A Georgian Lady’s Wardrobe

Susan/Miranda, stepping up to the podium to welcome frequent commenter Kalen Hughes back to the blog….

Lord_scandal Kalen Hughes’s new book, LORD SCANDAL, is a June 08 release and she’s here to talk about the clothing of the late Georgian era. Romantic Times Book Reviews described Kalen’s take on the late 18th century thusly: “Hughes’ lusty, emotional second romance perfectly depicts the Georgian era in all its naughty glory — with house parties, races, matchmaking, gossip rags and duels. This author is on her way to stardom.” For  more about Kalen the author as well as her books, please stop by her site: www.kalenhughes.com.

Since the age of three, Kalen has been involved in various living history events from the Middle Ages to the Roaring 20s. She is an expert historical seamstress as well as a scholar of fashion and clothing. We’re delighted to have her as a resource here today. Let the questions begin!

Hi, everyone. It’s so wonderful to be back here. I had such a great time last year when my debut book, Fashion_plate_1786_caraco_et_jupon LORD SIN, came out and I visited the Wenches and talked about Regency fashions. This time around I’m going  to go back in history a bit and take a look at the fashions of the parents and grandparents of those Regency era characters (several of the Wenches write Georgian-set books, so this is familiar territory for them and hopefully for many of their fans).

1780s_linen_stays_2 The clothing of the Georgian era is heavier than that of the Regency. The fabrics are richer, the corsetry is stiffer (though I personally find 18th century stays to be the most comfortable of all), and everything just seems a little grander (in presentation as well as scale). Hoops (called panniers by the Victorians) and false rumps or bums (more familiar as the Victorian “bustle”) were worn throughout the period. I’m going to concentrate on the fashions of the transitional 1780s/1790s (when my books are set), but if you have questions about earlier eras, just ask!

The underpinnings are a tad more involved than those of the Regency. Our Georgian heroine would stillFalse_rump_repro_2  be wearing a basic white linen shift, stockings, garters, and stays (no drawers!). Her stays (corset) would be much heavier and much stiffer than those of her Regency-era daughter, and she’d be wearing some kind of contraption to pad out her hips. The large hoops of the mid-century have gone the way of the dodo (which of course, still exists in the 1780s). The fullness of the skirts has moved from the side to the back, and false rumps (bum pads) are now worn to plump out the skirts (rather like an Elizabethan bum roll). These pads could be made of wadding (rather like a pillow) or The_new_rigatta they could be made of cork. This fashion lead to cartoons like the one shown here called “The New Regatta” which shows several women shooting the Thames, balanced on their rumps. Women’s fashions have always been open to the wicked pen of the satirist.

Over all this she would have worn her gown. It might be a robe á l’anglaise (sadly the wonderful a robe 1785_robe_anglaiseà  la française, which its hanging pleats had gone out of style for everything but court). These styles of gown are usually open at the front (below the waist), allowing the petticoat to be seen (note: “petticoat” applies to all of a woman’s various skirts during this time period, not just to those that are underskirts). The petticoat could be made to match or of contrasting fabric. If not “open” the gown would have an “apron skirt” which was sewn in at the back, but was open at the sides and was pulled up to tie around the waist (under the bodice of the gown). The gown could be made with a Linen_gown_1760_1780_hooks_2 “compère” front (meaning that it fastened closed over the chest) or it could be made to be worn with a separate stomacher. Regardless, the dress most likely pinned shut. Yes, pinned. A lady’s pin money wasn’t so much for sewing as it was to buy the pins required to keep her gowns on! The main alternative to pinning was for the lady to be sewn into the gown (try getting that back on at a ball, LOL!). A very few gowns, comparatively, laced shut or were held closed with hook and eyes.

A lady of this period might also have worn the newly popular Perriot jacket and a petticoat, or she Extant_chemise_dress_1783_1790 might even have worn the very daring robe à la rein (or chemise gown), made popular—and infamous—by Marie Antoinette. As the 1780s pass into the early 1790s, the fashions of the Revolution come to England and we begin to see “round gowns” (meaning that the gown goes all the way around the body, no separate petticoat necessary), usually worn with some kind of open robe over them (think of gowns worn by Marianne in the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility).

I know this is a bit bare-bones (oh the pictures I could show you if I had unlimited room and time) but I think I’ve covered the basics. I’m more than happy to answer questions, show you more pictures and explain any garments you might have questions about. I even have some images of the insides of gowns if you want more info on just how they worked. So ask away!

160 thoughts on “A Georgian Lady’s Wardrobe”

  1. I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books! I know about pins, but hadn’t realized how prevalent they were! Buttons just seem so…common sensical. “G” Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Reply
  2. I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books! I know about pins, but hadn’t realized how prevalent they were! Buttons just seem so…common sensical. “G” Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Reply
  3. I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books! I know about pins, but hadn’t realized how prevalent they were! Buttons just seem so…common sensical. “G” Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Reply
  4. I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books! I know about pins, but hadn’t realized how prevalent they were! Buttons just seem so…common sensical. “G” Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Reply
  5. I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books! I know about pins, but hadn’t realized how prevalent they were! Buttons just seem so…common sensical. “G” Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Reply
  6. A bum plumper. That’s what I need. It would look really swell with a pair of Capri’s. Reading this article makes me wonder, why were some of these things fashionable and who decided? All through history there seems to be fashions that are a little odd and highly uncomfortable, never mind how hard it must have been to navigate with some of these clothes. I’ve always thought that it was interesting what fashions we find attractive and even odder that men find some of these clothes attractive. Or do they?

    Reply
  7. A bum plumper. That’s what I need. It would look really swell with a pair of Capri’s. Reading this article makes me wonder, why were some of these things fashionable and who decided? All through history there seems to be fashions that are a little odd and highly uncomfortable, never mind how hard it must have been to navigate with some of these clothes. I’ve always thought that it was interesting what fashions we find attractive and even odder that men find some of these clothes attractive. Or do they?

    Reply
  8. A bum plumper. That’s what I need. It would look really swell with a pair of Capri’s. Reading this article makes me wonder, why were some of these things fashionable and who decided? All through history there seems to be fashions that are a little odd and highly uncomfortable, never mind how hard it must have been to navigate with some of these clothes. I’ve always thought that it was interesting what fashions we find attractive and even odder that men find some of these clothes attractive. Or do they?

    Reply
  9. A bum plumper. That’s what I need. It would look really swell with a pair of Capri’s. Reading this article makes me wonder, why were some of these things fashionable and who decided? All through history there seems to be fashions that are a little odd and highly uncomfortable, never mind how hard it must have been to navigate with some of these clothes. I’ve always thought that it was interesting what fashions we find attractive and even odder that men find some of these clothes attractive. Or do they?

    Reply
  10. A bum plumper. That’s what I need. It would look really swell with a pair of Capri’s. Reading this article makes me wonder, why were some of these things fashionable and who decided? All through history there seems to be fashions that are a little odd and highly uncomfortable, never mind how hard it must have been to navigate with some of these clothes. I’ve always thought that it was interesting what fashions we find attractive and even odder that men find some of these clothes attractive. Or do they?

    Reply
  11. I never realized that pins were still used – it seems so uncomfortable for close-fitting gowns. What kind of pins? Safety pins/fibulae? Straight pins? Brooches? I can envision a whole new way of dispatching the villain — he gets tetanus from being scratched by the heroine’s pin when he attacks her. Or she gets hooked on someone’s lace and causes a scandal when she rips it off. All kinds of possibilities.

