Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sacque and Petticoat, ca. 1765 - Preview

Today I spent about six hours taking the pattern of the sacque and petticoat that will be displayed in Great, Strange, and Rarely Seen - so I thought I might post the rough draft up here for comments, critiques, &c.  I'm going to redraw it in ink for the final version, move pieces around (rotate some), write directions in better handwriting, all that sort of thing, but is there anything that seems odd or confusing or messed up in some way?




NB - the linen isn't actually 90 wpi - I counted 15 per quarter inch and ... um ... I probably shouldn't do math in my head anymore.  It's fixed on my pencil copy.

I'm especially interested in thoughts on dating - the information given with the ensemble when it was donated in 1915 says that it was worn by Anna Van Schaick at her wedding in 1775, but it simply doesn't feel that late to me (hence the "ca. 1765" in the post title).  Thoughts?  A picture of the trim and fabric below.


One last question.  The side-back seam is definitely done with both pieces of linen and the back piece of the silk sewn together at the same time, and the front bodice piece lapped over the seam and sewn down with running stitches all the way through to the lining.  I'm not quite sure what stitch was used in the first step, though.  Here's a picture I took (click to enlarge) - the running stitch next to the seam is from the lapped piece, and the smaller stitches are the ones confusing me.  Hopefully someone else has used a technique that looks like this and can identify it?


ETA: Another specific question! For the places around the armscye where (how to explain it) two seams cross and one goes into the seam allowance of the other - do you think the seam allowance should be indicated with a lighter line (as it is now), or would it be sufficient to explain in text?

13 comments:

  1. Oh yay ! A pattern ! and the gown looks stunning, from what we can see. Is it entirely embroidered ? I honestly don't know about the seam, could it be a simple running stitch ? (although the stitches seem not slanted enough for that to me...)

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    1. It's actually brocaded. It's very pretty, where you can see the whole pattern!

      It seems like the stitches would be awfully big, though. What it looks like to me is that the back lining and silk are put together, and the front lining seam allowance is folded under and whipped all the way through the layers - but I've never seen that in a pattern description, so it makes me worried that I'm misinterpreting what's there.

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  2. Wow. This is amazing. It's a bit hard to make out all the details on the pattern at the moment, but after the ink and word clarification, it should be fine. It is so great that you are willing to do all of this! That stitch is bizarre. Almost like an upside-down slip stitch. It looks like the slanted stitches coorespond pretty deliberately to the running stitches... I have no idea. But I look forward to seeing what you ferret out of it!

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    1. Are you looking at it in full size? Left-clicking on the images doesn't make them as big as they can be. If you right click and open in a new tab, you can zoom in a lot! (Unless it's just not clear.)

      Hmm, upside-down slip stitch! I hadn't thought of that. I'm probably going to take a second look at this next week - I keep thinking of things that I should have checked but didn't.

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  3. Cassidy, I saw your post on 18th c life, and your pattern looks quite good, showing the folded front edge, the triangle and even the sleeve looks good, totally the hardest part of any pattern! As for the dating, I would need to see the gown full length, back and front, before guesstimating!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I did about half the sleeve and then had to work on something else for a bit out of frustration.

      I thought a full picture might be necessary! I was hoping that maybe some aspect of the pattern might provide a good clue, though.

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  4. Dear Cassidy,
    Well done! This truly is exciting. I read each sketch as if I were going to actually use it, and have a few questions per page. Overall, you might wish to label each piece so that those with less experience or visual aptitude and identify it.
    First page:
    - To what does the note "shoulder strap" refer just under the header "saque and petticoat"?
    - I assume the robing piece is the long shape next to the bodice pattern?
    Second page:
    - This is of of the robe front and back, I assume.
    - Puffings on pleated trim: I deduce that the trim is one long straight piece, box pleated except where the puffings are, and at the puffings, the trim sewn firmly to the skirt silk and stuffed with wool?
    - The information showing that the skirt pieces were folded under at the edges at oblique angles is so useful!
    Third page:
    - This is the petticoat, I assume.
    - The scalloped trim piece is the flouncing on the front of the skirt, and the flouncing pattern is shown?

    Thanks so kindly,

    Natalie

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    1. Thank you so much for the detailed critique, that's exactly what I'm looking for and you've given me some good things to change. The shoulder strap is part of the lining. Your piece identifications are spot-on. The trim seems to be a straight piece, but its width varies - the box-pleated parts are the actual width pictured, and the puffs are 1.5 inches across. The only part where the puffs are sewn to the skirt is at the gathering spots; I'm not quite sure how the wool stays in. Yes, that's the flouncing pictured above the petticoat.

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    2. Cassidy, good construction notes along with the diagram detailing all of the sewing construction will be very helpful to you and others later on. I use Linda Baumgartens construction details in Costume Closeup as a guide and it has worked very well. I also indicate on my graphs width and length, avoiding lots of counting of little squares. Hallie

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  5. What is "Great, Strange, and Rarely Seen"? (And sorry that looks like the opening line of a joke)...but my interest was piqued by your redrafted 1765 patterns of the sacque and petticoat. I'd like to know if you're working on an exhibit for your internship, or if this is for a reenactment costume. It's interesting to view the patterns and notations.

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    1. Great, Strange, and Rarely Seen is an exhibition being put on by the Albany Institute of History and Art - it encompasses a huge variety of artifacts, but I'm working on the ones related to fashion (combs, fans, dresses, hair jewelry, etc.). I brought up the idea of publishing Janet Arnold-esque patterns of all the dresses in it in a pamphlet to sell in the gift shop, but due to time and money constraints it was decided that it'd be better to put pictures of the dresses on the museum's website along with downloadable PDFs of the patterns. So everyone will be able to have them! And part of my selection process was based on whether or not the patterns would be duplicates of those in Arnold or Waugh.

      I would really, really love to make a copy for reenactment in the future, though! I normally don't like fly fringe or that amount of decoration, but the bows on the petticoat hooked me.

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  6. Regarding your question about the seam, on page 8 of Costume Close-Up: Clothing Construction and Pattern 1750-1790, by Linda Baumgarten & John Watson, toward the bottom of the page are 2 sketches of 18th century seams. Your seam looks similar to the lower sketch on page 8 of a bodice seam.

    Tailoretta.wordpress.com

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    1. After having tried a few things, I think it's similar to that - running stitch through both lining pieces and the back top piece, and then the front lining piece is folded back (and the front top piece is topstitched over it).

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