Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Peasant garb of the 1790's

Challenge #5 of the Historical sew Fortnightly hosted by the Dreamstress.

Now that I have completed a challenge for the Historical Sew Fortnightly (and on time too!) I am more determined than ever to complete the rest.

For the fifth challenge, peasants and pioneers, I have made a simple ensemble based on this quote (which I found on Wm. Booth Draper's fabulous site)

"Run away . . .  in New York . . .  an Irish servant girl . . .  had on a broad blue and white striped homespun petticoat, and a smaller striped blue and white jacket"

I love how they use period quotes to illustrate possible uses for their fabrics! My fabrics are close to what is described, a heavy blue and white thick striped ticking type fabric and a thinly striped blue and black fabric.

I have images that I am using to base the jacket and petticoat on, for the jacket; Agostino Brunias "Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape" painted between 1764 and 1796. Coincidentally it is also one of the images that the Dreamstress herself had posted!

This is a very interesting painting both in terms of its Art Historical significance (I could write quite the paper on this!) and its depictions of the difference in classed society's garb in the late 1700's.
I am basing my jacket on the third woman from the left's top, a high waisted blue and white striped jacket.

For the petticoat a photograph called "Newhaven Fishwives" taken by David Octavius Hill in 1845. While this is much later than the date I am aiming for the homespun look of their striped petticoat/aprons is just perfect.

For the petticoat I used a cotton/linen blend fabric, I believe it was vintage as it was exceedingly stiff at first but after several washings it softened up a bit! I only had two yards but just managed to eek out a bodiced petticoat, (using my old altered pattern from Jenny Chancey) there is a cut 1" up in the selvedge (whomever owned the fabric previously had cut it at each yard) which I will still need to patch as I used the selvedge as my hem. I also had to line the back with different fabric because there just was not enough to cut all the pieces I needed. All of the visible exterior seams are hand sewn, and it closes with hooks and eyes.

The jacket I draped based on pattern pieces from the Tidens tøj collection, I like how simple and unfussy the patterns they have available are to work from, and often the text is very parseable even though I don't speak Danish. I used the back lining pieces from Eleonora Sophie Rantzau's gown for the back portion and the front from the white gown in the Colonial Williamsburg Collection. The back skirt I cut as a rectangular panel the width of my fabric and gathered to fit.

I still have to iron them and get some pictures taken (hopefully tonight), but here are the statistics!

Here are some pictures at last! The inner closure of the jacket fastened over the bodiced petticoat.

The front upper ties closed and tucked securely inside:

The under bust tie fastened:

The full length back shot of the outfit on Sally Stitch:

A full length shot of the three quarters front on me:

Finally a full length side view, also on me:

The Challenge: #5 Peasants and Pioneers

Fabric: 2 yards of vintage linen/cotton ticking in a wide blue and white stripe.
2 yards of airy cotton lawn with thin blue and black stripes.

Pattern: A heavily altered Regency Gown Pattern
from Sense and Sensibility for the petticoat's bodice, the rest I draped with help from The Danish National Museum and The Collonial Williamsburg Collection.

Year: 1790's

Notions: 2 sets of hooks and eyes, 3 yards of bias tape, embroidery floss.

How historically accurate is it? Fairly, aside from the use of a sewing machine for the internal seams. The patterns are mostly historical ones aside from the petticoat's bodice and I hand sewed any visible seams.

Hours to complete: I'm guessing around 10...

First worn: Not yet!

Total cost: $2 a yard for 2 yards, so $4, the rest was stash goods!

A bientôt!

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