Sunday, March 29, 2009

Analyzing and re-creating paintings, 1700

I LOVE the 1700's. I'm still having difficulty finding paintings of men that I really like, but I'm getting there. I've probably missed some garments because I don't really have to think about what goes into an 18th century outfit. Like pockets... because I know they are always there. Sometimes I listed stays, but other times I didn't.

Kitchen Maid

Shift: white linen / cotton
Petticoat: blue & white stripe linen or cotton
Bedgown: white wool with red bow
Apron: blue linen
Modesty cloth: print on white ground
Cap: white linen with pinned up lapettes
Choker: black ribbon with cameo pendant
Socks: red cotton
Shoes: brown leather (buskins???.. french provincial shoe, similar to moccasins)
Chicken in cotton / linen cloth, 2 big bread loaves, sideboard & dishes.
I'm nuts about this painting. I want a print of it. I'm making the outfit for myself.
(2012) And I did make this outfit for myself!  I still have to do the modesty cloth, and if it weren't for the ankle-deep mud, I'd have my spiffy stockings & shoes on.  This outfit took a beating at this event.  I ended up selling my cap with the lapettes, but she looks better in it than I did.

The Chocolate Pot
Jean-Etienne Liot
Shift: white linen
Stays: fully boned
Corded petticoat: white cotton (doesn't show)
Petticoat: blue / purple silk
Bodice: red linen / wool
Apron: white linen
Modesty cloth: white linen
Cap: pink satin, white lace, blue ribbon
Shoes: tan leather with heels
Wooden tea tray with glass of water, cup & saucer, chocolate pot.
Against a white wall, plank floors, no mop-board.
I've got the fabric.. I'm sure I can scrounge up a tea tray. The main trick will be the cap & cuffs on the jacket (those things are a b*!$h).
*historic note: servants were often given cast-off clothes from the family they worked for. In some areas, it was difficult to tell the servant from the masters, both were dressed so similarly.

(2012) OK, I'll be honest; I've made this thing 3x now & not one of them looks right.  I'm about to throw in the towel & just sell off the pieces individually.  The petticoat has become my default photograph petticoat, and the rest of it is folded neatly in a bin.  The jacket has been sold twice & the cap 3x.  I just can't get the colors to jive.

Woman Knitting
Francoise Duparc
shift: white linen / cotton
Petticoat: natural linen
Bedgown: white linen, unlined.
Cap: white linen with blue silk ribbon
Dresser, stool & tan wall. Knitting needles & knitted project, white.

I had everything for this, but then I sold it. Now I have to make another outfit. I'd like to have my mother pose for this, I think an older woman would be just about perfect for this pose & outfit.

Mem. Sorquainville
Jean-Baptiste Perronneau
Shift: white linen
Stays: fully boned
Petticoat: buff silk
Sack back Gown: buff silk with blue ribbons
Engenantes: white lawn linen
Choker: black velvet
Cap: blue edged linen, lace?
Padded chair, velvet pillow with tassels, curtain, gray wall.
Getting all the material for this will be a trick. I may have to use synthetic fabric to be able to afford it, but it would be great if I could get the silk on super-sale so I could do it right.

The next 2 are the same outfit, the Brunswick Gown, just in different colors on different women. I like both paintings, and would like different models for each.

The broken Mirror
Jean-Baptiste Greu
Shift: white linen with fixed cuff, ruffled neckline.
Stays; white linen front-lacing with stomacher, pink ribbon lacing
Petticoat: white satin
Hooded Jacket: white satin with pink ribbon
White silk shoes
Hair ribbon: blue silk
Padded chair, fireplace, desk with drawer, broken mirror, toy dog, assorted cosmetic boxes, general teenage mess.
I have the top, just have to make the petticoat. I also have a model lined up for this one! It'll be fun to make a huge mess! The one I have is wool, not satin, but it'll look just fine.

Lady Mary Fox (I've posted this one before)

Shift, stays, underpetticoat: white linen
Petticoat: gray wool (I think hers is silk)
Hooded Jacket: gray wool with pink & white bows
Cravat: lace
Cap: lace & ribbons
Toy dog (cat) columns & red curtain
Powdered hair.
I've made one like this for myself in green, and may just go ahead and take the picture like that... but I do love the gray with the ruching.

