Sunday, October 19, 2014

Journal Journaey into the year 1811: October is here and boy has it gotten chilly!

I'm all caught up and it feels really amazing to be back on track. I really have learned so much, and its close to and end. I will be sad when everything is finished, to be sure. But stick around, I'm SURE there will be more adventures in years to come ;). In the meantime, enjoy October, a rather simple month but still here.

Plate 22. - Walking Dress
A round french robe with bishop sleeves of fine jaconot muslin, ornamented at the feet and wrists with a crescent border of needlework.  A square neckercheif of fine muslin in folds.  A short roman coat of amber or bright buff sarsnet, without sleeves, cut low around the bosom and trimmed with a fall of french lace; ornamented round the bottom and up the front with a crescent border corresponding with the robe in shaded chenille.  A mountain hat, composed of the same material and ornamented with white crape.  A founding cap of the same, with an autumnal flower in front.  Half boots of buff kid parasol of crimson velvet; and gloves of pale limerick.  We take upon us to remark, that the length of the waist in this plate may be considered in the extreme as a dew of our fair country-women seem disposed to depart from a becoming modiocrity in this particular. 

(I'll say, that waist is atrociously long! Ew! All this up and down of the waistline is giving me the bends. If you don't know what that is google it. Other than that there is little comment I have on it other than it does very little good if you talk about the front at length but only show us the back.)

Plate 23 - Evening Dress
A round robe  of lavender or lilac crape, with full turkish long sleeve, and roman bodice worn over an under-dress of white satin.  A round tucker of paris net, edged with antique lace, with cuffs to correspond.  Broach and clasp of pale topaz; neck chain and cross of the same.  Head-dress in the eastern style, composed of the hair in curls and ringlets, confined in a caul of silver net, fastened with a chinese pin at the back of the head, and in front with a knot of brilliants.  White satin slippers with silver clasp; gloves of french kid and fan of silver frosted crape.  Occasional scarf of french lace. 

(This is really not an improvement, and the hair net or caul or whatever looks to me like a filled diaper of hair...i mean really. There is so much potential here that just fell so short.)

Allegorical Wood-Cut with Patterns of British Manufacture

No. 1. A lilac and white moscow checked sarasnet, for dinner or evening dresses: trimmed of chinese fringe, thread lace, or white beats are appropriate for dresses of this light article with jewelry ornaments to correspond.  They are like most of the evening robed made with demi trains and many ladies adopt the short full sleeve. 

No. 2. A purple striped iris net, calculated for the above order of costume.  This article is usually worn over a white sarsnet or satin slip, and trimmed with white lace or silk fringe. 

No. 3. A jonquil shawl-pattern cambric, belonging to the domestic or intermediate order of dress.  Robes of this article are usually made plain, sitting close to the form, in wraps or high gowns, with long sleeves, rather large, and trimmed round the throat and at the wrists with lace.  

no. 4. is also an article for morning or domestic decoration, and is called the palm-leaf imperial striped cambric.  It is formed in plain robes as above.

(An entire series of prints! There is everything novel and delightful here to be seen and i want dress lengths of it all.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Journal Journey into the year 1811 - With this month I am officially caught up! You will see October on the 19th!

HOORAY! It only took me half the week but here we are, all caught up and back on track! I forgot in the mess of sewing frantically for Malmaison how much I enjoyed this project and how much I enjoyed learning! I hope those who have followed up until this point have enjoyed it too.

So here is September!

Plate 16. - Promenade Costume
A round high robe with large long sleeves and deep falling collar, edged with lace or needle-work and composed of jaconot muslin.  A small capuchin mantle of green shot sarsnet, lined with white, and trimmed with chinese silk fringe or corresponding shades; deep Spanish pointed cape, trimmed with the same.  White satin hat of the spanish form, with rim the colour of the mantle, ornamented with a demi wreath of corn-flowers.  Roman shoe of green morocco.  Gloves of lemon coloured kid; and parasol corresponding with the cloak, with deep chinese awning. 

(It seems this month Spanish garments seem to be the nationality of choice. Other than that, this seems to be a very simple self explanatory fashion. Though it is really very beautiful, don't you think? Green and white is always so classic!)