    Reply
  12. I never realized that pins were still used – it seems so uncomfortable for close-fitting gowns. What kind of pins? Safety pins/fibulae? Straight pins? Brooches? I can envision a whole new way of dispatching the villain — he gets tetanus from being scratched by the heroine’s pin when he attacks her. Or she gets hooked on someone’s lace and causes a scandal when she rips it off. All kinds of possibilities.

    Reply
  13. I never realized that pins were still used – it seems so uncomfortable for close-fitting gowns. What kind of pins? Safety pins/fibulae? Straight pins? Brooches? I can envision a whole new way of dispatching the villain — he gets tetanus from being scratched by the heroine’s pin when he attacks her. Or she gets hooked on someone’s lace and causes a scandal when she rips it off. All kinds of possibilities.

    Reply
  14. I never realized that pins were still used – it seems so uncomfortable for close-fitting gowns. What kind of pins? Safety pins/fibulae? Straight pins? Brooches? I can envision a whole new way of dispatching the villain — he gets tetanus from being scratched by the heroine’s pin when he attacks her. Or she gets hooked on someone’s lace and causes a scandal when she rips it off. All kinds of possibilities.

    Reply
  15. I never realized that pins were still used – it seems so uncomfortable for close-fitting gowns. What kind of pins? Safety pins/fibulae? Straight pins? Brooches? I can envision a whole new way of dispatching the villain — he gets tetanus from being scratched by the heroine’s pin when he attacks her. Or she gets hooked on someone’s lace and causes a scandal when she rips it off. All kinds of possibilities.

    Reply
  16. You do see buttons, but pretty much only on riding coats (cause they’re styled after men’s coats). And I’ve seen one early-to-mid-century jacket that had offset buttons that used a a lace wrapped around zig-zag style to close it over a stomacher (I think it’s detailed in Janet Arnold’s “Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction c. 1660-1860”.
    Pins are prevalent up into the early part of the Regency (say about 1812-1814). They’re used on the apron-front style gowns that are popular from the 1790s-1814 (maybe even a little later), but you see buttons at the back of some round gowns during this period (only on the bodice portion, the opening below the waist is always left open with no method of closure). Simple ties or hooks and eyes are far more prevalent on extant garments though.
    The pins are simple straight pins. Safety pins doesn’t exist yet (the fibulae is re-invented in 1849). The Victoria and Albert has some in their collection that they date as 1620-1800 (that’s a huge margin, but goes to show how common these were).
    http://images.vam.ac.uk/db_images/website/large/2006AM5157-6.jpg
    If any of you are going to be at the Historical Writers Conference in San Francisco this coming July (it’s the day before the main RWA conference) you can see all of this in action. My girlfriends and I will be giving workshops with live costume demos. Lots of pins. Lots.

    Reply
  17. You do see buttons, but pretty much only on riding coats (cause they’re styled after men’s coats). And I’ve seen one early-to-mid-century jacket that had offset buttons that used a a lace wrapped around zig-zag style to close it over a stomacher (I think it’s detailed in Janet Arnold’s “Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction c. 1660-1860”.
    Pins are prevalent up into the early part of the Regency (say about 1812-1814). They’re used on the apron-front style gowns that are popular from the 1790s-1814 (maybe even a little later), but you see buttons at the back of some round gowns during this period (only on the bodice portion, the opening below the waist is always left open with no method of closure). Simple ties or hooks and eyes are far more prevalent on extant garments though.
    The pins are simple straight pins. Safety pins doesn’t exist yet (the fibulae is re-invented in 1849). The Victoria and Albert has some in their collection that they date as 1620-1800 (that’s a huge margin, but goes to show how common these were).
    http://images.vam.ac.uk/db_images/website/large/2006AM5157-6.jpg
    If any of you are going to be at the Historical Writers Conference in San Francisco this coming July (it’s the day before the main RWA conference) you can see all of this in action. My girlfriends and I will be giving workshops with live costume demos. Lots of pins. Lots.

    Reply
  18. You do see buttons, but pretty much only on riding coats (cause they’re styled after men’s coats). And I’ve seen one early-to-mid-century jacket that had offset buttons that used a a lace wrapped around zig-zag style to close it over a stomacher (I think it’s detailed in Janet Arnold’s “Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction c. 1660-1860”.
    Pins are prevalent up into the early part of the Regency (say about 1812-1814). They’re used on the apron-front style gowns that are popular from the 1790s-1814 (maybe even a little later), but you see buttons at the back of some round gowns during this period (only on the bodice portion, the opening below the waist is always left open with no method of closure). Simple ties or hooks and eyes are far more prevalent on extant garments though.
    The pins are simple straight pins. Safety pins doesn’t exist yet (the fibulae is re-invented in 1849). The Victoria and Albert has some in their collection that they date as 1620-1800 (that’s a huge margin, but goes to show how common these were).
    http://images.vam.ac.uk/db_images/website/large/2006AM5157-6.jpg
    If any of you are going to be at the Historical Writers Conference in San Francisco this coming July (it’s the day before the main RWA conference) you can see all of this in action. My girlfriends and I will be giving workshops with live costume demos. Lots of pins. Lots.

    Reply
  19. You do see buttons, but pretty much only on riding coats (cause they’re styled after men’s coats). And I’ve seen one early-to-mid-century jacket that had offset buttons that used a a lace wrapped around zig-zag style to close it over a stomacher (I think it’s detailed in Janet Arnold’s “Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction c. 1660-1860”.
    Pins are prevalent up into the early part of the Regency (say about 1812-1814). They’re used on the apron-front style gowns that are popular from the 1790s-1814 (maybe even a little later), but you see buttons at the back of some round gowns during this period (only on the bodice portion, the opening below the waist is always left open with no method of closure). Simple ties or hooks and eyes are far more prevalent on extant garments though.
    The pins are simple straight pins. Safety pins doesn’t exist yet (the fibulae is re-invented in 1849). The Victoria and Albert has some in their collection that they date as 1620-1800 (that’s a huge margin, but goes to show how common these were).
    http://images.vam.ac.uk/db_images/website/large/2006AM5157-6.jpg
    If any of you are going to be at the Historical Writers Conference in San Francisco this coming July (it’s the day before the main RWA conference) you can see all of this in action. My girlfriends and I will be giving workshops with live costume demos. Lots of pins. Lots.

    Reply
  20. You do see buttons, but pretty much only on riding coats (cause they’re styled after men’s coats). And I’ve seen one early-to-mid-century jacket that had offset buttons that used a a lace wrapped around zig-zag style to close it over a stomacher (I think it’s detailed in Janet Arnold’s “Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s dresses and their construction c. 1660-1860”.
    Pins are prevalent up into the early part of the Regency (say about 1812-1814). They’re used on the apron-front style gowns that are popular from the 1790s-1814 (maybe even a little later), but you see buttons at the back of some round gowns during this period (only on the bodice portion, the opening below the waist is always left open with no method of closure). Simple ties or hooks and eyes are far more prevalent on extant garments though.
    The pins are simple straight pins. Safety pins doesn’t exist yet (the fibulae is re-invented in 1849). The Victoria and Albert has some in their collection that they date as 1620-1800 (that’s a huge margin, but goes to show how common these were).
    http://images.vam.ac.uk/db_images/website/large/2006AM5157-6.jpg
    If any of you are going to be at the Historical Writers Conference in San Francisco this coming July (it’s the day before the main RWA conference) you can see all of this in action. My girlfriends and I will be giving workshops with live costume demos. Lots of pins. Lots.

