Wednesday, 11 June 2014

"Garthwaite Anglaise" - 1770s Anglaise en fourreau

I've finished my "Garthwaite Anglaise"!!! yay!

the only picture of me in the dress I could find...

 It all started with this fabric:

lovely fabric I got from

Apart from the fact that the fabric just begged me to buy it... I didn't have a real idea what to make of it. (roughly rococo was clear, though...). It's a silk lampas I ordered from The design is called "carnation", the colour is a very light beige, "eggshell" called thing. Not what I would usually go for, but i LIKE it. Both sides of the fabric are equally appealing, it was hard to make a decision.
I also liked the fact that carnations have been flowers "with a meaning" for quite long.. -> wikipedia CARNATION
I first intended to make a 1740s Robe a la Francaise from it. BUT there were only 8yards available. Of course with a bit of tweaking that would be possible (remember, I AM petite...). BUT I also had just finished the green striped Chardin Francaise, which means I've got 2 Robes a la Francaise already that work for the 1740s/50s. And as much as I like that style, I didn't get the right feel for it. So I just put it aside for some time (remember: fabrics mature while you own them). and then I stumbled across these pictures:

Met Museum

Met Museum

Colonial Williamsburg

I love this dress: the colours are great (I wish I could have found a red like this!)

Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, NY

MFA Boston

With 8 yards I've had plenty of fabric to make a gown and have some more fabric left to mature. :) I had done the Anglaise en fourreau before, so no major issues here, just a few minor changes (back view).I was very torn between making an open gown or a round gown, but went for the open gown, because I like the contrasting white skirt a lot.

So, why a 1740s/50s fabric design for a 1770s Robe a l'Anglaise?
Several reasons:
It's different.
I've had quite enough of the Francaise pleating.
I like the "easy to wear" Anglaise-style. 
There are lovely extant garments with this mix. (The reason for this has been brought to my attention by the lovely Mme du Jard: Many people got fabrics for their christening and then would use them for a special dress, possibly even the wedding dress, in their 20s. tadaaa, a bit of calculating and you've got it! So not only though processing and altering garments but also through hording (!) fabrics you could get this result)
And last but not least: the fabric spoke to me. Ever had that feeling? ;)

So this is my "Garthwaite Anglaise". :) Sorry, I haven't got pictures with me inside, but it's 36 degrees Celsius (about 95 degrees Fahrenheit...) here and I just can't force myself into the stays.
Oh, and why is it called the "Garthwaite Anglaise"? Because the fabric design really reminds me of this wonderful designer, Anna Maria Garthwaite, see my blogpost about her -> HERE

yes, wrong pins, use your IMAGINATION!

edit 7/2015:
After making a Manteau de Lit from the leftovers I still had a bit of fabric left to make a skirt. I had to piece the back, but I don't think thats a problem. :)

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Tell me a forest fairy tale!

I've stumbled across this fabric and just couldn't resist to make a skirt from it - apart from small struggles like "why didn't I order enough of this in the first place, now I haven't got enough fabric to cut the back panel and have to order it again and find out it is out of stock and now i have to WAIT!" and "how do I insert this "invisible" zipper thingy?" and "why didn't I cut the panels just a tad straighter?" - but I LOVE the outcome.

The pattern is taken from 2 skirts that I've already had. It's really simple, just an a-shaped skirt with a saddle thingy. There are 2 back panels to give space for the zipper. The white underskirt is a shaped too and has a ruffle attached and a little lace. Both skirt and underskirt are attached to the saddle. That's it.

The pattern is also very useful to tell stories to 2-year-olds. :)

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Devonshire Apple Scones

I LOVE Scones! And every time after enjoying a 2-scones-with-lots-of-clotted-cream-and-jam-cream-tea I am convinced I can NEVER EVER eat again. This state usually lasts about 48 hours. :)

Here in Germany I don't get cream teas. *sob*
But the wonderful Mr. B. has given me a recipe book - "Favourite English tea time recipes" - and today I've made scones. In June you'd expect sunny dry warm to hot weather in these parts of Germany but today the weather has been particularly English. Overcast in the morning. A sort of indecisive drizzle around noon and a neverending soft rain all afternoon. It was crying out loud for some english cream tea!!
 I am really really sorry I've not taken pictures... suddenly all of the scones were gone, honestly!

So here's the recipe, I've converted all the imperial stuff. ;)

230 grams self raising flour (I've used "instant mehl" and an extra dollop of baking bowder...)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
115 grams butter
60 grams brown sugar
2 medium sized apples (peeled and cored and finely diced)
1 medium egg

1. preaheat oven to 190 degrees
2. mix flour, cinnamon and baking powder
3. rub in butter, stir in sugar, then apples.
4. stir in egg
5. now fine-tune the consistency - maybe add a little more flour - the dough has to be firm enough to "stand" in heaps but not too dry and "floury"
6. mould into heaps - depending on you taste 6-12 heaps, they sort of look like little rock cakes on floured baking sheet.
7. bake for 20-25mins.
8. let them sit on the tray a few minutes after taking the tray out of the oven, then transfer them to a wire rack.
9. serve warm, split in half. depending on your taste with rasperry or strawberry or whatever jam, and with butter or clotted cream. (I couldn't lay my hands on clotted cream so I used plenty of "creme double" instead). Make sure you eat enough to feel so full you are absolutely sure you can NEVER EVER eat (scones) again. ;) An'

'ave a cuppa!


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Embroidered Stomacher 1770s Jacket

JPRyan Jacket with embroidered stomacher

Although really I've been planning to do some other sewing (a modern skirt, unfortunately I discovered half way through, that I didn't have enough fabric in stock to finish it (half of the back pannel ....oops!) so I had to postpone the project and do something else. I've had this stomacher, that I had embroidered about 1,5 years ago, sitting around. I originally wanted to fit it to the Walpole Francaise, but it didn't quite work together so it... matured. Then after making Mr. B's 1750s suit there was JUST enough fabric left to make a little jacket with stomacher front for myself (coincidence?). The green of the jacket is nearly exactly the same as in the embroiderey. So I got my beloved JP Ryan Jacket pattern out again and just did it. Out of reasons I don't understand, the front sleeve/shoulder bit is a bit tight, but the wool and the linen lining will give in quite a bit, I think. I (again!) had most trouble setting the sleeves, my main problem here being the difference between left and right. Oh joy and fun, especially if you've cut away the seam allowance already... it did work out in the end and I am really happy with the result. The pictures show the jacket worn with a hooped petticoat  because i just CAN'T find my bum pad. Just use a bit of imagination. And while you're at it: imagine the multiplug away... ;)
As to authenticity. I don't know. Honestly. I've seen a lot of stomachers with the most beautiful embroidery you can image, but I think they were all dated a few decades before. Personally I think it works for the 1770s though. Maybe a little old fashioned or a "revamped" jacket, sort of. I've omitted the lacing of the jackets (that the pattern suggests) because I think it would be a bit much - busy embroidery AND lacing. So it is closed with pins.

the simple back view

Have a lovely week!