Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My 1840s Wrappers

What do you do when you've been coughing all summer, did some rather serious damage to your ribs as a result, and have a build your own event and an 1860s ball with a friend (Hi, Sarah!) in Montana and absolutely cannot wear a corset? You make that wrapper you've loved for years and fortunately have the perfect fabric for. And then you make an evening version for the ball out of silk for a Florentine giornea you're never going to make because your other option is twenties. It wasn't an authentic ball, so I felt ok with this option! In other words, wrappers aren't meant for balls. Even silk ones :)

Loads of construction information here--a full tutorial!. So this will be a picture post except for a few small details.

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The day wrapper is pink and green floral stripe from Michael Levine's and partially lined in Egyptian cotton. The evening wrapper is silk from Home Fabrics (both LA Garment District), and partially lined in Egyptian cotton. The day version is entirely hand sewn, the evening has a lot of machine sewing. They took three days a piece, with longer days obviously spent on the day version!

I'm wearing them over a chemise, short petticoat, corded petticoat, and plain petticoat. That's it! Amazingly comfortable.

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It's important to note, they don't fit like dresses. The silk one especially was a little loose in the back. Since the front fits loosely, all back tension is created by pulling it under the belt. Springy silk doesn't do this as well as cotton!

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The side views. You can see the difference in how the fabric drapes.

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I carried my knitted pineapple with the day dress, and the purple knitted star bag with the evening, though I didn't take pictures with it. I did, however, wear the same tiara I wore with the Angry Birds dress. Doesn't everyone wear tiaras with what's essentially a bathrobe? :)

13 comments:

  1. So cute! Great work. Looks way better than some of the other wrappers I've seen. Wouldn't be able to guess it wasn't a proper dress!

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    1. Thank you! Part of what drew me to this one is that it is more dress like :)

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  2. These look amazing! I think I will have to put them on my list to make!

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    1. Thank you--and it was a really fun project. I hope you do make one :)

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  3. If I had a silk "bathrobe" I'd definitely wear a tiara with it! :D

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  4. An 1860s ball in Montana?! Oh goodness when and where was/is it?

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    1. It's in Virginia City. They have two a year, one in June and one in August.

      http://virginiacitygrandvictorianball.com/

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  5. Beautiful job! I love it... I hope your ribs feel better. :)

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    1. Thank you--and they're feeling much better!

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  6. nice outfit.so cute!!!!!

    http://www.unnatisilks.com

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  7. I want to ask you about a sort of pineapple reticule I have. If anyone I have ever encountered could give me an idea of when it was made or used, i think that would be you. I have 2 videos about it on YouTube. I talk about it here
    http://youtu.be/l021MyHKh-U
    there is another with detailed stills that I can link if you are interested.
    I hope you will reply. I have been trying to learn more about this bag for about 30 years!
    Thank you!

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    1. Hello!

      I haven't had a chance to look your reticule up, but I just wanted to comment and let you know I wasn't ignoring you. I'll get to it soon--I'm excited to see it!

      Katherine

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