    Reply
  21. ***I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books!***
    Thank you. *blush* It’s a major hobby of mine. I think when you’ve researched the construction then made and worn the clothing it just “sticks” in your head really clearly. All these crazy little details sort of synergize and make sense.
    I’ve been working on recreating a c. 1817-1819 gown from Nancy Bradfield’s “Costume in Detail: 1730-1930” for the Beau Monde Soiree. It’s been tons of fun. I bought a beautiful sari when I was in Bangladesh last month for my day job and I’m converting it into a gown (which is very period usage). It’s been challenging to try and recreate all the small details of the gown as closely as I can. So far I’m really pleased with how it’s coming out.

    Reply
  22. ***I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books!***
    Thank you. *blush* It’s a major hobby of mine. I think when you’ve researched the construction then made and worn the clothing it just “sticks” in your head really clearly. All these crazy little details sort of synergize and make sense.
    I’ve been working on recreating a c. 1817-1819 gown from Nancy Bradfield’s “Costume in Detail: 1730-1930” for the Beau Monde Soiree. It’s been tons of fun. I bought a beautiful sari when I was in Bangladesh last month for my day job and I’m converting it into a gown (which is very period usage). It’s been challenging to try and recreate all the small details of the gown as closely as I can. So far I’m really pleased with how it’s coming out.

    Reply
  23. ***I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books!***
    Thank you. *blush* It’s a major hobby of mine. I think when you’ve researched the construction then made and worn the clothing it just “sticks” in your head really clearly. All these crazy little details sort of synergize and make sense.
    I’ve been working on recreating a c. 1817-1819 gown from Nancy Bradfield’s “Costume in Detail: 1730-1930” for the Beau Monde Soiree. It’s been tons of fun. I bought a beautiful sari when I was in Bangladesh last month for my day job and I’m converting it into a gown (which is very period usage). It’s been challenging to try and recreate all the small details of the gown as closely as I can. So far I’m really pleased with how it’s coming out.

    Reply
  24. ***I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books!***
    Thank you. *blush* It’s a major hobby of mine. I think when you’ve researched the construction then made and worn the clothing it just “sticks” in your head really clearly. All these crazy little details sort of synergize and make sense.
    I’ve been working on recreating a c. 1817-1819 gown from Nancy Bradfield’s “Costume in Detail: 1730-1930” for the Beau Monde Soiree. It’s been tons of fun. I bought a beautiful sari when I was in Bangladesh last month for my day job and I’m converting it into a gown (which is very period usage). It’s been challenging to try and recreate all the small details of the gown as closely as I can. So far I’m really pleased with how it’s coming out.

    Reply
  25. ***I think you’ve packed more detail into this column than some of my costume references pack into entire books!***
    Thank you. *blush* It’s a major hobby of mine. I think when you’ve researched the construction then made and worn the clothing it just “sticks” in your head really clearly. All these crazy little details sort of synergize and make sense.
    I’ve been working on recreating a c. 1817-1819 gown from Nancy Bradfield’s “Costume in Detail: 1730-1930” for the Beau Monde Soiree. It’s been tons of fun. I bought a beautiful sari when I was in Bangladesh last month for my day job and I’m converting it into a gown (which is very period usage). It’s been challenging to try and recreate all the small details of the gown as closely as I can. So far I’m really pleased with how it’s coming out.

    Reply
  26. Kay: I’ll be wearing it at the Beau Monde Soiree here in San Francisco. And I’m sure I’ll do a post about it over on History Hoydens . . . though I’m thinking I may start a personal blog that’s just about historical clothing. I could put up all my lessons from my HOW CLOTHES WORKED workshops as well as stuff about my own re-creations. Hmm…just what I need, another time-consuming project, LOL!

    Reply
  27. Kay: I’ll be wearing it at the Beau Monde Soiree here in San Francisco. And I’m sure I’ll do a post about it over on History Hoydens . . . though I’m thinking I may start a personal blog that’s just about historical clothing. I could put up all my lessons from my HOW CLOTHES WORKED workshops as well as stuff about my own re-creations. Hmm…just what I need, another time-consuming project, LOL!

    Reply
  28. Kay: I’ll be wearing it at the Beau Monde Soiree here in San Francisco. And I’m sure I’ll do a post about it over on History Hoydens . . . though I’m thinking I may start a personal blog that’s just about historical clothing. I could put up all my lessons from my HOW CLOTHES WORKED workshops as well as stuff about my own re-creations. Hmm…just what I need, another time-consuming project, LOL!

    Reply
  29. Kay: I’ll be wearing it at the Beau Monde Soiree here in San Francisco. And I’m sure I’ll do a post about it over on History Hoydens . . . though I’m thinking I may start a personal blog that’s just about historical clothing. I could put up all my lessons from my HOW CLOTHES WORKED workshops as well as stuff about my own re-creations. Hmm…just what I need, another time-consuming project, LOL!

    Reply
  30. Kay: I’ll be wearing it at the Beau Monde Soiree here in San Francisco. And I’m sure I’ll do a post about it over on History Hoydens . . . though I’m thinking I may start a personal blog that’s just about historical clothing. I could put up all my lessons from my HOW CLOTHES WORKED workshops as well as stuff about my own re-creations. Hmm…just what I need, another time-consuming project, LOL!

    Reply
  31. Kalen:
    Great post. It is cool to see the way the fashions change and develop through the Georgian era.
    Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.
    Loved the cartoon too.
    Michele

    Reply
  32. Kalen:
    Great post. It is cool to see the way the fashions change and develop through the Georgian era.
    Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.
    Loved the cartoon too.
    Michele

    Reply
  33. Kalen:
    Great post. It is cool to see the way the fashions change and develop through the Georgian era.
    Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.
    Loved the cartoon too.
    Michele

    Reply
  34. Kalen:
    Great post. It is cool to see the way the fashions change and develop through the Georgian era.
    Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.
    Loved the cartoon too.
    Michele

    Reply
  35. Kalen:
    Great post. It is cool to see the way the fashions change and develop through the Georgian era.
    Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.
    Loved the cartoon too.
    Michele

    Reply
  36. ***Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.***
    It’s all cyclical. In the Roaring 20s it was all about the bony-boy look and then in the 50s it was Va-Va-Va-Voom! Curves! Hips! Breats! And then Twiggy came along and it was back to bony-boy bodies being the “it” look. The Regency was a “thin willowy” ideal sandwiched in-between eras of hourglass figures. And even in certain crowds today women (and the men who love them) have an ideal that’s more Jaylo and Beyoncé than model-thin stick girl.
    I think it’s a little sad that for the upcoming film about the Duchess of Devonshire we’re getting frighteningly thin (IMO) Keira Knightly rather than someone more physically suited to the roll (like Romola Garai, or Rachel Weisz or even Kate Winslet).

    Reply
  37. ***Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.***
    It’s all cyclical. In the Roaring 20s it was all about the bony-boy look and then in the 50s it was Va-Va-Va-Voom! Curves! Hips! Breats! And then Twiggy came along and it was back to bony-boy bodies being the “it” look. The Regency was a “thin willowy” ideal sandwiched in-between eras of hourglass figures. And even in certain crowds today women (and the men who love them) have an ideal that’s more Jaylo and Beyoncé than model-thin stick girl.
    I think it’s a little sad that for the upcoming film about the Duchess of Devonshire we’re getting frighteningly thin (IMO) Keira Knightly rather than someone more physically suited to the roll (like Romola Garai, or Rachel Weisz or even Kate Winslet).

    Reply
  38. ***Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.***
    It’s all cyclical. In the Roaring 20s it was all about the bony-boy look and then in the 50s it was Va-Va-Va-Voom! Curves! Hips! Breats! And then Twiggy came along and it was back to bony-boy bodies being the “it” look. The Regency was a “thin willowy” ideal sandwiched in-between eras of hourglass figures. And even in certain crowds today women (and the men who love them) have an ideal that’s more Jaylo and Beyoncé than model-thin stick girl.
    I think it’s a little sad that for the upcoming film about the Duchess of Devonshire we’re getting frighteningly thin (IMO) Keira Knightly rather than someone more physically suited to the roll (like Romola Garai, or Rachel Weisz or even Kate Winslet).

