miss_philomena: (Default)

Because the francaise dinner is only two weeks away and I really do need something better than a chemise gown to wear. >_>

I actually bought this fabric to make this mantua two years ago, but I kept putting off because hey, cutting into expensive silk brocade is a bit scary. Plus to get the mantua length right I wouldn't have enough for a matching petticoat, but after looking at a LOT of 1680s and 1690s plates and etchings, most of them didn't have a matching petticoat.

So today I finally started working on it. I'm mostly following the diagram in The Cut of Women's Clothes for the late 17th century mantua in the Met (it's labelled as 1700 in the book, the Met has it a little earlier). The diagram shows it with a stomacher and belt, which is how I have it draped at the moment, but I might change that. I do know I'm going to do shorter sleeves than what the diagram shows.

Tomorrow I'm going to baste the side body seams together so I can try it on and check the fit and lay of it, and see if I want to have a closed or open front. The only reason I hesitate to do a close front is I'm much wider than the original, and I'm not sure it'd be flattering on me. We'll see~~

I basted the center back seam to make it easier to do the rest of the tucks. The pins are just to keep the fabric underneath from wiggling around before I topstitch it, and the center neckline needs to be trimmed down still.

a couple more pics )

miss_philomena: (mantua back)
My plaid silk arrived yesterday, and my pink and gold damask arrived today!!! I'm resisting the urge to start working with then until after this weekend, and it's very very hard. :<

I can't wait to start working on my mantua. I think I'm a bit too excited about it. >_> I'm also thinking of entering it in the historical masquerade at Costume Con. That decision isn't final yet, though.

For those of you that have done the masquerades at Costume Cons in the past- what did you do on stage for the show itself? And how detailed and technical (and long) was your documentation?
miss_philomena: (Default)
The auction for the damask I was bidding on was pulled. D: But there were six days left and bidding was almost up to my limit anyway, so even if it had run the full time, I probably would've lost it anyway. Sooooo I went looking for something else and snatched this damask as a BIN. It's pink and gold, obviously, but as the V&A mantua was a blue and silver damask in what looks like a large, repeating pattern, I figure it will do just fine. There's 8 yards of the pink and gold, which is what I was figuring on needing.

It didn't process when I first started looking at the Met's mantua, but it has a center back measurement of 104 inches. Now, going by my own measurements at 5'6, from the back of my neck to the floor is about 54 inches. That means the train of the mantua is 50 inches, or over 4 feet long. Now that's a lot of brocade dragging on the floor. But for the sake of pictures being faithful to the original, I'm going to make mine that long as well. Because of the way the Met has it draped, I think I can sneak some type of lining/backing for the train. I'm toying with the idea of flatlining it with silk organza, because it won't add much bulk. Do you have any thoughts on that, flist?

I also (finally) stopped dragging my feet about the stays I'll need for under this. My original thought was that I'd either have to use steel boning or order reed. But then I realized there might be something left over from when my dad used to re-cane chairs. His stuff was all either round or square, so I grabbed the smallest he had, which is about 1/8" diameter. (It's been hanging in the garage for who knows how many years collecting dust and dirt, so I'm soaking it in the tub overnight to get it a bit cleaner.) I'm hoping two reeds per channel will be strong enough. I might also do every fourth or fifth channel with steel anyway, to add a little extra support.

And now, to bring back an old theme~ The Mom chronicles! I convinced her to make a journal ([livejournal.com profile] gwenevereofisis) a couple weeks ago, and she's been lurking around in the comms I added her to, but apart from me she has no friends yet. D: But that's not why I'm bringing her up now. We're going to an SCA event on Saturday, and I've been helping her make a basic 6 gore kirtle. I draped a muslin on her, and then drafted the pattern off of that. We were a bit short on the teal-green wool for it, only about 4.5 yards, so I laid it out and did all the cutting and pinning, but she's done all the piecing on her own. Tomorrow we need to put in the sleeves and sew the lining in, and then it'll be picture time! And then mom will be on her own for doing all the hand sewing, i.e. the eyelets for the front lacing, the buttonholes for the sleeves, and the hem. I've got my own hand sewing to do to finish up my outfit for Saturday, after all.
miss_philomena: (Default)
I've got the Watteau polonaise all pieced, apart from the stomacher and sleeves, and pinned up on my dress form. (No pictures because I haven't gotten around to digging my camera out and charging it. >_>) I'm not entirely crazy with how the back of it lays over my bustle, but I think part of it is because it's only over a petticoat right now, which a) is nowhere near as full as the matching skirt will be, and b) only has a couple inches of train in the back, so it's not flaring out there to support the polonaise. I'm also toying with the idea of making Laughing Moon's train supporting bustle, which will flare out the back of the skirt and polonaise nicely. But I think that, which is not specifically needed at this point in time, will have to wait.

I've also started planning my next project as well. I've wanted to make an 18th century mantua for a while now, when the style became a bit more defined and regulated. My first plan was to style it after the 1710s mantua in the V&A, but now I'm thinking I want to go a touch earlier, before it became standard to loop the train up. And I can't deny that I've always been drawn to the Met's 1708 mantua. I've been looking at all the pictures of it for a while today, trying to figure out how exactly they arranged the poofs in the back, and I think, rather than folding the skirt back over itself and securing it at the center back waist, they either tucked the sides under, or just much lower, and then puffed a bit of the back up over it to make that big puff. You can kind of see that it was done slightly differently in the two different sets of pictures, as the train is longer in one set.

As for fabric for the mantua, I have my eye on a couple damasks on ebay, and if those fall through, I'll just look for something in New York next time I'm up there. I'd really prefer a damask or brocade, but worse comes to worse I'll use something solid. (I'm holding out for a specific damask, though, if it doesn't go too high. >_>)

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