Polite Maccaroni Preferring a nosegay to Miss Blossom
? Art
Miss Blossom:
Shift: white linen with ruffles at cuff & collar
Quilted petticoat: red silk
Polonaise / English gown: brown linen
Stomacher: brown linen with pink bow
Necklace: pink bow
Cap: white linen with dark pink bow
White stockings
Black leather shoes with buckle
Basket of flowers with leather shoulder strap.
*I have everything for Miss Blossom except the cap. I've even got the basket. I just need a 'Miss Blossom' of the right size, who looks good in yellow & blue.
(2012) Made it, sold it. No idea where the pictures are...
Polite Maccaroni:
Shirt: white linen with ruffles at cuff & collar
Breeches: gray linen stripe?
Waistcoat: gray linen stripe with gold trim
Coat: blue linen with gold trim
Cravat: white lace
Hat: tricorn with gold trim
White stockings
Black leather shoes with buckle
Sword & walking stick on a string
Shift: ruffles at cuff & collar
Petticoat: white cotton / silk
Polonaise: pink & green silk
White leather shoes
Powdered wig with white linen cap & black feathers.

The Duchesse de Polignac
Veegie L
Chemise Dress: white cotton / linen with blue ribbon, ruffles at collar & cuff
Sash: gold & blue stripe silk
Shawl: black velvet with black netting
Hat: straw with blue ribbon, flowers & black feather.
Flower in hand, leaning on column, blue background.
Powdered hair. Makeup: lipstick, rouge, powder
I can do this one now if I decorate the hat I've got and replace the ribbon in one of my stock chemise dresses.

Analyzing and re-creating paintings 1600's


I've got some stuff on hand for this century. The problem I'm running into is that I LOVE women's clothes from the 17th century, but HATE men's clothes. So I'm still searching for a good painting of a man that I actually want to work with.

((Edited 2012 for bone-headed beginner mistakes.))

A woman bathing
Shift: cotton / linen white (no, really... it needs to be linen, OK?)
Hair up, wading in stream
She also has her dress on the bank behind her, but it's not really important to the composition, so I'll be able to use just about any garments from this century tossed in a heap.

(2012) Believe it or not, this type of shift magically stays in place once you have your clothes on over it.  Do not put a drawstring in the V-neck shifts, just hem & let them go.  You may want to add a small reinforcement patch or stitching to the bottom of the V so our cheap modern linen doesn't tare down the front to your belly-button -- voice of experience talking here)

Dutch Lacemaker
Caspar Netscher
Coif: embrodiered linen
Shift: linen
Bodice: red wool lined with white linen or cotton wool, boned. (cotton was starting to be used in this era, but was still uncommon - it IS an option.)
Skirt: black/dk blue wool lined with white cotton wool or linen
White room, plank floor. Low ladder-back chair with cane seat. Broom & landscape print tacked to the wall.
Tatting block.
Do I really have to put the oyster shells in there?
On a fun note, my friend Jillian makes brooms like this at a fantastic price.  Find her on Etsy under Lady of Letters. (2012)

Maria de Tessas
Van Dyke
Shift: white linen / sheer cotton silk
Boned bodice: white satin, gold trim
Detachable sleeves: white satin undersleeve, white satin pained sleeve, gold trim.
Petticoat: white satin
Stomacher: white satin, gold trim
Gown: black satin, gold trim / embroidery?
Partlet / Ruff: sheer white linen & lace
Ribbons: pink satin at waist & elbow
Jewelry: pearl choker. Pear chest strand. Gold cross choker/ pendant. Gold cross broach
plume fan
Dark room, corner. frizzed hair powdered gray.

Agatha Bass
Shift: white linen
Partlet: white linen, close to neck
Petticoat: pink brocade
Bodice: boned, black satin / wool. Open front with laces for stomacher. Sleeves: 2 piece, open in front with black ties every 4".
Stomacher: white/ cream brocade. Lacing guides down center. White lace trim, black lacing for bodice.
Collar: linen & lace, white
Cuffs: linen & lace, white.
Coif: linen.
Jewelry: teardrop broach, double strand pearl choker, double strand pear bracelet on each wrist.
Sandalwood fan
Hair up, frizzed at sides.
Standing in archway window.