    Reply
  39. ***Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.***
    It’s all cyclical. In the Roaring 20s it was all about the bony-boy look and then in the 50s it was Va-Va-Va-Voom! Curves! Hips! Breats! And then Twiggy came along and it was back to bony-boy bodies being the “it” look. The Regency was a “thin willowy” ideal sandwiched in-between eras of hourglass figures. And even in certain crowds today women (and the men who love them) have an ideal that’s more Jaylo and Beyoncé than model-thin stick girl.
    I think it’s a little sad that for the upcoming film about the Duchess of Devonshire we’re getting frighteningly thin (IMO) Keira Knightly rather than someone more physically suited to the roll (like Romola Garai, or Rachel Weisz or even Kate Winslet).

    Reply
  40. ***Also interesting that today, we are trying to look as if we have boys hips and bums and they tried to make theirs look bigger. lol.***
    It’s all cyclical. In the Roaring 20s it was all about the bony-boy look and then in the 50s it was Va-Va-Va-Voom! Curves! Hips! Breats! And then Twiggy came along and it was back to bony-boy bodies being the “it” look. The Regency was a “thin willowy” ideal sandwiched in-between eras of hourglass figures. And even in certain crowds today women (and the men who love them) have an ideal that’s more Jaylo and Beyoncé than model-thin stick girl.
    I think it’s a little sad that for the upcoming film about the Duchess of Devonshire we’re getting frighteningly thin (IMO) Keira Knightly rather than someone more physically suited to the roll (like Romola Garai, or Rachel Weisz or even Kate Winslet).

    Reply
  41. I adore these clothes — they are so beautiful and rich without being fussy, with natural colors. It’s why I prefer them to the Victorian which are too often so overloaded with details and decorations and odd colors that they are noticeable more as advertisements for 19th C technology and conspicuous consumption than for beauty. Of course, individual tastes vary, so YMMV.
    Thanks for the explanation of both the clothing and pins. I once quoted an old saying to a schoolmate — “see a pin and pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck” — and she said it made no sense. Your discourse on how important pins were makes clear why you’d be sure to pick up a pin. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?

    Reply
  42. I adore these clothes — they are so beautiful and rich without being fussy, with natural colors. It’s why I prefer them to the Victorian which are too often so overloaded with details and decorations and odd colors that they are noticeable more as advertisements for 19th C technology and conspicuous consumption than for beauty. Of course, individual tastes vary, so YMMV.
    Thanks for the explanation of both the clothing and pins. I once quoted an old saying to a schoolmate — “see a pin and pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck” — and she said it made no sense. Your discourse on how important pins were makes clear why you’d be sure to pick up a pin. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?

    Reply
  43. I adore these clothes — they are so beautiful and rich without being fussy, with natural colors. It’s why I prefer them to the Victorian which are too often so overloaded with details and decorations and odd colors that they are noticeable more as advertisements for 19th C technology and conspicuous consumption than for beauty. Of course, individual tastes vary, so YMMV.
    Thanks for the explanation of both the clothing and pins. I once quoted an old saying to a schoolmate — “see a pin and pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck” — and she said it made no sense. Your discourse on how important pins were makes clear why you’d be sure to pick up a pin. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?

    Reply
  44. I adore these clothes — they are so beautiful and rich without being fussy, with natural colors. It’s why I prefer them to the Victorian which are too often so overloaded with details and decorations and odd colors that they are noticeable more as advertisements for 19th C technology and conspicuous consumption than for beauty. Of course, individual tastes vary, so YMMV.
    Thanks for the explanation of both the clothing and pins. I once quoted an old saying to a schoolmate — “see a pin and pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck” — and she said it made no sense. Your discourse on how important pins were makes clear why you’d be sure to pick up a pin. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?

    Reply
  45. I adore these clothes — they are so beautiful and rich without being fussy, with natural colors. It’s why I prefer them to the Victorian which are too often so overloaded with details and decorations and odd colors that they are noticeable more as advertisements for 19th C technology and conspicuous consumption than for beauty. Of course, individual tastes vary, so YMMV.
    Thanks for the explanation of both the clothing and pins. I once quoted an old saying to a schoolmate — “see a pin and pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck” — and she said it made no sense. Your discourse on how important pins were makes clear why you’d be sure to pick up a pin. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?

    Reply
  46. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?
    Yep.
    The Victoria and Albert has this to say: “As the industry developed in the 16th century the major advance in the manufacture of pins came with the use of a steel draw-plate with a graduated series of holes. Wire, which was usually brass, could be drawn through this to any gauge, permitting standardization of the size of the pins. The heads were made from fine coils of wire that were soldered in place.”
    Later they were made of steel and the heads were beaten down much as they are now, but they were still handmade. Also, they were subject to rust (esp in that damp English climate) and so they had to be replaced regularly (nothing like a rusty pin to ruin the very expensive fabric of your gown!).
    Pins were commonly made in alms houses, and they took a great deal of work (and skill) to create. The 18th-century economist Adam Smith claimed that if one person did all of the work, only a few pins, perhaps only one, could be made each day.

    Reply
  47. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?
    Yep.
    The Victoria and Albert has this to say: “As the industry developed in the 16th century the major advance in the manufacture of pins came with the use of a steel draw-plate with a graduated series of holes. Wire, which was usually brass, could be drawn through this to any gauge, permitting standardization of the size of the pins. The heads were made from fine coils of wire that were soldered in place.”
    Later they were made of steel and the heads were beaten down much as they are now, but they were still handmade. Also, they were subject to rust (esp in that damp English climate) and so they had to be replaced regularly (nothing like a rusty pin to ruin the very expensive fabric of your gown!).
    Pins were commonly made in alms houses, and they took a great deal of work (and skill) to create. The 18th-century economist Adam Smith claimed that if one person did all of the work, only a few pins, perhaps only one, could be made each day.

    Reply
  48. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?
    Yep.
    The Victoria and Albert has this to say: “As the industry developed in the 16th century the major advance in the manufacture of pins came with the use of a steel draw-plate with a graduated series of holes. Wire, which was usually brass, could be drawn through this to any gauge, permitting standardization of the size of the pins. The heads were made from fine coils of wire that were soldered in place.”
    Later they were made of steel and the heads were beaten down much as they are now, but they were still handmade. Also, they were subject to rust (esp in that damp English climate) and so they had to be replaced regularly (nothing like a rusty pin to ruin the very expensive fabric of your gown!).
    Pins were commonly made in alms houses, and they took a great deal of work (and skill) to create. The 18th-century economist Adam Smith claimed that if one person did all of the work, only a few pins, perhaps only one, could be made each day.

    Reply
  49. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?
    Yep.
    The Victoria and Albert has this to say: “As the industry developed in the 16th century the major advance in the manufacture of pins came with the use of a steel draw-plate with a graduated series of holes. Wire, which was usually brass, could be drawn through this to any gauge, permitting standardization of the size of the pins. The heads were made from fine coils of wire that were soldered in place.”
    Later they were made of steel and the heads were beaten down much as they are now, but they were still handmade. Also, they were subject to rust (esp in that damp English climate) and so they had to be replaced regularly (nothing like a rusty pin to ruin the very expensive fabric of your gown!).
    Pins were commonly made in alms houses, and they took a great deal of work (and skill) to create. The 18th-century economist Adam Smith claimed that if one person did all of the work, only a few pins, perhaps only one, could be made each day.

