On padding and a new suit

I’ve been thinking about Schiaparelli jackets because I’ve been working on a new suit, heavily inspired by those elegant late 1930’s Schiaparelli jackets with interesting buttons. My old favourite jacket, a taupe wool blend twill affair with oak leaf leather appliqués, made about four years ago, has been getting an awful lot of use, needs a new lining and is beginning to look and feel rather well-loved by now. It’s not anywhere near worn out, but I wanted a new one, in a rougher, tweedier fabric with less showy details. Continue reading “On padding and a new suit”

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On working with old drafting systems

I’ve been making a few 1900’s and 1910’s style garments in the last year and a half, as I mentioned the other day. So far I have produced three fairly casual, sporty daytime outfits, one that aims at around 1895-1905 and two mid- to late 1910’s outfits. Most of my opportunities to wear them are outdoorsy daytime events in the summer season, so the emphasis on sportswear makes sense to me. I also happen to love old-fashioned sportswear; the kind worn while engaging in pleasant activities like crocquet, biking, hiking, picknicking and spectator sports. At some point I will start working on an evening ensemble too, and perhaps some slightly more formal daywear. But I work so much better to deadlines, and at present I don’t have any events on the horizon to which I could reasonably wear a 1910’s evening gown.

So I took the opportunity to try out a few elderly systems of pattern drafting. There were a lot of them on the market in the early 1900’s, it seems. Perhaps the growing importance of ready-to-wear clothing had something to do with that, creating both a whole new range of fit issues and a decline in customers for small-scale businesses. They are aimed both at professionals and home sewers, and many of them are now in the public domain and available for free download if you would like to try it. Archive.org has several. So far I have made garments based on drafts from Professor Saul Schorr’s The American Designer and Cutter, published in 1915, and Professor Isidor Rosenfeld’s The Practical Designer series from 1918. Continue reading “On working with old drafting systems”

Robe à l’Anglaise, quickly

I’ve been dipping my toes in the 18th century lately, starting with with a simple plaid pierrot jacket, petticoat and all the necessary underthings and accessories about a year and a half ago. I have several friends who do 18th century re-enactment, which is, in all honesty, one of the main reasons I started making things for it. I love hanging out in other eras with my friends, and I want to be able to tag along on the 18th century stuff. Also, I love trying out drafting and construction techniques that are new to me. Making historical clothes is even more fun than wearing them.

So when Isis of Isis’ Wardrobe asked if I wanted to come along to an 18th century picnic in the heatwave Sweden is enjoying right now, I did some quick and extremely optimistic mental calculations and decided that I could probably produce a plain 1780’s robe à l’Anglaise in a cooler cotton fabric from my stash in two evenings. I could, as it turns out, mainly thanks to the really excellent patterns Isis gave me and helped me fit the last time around. The jacket pattern fits very well over the 1780’s corset I made for the first ensemble, and I simply used it as it is, attaching the skirt instead of the tails of the jacket. Continue reading “Robe à l’Anglaise, quickly”