The participants were all diverse and awesome, sadly (or luckily?) one participant wasn't able to attend due to a calamity of events and so it left one participant (Norah) sans partner...until I arrived! Muah- ha ha ha ha! This was the first time I really got to use all that mantua making training I have received through osmosis. It was stellar. I got to really nit-pick at her gown and fitting to get it as perfect as possible. I am really pleased with the result, and I'm excited to see her final gown. She didn't have that much more to do so she should be done soon (hint hint hint...).
Since my main job was a model, I got to have a lot of fun making the workshop participants and Brooke laugh, cause I was totally a Vaudeville comedienne in a past life. Brooke also let me talk to the ladies about historical accuracy, construction quality, and stitches.
To sum it up: Neat is nice, but messy is pretty damn accurate. I stressed this because with the modern sewing mentality, neat stitches = good and sloppy stitches = bad. For the 18th century, that was not the case. There can be beautiful gowns that look so perfect, and then you open up and look inside and barf it's a hot mess inside. Or you can just be a narsty gown (narsty is worse than nasty, btw :) ), like a remade gown from the Burrell Collection in Glasgow. It's just...ugh...a total hot mess of a gown. It's remade, pieced within an inch of it's life (not even pretty piecing, but narsty piecing). They even used pumpkin orange thread on a deep raspberry colored silk...why? who the hell knows. Crazy ladies made that gown. Crazy ladies.
That conversation lead into an in-depth discussion on textiles and extant garments, and Angela busted out tons and tons of images from her most recent trip to England (specifically going through the billet books of the Foundling Museum) and it was ah-mazing seeing some examples of all the fabrics she was able to look at. It also started an interesting discussion of common fabrics that would have been found in common gowns. I'm not an expert in colors/dye processing/fabrics etc. So it's an interesting debate, especially when you get into the idea of greens and bright pinks in fabrics other than silk (cause acid green and bright pink were in available in silk). But what about the use of the color in linen or cotton? It's an interesting debate and I usually just keep my mouth shut and let the textile expert educate me.
Do you know of any bright pink gowns that are cotton or linen? Cause...if you do...wanna share? Yes? Please?
Ok, enough jabbering, here are some photos courtesy of Burnely and Trowbridge!
|Brooke explaining sleeve construction. Notice how fabulous her gown fits...|
|Getting draped and using Brooke as a hand rest. It's hard work.|
|I have no idea what's going on here, but I crack up every time I see this picture.|
|Draping the back of Norah's gown|
|Sunday, Brooke explaining how to fit the bodice fronts to back|
|Still fitting Norah....|
|Explaining an easy way of fitting sleeves.|
|Nit picking on Norah's sleeves. I'm super happy with the fit of Norah's gown. I hope she is too!|
So that's the wrap up from me! Next time I should have images of my own garments for ya'll.