Showing posts from January, 2015

Pride and Prejudice 1995: The Little Things

I did threaten to write about the Ehle/Firth Pride and Prejudice , and since I'm in a writing mood without a topic I decided to make good. Regency adaptations tend to go for an overall accurate look, interpreting age and income within the confines of realistic silhouettes and colors, and so they avoid the scrutiny and reputation that a more obviously artistic and unrealistic production garners. But just as this version of P&P  is not entirely faithful in every respect (e.g. the added Darcy-perspective scenes, the actors nearly all being significantly older than their characters - perhaps the most egregious example being Julia Sawalha in her late twenties playing teenage Lydia), Dinah Hill's costuming is not entirely accurate - mainly in ways that make the period more appealing to modern tastes. The exact date when the story is set is never given; generally, the movie's taken to be set in 1813, when the book was published. I'm not going to go into the full story of

Day Dress (1865-1868)

Day dress, 1865-1868; CHM 1990.56.1 (pattern available at link) It's been a little while since I've shown a patterned garment from the Chapman, so I thought I would give you another. This one also goes very well with my previous post From Hoop to Bustle , as it comes from the years when women wore the elliptical hoop at its widest: as you can see in the pattern , the skirt panels are quite flared. I might have made the date range a little wide - 1865 is a little early. The center back is cartridge pleated, which is characteristic of the end of the 1860s; earlier gored skirts (1860-1865) were more usually pleated all the way around. At the end of the 1860s dresses most usually had a short overskirt, but as you can see in the wonderful comparandum plate below, this was not a requirement. Fashion plate, probably from Peterson's Magazine , 1868; NYPL 803083 The thing I love about this dress is that it strikes me as an attempt to get at a princess-cut gown, which was

From Hoop to Bustle: 1856-1875 (HSM #1)

(For a while I intended to join in on the Historical Sew Monthly 2015, using it to put together an outfit for a Halloween wedding, but I realized that the themes were not lining up exactly with what I needed to sew. Before I thought I might participate properly in '15, I came up with the idea of participating by writing an in-depth post on the subject for each period, and I decided to go back to that idea. For January - Foundations - I'm looking at the development and evolution of the mid-nineteenth century hoop skirt to the bustle.) Something I find very interesting about the history of clothing is the contrast between the fluidity and briefness of periods of various fashions, and the way we solidify them by naming them and choosing to concentrate on specific periods. That's a very  jargony way of putting it, sorry; an example would be that the trend of a bell-shaped hoop lasted for only about five years, but somebody who chooses to recreate that period is, in a way, m

2014 In Review - Writing-Style

I very briefly considered looking at my sewing output from the last year, but as it consists of the Cranford dress, a yoked circle skirt, a pair of pants, and two knit tops, it was too depressing to contemplate. As my true work is in writing, I thought that instead of depressing you with more self-criticism of my fitting skills, I would put together a Best Of 2014 by-the-month compilation instead. January Cabinet des Modes, 5e Cahier, 1ere Planche   (January 15, 1786): Nakara  satin robe à la turque  with white satin corset  and petticoat. February Cabinet des Modes, 10e Cahier, 2e Planche   (April 1, 1786): A woman in a white gauze baigneuse  and veil with nakara  ribbon, and a woman in a hat à la Maltoise . March Cabinet des Modes, 13e Cahier, 1ere Planche : (May 15, 1786): Woman in a blue  pékin   turque , trimmed with white crêpe and artificial roses, and in a chapeau-bonnette . April Cabinet des Modes, 21e Cahier, 2e Figure   (September 15