All the Fit That’s News to Print: on to Toile #3 and a Brief Excursion to the 18th Century

1822: "A woman, proud of her beauty, says he, may possibly be nothing but a coquet.. one who makes a public display of her bosom, is something worse." – The Mirror of  Graces, by A Lady of Distinction, 1811, p. 120

“A woman, proud of her beauty, says he, may possibly be nothing but a coquet.. one who makes a public display of her bosom, is something worse.” – The Mirror of Graces, by A Lady of Distinction, 1811, p. 120. (I believe the cartoon is by one of our dear Mr. Cruikshanks.)

Sunday’s SITU sewing circle was tons of fun, as usual, and master fitting went very well. Once I donned the chemise, stays, and petticoat the muslin toile #2 fit much better than it did on the dress form. In the midst of all the pinning, re-pinning, discussion and general activity I forgot to take any photos. That’s too bad because the stays do an incredible job in the “up and out” department. Photos next time, for sure…promise

As it turned out, the bodice doesn’t need that much alteration. I can resolve the excess fabric at the front armhole by moving it down to an additional underbust pleat, or distribute the excess between the existing pleats. The bodice back needs to loose a bit more from the center front in order to get rid of the “bubbliness” that pooches out and the length is not an issue after all.

Those are minor and easy to do, but it means the armscye is totally whacked. It needs to come down under the arm, move toward the shoulder in the back and come away from the shoulder in the front.

Those issues will be tackled at the next sewing circle, which is in October (we only meet once a month). Hopefully, November will see the completed toile for the bodice with sleeves. I don’t need this gown until July, so I’m glad I started early.

During this one-month pause in activity, I’m going to see if I can knock out an acceptable 18th century outfit for a SITU event on October 26th, “A Gathering of Rebels,” which is being held in a German-style alehouse. (Beer, potatoes, bratwurst and cheese? Count me in!)

Dress is 18th century American colonial and it needs to be done quickly so don’t think in terms of “Dangerous Liaisons” (yes, it’s French)…

Costume from "Dangerous Liaisons"

Costume from “Dangerous Liaisons”

…think “Colonial Williamsburg.”

Ladies from Colonial  Williamsburg, re-enacting an activity from 1774.

Ladies from Colonial Williamsburg, re-enacting an activity from 1774.

My outfit will be much like the re-enactor in the pink petticoat above: a chemise, short gown, petticoat (which is the skirt), an under-petticoat (because it’ll be pretty cold) and an apron. I don’t have 18th century stays, so I’m looking at making jumps instead. Hopefully I’ll get a cap and a pair of pockets done, too. That’s a lot of sewing, but it’s all plain and simple (she says now) and a good place to start.

So I’m in gear, have the apron in progress and will be hemming it tonight.

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2 thoughts on “All the Fit That’s News to Print: on to Toile #3 and a Brief Excursion to the 18th Century

  1. My guild has an 18th century picnic in Balboa Park (San Diego) coming up in Nov so instead of making a whole new outfit, I’m using my red linen petticoat from a previous outfit and making a new blue and white short jacket to go with it. I’ll be very patriotic if needed. Sooo much easier than a fancy gown.
    Val

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