Monday, 30 May 2011

News from Fichu

Work is extremely busy at the moment. I am currently finishing some men's outfits from the 1790s and will be making some British Napoleonic uniforms next. It's certainly a change from making dresses but I like the variety of work which comes with my job.

I wanted to mention a very good resource for research. Augusta Auctions have a searchable database of past sales on their website. I have found it very useful for looking at details and gaining inspiration.

I would also like to mention  OMG That Dress! It's very inspirational.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A Small Grand Tour - Cherasco 1796

I am sorry for not blogging for the last couple of weeks but I have been working on a new set of 1796 clothing for customers and myself.  Most of my current stock starts from 1805 so I had to go back to the drawing board with my patterns. Fashion in this period was still in transition. The dresses have the cutting ideas and shaping from the late 1780s and early 1790s but were evolving to fit over a natural form rather than structured underpinnings. I also wanted to use this opportunity to put into practise my study of cut and construction techniques from my work on 'Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion'.

For myself I made two day dresses plus I updated an overgown which I made in 2006. The images below illustrate my inspiration and starting point for the clothing (images from Kyoto, Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion, Journal des Luxus und der Moden, The Cut of Women's Clothes)

 On the surface the cutting looked simple but once I got started  I found the sleeves quite tricky. The placement of the sharp 'V' shape point on the back was a challenge and it was at this point I decided to set it in by hand. I also added linen under flaps to support the bodice. These were separate from the bodice and skirt.

Bodice and sleeve pattern pieces.

The top edge of the skirt was turned over, gathered, then whipped onto the bodice. This technique (which is period correct ) helped the drape of the skirt and stopped the gathers from collapsing. Below are some photos from the event and the results. A special thanks should go to Cristina Barreto and Martin Lancaster for organising our part of the event. Cristina also organised the making of the shoes and hats.

 I will post more details soon.........