Sunday, 29 September 2013

Analysing - La Belle Chocolatiere

I guess everybody has seen the lovely "La Belle Chocolatiere" by Liotard (1743-45). And I have also arrived at the conclusion, that I NEED a chocolatiere-dress.

Liotard, La Belle Chocolatiere (1743-5)

She's wearing a iridiscent skirt, from all I could tell from Internet pictures (I wish I could see the Original painting in Dresden!). Grey, blueish? Maybe a hint of green?
Her jacket is most intruiging. A  beautiful orange, brown, red. Not only that only a small part of it is visible, that bit is SO cute! Rather tight sleeves with beautiful winged cuffs. The back/tail of the jacket falls in beautiful fold like little waterfall and is lined with white fabric. It is cut shorter in the front that in the back.
I have also noticed a very small sort of wavy collar.
and now the most intriguing: at the top of the jacket between fichu and the jacket is a bit of yellow patterned "something". Are those her stays? Or is that some sort of very wide stomacher? Is the jacket fastening in the front over a stomacher anyway? It seems that between fichu and jacket underneath the apron top there is a dark gap that can't really be explained if you postulate a straight front fastening jacket. Or is the jacket fastening with laces in the fronst and not closed properly? Unlikely, she seems to be very tidy and neatly dressed... (light coloured shoes and that light rose cap!)

I have really no idea, what the front of the Jacket looks like, but it's definitely a looker. ;)

This is what I found in online collections... not too close to that, but not too far off, either. 

Metmuseum 1725-30s, is this the back or the front? sleeves look a bit funny to be the front...

Nationaltrust UK 1736-40

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Analysing - Zone Gown 1780/90s

For my project of the blue Zone Gown (inspired by a fashion plate from the "Journal des Luxus und der Moden" from March 1793) I have started a little investigation on Zone Gowns. 

I've not found it particulary easy to find evidence and examples, but here's my conclusion which shall lead me to my result. :) Those who speak german might wish to have a look at the original article of my inspiration gown from the Journal des Luxus und der Moden, accessible at the Uni Jena (Link on my link page). The headwear is a ribbon carcasse thingy, I've not quite worked out how that works and chances are I never will, because - I don't like it. The hair falls rather loosely over the shoulders, that's worth noticing. The sleeves are long and tight, the skirt has a white lining (I found this rather unusual). White gloves, big fichu and an enormously big flower thingy (sorry, the right name for that escaped me), personally I find it absurdly big, it would certainly droop down, am going to omit that too...

Journal des Luxus und der Moden March 1793, with short description, worn over "corset"

A Zone Gown (which is the modern description for it, really we're talking about a Robe a l'Anglaise with an A Shaped cutout at the front, I can't quite remember, whether I've found a specific term for that in 18th century documents...)

This type of gown was made with a stomacher or just the illusion of an A-shaped stomacher and front closure or a corset underneath (a corset being a sort of sleeveless top). I've not found many existing gowns where I could see for sure how it's done, but these three options seem to be it. They seem to have been most popular by the mid/late 1780s and early 1790s. France a bit earlier, Germany a bit later.

KCI Museum, described with stomacher, this is not a zone gown but a court gown, yet it has the A shaped front.

LACMA, front-closing, gorgous stripes, too!

a few more examples somewhere here: Hertzwerk Pinterest 18th century clothing

The back of the gown would have most likely looked like this, with 4 panels in the back. Although if you look at existing garments, the back can look all sorts of ways, more or less tidy, detailed, pieced... looking at Nancy Bradfield's Costume in Detail reveals that. So funnily, the more I research on how the back should look like, the more I found "anything goes". So be it.

MetMuseum 1785-95 - typical back of gown

As to sleeves... I've found them in all lengths and the direction of the stripes was apparently following the gusto of the wearer, also lengthwise stripes being possible (see LACMA Zone gown).

I will let all that information mature now see what I'll come up with.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

1730s Casaque

 For the 1730s Casaque I've not done too much researching I have to admit. I have followed Mill Farm's Pattern for the Casaque/Robe Battande and was purely inspired by this picture

Chardin, Briefesieglerin

Sorry for not draping the skirt nicer...

The most important experience I've made was sewing with stripes. I'm usually not a "patterns with directions" person but I'm somehow having a stripey phase. ;)  Anyhow, after experimenting with orderly and less orderly stripes and folds I came to the conclusion, that I didn't like the folds to be too orderly. The back would have looked horridly tidy and somehow uncoloured, that I just went for the "position of stripes by chance" method, placing the pattern on the fabric in the most economic way. It's still sort of symetrical, I didn't want to have a piece with a stripey anarchy but it's less geometrical (the orderly way reminded my of a striped sort of Mondrian...). Anyhow, this is the result, being worn over side hoops and a matching petticoat.


As for the pattern, it's Mill Farms #14.
 I have to say, I am not completely happy with the pattern. The instructions where a bit sketchy in places (I still haven't figured out, which way the front folds are actually MEANT to be pleated, the way I understood it just looked... horrid...?!) and didn't go together that well. The cuffs were not set onto the sleeves but just an extra piece continueing the sleeve. Also the order in which to assemble the Casaque was a bit... weird... All in all the pattern is ok, as in 3 out of 6 points. ;)
Being awfully German I tried to stick to the pattern as long as possible but there was SUCH a lot of tweaking involved to make it look the way I wanted it to look like. I have attached two red ribbons made out of the silk to be able to loosely close the Casaque. 

Sunday, 15 September 2013


WILD stripy body with it... next time white. ;)

I have made another Ballonbuks (Minikrea Pattern 10301) for Lucy. I have made it in size 74, but as I knew it turns out more a size 80-82 it fit her.