Plate 17. - Morning Dress
A chinese robe with full long sleeve, composed of fine imperial or plan cambric muslin; trimmed round the throat and wrist and down the front with a full plaited border of plain muslin.  A french foundling cap, formed of alternate stripes of lace and white satin, ornamented with blossom-coloured ribbon, and autumnal flowers to correspond.  A pelerine of spotted muslin or net, trimmed entirely round with lace or muslin, and thrown loosely over the shoulders.  shoes and gloves of lemon coloured kid.
These dressed are furnished by mrs. gill, no. 1, cork street, burlington-gardens, whose extensive and elegant assortment of millinery, robes &c. &c. has rendered her so justly eminent in her line.

In ladie's shoes there has of late been a complete revolution. Rodwell's brass military heel and copper fastenings are quite the ton as is also the gold and jet clasp to the regent slipper, which is certainly the most graceful ornament for the female foot we have witnessed for some time. 

(Now here is something I have never seen before! A "Chinese Robe"! From what I can see of the Plate there is nothing special that might give off the hint of any resemblance to the attire in China.  Any thoughts? I should love to hear if you have any! Otherwise, the descriptions are rather simple, and so absolutely beautiful.  This is definitely one of my favorite plates and her little ruffly perlerine and cap charm me immensely. 

The mention of shoes got me so excited! Brass military heel and copper fastenings? I should very much like to see an example and figure out what exactly this would look like. So wonderful! It isn't often you get this much desciption of a shoe other than its color and material.)

Allegorical Wood-Cut, with Patterns of British Manufacture.
No. 1 & 2.  A striped persian dove-colored chintz for window-curtains and bed furniture.  The colour of this article is so chaste, and at the same time so perfectly neutral, that fringed trimming of any hue will suit it: a rich gold-yellow however, is more particularly adapted to shew it to the greatest advantage. 

No.  3. A celestial blue waved gauze for evening dress. This article, equally novel and graceful, should be worn over white satin or sarsnet.

No. 4. A sprigged chintz designed for morning dresses.  It combines a high degree of elegance with a  pleasing simplicity. 

(It seems to be very common to include a furniture chintz with the fabrics for garments! Throwing in a curve ball to make sure we are all paying attention.  The last two I just adore, and I swear you can buy something very similar to the last at Regency Revisited! I wish that gauzes of that texture were more readily available, however. How lovely that must look over top a glistening satin or silk? Dreamy sigh. Like a cloud!)

Another simple month has come and gone, and we can only hope that October brings a little more information for us. I always love the months that have the letters from Belinda, so much more detail than you get otherwise!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Journal Journey into the Year 1811: Time for August!

Everyone hold onto your pants, I am going to post another month THE NEXT DAY.

I know, right? Its absolute madness.  But don't worry, after October, you will have to wait a month until I post for November!

Plate 10 - Walking Dress.
A high round robe, with full long sleeves, trimmed with vandyke lace at the throat and cuffs, and ornamented round the bottom with a tuscan border in needle-work.  A short capuchin cloak of buff colored shot sarsnet, fastened with broaches on the shoulders, and trimmed with deep chinese silk fringe of the same shade.  A moorish turban bonnet, gathered into a broach in center of forehead.  Purple ridicule, with gold snap and tassels.  Half boots of buff coloured kid.  Parasol with deep Indian awning the same as the cloak.

Child's Dress
A short sleeves spanish vest and trowsers in one, an indian dimitiy waistcoat with long sleeves and collar trimmed with a narrow border of muslin.  High shoes, of purple or black  morocco.  A college cap, of purple velvet with crimson band.

(Isn't this just the cutest thing ever?? Her turban bonnet looks like a big fat delightful bow on her head. Here again in the second month we have a description of a "tuscan border". There is a clearer image of the embroidery, but nothing really revealed. I am really in love with her cloak, as well.  The little boy is to die for as well, look at his little onesie and hat!!)

Plate 11 - Evening Dress
A grecian round robe, with demi-train, of fine indian muslin or italian crape, trimmed with silk or silver fringe; a circassian sleeve, and bosom finished a la chemise.  A roman tunic of sardinian blue satin, confined with correspondent cord and silver buttons in front.  A neck-chain and locket of silver filigree or pearl, with ear-rings and bracelets en suite.  Hair worn flat, waving in curls on the forehead, and confined behind with a row of twisted pearl, the same places across the front.  An occasional scarf of cloak of thread lace.  White satin slippers, with silver clasps.  Gloves of white french kid, and fan of carved ivory.

