Friday, June 7, 2013

Barbara Johnson's Brunswick

On finding out that Barbara Johnson--an 18th century woman who kept a record of all the fabric and dresses she had--had a Manchester cloth checked Brunswick, I knew I had to have one. How wonderfully different, and yes, tacky! The Manchester cloth was likely a cotton linen blend, and while that is available, I chose a cotton gingham instead. There were two reasons. One, $6 a yard instead of $20 a yard, and two, in the 18th century, it would've been a linen warp and cotton weft(or the other way around, I can never keep it straight) and the modern would just have the fibers blended together.

While I have a tutorial planned for the hooded waistcoat, this is just going to be a picture post. The Brunswick itself is just a pet-en-l'air with sleeve extensions basted in. These are simply trapezoids that I'm sure I took pictures of but can't find anywhere. They're very simple though--measure you arm at the elbow (where your sleeve ends), the wrist, and the distance between. Add ease, and sew, leaving the last bit open so it's easier to get your hand in.

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I'm wearing it over a shift, stays, habit shirt, cravat-lette and two underpetticoats. And yes, I am wearing my red Burnley and Trowbridge shoes. How could I not wear red shoes with a blue and white checked dress? :)

Before wearing it again, I need a longer cravat. I much prefer the look of the waistcoat open, but this one is too short to do it with. It's made from scraps of my habit shirt, and I didn't want to make it out of less nice linen that that...

The waistcoat closes with deaths head buttons.

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And here we have some standard posed shots. The check is quite small, 1/8 an inch, but is close in size to the original, which was a little under 1/4 inch.

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The hood is lined with white China silk and is mainly decorative. I don't think it would stay on my head without a pin :)

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Brunswick 15 Untitled

The waistcoat laces up the back with very sloppy eyelets. I made all of them in 15 minutes. And they work perfectly! The top of the waistcoat has checked fabric so it the lining doesn't show above the pet-en-l'air neckline. Also, a comparison of my fabric with Barbara Johnson's.

I really do prefer the way the waistcoat looks unbuttoned!

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Who doesn't want to match her picnic basket? :)

Nicole and Kendra have excellent Brunswick information as well.

Nicole's Brunswick
Kendra's Brunswick

And my LJ tag so you can see it being made!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A New Blog!


For ages, I've wanted to create a second blog for my antique clothing, and today, I finally did!

The Fashionable Past--Antiques!

The first post is on an 1880s evening bodice that I wrote about for Your Wardrobe Unlock'd. An easy start!

I do have a sizeable antique clothing collection, and it's full of fascinating information. Most of the clothes are wonderfully ordinary, and all of them have loads of interesting construction details. My collection ranges from the 1790s to the 1920s.

I am going to try to be good about updating (I know, I know, I still haven't posted all of the Williamsburg wardrobe here!). Photographing, measuring, writing, do take time! I think my new anglaise took less time than the average article on an antique. But it is summer vacation in four days, so we'll see what happens!