mercoledì 23 novembre 2016

Pink robe à la française from Norah Waugh "The cut of womens' clothes"

As stated in a previous post, I attended a 18th century reenactment event in September and had to sew a proper court dress. I already had some beautiful pink satin in my stash so I just had to decide which kind of dress I wanted to wear; I couldn't get decided between the classic sack dress and the more comfortable (in my own opinion...) robe à l'anglaise, and in the end I went for the first one which looked better in pink.
I used the pattern provided by The Cut of Women's Clothes by Norah Waugh and I can say it surprised  me: the pattern needed just some basic alterations and the dress came together really quickly. The Watteau pleats took a while to be done and aren't still perfect but I'll work on them later. 

Now, my pattern:

I took the measurements wearing full undergarments but - however - the sides ended to be longer than I expected, giving the bodice a clumsy look. The back of the bodice has eyelets for accuracy and it's all flat lined in cotton to add more support; on the other hand, the sleeves and the skirts fit perfectly.
The stomacher is fully boned and it's a separate piece pinned to the stays; at the beginning of the day I pinned it to the dress but the weight of my satin stressed it a lot so we stitched it to the robings. The petticoat is made of the same ivory brocade of the stomacher but just at the front; the rest of the petticoat is made of cotton. The whole dress is trimmed with white cotton ruffles, all pinked by hand and hand sewn over the robings and skirt openings.

For those who it's not a wig :) I also wore a cheap straw hat with paper flowers since I didn't manage to sew a lace cap.
To be honest this dress is not a masterpiece but it's ok to be the first sack dress and to have finished it the night before the event. There are several issues to fix but we're all here to learn =) I dislike the lower sleeeves too, they're too big and cover the engageantes completely.
It was a very sunny day and my delicate eyes couldn't stand the light enough to take some decent outdoor shots so excuse for my bad expressions!

- I learned to drape Watteau pleats better
- Proper colour and fabric choice
- Easy pattern to work with

- Not too wide panniers
- Bodice sides too long
- Engageantes not visible as I wanted

Some references I used, dating from 1750 to 1770:

Black linen spencer (1795-1805) from "Regency Women's Dress" by Cassidy Percoco

In August I turned 30. An important date, yes, so I decided this birthday deserved good self - gifts. After checking my Amazon wishlist I chose to buy two important books for my costuming activity: Regency Women's Dress: Techniques and Patterns 1800-1830 by Cassidy Percoco and Costume Close Up: Clothing Construction and Pattern, 1750-1790 by Linda Baumgarten.
They are two different books, referring to two different eras as the titles suggest: Regency era and 18th century. 

Let's start with the first one. After reading several reviews online, I decided to buy this book because I needed some Regency patterns to be drafted by my own. The book lacks of technical explanations about assembling the garments so I wouldn't recommend it to beginners or sewists used to commercial patterns (like Simplicity, just to tell one) but the patterns are really well drafted and easy to use thanks to the grid. I'm European so I use cm instead of inches but the grid made the conversion easier (a square = 1 inch = 2,5 cm). The pattern came out easily (I drafted it follow my measurements directly) and with very few alterations needed (ok, I've been lucky). 
I needed a spencer for my latest Regency event in Stupinigi. It had to be warm enough without being too heavy so I went for black linen and cotton lining. The spencer in the book dates around 1795 to 1805 so it refers to early Regency fashion with the typical curved sleeves. I did several alterations to the closure (the pattern calls for button and buttonholes mounted on two strings that keep the spencer closed on the front) and I closed it with a simple drawstring. The back seams are all piped and the whole thing is lined in cotton; the bottom of the garment is faced with black bias tape - all hand sewn. 
The neckline has two small lapels at sides and  a regular collar  - nothing hard here.

The worn garment:

- The pattern was really easy to be drafted 
- The linen and the cotton are really warm and comfortable on skin
- Black is a versatile colour I can use with all my Regency dresses
- The drawstring closure makes it unique (the linen keeps it in place)
- The back of the spencer ends with very nice small tails

- There are no images of the extant garment. This would have made things easier, especially for lapels and collar. 
- The illustration in the garment description are minimal  and not detailed
- I made the sleeves a little bit tighter in the upper arm and too large in the lower arm - my fault, I'm not a friend of curved sleeves and I need to practice
- The lapels need a brooch or some small stitches to stay in place when worn

I hope these small pros&cons may help some of you out there! Pay attention to sleeves and keep in mind to enlarge your pattern enough since you're making an outer garment that has to be worn over your regular clothes (don't make my mistake...).
Now the photos - I hope you'll enjoy them!

Some examples of fashion plates from the period (because references are everything):

martedì 15 novembre 2016

Come arricciare un tessuto - Tutorial di cucito

Avete presente quelle piccole, simmetriche, arricciature che troviamo spesso nei nostri abiti, ad esempio nelle maniche o nelle gonne? Bene, in questo tutorial vedremo come imparare a realizzarle con la nostra macchina da cucire, a casa e con tranquillità. 

Prima di iniziare, assicuriamoci di avere a portata di mano:
- Stoffa
- Filo 
- Forbici
- Appositi piedini

Le arricciature possono essere realizzate in due modi: con il piedino o senza. Il procedimento con il piedino è spiegato in maniera dettagliata nel mio video tutorial, che trovate su Youtube:

Ed ecco il piedino: 

Utilizzarlo è davvero semplice: dopo aver rimosso il piedino standard con l'apposito cacciavite dato in dotazione inseriamo l'increspatore e posizioniamo la stoffa in modo che combaci con l'estremità destra del piedino; dopo aver aumentato la tensione del filo possiamo iniziare a cucire. Et voilà! 

Se invece non possediamo un piedino c'è una valida alternativa: aumentiamo la tensione del filo e la lunghezza del punto, raggiungendo la lunghezza massima consentita dalla nostra macchina, cuciamo e distribuiamo le arricciature tirando con delicatezza i fili. Otterremo un risultato molto simile a questo: 

Il consiglio è lasciare una coda molto lunga sia all'inizio sia alla fine della nostra cucitura.
Ora non vi resta che provare e far pratica! Per qualsiasi dubbio o curiosità lasciate un commento qui o sul mio canale Youtube! 

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