Help needed for 17C costume making!

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cakejumper
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:24 am

Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by cakejumper »

Hi all - I am going to a Sealed Knot event in a few months and I want to make myself a costume. I have a pattern for a stay coif and skirt (I am a little stuck on a tunic), but I need some advice on suitable fabrics, and where to find them.

This costume is for an evening event - and I wonder if a stay made of silk is appropriate - because I want something a bit dressier. But I hear that authenticity is key at these things, and I don't want to show up my boyfriend!

I was thinking stay of silk (non sheeny)
Skirt of linen (or is wool more appropriate?)
Tunic and coif of linen (is embroidery on the coif appropriate?)

Also if anyone knows of a decent pattern for a slightly scoopy necked tunic?

Any help from someone more familiar with this kind of event, and this period in history - would be massively gratefully received!!

xxx

Nigel
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by Nigel »

whereabouts are you ?
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

cakejumper
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by cakejumper »

I am based in Oxford, UK.

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Henri De Ceredigion
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by Henri De Ceredigion »

cakejumper wrote:Hi all - I am going to a Sealed Knot event in a few months and I want to make myself a costume. I have a pattern for a stay coif and skirt (I am a little stuck on a tunic), but I need some advice on suitable fabrics, and where to find them.
I have a Musketeer style uniform waiting for me in Texas (or when it can be posted here to Western Wales) and I am confident that when I do wear it I shall look as close to a Musketeer as is possible, so I am sure that with the help of everyone here your outfit will look as if the Doctor has just pulled it out of the TARDIS wardrobe.

Nigel
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by Nigel »

Hmm interesting which year ?

CJ pmd you hope it helps
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

de Coverley
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by de Coverley »

An important consideration is the rank that your Bf is playing. A junior private would have a less dressy wife than the RSM or a senior officer.

tanyabentham
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by tanyabentham »

if you'd like help with embroidery contact me via my blog

opusanglicanum.wordpress.com

cakejumper
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by cakejumper »

de Coverley wrote:An important consideration is the rank that your Bf is playing. A junior private would have a less dressy wife than the RSM or a senior officer.
My other half is a junior officer - an ensign (equivalent to second lietenant) from Oxford but out of soldiers kit he also plays a preacher (not puritan), but I'm super stuck on this one - I have general day-wear down fine, but evening wear is a problem! Additionally we're also attending a banquet in Summer, and I'll need some decent banqueting wear. I just don't want to get it wrong!

Any input appreciated!

de Coverley
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by de Coverley »

Mr John Playford published books of dance instruction from 1651 and further editions (inc by his son) til 1720's Each has an etching for the cover picture that may give clues.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dancin ... lePage.png
is just one of them.

First you need to specify a year! Vogue 1950 shows different fashion from Vogue 1960. Vogue 1620 would be totally different from Vogue 1660.

Again you need to "Rank" the costume to suit your partner's outfit, an officer would need "Officer Grade totty" not an "Essex Girl" but probably wouldn't have nobility totty either

Playing the Preacher you'd have to check whether he would have had a "wife" a Catholic would likely be single and celibate -may give you the opportunity to play another role.

cakejumper
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by cakejumper »

de Coverley wrote:Again you need to "Rank" the costume to suit your partner's outfit, an officer would need "Officer Grade totty" not an "Essex Girl" but probably wouldn't have nobility totty either
Hahaha!!
I was thinking of using some diagrams as basis, and making a fancy tunics with lace etc, and then a stay, waistcoat and petticoat as follows:

Stay as in top left here:
https://img1.etsystatic.com/006/2/81205 ... 5_p9xi.jpg

Waistcoat:
B pattern here: http://store.reconstructinghistory.com/ ... icote.html
Possibly with an embroidered or fancy stomacher, and trim detailing. I might adjust the stay and the waistcoate to bring it out to sit wider on the shoulders to make it a bit more evening-ey

And a general cartridge pleated petticoat or two - I dont need the padding of a farthingale or anything (plenty of padding on me already!!)

And a fancy coif and kerchief with lace.

Would that be alright you think?
My main problem is fabric and colour - was discussing with my other half last night and the problem is perception, and means. Any colour seems unlikely, as it just looks too modern to 21st century eyes, but we know that people back then showed off their wealth wherever possible in their clothes, and if they could afford it would dress 'up'. As a preacher and wife, we would be middle/upper middle class, most likely. I was looking at some silks for the banqueting garb especially, (and at jewel/ mossy/dusky nature tones) but I dont know if it's appropriate, and if not, what would one use? I'm flailing a bit to be honest. I want to make something great for the event, but I don't want to waste my time on something inauthentic!

I just need to decide on fabric and colour of the waistcoate, petticoat and stay, and then the rest is just drafting, finding a suitable pattern for embroidery for the stomacher and the slow process of construction! It's exciting, but I dont want to start down the wrong path right at the beginning!

Anyways, these are my thoughts! Any input welcomed!

Many thanks,
Katherine

Shadow7cat
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by Shadow7cat »

PLEASE do not use that corset/stays pattern - it is based on a 1780's French corset/stay in "Corsets and Crinolines" by Norah Waugh, and is totally the wrong shape for what you have planned. In general, stays were not visible at any time of the day - Hollywood has a lot to answer for. (Occasionally you see peasanty sort of people wearing them to market - I'm thinking Dutch paintings in particular.)
There are very few extant sets of stays around. Most of the actual bodices (Victoria and Albert, Museum of London etc) that one sees have boning built in. The jacket/waistcoat/dress would simply be worn over a full shift. Have a look at "Cut of Women's Clothes" - again by Norah Waugh, where you will find pictures, patterns and text that should help you. Or find sketches by Wenceslaus Hollar or similar period painters/artists.

Shadow7cat
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by Shadow7cat »

Also Abraham Bosse - similar date to Hollar. Neither were English artists but were active in your period.

cakejumper
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by cakejumper »

Thanks Shadowcat - would something like this be more appropriate?
http://store.reconstructinghistory.com/ ... rsets.html

In general I don't know if the RH patterns are advisable - what is the popular opinion - I can draft very VERY simple patterns but I don't have a confidence to go about drafting a full stay or waistcoate pattern from scratch...

Shadow7cat
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by Shadow7cat »

Original corsets/stays of the period are very rare, suggesting, as I mentioned before, that they were not worn on a regular basis. Boned bodices, however, can be found in several museums, suggesting that was the form at that time. The pattern you suggest is better, but I have not used those patterns so cannot comment on whether they work or not. (They appear to be based on patterns taken by costume historians.) As I cut my own patterns, I cannot comment on how commercially available patterns work - sorry. I use the patterns in the books I've already mentioned as a basis for making my own patterns, so would, again, recommend them.

Dowsabella
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Re: Help needed for 17C costume making!

Post by Dowsabella »

gosh, what a can of worms you have opened up!
When is your banquet?
What is you other half wearing? Ordinary soldiers stuff or something a bit fancier?
I presume you want to look beautiful but feel comfortable with what other people are wearing and be reasonably authentic.
re the bodies/ stays I don't think your costume would look right without them. Its easier to make a separate pair (which you can use with other outfits) rather than bone a bodice which must then fit exactly. try Caroline Vincent's website for help - www.12eyes.co.uk
I would love to help you more but I am abroad until 19 Feb.
then I will be advertising a blue velvet bodice and skirt for sale - approx. size 18. PM me if you are interested.

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