(Here again we see a round robe, and here again the plate really doesn't reveal much about what that is exactly, other than a lazy way for "dress." The good news is, after this many months and some brain meat working together, we have figured out what exactly they mean by "circassian sleeve". All in all, this is a really sweet and novel ensemble, but nothing too complicated in its make up or description.)

Allegorical wood cut, with patterns of british manufacture.

No 1. A royal regency leno, for evening or full dress, calculated for the turkish robes and roman tunics now so fashionable in elegant circles.  It should be worn over white satin, or sarsnet; and embellished with ornaments of pearl, diamonds, white cornelian, or the satin bead.

No 2. A dove colored imperial gauze, adapted for the same order of costume, and to which the same jewelry ornaments are appropriate.  Trimmings of fine lace, with decorations of wreaths and bouquets for the hair and bosom, are also becoming appendages to this neat and elegant article.

No. 3 A celestial blue pencilled muslin, adapted for the intermediate order of dress.  It is either made high with a trimming of narrow lace around the throat, or formed in a low square bosom, finished with white embossed satin ribbon.  With each the long sleeve is to be preferred, in this as in most other muslin articles.

No. 4 A pink muslin with embossed green spot.  This animated article is confined to the more youthful females, to whom it is most becomingly adapted.  It should invariably be worn over white sarsnet, fine glazed cambric, or satin; and should be formed in the most plain and simple manner.  No jewelry ornaments but white can be admitted to blend with this material, nor any but white flowers can be worn in the hair.

(First and foremost I would like to point out there there is nothing this month that is white.  The only one that looks white ish is the penciled muslin, and thats only because after the years the blue has faded out.  So, again, always remember to read the descriptions if you can.  The first item they have displayed is incredibly garish and, to be frank, rather unattractive, but it goes to show how we are migrating more towards the gothic romantic ideals, and white is not necessarily the go-to anymore. Sure it is still around and prevelant but its not the only thing.  I am also intrigued to see that even opaque fabrics are suggested worn over satin or sarsnet under gowns, and that muslin articles are primarily made with long sleeves. 1811, what an interesting year!) 

August is a very simple month, everyone coming down and recovering from the Fete I should think.  Stay tuned, perhaps September will be a bit more exciting!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Journal Journey into the year 1811: Three months late? I HAVE A REALLY GOOD REASON. Here is July.

Ok, ok, I know that I am really horrible about updating my blog, and following is pretty much pointless unless you like going months between updates but hear me out.

I. Was at. Malmaison.

Thats right, any of my followers that are avid Napoleonic re-enactors know that the Jubilee at Malmaison which happens so far only every other year will know that is some serious stuff there.  I spent MONTHS sewing like mad to do honor to America and my own impression, and I think I did right well.  To learn more about it and see more of what we all did, check out my business blog as Undressing the Historical Lady.

Anyway, now to the fun stuff!! If you haven't already, hop over to the other lovely ladies in Germany, France, and the other end of London!

Plate 4 - Opera Dress
A round robe of imperial violet net crepe, or leno, with a long sleeve of the same, worn over a white satin under-dress.  A cottage vest, or bodice, of chinese crape, tabinet, or satin, laced and tagged with correspondent cord and tassels.  Under-dress shading closely the bosom and shoulders.  A large unella veil, confined in front with a gold tiara, and a simple rose on one side, flowing in negligent folds over the rear of the figure.  Neck chain and bracelets of finely carved amber, or oriental elastic gold.  French repeating watch, with elastic gold chain and seals.  Bouquet on the left side of the bosom.  White satin slippers and gloves of white kid.

Youths Dress
A jacket and trowsers, a la militaire, of windsor grey cloth.  White marsielles dimity waistcoat, ornamented to correspond: collar and frill in the antique style: hair a waved crop.  The pomposo, or moorish half-boot, of yellow of black morocco.  This latter dress was furnished by mr. s clark, tailor and ladies' habit maker, no. 37, Golden-Square

First of all, I have always loved this little boys outfit.  Always.  It ALMOST makes me want one of my own.

In reading the rest of this month's fashion descriptions it seems that these evening bodices, or cottage vests, are very popular.  They are mentioned frequently, for evening gatherings, but not for full dress, say at the Fete mentioned below. I am wondering at this descrption of "elastic" gold they mean something similar to spring steel bones in construction, somehow the chain is made in such a way as to give it stretch, which is both odd and cool.  

