightly ‘poufy’ effect is probably created by placing the top and bottom gathers just a bit closer to the middle gather than necessary. The bottom part has short sections of knife pleats with unpleated bits in the middle.

 photo 56129100a-c_threequarter_front_CP4b_zpseh2hfzrc.jpg

Another brown dress. There’s only a little bit of underskirt visible.

 photo 19892467_F_zpspurtxkgz.jpg

In the close-up, you can see that a brown lace trim is used, with very small knife pleats underneath.

 photo 19892467_d2_zpsxk8u45n1.jpg

A very classy dress. From this distance it’s difficult to see what’s going on.

 photo 22_zpsifzy9juh.jpg

Close-up! You see that the main part of the skirt is gathered with five narrow rows of stitching. This create the smocked effect, and creates the gathers in the rest of the fabric. The bottom is ‘finished off’ with two rows of small knife pleats.

 photo 22c_zpseamgh9fb.jpg

To finish off, a white cotton dress.

 photo 2002252ab_F_zpsq2gjc4sy.jpg

A close up shows that there are small rows of ruffles, with what seems like a knife pleated bottom part, stitched down at the bottom.

 photo 2002252ab_Fb_zpsvb2y38ym.jpg