    Reply
  50. I also imagine that in the days before assembly lines, pins were handmade and therefore more expensive — is that true?
    Yep.
    The Victoria and Albert has this to say: “As the industry developed in the 16th century the major advance in the manufacture of pins came with the use of a steel draw-plate with a graduated series of holes. Wire, which was usually brass, could be drawn through this to any gauge, permitting standardization of the size of the pins. The heads were made from fine coils of wire that were soldered in place.”
    Later they were made of steel and the heads were beaten down much as they are now, but they were still handmade. Also, they were subject to rust (esp in that damp English climate) and so they had to be replaced regularly (nothing like a rusty pin to ruin the very expensive fabric of your gown!).
    Pins were commonly made in alms houses, and they took a great deal of work (and skill) to create. The 18th-century economist Adam Smith claimed that if one person did all of the work, only a few pins, perhaps only one, could be made each day.

    Reply
  51. Fascinating post, Kalen. Many years ago, I attended a costume convention in Seattle that had a display of 18th century gowns. I fell completely in love. Every one was gorgeous. I’m looking forward to the workshop in S.F.

    Reply
  52. Fascinating post, Kalen. Many years ago, I attended a costume convention in Seattle that had a display of 18th century gowns. I fell completely in love. Every one was gorgeous. I’m looking forward to the workshop in S.F.

    Reply
  53. Fascinating post, Kalen. Many years ago, I attended a costume convention in Seattle that had a display of 18th century gowns. I fell completely in love. Every one was gorgeous. I’m looking forward to the workshop in S.F.

    Reply
  54. Fascinating post, Kalen. Many years ago, I attended a costume convention in Seattle that had a display of 18th century gowns. I fell completely in love. Every one was gorgeous. I’m looking forward to the workshop in S.F.

    Reply
  55. Fascinating post, Kalen. Many years ago, I attended a costume convention in Seattle that had a display of 18th century gowns. I fell completely in love. Every one was gorgeous. I’m looking forward to the workshop in S.F.

    Reply
  56. What a lovely distillation of information! The new gown sounds gorgeous. And as you say, a very example of creative reuse.
    I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male. I haven’t thought on this deeply, but it makes a certain amount of sense for the ’20s and the ’60s and now, when women are becoming more empowered.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  57. What a lovely distillation of information! The new gown sounds gorgeous. And as you say, a very example of creative reuse.
    I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male. I haven’t thought on this deeply, but it makes a certain amount of sense for the ’20s and the ’60s and now, when women are becoming more empowered.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  58. What a lovely distillation of information! The new gown sounds gorgeous. And as you say, a very example of creative reuse.
    I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male. I haven’t thought on this deeply, but it makes a certain amount of sense for the ’20s and the ’60s and now, when women are becoming more empowered.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  59. What a lovely distillation of information! The new gown sounds gorgeous. And as you say, a very example of creative reuse.
    I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male. I haven’t thought on this deeply, but it makes a certain amount of sense for the ’20s and the ’60s and now, when women are becoming more empowered.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  60. What a lovely distillation of information! The new gown sounds gorgeous. And as you say, a very example of creative reuse.
    I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male. I haven’t thought on this deeply, but it makes a certain amount of sense for the ’20s and the ’60s and now, when women are becoming more empowered.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  61. ***I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male.***
    That does kind of ring true, doesn’t it? I mean, hello 80s power suit, LOL! But there’s usually a backlash of some kind just waiting around the corner too . . . hence the slim, boyish women of WWII in their converted suits (I love the directions from this era for how to turn a man’s suit into a woman’s suit) become the wasp-waisted New Look babes of the late 40s and early 50s.
    I wonder if this will continue to play out as it has in the past or if in the 21st century we’ll move past it? Guess we’ll know in a decade or so . . .

    Reply
  62. ***I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male.***
    That does kind of ring true, doesn’t it? I mean, hello 80s power suit, LOL! But there’s usually a backlash of some kind just waiting around the corner too . . . hence the slim, boyish women of WWII in their converted suits (I love the directions from this era for how to turn a man’s suit into a woman’s suit) become the wasp-waisted New Look babes of the late 40s and early 50s.
    I wonder if this will continue to play out as it has in the past or if in the 21st century we’ll move past it? Guess we’ll know in a decade or so . . .

    Reply
  63. ***I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male.***
    That does kind of ring true, doesn’t it? I mean, hello 80s power suit, LOL! But there’s usually a backlash of some kind just waiting around the corner too . . . hence the slim, boyish women of WWII in their converted suits (I love the directions from this era for how to turn a man’s suit into a woman’s suit) become the wasp-waisted New Look babes of the late 40s and early 50s.
    I wonder if this will continue to play out as it has in the past or if in the 21st century we’ll move past it? Guess we’ll know in a decade or so . . .

    Reply
  64. ***I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male.***
    That does kind of ring true, doesn’t it? I mean, hello 80s power suit, LOL! But there’s usually a backlash of some kind just waiting around the corner too . . . hence the slim, boyish women of WWII in their converted suits (I love the directions from this era for how to turn a man’s suit into a woman’s suit) become the wasp-waisted New Look babes of the late 40s and early 50s.
    I wonder if this will continue to play out as it has in the past or if in the 21st century we’ll move past it? Guess we’ll know in a decade or so . . .

    Reply
  65. ***I’ve heard that in eras when women are getting more power, the fashionable ideal tends to get more skinny and male.***
    That does kind of ring true, doesn’t it? I mean, hello 80s power suit, LOL! But there’s usually a backlash of some kind just waiting around the corner too . . . hence the slim, boyish women of WWII in their converted suits (I love the directions from this era for how to turn a man’s suit into a woman’s suit) become the wasp-waisted New Look babes of the late 40s and early 50s.
    I wonder if this will continue to play out as it has in the past or if in the 21st century we’ll move past it? Guess we’ll know in a decade or so . . .

    Reply
  66. What an interesting post. About two days ago I added both books to my TBB list – The Smart Bitches that Read Trashy Books did a duo review about them and they were highly recommended.

    Reply
  67. What an interesting post. About two days ago I added both books to my TBB list – The Smart Bitches that Read Trashy Books did a duo review about them and they were highly recommended.

    Reply
  68. What an interesting post. About two days ago I added both books to my TBB list – The Smart Bitches that Read Trashy Books did a duo review about them and they were highly recommended.

    Reply
  69. What an interesting post. About two days ago I added both books to my TBB list – The Smart Bitches that Read Trashy Books did a duo review about them and they were highly recommended.

    Reply
  70. What an interesting post. About two days ago I added both books to my TBB list – The Smart Bitches that Read Trashy Books did a duo review about them and they were highly recommended.

    Reply
  71. Anne: Those are some wonderful pics. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going to bookmark those. I made a dress like that (an apron front) that I often wear for my How Clothes Worked demo class.
    Ana: Really hope you enjoy the books. I was sick to my stomach when I was told SBTB had reviewed them, but I really enjoyed their review (even the bits about what they didn’t like so much, LOL).

    Reply
  72. Anne: Those are some wonderful pics. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going to bookmark those. I made a dress like that (an apron front) that I often wear for my How Clothes Worked demo class.
    Ana: Really hope you enjoy the books. I was sick to my stomach when I was told SBTB had reviewed them, but I really enjoyed their review (even the bits about what they didn’t like so much, LOL).