Due to Game of Thrones I can find almost NO information on what "Unella" could mean. Go figure. 

In regards to the youth's dress I should just like to point out that the maker of this garment is a tailor and ladie's habit maker.  Since habits were very masculine often times they would be made by male tailors, not mantua makers.

Plate 5 - Promenade Costume.
A white jaconot muslin high dress, a walking length, ornamented round the bottom: cuffs and collar with a tuscan border, in tambour.  A sea-green sarsnet spencer, ornamented with silver maltese buttons, and barrel frogs to correspond, worn open occasionally in front, and confined at the throat with cord and tassels.  French watch and chain worn outside, suspended in front from the bottom of the waist, hair in disheveled curls, confined with a cold or shell comb at the back of the head.  A large transparent white veil thrown over the whole.  Chinese parasol; gold mounted ridicule; and half boots similar in shade to the spencer.  Gloves of pale primrose or buff kid.

This has also been a great favorite of mine, but most know that I am a big fan of green anyhow. I am not sure what about the border makes it "Tuscan in nature." Perhaps its the design? 

Another note I would like to make is yet another spencer made out of Sarsnet.  Should you be desirious of a fashionable Sarsnet for a fashionable lady of 1811, Burnley and Trowbridge carry a couple beautiful articles of said material. 

I am wondering what the sudden draw for french watches is inspired by.  Both ensembles this month describe French watches.  Does anyone who is interested in such things know why? I would be happy to hear about it in the comments! 

Twenty first letter from a young lady in london to her sister in the country:

Allow me, my dear sister, to bespeak your forgiveness for not replying sooner to your last "feast of reason." the fact is, that i have been so constantly engaged in the pleasures of this charming spot, which is flowing with milk and honey, that i have not been able, as yet, to digest the moral fare your last epistle offered.

What am I then to say to you at this time? With a brain agreeable bewildered by the intoxicating splendor and dazzling brightness of the Prince Regent's fete, how shall I rationally collect my thoughts so as to give a detail fit to meet your sober judgment?   A detail, indeed, would be an undertaking of herculean labour, so vast and so various were the attractions which this unrivaled entertainment displayed.  On this subject I shall give you the result of my observations, and endeavor to offer a few general remarks, which may afford instruction as well as amusement.

The dresses, on this splendid occasion, consisted chiefly of round robes, ornamented up the front, in the convent form of roman tunics; and turkish robes, with under dresses of white satin, trimmed with silver, gold, flowers, or gems.  There was an occasion when white satin, with crape or lace, ornamented with silver, pearl, or diamonds was so general.  Most of the young fashionables were thus chastely attired.  The plumes of feathers were of unprecedented magnificence there were from seven to fourteen in each plume.  This may perhaps strike you as to heavy to produce a pleasing or becoming effect and, indeed, individually considered, this was actually the case, though certainly the effect of the coup d'oeil was improved by the vast assemblage. The long waist which was trespassing so much upon elegance and grace, will now be reduced, as the short grecian waist was universally adopted on this occasion; a standard which I have ever considered can never be diminished or exceeded with advantage.  The hair was still twisted in the grecian style, but with curls brought in front, and full towards one side, divided in the center of the forehead.  The Madonna head-dress was quite exploded.  Amidst the coloured robes which adorned the princely drawing-rooms, those of pink were by far the most prevailing.  Green and yellow, so generally seen on ordinary occasions, were scarcely visible amidst this exalted assembly.  A few light blue and lilac robed and tunics of hold and silver tissue, were blended, but pink and white variously, most tastefully and splendidly ornamented, were universally attractive.  My own dress was a grecian frock of silver net, sloped in a sort of arch at the feet in front, and finished with a delicate fringe of silver snow drops. the under dress was of gossamer satin, edged at the feet with a narrow lace.  I wore a brilliant regency start, at the base of the plume of feathers which decorated my hair, and a correspondent cross pendant from the row of brilliants which ornamented my neck.  The sleeves of the dresses were worn short, without exception by all young women.  The matured fashionable wore the long sleeves, of net, lace, or crape rather large.  The spanish, circassian, and short bishops sleeve were acknowledges as the most universal and elegant.

