söndag 28 december 2014

1830s day dress

Approximately at the same time I met my dearest Peter, I found a pair of old curtains in a second hand store with a perfect pattern for a 1830s day dress, was my thought. But I packed it down well hidden away and my will to make something from that period faded under other things to sew. Until a few weeks ago when I searched my boxes and found the fabric again, this since I had thought about it for a while, and really wanted my 1830s dress this time around. I didn’t want to buy yet another fabric when I have so much already in my stash, although I wanted a plaid dress really, and I thought to use it as a test to try this new era for me. So, no more fabric until I had made something and finished something from my stash I decided for myself!  What to do other than to finish the dress quick enough so I could buy that plaid fabric and hopefully have a 1830s dress ready to wear if an opportunity ever appeared?  The thing that really made me fire up and do anything was the little lace cap I talked about in the previous post. I've had the idea back and forth about making a 1830-40s getup since forever, and I have started making slippers for the era(but a nasty accident of a needle going through and getting stuck in a bone of a finger made me too traumatised to continue, so they are half finished in a drawer now), and a bonnet previously without ever making the F*king dress, mostly because the stays was the big catch, as you know I hate making them and without them there is no point in doing a dress at all. This summer I finally made stays, which didn’t help either apparentlyin the end… but when I found a lace at a little "garage sale" a dressmaker I know of had, who now lives and works in Hong Kong, but traveled back for a short stay in Sweden, I fell in love. She had with her lots of lace pieces the Chinese rejects, for they don’t like cotton lace apparently. My first thought was to make something 18th century with it, and probably will with what is left, but after scanning pinterest for inspiration I suddenly felt such an urge to use it for a different era cap, with long ears, oh I love the caps with ears! And after it was finished I walked around the house, so in love with how it turned out, and got really irritated that I didn’t have a dress to go with it. So thanks to the cap, I now have my dress.
The cap:
This is all lace pieces hand sewn together forming the cap. I really love it and it fits perfect, staying on without fastenings, but when I wore my bonnet over I put a hatpin through it just in case.
On Christmas eve, Skansen had their gates open without any entrance fees, so at midday I, Peter and another friend went there to get some nice photos of the dress and see the lovely surroundings.
Here are some of the pictures from that day, and the dress in use.

The dress is 50/50 hand and machine sewn. I wear it over my 1800-40s corded stays, which are more comfy than I had ever dared wish for, and then I have one quilted white petticoat, and one wool petticoat for more fluff and support to shape the dress. It is closed in the back with eyes and hooks. In the absolute first picture in this post the full neckline shows, but since I was outside and it was like -4°C when I took the other photos, I chose to wear a fichu over the shoulders.
The underthingies and a sideview to show the little triangles on the arms.

Guess that’s all for this time, a happy new year and I hope it contains a little more sewing than this year, for me at least!

lördag 27 december 2014

Christmas at Edsberg

I know it has been forever since I wrote anything, but something called life and laziness is holding me in a firm grip. We are slowly renovating our kitchen and I haven't really done much of anything else than school work. But a few weeks ago we had a little get together at Edsberg again, showing how a family in a house like it would have spent their Christmas in the late 1700s. We also had a lady with us playing on her little spinet, filling the house with wonderful music. Me, I sat most of the day in a little sideroom sewing to give the visitors a picture of how a lady could spend her time.
Marianne had made food with some helpers the days before, punsch and saffron pretzels were made for the visitors to have a taste of the 18th century.
I wore my blue gown, now with a little more decoration on the front, and Tove borrowed my quilt jacket for the day. I also made her hair agin, a little easy hairdo was the result!
Pictures from the day:

Pictures by me, Tove and E.Hansdotter.

What I was sewing on is a now finished lace cap for the 1830-40s since my latest project was a 1830s dress and now I am working on sewing a 1840s one. Next post will hopefully come in a day or two as I have a lot of pictures to show of the new dress! The next internship post will have to wait to a time when I feel like going through all the pictures from then.

