Showing posts from 2017

Godey's Lady's Book, July 1835

July 1835 A DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT FASHIONS. WALKING DRESS. -- Chip hat, ornamented with flowers or feathers according to Fancy, lined with blond lace - robe of plaid silk - the colours used are various. EVENING DRESS. -- Needs no other description than to mention that the hair is dressed much lower than usual, and that the colour of the dress depends entirely on the fancy of the wearer.

Godey's Lady's Book, June 1835

June 1835 DESCRIPTION OF THE FASHIONS. FIRST DRESS. The robe is composed of satin Memphis , a black ground figured in white in an Egyptian pattern. The ground is a plain silk of the richest ground, the pattern satin. The corsage  is cut low, tight to the shape, and trimmed with a standing tucker of tulle illusion . Sleeves à la folle ,* of tulle illusion , surmounted by mancherons  of the material of the dress, bordered with satin riband, a white ground lightly figured, an edged with black. The ceinture to correspond, is tied in short bows and long floating ends. The hair is parted on the forehead, disposed in luxuriant curls at the sides, and arranged in perpendicular bows formed of plaited braids behind. It is ornamented in a light and novel style, with a half-wreath formed of puffs of rich white gauze riband, which goes round the back of the head, and terminates in knots over each temple. * à la folle  - literally "madwoman-style", from the same origin conce

Godey's Lady's Book, May 1835

May 1835 RECEIPTS. MARMALADE Differs from jelly, in being the pulp  of fruit combined with sugar rather  in excess as to quantity. PLUM MARMALADE Is made by boiling the Plums for a short time, draining them, pouring them through a sieve (of hair;) again boiling, so as to reduce the pulp considerably, and adding it (the pulp) to the clarified loaf sugar, boiling at near the crack : when you obtain a good stiff consistence on your dipper, the compound is finished. Mind to stir the mass well while on the fire . Put it in pots. CHERRY MARMALADE Always take out the stones  and stalks  of fruits for Marmalade. Use 1¾ lbs. of sugar to 1 lb. of the fruit. GREEN APRICOT MARMALADE Is made by boiling the fruit till, the down becoming loose, you can rub it off with a cloth. Mash them; dry the pulp a little; and just before your boiling sugar (as above) comes to the little ball , add the pulp; stir,  and boil the whole well together. -- Pot it. APRICOTS, RIPE Are tre

Godey's Lady's Book, April 1835

April 1835 PHILADELPHIA FASHIONS. EVENING DRESSES. Sitting Figure . -- A printed satin robe, white ground, and pattern in vivid colours of small sprigs in winding columns, and large single flowers in compartments. The corsage  is cut very low and square on the back and front of the bust, but rather higher on the shoulder than they are generally made; it sits close to the shape, terminates in a peak before, and is trimmed with a single row of narrow blond lace laid on flat. Blond lace long sleeves of the usual size at the top, and moderately full from the elbow to the wrist; they are made open from the bend of the arm, but are attached in three places by gold filigree buttons, and surmounted by mancherons*  of broad blond lace. The hair parted on the forehead, is arranged on each side in a plaited band, which is doubled and hangs low. The hind-hair, also arranged in a braid, is twined round the summit of the head. Gold ear-rings, neck chain, and bracelets. White kid gloves;

Godey's Lady's Book, March 1835

March 1835 RECEIPTS. ICES. The Spaniards are famous for their ices; and, perhaps, this is not extraordinary, considering that their climate renders the use of them so indispensable. In this country, we are hardly permitted to form an opinion as to the exquisite relief they afford to a system, of which the energies have been in a state of retrogradation for twelve or fifteen hours. AGRAS -- that is, the Green-Grape iced  -- is the favourite. The Vessel. Mix salt and ice well together in a vessel, and place your freezing pot  in the midst: put into the last your juice, or cream, &c. and stir it about well : put on the cover of the vessel, and keep the ice-pot moving quickly round, by means of transverse handles; taking off the cover continually to stir up the contents of the freezing pot . Serve it up; or if not immediately wanted, put ice on the cover of the freezing pot. Creams for Icing. Add thirteen yolks of eggs to one and three-fourths pint of cream; put th

Godey's Lady's Book, February 1835

February 1835 RECEIPTS. FRUITS IMITATING NATURE. Are made by means of wooden shells ; (the color of the stone and containing an almond,) overlapped with an imitation of the Fruit  itself, made by means of leaden moulds into which sugar boiled sufficiently has been poured. When taken from the mould, the sugar is varnished with isinglass; and this last is strewn over with dry colour, to represent the peculiar bloom  of the fruit. I should have stated that the isinglass is tinted with liquid colour to represent that of the fruit while it (the isinglass) is dissolving. CHESTNUTS IN CLARIFIED SUGAR. Are a favorite little dish. The sugar (2 lbs.) is boiled, and ten yolks of eggs being beaten up with a small quantity of some choice liqueur, these last are added, and the whole is manipulated into a paste, which with powdered sugar, is formed into the appearance of chestnuts; colour them a little where necessary. FOR SCOURING GRAYS, DRAB COLOURS, FAWNS, MAROONS, AND ALL OTHE

