I’m Back!!!!

Turns out I really miss sewing, life took over a bit but now I’m living with my other half in our own place I have free run to do as I want and make as much mess as I need, I’ve even been teaching him to sew!  20160916_133016

I’ve started drawing, focusing on what i want to make and i already have a massive list. It feels good to be back, blogging and sewing.

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Jane Austen Festival

The Jane Austen Festival was really amazing, due to family circumstances i wasn’t able to finish my costumes but me and my partner had a lovely time. Besides visiting all the sites we ran around all over Bath just to follow the festival which has resulted in a video i have had to edit due to my constant swearing… which i’ve put down to my excitement.

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I wrote this Blog post a week ago thinking it wouldn’t take very long for me to upload the video i made of the promenade, turns out it took forever, but it’s finished now and here it is.

Jane Austen Festival, Bath

so, this year i’m going, YEAHHH, really excited about this. Even more excited now that i have booked the hotel and the programme is up and tickets for sale for different events.

The festival is from the 13th to the 21st of September, but sadly i will on be up there between the 12th and 15th of September, yet i’m still planning on going to the pre-festival get together on friday, as were newbies, the grand regency costumed promenade on saturday (detailed account of costumes to come :D), the festival fayre in the afternoon with hopefully a viewing of pride and prejudice and perhaps a nice stroll around Bath in ordinary clothes before we go home on Sunday.

I’ve already started planning what we’re going to wear, drawing out the patterns for my other halfs costume already.

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I’ve already started the shirt and almost finished, while i have to write out the patterns for my costumes yet, all to be done two months.

Pride and Prejudice (1813)

So, Monday 28th January (technically yesterday, but today according to my body clock) marks two hundred years since Jane Austen first published Pride and Prejudice, I have to say its probably my favorite book, closely battling it out with Northanger Abbey, it always gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

So i thought i would honor it and the great lady with a series of posts throughout this year and a rereading of the book (though after i have read my set books for uni, i REALLY should read those!!). I am going to try and have a methodical and consistent strategy and creative at the same time, because apparently people do that with there blogs! (I read somewhere). I’m really excited about this because i do love Jane Austen ….. YES now i have an excuse to watch all those adaptions added to you-tube of ALL Austen work WOOHOO.

Mutton Dressed as Lamb – Sleeves of the 1830’s and 1890’s – Part One

The big mutton sleeves first began to take shape in the late 1820’s with a thin gauze fabric overlaping the shorter sleeve, meeting at the wrist, creating a large mutton shape.

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Then at the beginning of the 1830’s the undersleeve began to expand rapidly, enlarging the overall size. Dresses meanwhile still had the short puffy sleeves of 1820’s, just much larger at the start of the decade.

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The large sleeves took over the 1830’s, becoming the infamous mutton sleeves that were also so recognisable of the 1890’s.

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A top layer of fabric othen overlapped the large sleeves, extending the length of the already deep shoulders.

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As the decade came to a close the sleeves began to take on a different, more structured shape and were scaled down in size and focused more on a strict structure that represented strongly womens place in society at the time.

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Women’s Redingote

A Redingote is a tight fitted coat that first appeared at the beginning of the 18th Century. Women were first wearing them as part of their riding habits, they were heavy, bulky garments that consisted of a large masculine style waistcoat underneath that stretched over the very large hooped petticoats of the first half of the 1700’s, while separating slightly at the centre. It was designed to mirror the male waistcoats and jackets of the time, with little pockets and buttons just visible underneath to add to the overall masculinity of the outfit.

The jacket mirrors every bit of the male counterpart, including the large, folded over cuffs and heavy embroidery; yet the sleeves are slightly further back, allowing for linen sleeves with lace to be shown, adding a feminine touch. The women even matched it down to the lace cravats the men wore from their unbuttoned waistcoats. 

In the 1780’s they really became popular, due to the French who now made it fashionable. At this time they were inspired by mens fashions of the day while also becoming perfectly tailored little coats. In some cases the coats were dark (as it was fashionable to wear them with a muslin dress underneath) that met at the chest and gradually descends down towards the back where they meet the top layer skirt that only goes half way round the whole petticoats. There is a embroidered waistcoat underneath that has a masculine touch with large buttons and small cuffs; there is also large, flat collars above on the jacket that continue this theme.

There were other varieties in this period, often inspired by military uniforms or their favorite political party, while other jackets were closed, supported by large frilly collars of muslin neatly around the neck. 

The Redingote continued until the late 19th century; in the regency period it followed the fashionable empire line of day, becoming a long pleated coat from underneath the bust, with a simple jacket and flat collar. They often had short detailed outer sleeves above a long sleeve, which went down to the wrist. The detail on the sleeves and coat was also military inspired, which is repeated all over the coat and dress. 

  The Redingote waned during the mid Victorian period, mainly being used again for riding habits, while resembling the early 1700’s shape.

Women’s shape began to change from the large crinolines of the 1850’s and as fashion changed, returning to a almost updated version of the regency empire line, the Redingote came back into fashion. The two piece bodice and skirt outfit that began to dominate the later part of the 19th century would also consist of a jacket, in most cases a simply design with more frills and patterns while the hem would float over the skirt.

In the 1880’s this became a tighter fit, with the same detail with fabric cascading down the back, reminiscent of the polonaise dress.

The 1890’s saw a return to short coats with frills and detail that was fashionable in the 1780’s, yet fashion choose a more feminine approach with lighter colours and a more natural body shape.