Comtesse de Mailly
Artist: ?
Spanish Farthingale (vertical & horizontal supports)
shift: white linen / cotton with sleeve & neck ruffles
Stays: formal with shoulder straps
Petticoat: gold geometric band, brocade
Overskirt: burgundy silk
Bodice: red brocade silk, black velvet trim, red satin ribbons
Gloves: white satin/silk
Fontage: white lace, red silk.
Fan, pearl choker, face patches.
Standing at the top of stairs in a formal garden.
(2012)  I've made a few mantuas since I posted this & let me tell you, they are E-A-S-Y.  The pleating is a real pain, but once you get the hang of draping on the body - and you must drape on the body, it's easy as pie.  They take forever, but are not difficult at all.  Really & truly.  In this case, hand sewing is the best option & worth the time to do it right.  Machine the side seams & the skirt side seams, the rest by hand.

Luxury in, Look out!
Jan Stein
Young Woman:
Shift: linen
Bodice: yellow silk lined with white linen
Petticoat: yellow silk
Sash: blue satin
Cap: white linen
Collar / modesty cloth: white linen
Pitcher, V glass
Young Man:
Shirt: white linen
Hoes: white silk
Jacket & breeches: brown silk lined with red silk, red & white ribbons on legs
Collar: linen, white.

Analyzing and re-creating paintings 1500's


I have nothing on hand for this century, and I'm really looking forward to making 2 or 3 completed outfits. I've made bits and pieces for customers & friends, but never anything as a whole.

EDIT: 8/17/12 - Again, having learned quite a bit in the last few years, I'm editing so beginners don't look at this & say "gee, what a great idea!" on something that is incorrect or questionable.

Tiziano Vecellio
Shift: linen. Body & sleeves joined by narrow bias band. Long sleeves, no cuff.
Shawl: rose silk or velvet with floral design
Loose flower buds in hand
Black background.
This will be easy to do, I've got the material, and if I can convince one of my friends to be Flora I'll be good to go.

Edit: 8/12.  I've made this shift a bunch of times since then, it's a great pattern.  Use a straight band, not a bias.  Ties are good, drawstrings controversial.  Cotton & silk were in use at this time, but there is little evidence that they were used for undergarments until the late 1700's, more commonly in the mid-late 1800's.  Linen is THE safest fabric to use for shifts/smocks/shirts there is through all eras.  Linen/cotton if you must, but linen wears better, washes better, is more comfortable in all weather & we know it was used the most of any fabric for this purpose.

3 German Ladies
Lucas Craunch
Center lady
Shift: sheer linen / cotton with embroidery, closes in front
Side front closing dress: Red velvet, sleeves & skirt. Red silk/satin brocade, cuffs, belt, side front, side back. Red silk/satin embroidery: chest & back. White linen: stomacher underdress & elbows. Lacing, black cord, sleeves & stomacher.
Cartridge pleat the skirt, close front with hooks & eyes or rings & laces.
Jewelry: red velvet choker w/ jewels, closes in back. Red ribbon chain necklace.
Hat: gold band, red silk snood hair net with beads, red wool / velvet hat, 7or 8 white feathers
Makeup: red lipstick, blush, light foundation, black eyeliner
black background.
I'm really looking forward to doing this one. It's very complex, and I probably won't be able to afford natural fabrics, but I think I can make it from scraps that I've got laying around. The colors may end up being blue or green though. 
Edit: 8/12. NOOO!  Don't do blue!!!  Feew... used all that blue velvet for something else years ago, thank the fashion gods for that.  Seriously, no blue for this style dress.  Just don't.

Lady Jane Gray/ Katherine Parr, wife of Henry VIII
Artist unknown to me?
Spanish Farthingale
Bum roll? if one, it's small. (edit 8/12: yes, wear a bumroll please)
Forepart: red geometric brocade, red cotton in back.
Overskirt: tan / gold semi-floral brocade
Bodice: side closure, tan / gold semi-floral brocade for body & upper sleeves. Lower sleeves red brocade, white linen & fur. Neckline: red jewel trim, white linen lace cuffs.
Beaded belt with tassle
Rings & 2 necklaces
Double arch hat / French Hood: beads, lace & brocade fabric?
Standing on persian rug, dark background.
This is one that I'm not looking forward to. I like the shapes, but don't like the individual elements. I actually prefer the 1555 Katherina de Medici, but can't find a really good image of that... so I'm using Jane Gray as my jumping off point for the Katherina gown (which is pink & black). BUT Jane Gray had a much cooler life than Katherina... so I don't know. This one will be a while in any case. <--I wasn't kidding (2012).