Godey's Lady's Book, January 1835

Recently I spent some time in St. Albans, Vermont, a town up near the Canadian border. There you will find a small bookstore called The Eloquent Page, which has an entire bookcase  full of Godeys, Petersons, and the like, and two or three more with books on fashion history written in the 20th and 21st centuries. Go there if you have the opportunity! I purchased the 1835 Godey's Lady's Book and the 1842 Ladies' Cabinet. I'll be sharing the illustrations and descriptions from each! Godey's unfortunately does not appear to have run a fashion section in every issue, but for those that don't have plates I'll try to share something else good from the month. January 1835 PREVAILING FASHIONS. Coat Dress . -- Stone coloured silk. The capes trimmed with fur or silk, with buttons in front. Cashmere shawl with gay border. Green velvet bonnet, trimmed with gauze riband, or blond lace. In some instances the 'Bird of Paradise' is added to the trimming.

Fabulous Full-Slip (and the Haslam System)

When I posted about my half-slip , I linked to some information about the Haslam System of Dresscutting but didn't really get into it. Let me rectify that now! The Haslam System is a method of creating patterns for anyone, at any size within a particular range. Where a paper pattern comes at full size in a range of set measurements, and a gridded pattern à la  Janet Arnold comes in one particular size, Haslam patterns were printed to scale, roughly, with information on how to make them full size depending on an individual's measurements. The way this works is through the use of a two-sided chart . (The one at the link is prepared to be printed on A4 paper, so if you're American it will cut off some of the edges, but it's fixable.) Each side helps you draft the top of the back and front of a bodice sloper specific to any individual: the chart is perforated to allow you to plot points based on your neck, shoulder, and bust measurements, and on one side there are a few

Heavenly Half-Slip

Lately I've been having a really hard time sewing anything, in part because I'm fairly busy (reading and researching, writing podcast episodes, writing answers for AskHistorians , just moderating   AskHistorians ) and in part because the project I was working on, a green cotton shirtwaist dress, was just not happening. It frustrated and discouraged me, and stood in my way until I put it aside and went, "I'm just not going to sew anything, then." This was a problem, because winter has rolled around again, and I'm left where I was this past April: for the cold season, I have two purchased retro dresses (each with its fit problems), two I've made, and a wool skirt I made very badly about six years ago and do not like to wear. I really want at least one, or maybe two new pieces to cycle in! But the recent failure made the thought of planning another big project really unappealing. Fortunately, another unsolved problem from last winter made for a very quic

AMBA: The Recent History of Mourning

This episode took me forever to write. I was originally going to start with a blog post I wrote a few years ago, relying on primary sources on mourning from the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Then, as I started to go through it, I started to reinterpret a number of the primary sources, and then I came across Lou Taylor’s book, Mourning Dress: a Costume and Social History , and I realized that I needed to fully read it and regroup. So. (This is the transcription of the episode, for those who prefer reading to listening, or want to go back and double-check something they heard.) Walking dress and evening dress in the general mourning for Princess Charlotte, La Belle Assemblée,  Nov. 1817 Funerals and mourning goods seem to have become status symbols in Europe in the late Middle Ages, when royalty and the upper aristocracy began to indulge in long funeral processions with large numbers of mourners and horses in black draperies. Male mourners would wear loose gowns of

The Evolution of the French Hood

The French hood of the sixteenth century is an interesting garment. Costume designers have been making theatrical version for years that miss the mark, turning them into structured headbands that arc up over the back of the head. So what exactly is a French hood? Not quite a French hood, almost a kokoshnik, from The Tudors I'm not sure what the earliest use of the term is, but Caroline Johnson notes in  The Queen's Servants  that the Princesses Margaret and Mary were issued red and black velvet for French hoods in 1501, on the marriage of Prince Arthur and Katherine of Aragon, and that Margaret brought "three yards of black velvet for hoods, oreillettes and frontlets of the French style" with her to Scotland in 1503. The version of the French hood worn at the time was far from anything that could translate into a headband - a two-layered headdress, with a (typically) black silk piece overlaid on either a band or cap of (typically) red, white, and/or gold. De

AMBA: What is Fashion History?

The latest episode of the A Most Beguiling Accomplishment  podcast is out! As promised, it discusses the methodologies of fashion history and #PocketGate . Corset, 1860-1870; Philadelphia Museum of Art 1947-53-17 What does a corset have to do with the history of pockets? You'll have to listen to find out! Remember, patrons of my Patreon  get to suggest and vote on future topics of the blog and podcast!

Looking at the Late Middle Ages

Castle of Love, from the Pseudo-Heloise Poems, 1475-1483; BL Royal MS 16 F II f.188 I mentioned the other day that I'm really interested in the very early Tudor period - and lately I've been laying the groundwork for potential sewing/experimental archaeology in that era. This is difficult, because I'm used to doing rigorous research in the Early Modern Era forward, where you have access to: - extant garments of all kinds to look at online - extant garments fairly easily found for individual, in-person study (after about 1750) - patterns taken by other researchers of pieces chosen to be either representative or unique - lush, detailed portraits and genre prints - works of fiction that describe clothing or show which aspects of it are important to society - manuals for tailoring and dressmaking - magazines intended to disseminate fashions and/or sell commercial patterns If I want to make a gown for 1874, I can be very sure of what was fashionable, what was comm