Sunday, November 30, 2014

1790s Autumn accessories

Gallery of Fashion, 1796

A few weekends ago, the DFWCG had its annual Georgian Picnic, and I decided to make some new cold-weather accessories to dress up my old 1790's spencer and round gown. Unfortunately, I ran short on time and had all sorts of unforeseen drama that weekend, so my fancy new accessories did not get finished and I ended up with a very boring outfit for the picnic. *blah* But I was so excited about what I was working on that I decided to give it another try and finish everything so I could at least do a photo shoot and share my projects here. I spent lots of time pouring through Gallery of Fashion illustrations when coming up with ideas for my new accessories, and all of those plates can be found on the Bunka Gakuen archive, which is an invaluable resource for studying costume of this era.


First on the list was a new fixed turban. The construction was very similar to the turban I made last summer, but this one has a 3-yard strip of velvet wrapped around the crown, which made it much rounder and taller than my first version. I didn't get a chance to decorate it before the picnic, so it was painfully plain during its first wearing. To add a bit more excitement, I added strips of fur to the twists and a drape in the back, and I like it a million times better now. It just goes to show how important those finishing touches are when making hats from this era. I used a straw hat as the base for this turban, and everything is tacked into place by hand, so it would be easy to change again in the future if I wanted to try something else.

Gallery of Fashion, 1801
I also had a massive hair fail on the morning of the picnic and didn't have time to work out a plan B, so I decided to invest in a new wig to make sure that never happens again. I bought the Aneesa wig by Mona Lisa (you can sometimes find cheaper prices for this wig on Ebay), and I think it's a nice match for the short cropped curls that you see in some of the fashion plates from this era. I took sections of hair and brushed them out, then I wrapped them around my finger to make distinct ringlets. It's sort of a silly look, but it seemed very Gallery of Fashion-esque, which is exactly what I was going for.


reticule from the MFA Boston - 1800
Next, I decorated a silk reticule with brass spangles. I made the reticule earlier this year, but it wasn't anything exciting, so I decorated it with a pattern similar to the bag shown on the left. My version is fairly subtle since the color of the spangles matches the silk so well, but I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out, and I discovered how fun it is to add spangles to things.  I don't think I'll ever have a plain reticule again!

The gloves were another quick project that helped to add some more color to my outfit. They are vintage gloves that I found at an estate sale, and they were originally orange. I over-dyed them with purple Rit to make them a burgundy color that would match my turban. The color is a little spotty in a few areas, so the next time I dye gloves, I'll be sure to wash them first to make sure any old grease or oil is removed, which can cause the dye to be absorbed differently in those areas. But it's nice to know that I can take boring old gloves and dye them any color that I want. I never even though about doing that before.


Gallery of Fashion, 1795
In the past, I wore my paisley shawl with this outfit, but paisley shawls don't typically show up in fashion plates until after 1800, so they aren't the most historically correct style to use with this period. So I decided to make myself a fur tippet, which is an accessory that you do see often in 1790's illustrations.  I had a small remnant of faux fur left over from another project, so I pieced it together and sewed it into a long tube.  Honestly, it doesn't provide much warmth unless you wrap it tightly around your neck, but they do look pretty glamorous, so I guess that's the main point.

Finally, I made myself a high-necked chemisette to fill in the neckline of my round gown and make it more appropriate for winter. I made it out of a vintage baby gown that had been badly stained and torn and was headed for the scrap bin. But I managed to salvage enough of the plain cotton to make the chest piece and collar, and then I used the lace edging to create some long ties that I could arrange like a cravat. I think more than anything, the chemisette helped to keep me warm by covering one of the few exposed areas on my body, and I love the smart and sporty look that it creates - perfect for a hike through the woods on a November day.

So I might have missed my goal of having these new accessories finished for the picnic, but I still had fun wearing them for my photoshoot, and I hope I get another chance to wear them to a real event in the future. You can see the full set of photos on Flickr, and here are a few more of my faves.






14 comments:

Samantha said...

This is so lovely and cozy!

Katie said...

I really love this! Those colors are great and you look so regal. :) I'm glad things came together in the end even if the event itself was stressful. <3

Mutemouia said...

Gorgeous outfit ! I'm in admiration !

Loren Dearborn said...

I love this whole look - it's so chic and autumnal and really looks like a fashion plate.

Gina said...

Hip Hip Hooray for accessories!! I love all of your new pretties! I sure wish I could have seen them in person, but that will have to wait for another day! You look fabulous and I LOVE the new tippet!! What fun!
Blessings!
g

Cathy Raymond said...

Stunning, as I've come to expect from your costumes and accessories. I hope you do get to wear your outfit with these accessories sometime soon.

Isis said...

You look splendid!

Aubry said...

This is just so perfectly lovely!

Eleonora Amalia said...

You look so so beautiful and fresh! When I take winter pictures, I always end up with my nose red and my face so cold my expressions are far from perfection.

Maggie said...

I adore everything about this! The photography, how beautiful you look, the details of your outfit, the colors of it - just fabulous. You look like a painting!

sally_puppetdawg said...

You look so regal! And I am beyond impressed with the Regency "monkey tail" boa/scarf/tippet. Some fashion illustrations make them look rather silly, but your is the perfect size and fullness. I really want to make one now!

McCredie Champions said...

beautiful!

fabrickated.com said...

How very wonderful.

Samantha Collard said...

So Beautiful!!! The whole outfit is lovely!!

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