2017 was the year of very few, very time-consuming projects:
A new Francaise after one of Boucher’s portraits of Madame de Pompadour
An embroidered waistcoat
Also I made a few pieces that didn’t take that much time:
I finished this last December but things happened, so I’ll have to try to remember what I did there.
My inspiration came from one particular jacket – which was featured in the Revolution in Fashion 1715 – 1815 exhibition and catalogue and has since then been sold to a Museum of Applied Arts in Berlin.
The fun fact about the Revolution in Fashion exhibition catalogue is that 98 percent of the 18th century part of Kyoto Costume Institute’s Fashion book is that exhibition catalogue minus all the stuff that came from a private Swiss collector. Who sold his collection in the mid-oughts to that Berlin museum which explains the wandering jacket. Once you know that you begin to see how awkwardly cropped some of the images in Fashion are.
This jacket is not particular original though, similar museum’s pieces are a dime a dozen which is why Janet Arnold has pretty much a ready-made pattern for this jacket. The only difference between Arnold and this jacket is actually the button placement.
The inspiration jacket is made out of silk lampas which I didn’t have in small amounts at the time. I looked and looked – and funnily enough I kept looking even after I started the jacket, which netted me my court gown project – and then decided to use the leftover fabric from the blue Francaise.
I approached this jacket with some sort of “let’s not spend too much time on this” mindset, which became a bit of a joke once I moved on to the stomacher.
This jacket required interlining and it really made a difference. Janet Arnold asked for felt but I used a thin but really stiff cotton fabric. It worked out quite well.
So when I thought I was finished with the jacket, I was kind of in doubt about the stomacher. I thought about doing a lampas stomacher or some sort of lacing but basically I always ended up with the idea that the only correct choice would be an embroidered one.
I decided to embroider it blue silk on blue silk – which was technically possible but for which I could not find any period example for a stomacher. White on white existed, silver/gold on colored solid ground existed, color on white existed but if blue on blue did exist, it has left no trace. (EDIT: Blue silk embroidery on blue silk did exist around 1750.) To be fair, if I had to redo it, I would do it in silver. Oh, well.
The stitches are chain stitches for the outlines of the flowers and the vines, and satin stitches for everything else. Two of the big flowers are padedd though and the third one uses short satin stitches. Also obvious: overreliance on trick marker.
The basic pattern comes from 18th Century Embroidery Techniques by Gail Marsh and the idea to use large satin stitches for the top and bottom flower I took from existing embroidered waistcoats.
When I was finished with the stomacher I realized that I didn’t have a fitting petticoat, so I made one as well. I also embroidered the buttons with little flowers. A painful process – not because of the embroidery – but because the “getting the embroidered fabric pieces centered on the button” part.
Finally, I failed to take decent pictures of me wearing that dress.
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