    Reply
  73. Anne: Those are some wonderful pics. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going to bookmark those. I made a dress like that (an apron front) that I often wear for my How Clothes Worked demo class.
    Ana: Really hope you enjoy the books. I was sick to my stomach when I was told SBTB had reviewed them, but I really enjoyed their review (even the bits about what they didn’t like so much, LOL).

    Reply
  74. Anne: Those are some wonderful pics. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going to bookmark those. I made a dress like that (an apron front) that I often wear for my How Clothes Worked demo class.
    Ana: Really hope you enjoy the books. I was sick to my stomach when I was told SBTB had reviewed them, but I really enjoyed their review (even the bits about what they didn’t like so much, LOL).

    Reply
  75. Anne: Those are some wonderful pics. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going to bookmark those. I made a dress like that (an apron front) that I often wear for my How Clothes Worked demo class.
    Ana: Really hope you enjoy the books. I was sick to my stomach when I was told SBTB had reviewed them, but I really enjoyed their review (even the bits about what they didn’t like so much, LOL).

    Reply
  76. GREAT post, Kalen!
    And thank you, Anne Gracie, for sharing your photos as well. Always good to see things inside out and all unpinned to be able to really understand how they were constructed, and worn.
    As for Keira Knightley as a too-skinny Duchess of Devonshire — agree, agree, agree! She’s not only too skinny, but the wrong facial type as well. I guess Hollywood decided they’d done their part by casting an English actress, because all English women look exactly alike, don’t they? Grrr! Kate Winslet would have been a much better choice….
    Susan S.

    Reply
  77. GREAT post, Kalen!
    And thank you, Anne Gracie, for sharing your photos as well. Always good to see things inside out and all unpinned to be able to really understand how they were constructed, and worn.
    As for Keira Knightley as a too-skinny Duchess of Devonshire — agree, agree, agree! She’s not only too skinny, but the wrong facial type as well. I guess Hollywood decided they’d done their part by casting an English actress, because all English women look exactly alike, don’t they? Grrr! Kate Winslet would have been a much better choice….
    Susan S.

    Reply
  78. GREAT post, Kalen!
    And thank you, Anne Gracie, for sharing your photos as well. Always good to see things inside out and all unpinned to be able to really understand how they were constructed, and worn.
    As for Keira Knightley as a too-skinny Duchess of Devonshire — agree, agree, agree! She’s not only too skinny, but the wrong facial type as well. I guess Hollywood decided they’d done their part by casting an English actress, because all English women look exactly alike, don’t they? Grrr! Kate Winslet would have been a much better choice….
    Susan S.

    Reply
  79. GREAT post, Kalen!
    And thank you, Anne Gracie, for sharing your photos as well. Always good to see things inside out and all unpinned to be able to really understand how they were constructed, and worn.
    As for Keira Knightley as a too-skinny Duchess of Devonshire — agree, agree, agree! She’s not only too skinny, but the wrong facial type as well. I guess Hollywood decided they’d done their part by casting an English actress, because all English women look exactly alike, don’t they? Grrr! Kate Winslet would have been a much better choice….
    Susan S.

    Reply
  80. GREAT post, Kalen!
    And thank you, Anne Gracie, for sharing your photos as well. Always good to see things inside out and all unpinned to be able to really understand how they were constructed, and worn.
    As for Keira Knightley as a too-skinny Duchess of Devonshire — agree, agree, agree! She’s not only too skinny, but the wrong facial type as well. I guess Hollywood decided they’d done their part by casting an English actress, because all English women look exactly alike, don’t they? Grrr! Kate Winslet would have been a much better choice….
    Susan S.

    Reply
  81. BTW, regarding buttons: on page 182 of The National Trust book, “The Art of Dress:Clothes and Society, 1500-1914” by Jane Ashelford, there is a full-page photo of a beautiful gown, c. 1810, with a bodice that fastens up the back with five small buttons. The buttons are worked-thread Dorset buttons (which I know you’ve made, too, Kalen!) that look to be about 3/4 inch in diameter. What’s really unusual is that while the gown is a vivid hot-pink (really) silk, the buttons and the buttonholes are yellow thread. Yellow thread is also used for decorative pick-stitching around the seams. It’s very striking, and about the only example I can think of, too.
    Susan S.

    Reply
  82. BTW, regarding buttons: on page 182 of The National Trust book, “The Art of Dress:Clothes and Society, 1500-1914” by Jane Ashelford, there is a full-page photo of a beautiful gown, c. 1810, with a bodice that fastens up the back with five small buttons. The buttons are worked-thread Dorset buttons (which I know you’ve made, too, Kalen!) that look to be about 3/4 inch in diameter. What’s really unusual is that while the gown is a vivid hot-pink (really) silk, the buttons and the buttonholes are yellow thread. Yellow thread is also used for decorative pick-stitching around the seams. It’s very striking, and about the only example I can think of, too.
    Susan S.

    Reply
  83. BTW, regarding buttons: on page 182 of The National Trust book, “The Art of Dress:Clothes and Society, 1500-1914” by Jane Ashelford, there is a full-page photo of a beautiful gown, c. 1810, with a bodice that fastens up the back with five small buttons. The buttons are worked-thread Dorset buttons (which I know you’ve made, too, Kalen!) that look to be about 3/4 inch in diameter. What’s really unusual is that while the gown is a vivid hot-pink (really) silk, the buttons and the buttonholes are yellow thread. Yellow thread is also used for decorative pick-stitching around the seams. It’s very striking, and about the only example I can think of, too.
    Susan S.

    Reply
  84. BTW, regarding buttons: on page 182 of The National Trust book, “The Art of Dress:Clothes and Society, 1500-1914” by Jane Ashelford, there is a full-page photo of a beautiful gown, c. 1810, with a bodice that fastens up the back with five small buttons. The buttons are worked-thread Dorset buttons (which I know you’ve made, too, Kalen!) that look to be about 3/4 inch in diameter. What’s really unusual is that while the gown is a vivid hot-pink (really) silk, the buttons and the buttonholes are yellow thread. Yellow thread is also used for decorative pick-stitching around the seams. It’s very striking, and about the only example I can think of, too.
    Susan S.

    Reply
  85. BTW, regarding buttons: on page 182 of The National Trust book, “The Art of Dress:Clothes and Society, 1500-1914” by Jane Ashelford, there is a full-page photo of a beautiful gown, c. 1810, with a bodice that fastens up the back with five small buttons. The buttons are worked-thread Dorset buttons (which I know you’ve made, too, Kalen!) that look to be about 3/4 inch in diameter. What’s really unusual is that while the gown is a vivid hot-pink (really) silk, the buttons and the buttonholes are yellow thread. Yellow thread is also used for decorative pick-stitching around the seams. It’s very striking, and about the only example I can think of, too.
    Susan S.

    Reply
  86. Fascinating and wonderfully informative post Kalen, thanks so much.
    Pardon my ignorance but I was just wondering if you could explain the difference between a stomacher and stays. My impression, from the photos I have seen, is that the stomacher is stiff and made of the same/matching fabric as the gown and replaces the stays. Is it laced on like stays or pinned to the front of the gown? Photos are beautiful but do not always show fine details such as this.

    Reply
  87. Fascinating and wonderfully informative post Kalen, thanks so much.
    Pardon my ignorance but I was just wondering if you could explain the difference between a stomacher and stays. My impression, from the photos I have seen, is that the stomacher is stiff and made of the same/matching fabric as the gown and replaces the stays. Is it laced on like stays or pinned to the front of the gown? Photos are beautiful but do not always show fine details such as this.

    Reply
  88. Fascinating and wonderfully informative post Kalen, thanks so much.
    Pardon my ignorance but I was just wondering if you could explain the difference between a stomacher and stays. My impression, from the photos I have seen, is that the stomacher is stiff and made of the same/matching fabric as the gown and replaces the stays. Is it laced on like stays or pinned to the front of the gown? Photos are beautiful but do not always show fine details such as this.

