How to wear a shawl

 

On the shoulders, draped open or held with the hands

This woman, dressed in evening attire, wears a lace shawl on the edge of her shoulders

This woman wears her shawl high on the shoulders, rather close to the neck. It drapes down the front of her.

This woman wears her lace shawl on her shoulders while holds her dog with the shawl draped through the arms.

This lace shawl is held on the shoulders, fully covering the arms.

This lace shawl is held closed with arms.

This image is harder to see. It appears to me the shawl is held on the shoulders.

This shawl is draped off the back of the shoulders. I believe this is a posed wearing.

These women wear their shawls on their shoulders tucked high under their arms.

Painting, 1860 another painting

 

On the shoulders, held closed with pin or other item

This lace shawl is held closed at the neck.

This woman is seated, wearing an open neckline dress. The striped silk shawl drapes around her shoulders and is closed at the front.

This lace shawl is worn high on the shoulders to the neck where it appears to be pinned.

This paisley family shawl is folded square and pinned at the neck. It is unusual to see a shawl folded this way.

Just off the shoulders

This woman wears a loosely knit shawl just off her shoulders. She holds it closed with her hands. She appears to be in her 30s or 40s.

The woman on the right wears her shawl just off her shoulders and holds it closed low as she poses.

This shawl appears to be pinned in place. The woman is Cornelia Van Ness Roosevelt, taken in 1857.  I believe this is a posed wearing.

This woman wears her shawl with a paisley border just off her shoulder with a significant amount draped over her arms.

This shawl is worn just off the edge of the shoulders and held fully with the arms.

This is likely a later 40s or early 50s image based on the dress and bonnet. The shawl is one that could possibly have been made at home.

Woman wearing a knit shawl

Draped on mid-upper-arm

Lace shawl worn by a woman in her 40s or 50s, draped over her upper arms as she is seated.

 This lace shawl is worn on the upper arms. It is possibly a later 60s image based on the neckline.

On the arms/elbows

, draped low on the back, held at the elbows. Woman 20s or 30s.Solid shawl with possible border

This painting shows a woman, likely from the 1840s, in an open neckline day wear dress with her shawl draped around her arms loosely at the elbows.

Published in: on February 7, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

The Empire Bonnet of 1865 (and 1866)

According to The Dictionary of Fashion, the Empire bonnet was “a small, close-fitting, outdoor bonnet in the shape of a baby’s bonnet.”

We see bonnets called the Empire earlier in the war, but by the end of the war they have changed:

“The Empire bonnet (in its greatly modified form) seems to become popular, it is now made of velvet as well as straw, and is found not only comfortable but in a general way becoming. Bandelettes quite flat to the head and formed of velvet are much worn in place of bonnet-caps. Occasionally a butterfly, humming-bird, jet ornament, a bow of ribbon, or turf of flowers, is posed in the centre, and takes off the rather severe effect of the flat bandelette. Sometimes the band is formed entirely of feathers.” (The Ladies’ Companion, 1865 (Also The Illustrated London Magazine))

In 1865, mentions of the Empire bonnet are in fashion descriptions with a line or two regarding an ensemble rather than commentary on the style itself.

1We see the Empire bonnet made of straw as well as buckram and frequently of velvet. The decorations recommended vary. We see recommendations of tulle, velvet, rose buds, flowers, lace and leaves as well as the appearance of gold chains, straw sequins.

2“We give our readers the promised Empire bonnet. It is of green silk covered with crepe, and edged with a plait of green velvet. The small cape is finished at the back by streamers of tulle and a tuft of white flowers. The inside trimming consists of a puffing of tulle and white daisies.” (Godey’s Lady’s Book, October 1865)

1Empire bonnet (front and back view). It is of rice straw, trimmed with a large turf of pink roses mixed with black feathers. The bonnet is edged with a pearl fringe, and strings are of black ribbon” (Godey’s Lady’s Book, November 1865)