(Now, what exactly makes it a "round robe"? this is something that has been a source of confusion and frustration. Do they mean it is closed at the back? Do they mean gathered with a drawstring at both bosom and waist edge? I can never really figure it out. But it is very obvious that Grecian is still prevailing, with lots of draping involved. The description of the feathers was also mind blowing, FOURTEEN PLUMES?! ON YOUR DOME?! Jesus. That is insanity, and awesome. By madonna head dress I can only assume a virginal veil sort of thing, but I might be mistaken here. Any clarification or ideas in the comments is of course most welcome!  Something that really excited me was to see that colors were popular, it was not just white, white, white, and more white. Yes, it was popular, but so was PINK! There were other options, as well as long sleeves for the more "matured" lady of fashion.  Some things in history do not change, and a woman past the meridian of life knew when she could no longer dress like the youthful females of the day and made no attempts to do so.  Does anyone know what "Brilliant regency start" means? Was it a typo and meant to say "star?" obviously it is some sort of head ornament.)

Thus dear constance, have I given you a concise account of those particulars which will direct your general choice, as the fashion and style displayed on this grand occasion may certainly be looked up to as the standard of taste for the season.  I must not omit to inform you, that the coloured bodice is an article much in request at dinner and evening parties.  It is both a convenient and striking appendage to the round robe, to which it make be at all times attached, as taste and fancy direct.  I have one of white satin and another of pink and silver tissue, laced up the front in the cottage style.  Spencers are more worn than I ever recollect to have witnessed.  At the theatres and vauxhall, they are generally of white satin or sarsnet, trimmed with lace or venetian binding, and some few adopt the light swansdown even at this season.  Short pelisses and mantles are equally common, and grecian scarfs are amidst the general exhibition.  Provincial poke bonnets of white or coloured satin, of figured sarsnets with fluted edges and a single ostrich feather across the front, blend with the slouch chip, helmet bonnet, and cottage poke.  the gipsey hat, so becoming and seasonable at this period, is confined to a few fashionables, who judiciously prefer what is becoming and select, to what is more general and decided.

(Here again we see a mention of the evening bodice, in all sorts of materials and colors! Pink tissue, white satin, who knows what you could make yours out of! I have a wealth of pretty mint green silk organza that might make a rahter fetching one ;). It is also wonderful to see the mention of Spencers being worn for evening things such as the theater and opera, made in rich materials and trimmed out accordingly. The array of bonnets and hats is also quite fun to see. There is no want of variety in this period in terms of shapes and materials!)

Adieu dead sister! pardon this abrupt conclusion.  The dial points half past five.  I hasted to my toilet.  A dinner party of twenty fashionables await us at seven, amidst which are two peers, free members of the whip club, two hangers-on, in the shape of honorary members, a bishop, a boxer , and a pedestrian racer.  What an ordeal for us females to pass! Pity me, and pray for me, dear good sister! For I am ever your faithful and affectionate,

(though it is not fashion related I enjoy the list of guests coming to this dinner! A boxer! A pedestrian Racer! Members of the whip-club! It must have been a rather amusing and roucus affair.  Also an hour and a half for evening toilette seems about right, doesn't it?.  If you have had a chance to read about the fete from our other London magazine, you will see the comparisons and contrasts! There is definitely more mention in La Belle about the rooms and table.)

Allegorical Wood Cuts with Patterns of British Manufacture:

No 1. and 2. an elegant and fashionable print for furniture, on a bright sardinian blue ground, which throws off the lively colours blended in the chintz pattern to the most striking advantage and bespeaks at once the tasteful invention for which the house of mr. allen, pall mall, is so celebrated.

No. 3.  An unique and delicate article for evening robes, to be purchased at millards warehouse in cheapsides; the proprietor of which evidently possesses a happy and cultivated taste, united with indefatigable industry and exertion, which enables him thus constantly to produce such new articles as insured him the attention and approbation of the numerous families of distinction, who daily honour the ware rooms of this famed establishment. (It would have been nice had they told us what the article was. Silk? Cotton? Don't leave us hanging!)

No. 4. A silver regency tissue, worn with so much effect at the grade fete at carlton house.  For less splendid public parties this delicate article is particularly appropriate and becoming, in the forms of the peasants or villagers vest, laced up the front with silver cord, and finished with correspondent tags. (tags? do they mean tabs? do they mean some sort of trim? how odd! but again, its all about the little vests.) 

Be sure to check back here frequently, i plan on betting the next two months done THIS WEEK!! It'll be the most action this place has seen in ages.