    Reply
  89. Fascinating and wonderfully informative post Kalen, thanks so much.
    Pardon my ignorance but I was just wondering if you could explain the difference between a stomacher and stays. My impression, from the photos I have seen, is that the stomacher is stiff and made of the same/matching fabric as the gown and replaces the stays. Is it laced on like stays or pinned to the front of the gown? Photos are beautiful but do not always show fine details such as this.

    Reply
  90. Fascinating and wonderfully informative post Kalen, thanks so much.
    Pardon my ignorance but I was just wondering if you could explain the difference between a stomacher and stays. My impression, from the photos I have seen, is that the stomacher is stiff and made of the same/matching fabric as the gown and replaces the stays. Is it laced on like stays or pinned to the front of the gown? Photos are beautiful but do not always show fine details such as this.

    Reply
  91. Just wanted to give a reenactor’s perspective on the pins. I’ve never actually had any trouble with pins poking me while I’m wearing garments pinned together, but I have had pins fall out on occasion, especially with simple garments like a shortgown that are held together at the top with just one pin. I have one outfit that I decided would look better with hooks and eyes rather than pins, I sewed them in, but they come unhooked in key places, so now I’m back to using the pins. No doubt many of my problems are due to make lack of skill at pinning and sewing, but I can imagine that a heroine who has to dress herself for some reason might find her pins popping out at less than opportune moments…

    Reply
  92. Just wanted to give a reenactor’s perspective on the pins. I’ve never actually had any trouble with pins poking me while I’m wearing garments pinned together, but I have had pins fall out on occasion, especially with simple garments like a shortgown that are held together at the top with just one pin. I have one outfit that I decided would look better with hooks and eyes rather than pins, I sewed them in, but they come unhooked in key places, so now I’m back to using the pins. No doubt many of my problems are due to make lack of skill at pinning and sewing, but I can imagine that a heroine who has to dress herself for some reason might find her pins popping out at less than opportune moments…

    Reply
  93. Just wanted to give a reenactor’s perspective on the pins. I’ve never actually had any trouble with pins poking me while I’m wearing garments pinned together, but I have had pins fall out on occasion, especially with simple garments like a shortgown that are held together at the top with just one pin. I have one outfit that I decided would look better with hooks and eyes rather than pins, I sewed them in, but they come unhooked in key places, so now I’m back to using the pins. No doubt many of my problems are due to make lack of skill at pinning and sewing, but I can imagine that a heroine who has to dress herself for some reason might find her pins popping out at less than opportune moments…

    Reply
  94. Just wanted to give a reenactor’s perspective on the pins. I’ve never actually had any trouble with pins poking me while I’m wearing garments pinned together, but I have had pins fall out on occasion, especially with simple garments like a shortgown that are held together at the top with just one pin. I have one outfit that I decided would look better with hooks and eyes rather than pins, I sewed them in, but they come unhooked in key places, so now I’m back to using the pins. No doubt many of my problems are due to make lack of skill at pinning and sewing, but I can imagine that a heroine who has to dress herself for some reason might find her pins popping out at less than opportune moments…

    Reply
  95. Just wanted to give a reenactor’s perspective on the pins. I’ve never actually had any trouble with pins poking me while I’m wearing garments pinned together, but I have had pins fall out on occasion, especially with simple garments like a shortgown that are held together at the top with just one pin. I have one outfit that I decided would look better with hooks and eyes rather than pins, I sewed them in, but they come unhooked in key places, so now I’m back to using the pins. No doubt many of my problems are due to make lack of skill at pinning and sewing, but I can imagine that a heroine who has to dress herself for some reason might find her pins popping out at less than opportune moments…

    Reply
  96. Evangeline: The Beau Monde chapter of RWA (Regency Writers) hosts a pre-national mini conference every year. This year we’re combining forces with Hearts Through History and offering a much larger (30 workshops!) event that covers Medieval through Victorian (and Ancient Rome too, though I can’t seem to get the Roman track coordinator to email me back . . .). Tons of my re-enactor friends are going to be there giving clothing workshops/demos as well as other workshops like The History of Black Powder Weapons (and he’s bringing all his guns!) and Medieval foods (she’s cooking and bringing stuff for people to sample). If you’re interested, check out the sign-up info on The Beau Monde webiste or email me (kalenhughes @ yahoo.com).
    http://www.thebeaumonde.com/conference/

    Reply
  97. Evangeline: The Beau Monde chapter of RWA (Regency Writers) hosts a pre-national mini conference every year. This year we’re combining forces with Hearts Through History and offering a much larger (30 workshops!) event that covers Medieval through Victorian (and Ancient Rome too, though I can’t seem to get the Roman track coordinator to email me back . . .). Tons of my re-enactor friends are going to be there giving clothing workshops/demos as well as other workshops like The History of Black Powder Weapons (and he’s bringing all his guns!) and Medieval foods (she’s cooking and bringing stuff for people to sample). If you’re interested, check out the sign-up info on The Beau Monde webiste or email me (kalenhughes @ yahoo.com).
    http://www.thebeaumonde.com/conference/

    Reply
  98. Evangeline: The Beau Monde chapter of RWA (Regency Writers) hosts a pre-national mini conference every year. This year we’re combining forces with Hearts Through History and offering a much larger (30 workshops!) event that covers Medieval through Victorian (and Ancient Rome too, though I can’t seem to get the Roman track coordinator to email me back . . .). Tons of my re-enactor friends are going to be there giving clothing workshops/demos as well as other workshops like The History of Black Powder Weapons (and he’s bringing all his guns!) and Medieval foods (she’s cooking and bringing stuff for people to sample). If you’re interested, check out the sign-up info on The Beau Monde webiste or email me (kalenhughes @ yahoo.com).
    http://www.thebeaumonde.com/conference/

    Reply
  99. Evangeline: The Beau Monde chapter of RWA (Regency Writers) hosts a pre-national mini conference every year. This year we’re combining forces with Hearts Through History and offering a much larger (30 workshops!) event that covers Medieval through Victorian (and Ancient Rome too, though I can’t seem to get the Roman track coordinator to email me back . . .). Tons of my re-enactor friends are going to be there giving clothing workshops/demos as well as other workshops like The History of Black Powder Weapons (and he’s bringing all his guns!) and Medieval foods (she’s cooking and bringing stuff for people to sample). If you’re interested, check out the sign-up info on The Beau Monde webiste or email me (kalenhughes @ yahoo.com).
    http://www.thebeaumonde.com/conference/

    Reply
  100. Evangeline: The Beau Monde chapter of RWA (Regency Writers) hosts a pre-national mini conference every year. This year we’re combining forces with Hearts Through History and offering a much larger (30 workshops!) event that covers Medieval through Victorian (and Ancient Rome too, though I can’t seem to get the Roman track coordinator to email me back . . .). Tons of my re-enactor friends are going to be there giving clothing workshops/demos as well as other workshops like The History of Black Powder Weapons (and he’s bringing all his guns!) and Medieval foods (she’s cooking and bringing stuff for people to sample). If you’re interested, check out the sign-up info on The Beau Monde webiste or email me (kalenhughes @ yahoo.com).
    http://www.thebeaumonde.com/conference/