Bye bye!

torsdag 25 september 2014

Internship at the Royal Armoury. Part I

I got sick after Sundays little stay at the castle and now I am totally bored since I don’t have the energy to sew, so irritating since I now have time and need to do a new set of breeches and a coat for an upcoming event to Peter, and a new jacket for me. But I started researching and looking up what I wanted style wise and came across some of the pictures that I took a year ago when I did my internship at the Royal Swedish Armoury, "Livrustkammaren" as it is called in Sweden, and realised I had quite some pictures that I think many more costume nerds would like to see. When I was there last year I didn’t have a blog, but Isis asked if she could share some 17th century things I photographed when there, so there are some pictures of things you can see here, and here.
But I took a lot of pictures, how could I not when I got the chance to go inside some of the glass cases with things inside!? It was so cool to be able to get so close as one could smell the old royal garments, touch them and oh how one restrained oneself from wanting to take them down and try them on! I was so lucky to be stationed in the museum during the one time per year they did their inventory so that I was able to do this, and then on my last day after 10 whole weeks in the museum itself, I got to go visit their huge storage with everything not on display and go through some things there too.
So now I thought I would give everyone not located near Stockholm and the Royal Swedish Armoury a chance to see what is hidden behind the thick stone walls of the palace basement! 
The Royal Armoury is a museum that has most things concerning royal life, mostly war related and clothes(!), and that is why I chose to do my internship there. Their collection is mainly 18th century and forward, but they have some unique pieces from as far back as the 16th century. One example of that is this lovely velvet cloak with embroidered golden crowns and sadly not so many pearls anymore, but this is the coronation mantle worn by Eric XIV on his coronation in 1561, and I got to get this close to it.
At first I helped with a new exhibition about Gustaf II Adolf and mainly his wife Maria Eleonora which was called “Queen of hearts” after the fact that she after her king’s death in 1632 kept his heart in a little box for quite some time. This fact has made historians throughout time make her up to be a crazy lady so mad by grief she slept with his heart in a box by her bed, and made their daughter go kiss her dead father on the forehead every night in the open casket till the funeral(which is true as far as I know), but they forgot the fact that she was from a different culture where this was done normally, and so there goes the theory about her madness out the window, although she did love and grief  for her husband deeply. 
Me looking nerdy holding the queens portrait repro before it was places on the wall.

Me and curator Ann doing inventory in the childrens room in the stationary exhibition. Why do I always look so wierd and stiff?
Anyways. In the work on this exhibition I got the chance to touch and photograph some awesome things that belonged to these two people who lived back in the early 17th century, and here are some things from that time. First out is Gustaf II Adolf’s lit de parade outfit with lovely laces. It was a bit weird to hang over it inside the glass case thinking a dead man wore these clothes over 300 years ago. Really weird, but at the same time one was filled up with a sense of respect also for the life and history he made.

Next thing up is the famous heart cloth, a towel which was used to place the deceased king’s heart inside to transport it to the queen and her box. You can see the printing from the blood and the hearts shape and size. In a corner is some sort of embroidered emblem belonging to the man who transported the heart back to Sweden from Lützen.

Here is a commanders stick that is actually a, for that period, really expensive looking glass, or binoculars. It became my duty to make a steady construction for it to hang in the showcase, which made me really nervous but I managed, and the man in charge was really nice and let me do it without gloves so I have been holding an object also used by Gustaf II Adolf in war around 1627, top that!
Here are some just repeats of what Isis blogged about using my pictures, so I refrain from writing anything much about it, but it is embroidered gloves from the early 17th century, belonging to Maria Eleonora, a traveling altar belonging to her too, a neck lace that are said to have been ripped off of the kings neck in Poland during a feast by a polish low class girl who didn’t know who he was, that he later sent back for his wife to keep, and some pieces of different cloth used for their wedding.
 There were also a few pieces of jewellery that belonged to the queen on display, and some coins, but I will show two beautiful pieces, such details! One is a regular pendant many of welth wore during this time, and the second is a mourning pendant with a cute little skull hanging at the bottom.

I realise I have too much to show so I will make more posts concerning my internship, and stop here for now, but I place with my leave this picture as a teaser of what is to come! (a LOT of 18th century stuff!)
Bye bye!