Monday, 24 October 2011

Guest Lecture at Wimbledon College of Art

Last week I really enjoyed meeting the 2nd Year Costume Interpretation students at Wimbledon College of Art. I lectured on Empire and Regency Clothing as part of a project. I also bought a few original  items from my collection and some examples of the clothing I had re-created.

The students have a fantastic project where they are re-creating a fashion plate or a portrait dated between c.1811-1825. I was very inspired by their ideas and I'm looking forward to returning and seeing the results of their hard work.

Here are some links to a couple of blogs with photos from the lecture and details of the objects I bought to show them.

I would also like to mention the Metropolitan Museum 'search the collections' database again. It is an invaluable resource for referencing and inspiration!

Friday, 7 October 2011

The Military Carriage Dress

I would really like to thank everyone for their kind comments!

Here are some details of my carriage dress. The fabric was bought from Busby Fabrics and is a silk taffeta in red, shot with purple.

The outfit is made in two pieces consisting of a skirt held up with braces and a jacket which can be worn on its own as a spencer.

Here is my inspiration.

I wanted to make an outfit which was military but not copying a uniform exactly. As in the period, the 'military' decoration is an interpretation. Details such as braiding are feminised.

Here is how I made the braiding. It is the exact same fabric as the outfit. I sewed a length of the silk cut on the bias, folded in half to form a tube.  I used a rouleau turner to turn the taffeta to the right side then threaded through narrow piping cord. I made up the decoration into the design then stitched it to the garment.

Here are some details of the finished garment. At the back you can see a peplum. This seems to be a common feature on carriage dress. The sleeves are cut in one piece with the fabric extended at the top to allow for gathering.

The collar has strips of boning in the centre back and sides to support the height. There is also an interlining of linen to give it extra support and  I  ran a piece of wire all around the edge to keep the shape.

Some carriage outfits have a bodice in a different fabric attached to the skirt rather than braces.

One really important feature is the cord added to the hem of the spencer, which can be pulled up. It really helps to stop the jacket/spencer from riding up.

Finally this is a great addition to my wardrobe as it can be two outfits in one!