söndag 22 juni 2014

1840's Bonnet

What a fun start on the summer holidays, of course I get sick, while we were out just Peter and me on a romantic trip to his family’s summerhouse… so what did I do? I was stationed in the sofa and was sooooo bored, until I found the miniseries Jane Eyre on youtube, the 2006 one being the first version of the story I ever came across, and it is still the best version in my opinion. I don’t know how true it is to the book though, since I haven’t read it yet, but maybe I should…
Anyways, this kicked my sleeping idea of a late 1830-40’s assemble I have had in the back of my mind for a while, and have the fabric for at home. The first thing I was really excited to try out was making a bonnet, which I have never done before, not from scratch that is. So as soon as we got home again I started fiddling with a pattern. I am in love with the crazily cuteness of the styles of the 1830’s era, but I don’t like the transitional 1835-40ischy bonnets, or they are funny in one way, but I think they are looking like spoons, they don’t centre the face in the flattering way I feel the later bonnets do, so I decided to go for a later model, more common to be found in the 1840’s.
What I would call spoony... not so flattering, but I do love the rest of the outfit!
Then came the decision of the rest of the design, what colour should I pick? If you look at fashion plates from the time one colour seems to be very often used – yellow. It is a colour I adore, it is so happy, so I didn’t think twice about making me a bright yellow bonnet!

And I am so in love with the yellow bonnet Euphemia White Van Rensselaer is wearing in this portrait, simple and beautiful.
So, bright yellow silk for the outside, and creamy white cotton-satin on the inside, for my bonnet was the idea. Now afterwards I think I should have put the yellow silk on the inside as well, but oh well, there are other things I think I should have done differently too now, but I see it as learning until next time, I did it as I said earlier as a total experiment, I had no clue of how to actually make one, still don’t.
But I started out with some sort of buckram, but according to the woman I bought it from it was not buckram.. so I don’t know what it is, but some sort of quite hard net, feels plastic to the touch but is some sort of waxed thread. I have seen other people use something like it to make hats so I thought it would do. Then I sewed on a piece of aluminium thread along the outer edge so that when the bonnet is done I can change the front in which style I please. I know aluminium thread sucks, really, but it doesn’t rust and it shapes easily, too easily really, but I don’t know what else to use since I don’t know what millinery wire is in Swedish, nor where to buy it.. so, aluminium it is! Works better than nothing. Afterwards, to stabilise the aluminium thread and smoothen out the edges, and make a gripping ground for sewing on the outer layer I sewed on bias tape. This was the only thing sewn on the machine, ant then I sewed the cotton-satin lining together also. But everything else is done by hand.
 Then, when all was sewn together, and I successfully buckled it up… yeah I’m so good.. I didn’t know how to sew the end circle in the back without turning it inside out and then back. But since the next step was sewing on flannel on both the inside and out, that made it less noticeable.

Around this point I realised that I had made the neckline to low, I should have made it higher in the back so that the neckline didn’t lay towards the neck, but instead the lower head and by that I would have been able to wear a low ponytail or bun under the bonnet and not only inside. But I was so irritated about the previous matter and determined to make it anyways so I continued with dressing it in the outer fabrics and decided to sew on the back flounce higher and by that disguising my error.

And the last thing to do was the final decoration, which turned it in to this: (beautiful Peter demonstrating how it looks on)

Finally I will try to find some kind of buttons or so in yellow preferably to sew on upon the white organza ribbons on the sides, but for now it is finished. Even if I would have wanted it to be yellow on the inside brim also, this was a nice saving with the lace.

lördag 7 juni 2014

National holiday, a picnic and white lingerie gowns!

The 6th of June is Sweden’s “birthday”, it is our national holiday and this year it was spent with a picnic for history nerds lacking a better word. Me, Peter and our friend went in 1900-isch garbs, but it was people dressed in all from Vikings to the 1950’s and I think some people just tagged along with partners and such and was just wearing regular clothes. But it was awesome!


So, I was wearing a white “lingerie” dress, cirka 1900-1905, the skirt I made a few weeks ago, but the blouse part I made in the summer of 2012. Here is two pictures of the dresstype from the time:

The plan was from the beginning to make the whole thing simultaneously but I ran out of white fabric and that summer I was really broke, so I couldn’t buy more, and then last summer was more a 1700’s summer so I didn’t get any reason to continue then. When I made the blouse, instead of the matching skirt I made a white and lavender striped circle skirt to wear with it, in linen. That skirt came in handy since we needed an extra outfit for this day.  

Me in 2012 at the left, and miss D at the picnic, but with another blouse, at the right.

Now, the new skirt is made in two layers, as an underskirt and then an overskirt so I can use the underskirt for different garments. They are both sewn with the same pattern style.

Underskirt at the left, at the right the overskirt with inserted lace pieces and the belt with an antique buckle from the 1900's. And the whole dress and detail of the neckline (picture from 2012 so there is another broach) which is all antique lace sewn together, piece by piece, by hand to make the V-pattern:


The unmentionables…

My dress was highly inspired by Helena Bonham Carters white dress she wears in A Room with A View in Florence when George steals a kiss from Lucy. Still it became a totally different dress then hers in the end, but you can see the likness.
Peter was wearing a linen jacket and a grey waistcoat and pants. All of his clothes were bought except for the starched collar, or the failed starched collar I tried to make in a hurry.. we really need to buy one…
the boater was a chance swap that same day, since I bought a boater for men to myself some years ago before I found a boater meant for a lady. I kept the man boater since I didn’t know when I would meet someone that perhaps was going to come with me to historical events. What I hadn’t planed for was that he would perhaps have a head sized XL…. So my boater didn’t match Peter, but a friend had one that was to big for her husband so we swapped and it was a miracle, the thing was actually the right size! He looks great, doesn’t he!? The clock he is holding is a real late 19th century clock, a gift from miss D who works in an auction market/antique store.

The day was spent in Haga, once a royal playground, now a public park with some historical monuments. The picnic was centred around Ekotemplet, once built to be an open dining hall for Gustaf III, I believe. 


I think we were around 200 people, not sure but we were many and if you want to see pictures of us all lined up in chronological order after our costumes, it can be found here, as well as more overall photographs, since I of course didn’t think of that myself..
But I managed to take some photos at least, here goes! Madame Berg and Aggi playing some kind of game with a lad. 

Photo: Kiran

Thought it was a little funny that we took pictures by chance that matched up so well with a real picture from 1904.

The hat, my hat that is, I can add, is totally and utterly done by moi too! :)

Updating with some photos that has come up, taken by A. Björnsdotter: