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Homework 32: 18th century pockets

I don’t travel lightly. The idea of having a huge dress with no storage just seamed like madness, so I was determined to have pockets. One on each side to keep me balanced. I already had pocket slits after all.  Anyway, I had dyed my petticoats and bumpad red, so I needed these to stop the red showing through.

I was running out of time so had to knock these up quite quickly. They were going to be basic, but I didn’t want them to look shoddy, even if they weren’t going to be seen. They had to be fairly strong too, but I would leave things like binding the edges to after the photoshoot.

I using a picture from ‘Patterns of fashion’, I drafted a pattern leaving some additional material at the top which I could fold over to make channels for tapes to hold the pockets on.

Calico pockets using a design from 'Patterns of fashion'

Calico pockets using a design from 'Patterns of fashion'

For the slit position, I wanted to be able to get my hand in easily and for the pocket to be deep enough that things would not fall out, but not too deep that I would not be able to reach the bottom.

I wasn’t sure if the cotton was going to be strong enough, so I mounted it on to one of the calico layers and marked where the slit should be. For 2 pockets, I cut out 4 pieces in calico and 2 in the same blue cotton I had used for the quilted petticoat.

Using my seam ripper, I started off the slit and when it was big enough, I continued with scissors.

Using the seam ripper to start the slit

Using the seam ripper to start the slit

Using scissors to finish the slit

Using scissors to finish the slit



I cut v shapes at the top and bottom so I would be able to fold the opening back a little and stitch so there wouldn’t be a raw edge.

V shape at the bottom of slit

V shape at the bottom of slit

V shape cut at top of slit

V shape cut at top of slit


Pressing back the opening

Pressing back the opening (Opps! the iron was a little too hot)

I sewed round the opening, then sewed all  three layers together and cut off the excess with pinking shears.

Sewed down the turned back hem round the opening and used pinking shears to cut off excess

Sewed down the turned back hem round the opening and used pinking shears to cut off excess

Next I turned it out so the blue fabric was on the outside and cut back some of the additional fabric at the top.

Cutting back fabric, ready to fold over.

Cutting back fabric, ready to fold over.

Folding in place ready to sew up and thread tape through

Ready to fold, sew up, and thread tapes through



I put the pockets on tapes was place them on the stand over the under petticoat and bumpad, made sure they were in the right position for the pocket slits, and put in a few tacking stitches so they would not slip.

Damn! I forgot to take a picture of the finished product  - must remember to add that later.

Class 31: Period bodice – fitting and finishing

When I got in to class I got on my costume to fit the bodice and work out what what left to do.

Fitting the bodice. You can clearly see it needs a placket.

Fitting the bodice. You can clearly see it needs a placket.

There were a number of things I needed to fix/amend/do:

  1. piping – sort out the ends at centre front so they can be tightened (next time use smaller gauge piping, preferably cotton as it has better grip)
  2. hook and eye fastenings
    • stab stitch through to better hold in place
    • stitch around so that none of the metal on the hoops show
  3. still to do:
    • front placket/modesty panel
    • softener around neckline
    • cuffs – made to look like it is the chemise showing through

Ends of the piping

When I was applying the piping I couldn’t quite remember how Claire had asked us to do it, so I had finished it like this:

Opps! Piping finished the wrong way

Opps! Piping finished the wrong way

Opps! Folded back incorrectly

Opps! Folded back incorrectly

What I should have done is unpick the last bit of piping and turned it in so that the cord would be free to hang out and be tightened.

The correct way to end the piping

The correct way to end the piping

To correct it I had to:

  1. unpick the top and bottom hooks and eyes, and some of the piping
  2. turn back the piping end
  3. reslip stitch the piping
  4. put back the hooks and eyes

It seamed to take ages when it felt like I had so much left to do.

Fichu

I spoke with Claire about the fichus and we looked in some of the books in class. Some fichus are much larger than others, but as mine would be tucked in to my dress, only a small one would be necessary.

Fichu pattern from 'Period costume for stage and screen'

Fichu pattern from 'Period costume for stage and screen'

Neckerchief pattern form 'Evolution of fashion'

Neckerchief pattern from 'Evolution of fashion'

Next week we will be working on:

  • hems and draping
  • using button hole elastic to join the skirt and bodice

Book: “Patterns of Fashion 1″ – Janet Arnold

Patterns of Fashion: v.1: Vol 1 - Janet Arnold

Patterns of Fashion: v.1: Vol 1 - Janet Arnold

My best friend thoughtfully sent me “Patterns of Fashion 1″ by Janet Arnold for Christmas. I was very pleased when it arrived as it covers ‘Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction’ from 1660 to 1860, which of course includes the polonaise circa 1770-1785 – in fact it has two between pages 36-40.

The author, Janet Arnold is a well respected fashion historian who has written and illustrated a number of books on period costume. She has been able to study many items which are normally too rare or fragile to be handled often, including burial gowns such as Medici burial clothes from the 16th century.

My friend lives fairly near Snowshill Manor where some of the dresses studied in the book used to be housed as part of the Wade Collection.  2000 costume pieces, plus 22000 other objects ‘invested with the spirit of the craftsman and the age in which it was created’ were collected by Charles Wade from 1900 to 1951, when Wade donated the collection and the manor to the National Trust.

The Wade Costume collection can now be seen at Berrington Hall, Herefordshire where it is on loan.

Class1: Introduction to the course

Tutor: Claire Porter (1 tutorial each term)
Teaching assistant: Eileen Hill

Course overview

Costume: 18th century polonaise c.1770-1785 with undergarments

  • Term 1: Undergarments – Corset and Petticoat
  • Term 2: Toile for outerwear
  • Term 3: Bodice and decoration

We will be using Jean Hunnisett’s book  ‘Period costume for stage and screen‘ to make a costume for ourself.

Outerwear design to be ready for Christmas break.  Design should include ‘red, white, blue’. We will need approx. 10 meters of fabric. £150 budget (max).

We have to keep a log book which records our learning, samples, photos, and evaluation (what went well and what went wrong).   This should be about 50 percent photos and illustrations to 50 percent writing.
Assessment will be on our log book.

Course consists of 4 units to obtain a BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Fashion and Clothing, these are:

  • Unit 7: Developing Pattern Construction Skills
  • Unit 8: Developing Sewing Skills for Fashion
  • Unit 9: Developing Production Techniques for Fashion
  • Unit 10: Fashion Realisation

Additionally we will get the Kensington and Chelsea college certificate in ‘Theatrical Costume’

Hand outs (read for homework):

  • Course Handbook
  • Contact sheet
  • Term schedule
  • Directory of suppliers and reading list
  • Project brief: Unit 9: Developing production techniques – Technical and practical application.

What we will need for next week:

  • seam ripper
  • fabric scissors
  • paper scissors
  • pins
  • needles
  • white cotton
  • thimble
  • tracing wheel
  • carbon paper
  • tailors chalk
  • 10 meters of medium weight calico or cambric (can be bought from Shepherds Bush – A1 or Classic textiles).
Thimble

Thimble

Tracing wheel

Tracing wheel

Cotton thread

Cotton thread

Carbon paper

Carbon paper

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