2

“Empire bonnet of the Auvergnat style. It is of straw, trimmed with ruching of scarlet velvet and wheat-ears, the latter arranged on the left side of the bonnet.” (Godey’s Lady’s Book, November 1865)

 

 

 

We see much more on the Empire bonnet in 1866 than we do in 1865. Here is one description of what makes an Empire bonnet in 1866:

“The genuine Empire bonnet we think can only be found at this establishment. It is so very peculiar in shape, that only a tall, stylish-looking person could wear it to advantage. Imagine a flat, square crown, with small front and long gypsy ears tying behind underneath the waterfall. A band of ribbon fastened on top passes down and ties under the chin, pressing the bonnet so closely to the face, that side trimmings are entirely suppressed. Gilt chains on velvet, a rich ornament, of a few flowers are placed over the forehead. In the hand these bonnets are decidedly ugly, but when “well worn,” they are quite distinque. Some very elegant specimens have just been received of choice shades of velvets, such as rose, violet, silver, gray, and blue, trimmed with gold chains and beads hidden in a light cloud of marabout. Others, for street wear, are of garnet or black velvet, or else gray felt, trimmed with plumes to match, and gilt ornaments. It is, however, not incumbent upon every one to wear these exaggerated styles, as there are several very pretty modifications of the Empire bonnet. All are exceedingly small, with raised, soft crowns, or else a perfectly flat crown and a small, tightly covered cape, or band set up rather high on the crown.”(Godey’s Lady’s Book, January 1866)

 

1Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1866 “Empire Bonnet. Intended for a half mourning toilet. The border in front and the curtain consist of white chip, the crown is formed of black thulle puffings, the puffings being separated by rows of black ribbon velvet, worked with white chalk beads. Black velvet ribbon, with a row of white beads on the centre, separates the front from the crown. The bow at the back consists of black velvet and beads; the strings are black velvet. In the inside is a black velvet bandelet, worked with white beads. If this bonnet is preferred in colors, blue silk and crystal beads might be substituted for the black thulle and chalk beads. Mauve silk, with straw drops, would likewise have a good effect.

2Godey’s Lady’s Book, November 1866.”Empire bonnet. This bonnet is suitable for a middle-aged lady, and is made of gray velvet, the curtain being scarlet velvet. A bandeau of scarlet velvet is sewn inside the edge of the front. The bonnet is trimmed with handsome gray silk cord and tassles. A crystal drop fringe is added round the edge of the bonnet. Grey silk strings, with narrow scarlet velvet ones at the top of them.”

Published in: on February 4, 2015 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  

More on the Bonnets of 1865

Fanchons Godeys 1865 Le Follet 1865 Fanchons in color

Published in: on January 30, 2015 at 7:59 pm  Comments (10)  

Fanchon Bonnets

Punch 1865 FanchonPetersons January 1865What was popular in the spring of 1865?

The fanchon bonnet.

Dec 1868Really, I just don’t get it. What were they thinking? Going from beautifully shaped bonnets through the 50s into the 60s… then…”hmm, let’s just make wonky triangles to stick on our heads.”

Okay, so what I see as “wonky triangles” they saw as “Half-handkerchief” bonnets. They were very easy to make, especially at home out of a wide variety of materials.

Frank Leslies Aug 1865“The Fanchon, or half-Handkerchief style of bonnet which now prevails universally, is found by many to be “too common” – it is so easy to make at home, everybody wears a bonnet d la fanchon; and what everybody wears is not always acceptable, so the Empire shape, which is more difficult to improvise, is eulogized as “distinguished,” and adopted by a very small minority.” (The Australian Journal, 1866)

Fanchon Bonnet from Every Saturday, 1866 page 38The Fanchon was accompanied by the “la tarte”, the “Lamballe” and the Manderin. All on the smaller side. Not everyone of the time were impressed by this phase in millinery fashion. “At present the bonnet is not a bonnet…. It strikes our uninstructed minds as a misnomer to call a bason of crape a bonnet, and yet it is a bonnet according to Le Follet, and belongs to the genus of “Fanchon”…. Paying for a bonnet should be a pleasure, and we have no doubt it is; we trust, though, that the “Mandarin,” the “Lamballe,” and “La Tarte” are only temporary, and that a bonnet will not become so diminutive as to puzzle a very Owen of millinery, who might be asked to construct one from a future “Fanchon”.” (Every Saturday, 1866)