Edit 8/12: I'm actually building a dress in this style right now, as we speak.  Using The Tudor Tailor book as a jumping off point & finding that their patterns are quite decent (worth it, but you'd better know what you are doing, or buy the sized patterns).  Rather than going Nobility though, I'm scaling it back to the general Western European early 16th c. dress that was so very common.  One thing I will tell you, this outfit is a lot more complex than I originally thought. Those sleeves will be the death of me.

Portrait of a woman: Bianca Anguissola
Sofonisba Anguissola
Bum Roll
Effigy corset (strapless) Boned bodice/gown
Shift: linen v-neck embroidered neckline, full sleeves, ruffle cuffs.
Bodice & skirt: gold silk / satin with brown squares, side or back closing?
Detachable sleeves: tied on with dk brown cord
Flea fur on gold belt-chain.
Jewelry: Pearl necklace with pendant, silver chain necklace, 3 standing stone rings, pendant earrings.
Coif: embroidered linen
Sitting in a scroll chair holding flea fur.
I'm really looking forward to this one. I just have to find the right model (it's not me). The fabric should be easy, it's pretty popular, and I've seen it in several fabric stores for a reasonable price. It may be synthetic, but I'll go with it anyway.<-- NOOOO!!!! Don't Do it!!!  That much work is wasted on synthetic fabric.  I've LEARNED.  I also know who I want to model for this, she's a dead ringer.  I think she'll be game for it too, but this is still a very long way away (2012).

Fruit Seller
Vicenzo Campe
Shift: linen, ruffled cuffs, white lace at neckline.
Kirtle: gray / green wool with gold trim
Apron: natural linen
Partlet: sheer cream fabric, standing ruff
Necklace: red wood beads
Hair up in a coiled braid, sitting outside with peaches in lap. Fruit baskets: beans, peas, cherries, pears, peaches, asparagus, some flowers (edible?)
Field & hills in background.
Easy-peesy Boss! I've loved this painting since I first saw it. Just have to find the right model, I think I've got almost all the fabric.<-- Have also learned that this is a Pastoral portrait of a very wealthy woman posing as a fruit seller, not a genera painting.  Note to Self: Use the Fish Monger images vs. this one if you want a genuine genera painting of working class folks. (2012)

The Tailor
Giovanni Battista
Shirt: linen, ruffled cuffs & collar
Doublet: leather / cream wool / silk, slashed, buttons in front
Melon Hose & codpiece: red wool / silk
sword belt: leather with metal buckle & rings
Table & sheers
Brown / gold room with light coming in.
Now I'm confused. I found this better image, and before I was 100% sure his doublet was leather. Now I'm thinking it might be wool. It really looks like leather to me. Input? I've got all the material and the doublet pattern. I will have to make a pattern for the melon hose, but I know where to find a good one.
^^Unfortunately, no modern man on earth wants to wear melon breeches even for a paid photograph, so I'm SOL on this fantastic portrait.  Still love it. (2012)

Henry VIII
Hans Holbein the Younger
Shirt: linen, white. turn down collar with small ruffle edge. Ruffled cuffs
Hose: white silk/wool
Garters: 1 white silk/wool. 1 dark red edged in gold
Shoes: white leather, squared toes
Doublet: silver brocade, closes in front, slashes with buttonhole stitch. Jewels between sleeve slashes / panels.
Jerkin: silver silk with striped motif. Open at chest, knee length skirts.
Belt: linen cord
Codpiece: silver silk with linen puffs
Gown: red wool lined with brown velvet. Celtic motif embroidery? Gold braid trim.
Hat:Dark brown velvet brim, red wool top, jeweled brim, white feathers.
Jewelry: 4 rings with stones. 1 gold chain with medallion. Shoulder chain, gold & silver with gems.
Persian rug, celtic motif curtain.
Yes, it's over-done. But as a costumer and history buff, how can I resist? I thought about using one of the other portraits and guessing at his bottom half, but with this right here... well, impossible to resist. My cousin Dave is perfect for Henry VIII, and I think he would do it if I asked. Getting the material will take a while.

