Magpiecostumer's Blog

Archive for the category “18th century”

An extant example from the Metropolitan Museum

I have finally found publicly available photograph of an extant muslin Robe à l’Anglaise from the Metropolitan Museum all  of the examples I’ve seen so far are embroidered so the fact that I’m using a plain fabric is a variation from the documentation but its a variation I can cope with.

While I was searching the met website I found a lot of portraits that could help with my search for a hairstyle I can imitate (Using the advanced search for the years 1760-1799). I just bought a wig on ebay so I can make an attempt at a good 18th century hairstyle.

My stays are now fully boned. I ran out of artificial whalebone as I didn’t allow enough extra for the fact that the boning I’m using is narrower than the pattern recommends so I ended up finishing the centre front panels with cable ties.


18th century Hair ideas

The last few days have been spent looking at 18th century hair. Watching The Duchess helps for 3D images and pictures of the back but nothing beats period images. I’ve been looking at portraits I don’t want seriously high hair but I’m looking at wigs on ebay as I contemplated styling my own hair with rats but decided that a lot of curls down the back of my head would be too much effort. Instead I’m planning to do something based on this tutorial. I’m now in the process of  going through a lot of images of later 18th century hairstyles to get some inspiration.

My list of images so far is mostly portraits so you can’t generally see the back of the hairstyle but you get more variation than fashion plates. Here’s my links roughly in the order I discovered them. I haven’t yet gone through them all properly to narrow down a single style.

On a clothing front I have nearly finished boning my stays. This is a photo of the cotton drill interlining of my stays. I bought it mainly because I got about 5 metres for $2 and the pattern is fun. This print will be visible on the inside but the outer layer will be brown linen.

c.1780s ‘Chocolate’ Robe A l’Anglais

I  know its been a long time since I updated and I promised more photos from my holiday but it seems a little late to upload pictures now.

I’ve started a new project for the Earthly Delights ‘Age of Indulgence Chocolate ball’ in July. I’m trying as much as possible to use items from my stash but I don’t have enough brown in my stash to make a gown (except for some taffeta that is set aside for another project) .

Last year I saw a yellow embroidered muslin Robe A l’Anglais at the museum of London (unfortunately this was a behind the scenes tour and I’m not allowed to share the photos) I also saw a white embroidered Robe A l’Anglais at the Hereford Museum (again I’m not allowed to share photos) The only thing I can share with you is this example from the V&A of a ‘Sack back robe’ in sheer cotton. It’s not quite the same but its an example of making a traditional style of gown in the newly fashionable muslin.

So the result of all this is that I have decided to use a purple cotton/silk blend voile as purple is also closely associated with chocolate it’s a close enough association for me.

I’m using Simplicity 3635 for the corset and Fig Leaf Patterns 101 for the Robe. More updates to come soon with photos.

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