    Reply
  101. Alison: Stays vs. Stomacher.
    Stays = corset. They are stiff, boned all the way around, and lace up (usually up the back).
    Stomacher = a triangular front piece of a gown. Sometimes they have a bone or two in them to help shape them, but that’s all. They pin onto the stays (often with little tabs). Once the stomacher is pinned to the stays, the gown is put on and it is either pinned to the stomacher to close it, sewn to the stomacher to close it, or laced over the stomacher to close it (in a very few, rare examples) Follow this link for an example:
    http://www.vintagetextile.com/images/Early/1381.jpg

    Reply
  102. Alison: Stays vs. Stomacher.
    Stays = corset. They are stiff, boned all the way around, and lace up (usually up the back).
    Stomacher = a triangular front piece of a gown. Sometimes they have a bone or two in them to help shape them, but that’s all. They pin onto the stays (often with little tabs). Once the stomacher is pinned to the stays, the gown is put on and it is either pinned to the stomacher to close it, sewn to the stomacher to close it, or laced over the stomacher to close it (in a very few, rare examples) Follow this link for an example:
    http://www.vintagetextile.com/images/Early/1381.jpg

    Reply
  103. Alison: Stays vs. Stomacher.
    Stays = corset. They are stiff, boned all the way around, and lace up (usually up the back).
    Stomacher = a triangular front piece of a gown. Sometimes they have a bone or two in them to help shape them, but that’s all. They pin onto the stays (often with little tabs). Once the stomacher is pinned to the stays, the gown is put on and it is either pinned to the stomacher to close it, sewn to the stomacher to close it, or laced over the stomacher to close it (in a very few, rare examples) Follow this link for an example:
    http://www.vintagetextile.com/images/Early/1381.jpg

    Reply
  104. Alison: Stays vs. Stomacher.
    Stays = corset. They are stiff, boned all the way around, and lace up (usually up the back).
    Stomacher = a triangular front piece of a gown. Sometimes they have a bone or two in them to help shape them, but that’s all. They pin onto the stays (often with little tabs). Once the stomacher is pinned to the stays, the gown is put on and it is either pinned to the stomacher to close it, sewn to the stomacher to close it, or laced over the stomacher to close it (in a very few, rare examples) Follow this link for an example:
    http://www.vintagetextile.com/images/Early/1381.jpg

    Reply
  105. Alison: Stays vs. Stomacher.
    Stays = corset. They are stiff, boned all the way around, and lace up (usually up the back).
    Stomacher = a triangular front piece of a gown. Sometimes they have a bone or two in them to help shape them, but that’s all. They pin onto the stays (often with little tabs). Once the stomacher is pinned to the stays, the gown is put on and it is either pinned to the stomacher to close it, sewn to the stomacher to close it, or laced over the stomacher to close it (in a very few, rare examples) Follow this link for an example:
    http://www.vintagetextile.com/images/Early/1381.jpg

    Reply
  106. Kate: if you want to try the hook and eye thing again, one trick I’ve found that seems to work is to flip the arrangement of hook and eyes (so that on each side you would have both hooks and eyes) like this
    H E
    E H
    H E
    E H
    this way you get a balance of push and pull that seems to help keep the garment closed.
    NOTE: This is not period as far as I can tell. I’ve never seen it on an extant garment, but it does work.

    Reply
  107. Kate: if you want to try the hook and eye thing again, one trick I’ve found that seems to work is to flip the arrangement of hook and eyes (so that on each side you would have both hooks and eyes) like this
    H E
    E H
    H E
    E H
    this way you get a balance of push and pull that seems to help keep the garment closed.
    NOTE: This is not period as far as I can tell. I’ve never seen it on an extant garment, but it does work.

    Reply
  108. Kate: if you want to try the hook and eye thing again, one trick I’ve found that seems to work is to flip the arrangement of hook and eyes (so that on each side you would have both hooks and eyes) like this
    H E
    E H
    H E
    E H
    this way you get a balance of push and pull that seems to help keep the garment closed.
    NOTE: This is not period as far as I can tell. I’ve never seen it on an extant garment, but it does work.

    Reply
  109. Kate: if you want to try the hook and eye thing again, one trick I’ve found that seems to work is to flip the arrangement of hook and eyes (so that on each side you would have both hooks and eyes) like this
    H E
    E H
    H E
    E H
    this way you get a balance of push and pull that seems to help keep the garment closed.
    NOTE: This is not period as far as I can tell. I’ve never seen it on an extant garment, but it does work.

    Reply
  110. Kate: if you want to try the hook and eye thing again, one trick I’ve found that seems to work is to flip the arrangement of hook and eyes (so that on each side you would have both hooks and eyes) like this
    H E
    E H
    H E
    E H
    this way you get a balance of push and pull that seems to help keep the garment closed.
    NOTE: This is not period as far as I can tell. I’ve never seen it on an extant garment, but it does work.

    Reply
  111. The Ashelford book is worth tracking down, Kalen. Lots of over-sized photo, particularly of examples that aren’t commonly seen. (As much as I love the Kyoto 18th century book, those images are EVERYWHERE)
    Have you seen “The Dress of the People:Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England”? I’ve read some very favorable reviews of it, but I’m still saving my pennies. *g* It’s rare to find clothes of anyone but the upper classes, so I’m intrigued by this….
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209316792&sr=1-1
    Susan S.

    Reply
  112. The Ashelford book is worth tracking down, Kalen. Lots of over-sized photo, particularly of examples that aren’t commonly seen. (As much as I love the Kyoto 18th century book, those images are EVERYWHERE)
    Have you seen “The Dress of the People:Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England”? I’ve read some very favorable reviews of it, but I’m still saving my pennies. *g* It’s rare to find clothes of anyone but the upper classes, so I’m intrigued by this….
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209316792&sr=1-1
    Susan S.

    Reply
  113. The Ashelford book is worth tracking down, Kalen. Lots of over-sized photo, particularly of examples that aren’t commonly seen. (As much as I love the Kyoto 18th century book, those images are EVERYWHERE)
    Have you seen “The Dress of the People:Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England”? I’ve read some very favorable reviews of it, but I’m still saving my pennies. *g* It’s rare to find clothes of anyone but the upper classes, so I’m intrigued by this….
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209316792&sr=1-1
    Susan S.

    Reply
  114. The Ashelford book is worth tracking down, Kalen. Lots of over-sized photo, particularly of examples that aren’t commonly seen. (As much as I love the Kyoto 18th century book, those images are EVERYWHERE)
    Have you seen “The Dress of the People:Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England”? I’ve read some very favorable reviews of it, but I’m still saving my pennies. *g* It’s rare to find clothes of anyone but the upper classes, so I’m intrigued by this….
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209316792&sr=1-1
    Susan S.

    Reply
  115. The Ashelford book is worth tracking down, Kalen. Lots of over-sized photo, particularly of examples that aren’t commonly seen. (As much as I love the Kyoto 18th century book, those images are EVERYWHERE)
    Have you seen “The Dress of the People:Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England”? I’ve read some very favorable reviews of it, but I’m still saving my pennies. *g* It’s rare to find clothes of anyone but the upper classes, so I’m intrigued by this….
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209316792&sr=1-1
    Susan S.

    Reply
  116. I bought “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” at the MET this past December. It’s a wonderful book.
    Thanks so much for having me!!! It was great fun.

    Reply
  117. I bought “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” at the MET this past December. It’s a wonderful book.
    Thanks so much for having me!!! It was great fun.

    Reply
  118. I bought “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” at the MET this past December. It’s a wonderful book.
    Thanks so much for having me!!! It was great fun.

    Reply
  119. I bought “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” at the MET this past December. It’s a wonderful book.
    Thanks so much for having me!!! It was great fun.

    Reply
  120. I bought “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” at the MET this past December. It’s a wonderful book.
    Thanks so much for having me!!! It was great fun.

    Reply

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