OK, Cousin Dave is NOT game for this, though he does think it's funny that he looks like Henry 8.  I am making this type of outfit for my husband, but using the Thomas Moore Family Portrait as a reference vs. this monstrosity.  No offense what-so-ever to anyone who has made it, it's just been done so much it's overdone...  We have enough Henry's to fill a jousting tournament with wounded.  I'll leave the Nobility to the Nobles & worry about being this intricate when I'm retired.  (2012)

Analyzing and re-creating paintings, intro and 1400's

I've got a new project. It ties in with my business, but is really more about art history and re-interpreting paintings than it is about sewing or living history. There will be a lot of sewing... as if I need to sew more.

The general idea is that I will pick a painting, research the paintings & artist (many of which I already know), find the models, make the costumes, set the scene and photograph it. I may or may not leave it at that. I am NOT a photographer, and things may get sticky at this point, but I'll muddle through.

I've chosen about 50 paintings and some interest me more than others. I can do 10 right away, though I will need warm bodies to fill the clothes, and some accessories to complete the look.

So far, I've made a grocery list of clothing, props and possible locations. My painting inspirations go from 1400 to 1900, in lin e with my business (hey, why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone???).

((EDIT: 8/17/12 I'm heavily editing my assessments based on new information in the hopes that other beginners will not make my old mistakes.  I will be using a strike-through on the "don't do this" so you can see where my mistakes were, and an underline where I've added things in.))

Note: don't take any spelling here as accurate, I didn't spell check, and at this stage I'm not going to.

Belles Heures?
Cotton / linen / wool shift
Inside, red/pink bedspread. Support Post. slatted screens or shutters in natural wood as backdrop... or woven reeds on posts set in the ground.
I have no idea where this image came from. It's a nativity, you can see the leg in the corner, but I can't find the original manuscript or alter piece... it's driving me crazy.
I can do this one now.
Edit: 8/12. I made this shift years ago & have since used both a set-in sleeve & a diagonal sleeve-as-neckline format.  The binding on the neckline should be done with a straight band (or 4 bands stitched together) and further research has yielded no evidence of a drawstring, though I cannot discount the possibility.  Ties in front or on side-front were in use.  A note on the fabric: I've found several sources mentioning the use of hemp for rough undergarments, but due to an allergy I won't touch the stuff.

June Haymaking.
les tres riche heures, de duc de berry
Woman with rake
Shift, white linen
Cotehardie, blue linen / wool.
veil, white linen
Belt, cord (won't be seen)
Wooden rake.
Outside in yard or field raking hay.
I can do this one now.
Edit: 8/12.  I made a blue dress out of linen, but the results weren't very close to this.  Used the Greenland Bog Dress pattern, AKA the 12-gore dress from 1400's.  It's a nice dress, but I made plenty of mistakes.  The discovery of the German Bras has helped my outlook on this fashion, but if you want to know how to make a good one, you need both an assistant who knows how to fit you & CJ's fitting instructions will help immensely.  Her research is top-notch... just remember that as new info gets dug up, conclusions can change.
I've also made a semi-prototype out of brown linen that once I have someone to fit it a bit better will become this dress.  As of right now, it's just a kirtle.

Lady in Waiting in pink Houpe. April
Les Tres Riche Heures de Duc de Berry
Shift, white linen
Cotehardie: long sleeved dark blue or black
Houpe: pink lined with gray wool
Leather belt, metal rings
Medallion circlet.
Outside in the lawn picking flowers. Garden wall on the right.
This one may take me a while to finish. I've got to find enough material to make the houpe, and though I'm not 100% stickler for historic accuracy, I'd at least like to get the material right.

St. John Alterpiece
Roger Van der Weiden
Man: Shirt, white linen. Hose, piebald, red & yellow wool. Jerkin, leather. Garters, leather. Shoes, black leather poulaines. Sword.
Woman: Shift, sheer white linen. Cotehardie, long sleeved yellow/orange. Cotehardie, short sleeved dark blue, gold trim on hem. Sideless surcote, black wool, velvet with white fur trim. Tipettes, gold band with sheer green streamers. Veil, white linen may be part of the hat. Belt, red beads. Shoes, brown leather poulaines. Silver plate.
Church archway with human head on the plate.

Houndsman, December
Les tres riche heures, de duc de berry
Shirt, white linen
hoes, green wool
boots, black leather
cotehardie, red / brown wool, black & white check on sleeve caps.(EDIT: 8/12 I've since learned this can also be dyed leather, though I think that's unlikely in this case)
belt, black leather
cap, blue linen / wool/ silk
Hunting horn, cow's horn with leather shoulder strap
boar spear
dog on a leash
Clearing in the woods.