torstai 28. helmikuuta 2013

The Pelisse Project

I've gone and done it. I've begun the Pelisse Project, after the gorgeous Museum of London pelisse. Some weeks ago I actually emailed the museum for some more information about the garment and they answered very quickly and even sent me some photos of it before it was put on display. Those photos were really helpful and really gave me a better idea on how to proceed with the sewing.

I even managed to find nice fabric for the project, never an easy feat in a town with only one fabric shop selling clothing fabric. My choice is cotton viscose, sort of purplish red, almost papal in some lights... :) I know, the viscose isn't very period accurate, nor is the colour, but beggars can't be choosers. I'm very happy with the fabric, though, it works fine, it's just the right thickness and has a nice fall and shimmer to it.

So far I've cut the pieces, assembled and fitted the bodice and the hem and sewn them together, figured out the petal oversleeves, cut and hemmed them and only just finished the collar. Next step would be the immense amount of rouleaux piping to be made and sewn into those leafy shapes to imitate the original. I also have the beading to do. I mean to do the piping and beading decoration on the sleeves before I sew the seams, because that sort of work is so much easier to do on a flat piece rather than on a 3D one.

For pattern's I've used my trusted regency bodice pattern which I took from Jean Hunnisett's book and the pelisse hem  is an 1820s three-piece pattern also from Hunnisett's book. The sleeves are from Janet Arnold's book and I drafted the petal oversleeves and the collar myself. Here are some construction photos of the project so far.

Preparing to cut the pieces. The hem pieces are chalked on the fabric.

First try-on. The hem is only pinned on here.

The petal sleeves in the making.

The collar. I'm very pleased with its shape!

lauantai 9. helmikuuta 2013

Double, double, toil(e) and trouble...

I've started with the chinoiserie stays. I made a toile, which was ok, so the pieces are now cut and I'm about to start sewing them together and making boning channels. The pattern is from Norah Waugh's Corsets and Crinolines, ca.1780s, and at this point I'm just hoping that they work out. I'm not a big fan of staymaking, but maybe this time it'll go well.
I also made a toile for 1820s stays because I thought that once I'm forcing myself to make stays, I might make two pairs while I'm at it. These stays are also from Corsets and Crinolines, the pattern taken from original corded stays in V&A collections. I still need to buy fabric and cord for these but I'm actually really looking forward to making them.Check back in couple of weeks to hear me take this statement back and curse all stays...
This enthusiasm stems from a pelisse project, the Museum of London pelisse, to be exact. I emailed the museum for more info on the lovely pelisse I mentioned in my previous post and they answered very promptly, with additional pictures of the pelisse before it was put on display! The pictures were very helpful and I'm itching to begin making the pelisse; I only need to find a suitable fabric. The orginal is silk, but I thought I might try thin taffeta, cotton or cotton blend. Still no clue of which colour it should be. Not white or black; maybe strong red or some light pastel.