The Englishwomans Domestic Magazine 1866We quickly see the Empire bonnet come to counter the Fanchon. This is a direct response to the dislike for the ‘commonness’ of the Fanchon both by milliners and fashionable customers. “None but those who take the lead in fashion wear exclusively the Empire bonnets. These have been a good deal modified in shape from what they were when they first appeared.”Fanchon Le Follet Sept 1865

Alas, here we are, looking into a season when so many eyes are on the spring of 1865. So, I have made some straw fanchon bonnet forms.

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Published in: on January 30, 2015 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

“The Greene/Green Swap” FanU Swap – Sign-up Day

GreensToday is the day to sign-up for the FanU “The Greene/Green” Swap!

For “The Greene/Green”  Swap, Swappers have 2 options. The Greene Group will exchange early to mid nineteenth century appropriate cotton fabrics that reflect a component of Susan Greene’s work in Wearable Prints. The Green Group will exchange Green color fabrics from the 19th century.

We will mail our fabrics on January 30th.

Please read all the details below. 

To Sign-up, simply comment below with your email and mailing address. (I’ll erase those before approving your comment, so the whole world doesn’t have that info.)

What is a Swap?

This is a chance for to exchange fabric with a small group of people. Each group will have 8 people exchanging pieces of fabric. All you need is a half yard of fabric and envelopes along with your copy of Fanciful Utility.

To Participate:

1: Sign Up Day!
On sign-up day, groups will be assigned on a first-in basis; the first eight will be the first swap group, second eight in the second group, etc. **Please be certain you will be able to fully participate by mailing your fabrics on the Mail-Out Date.**

The Greene Swap Sign-Up Day: January 20th

 

2: Mail-Out Day:
Place a 9×9″ piece of fabric suited to the mid-19th century in envelopes for each of the 7 other people in your swap group, stamp them (be sure to double check at the post office, but the small 9×9″ pieces should mail in a regular envelope with a normal stamp), and send them off no later than the Mail-Out Day.

The Greene Swap Mailing Day: January 30th

 

3: Get Fanciful!
Use your Fanciful Utility templates and techniques to make a project from the book, or copy your own from 19th century sources. We’ll all look forward to seeing your projects! You don’t have to sew right away, but don’t keep us waiting forever to see all the fun things!

(If you need a copy of Fanciful Utility, you can purchase them from the publisher at www.thesewingacademy.com

Fabric Guidelines:

  1. For the cotton and silk categories, your fabric should be early to mid-nineteenth century appropriate. (If there is a want for an earlier or later group, we can do that.) Prints and motifs should reflect those available in the 1840s, 50s and 60s. Cotton should be 100% cotton. Silk should be 100% silk.
  2. To keep the swap and sewing possibilities interesting, please avoid solids as best we can.
  3. Fabrics that do not work well for sewing cases should not be swapped. These include sheers, gauzes, heavy, thick, easy-to-fray, slippery and stretch fabrics.
  4. For the “crazy swap” category, think crazy quilt in a sewing case. This could include satins, velvets, textured fabrics. Quality synthetic fabrics are invited.

Swapper Guidelines:

  1. Please be certain you can fully participate in the swap before you sign-up.
  2. If something arises after you sign-up that will effect the date you are mailing your fabrics, please email your group so everyone is aware.
  3. If you fail to fully participate in a swap, you will not be able to sign-up for future swaps. (We do understand medical and family emergencies. I need to be able to ensure swappers will receive fabrics when they send fabrics out.)

Q&A

Yes, you can participate in 1, 2 or 3 of the swaps.

Yes, if we end up with multiple groups, you can participate in more than one group to swap more fabric. If you participate in 2 groups, you should swap 2 fabrics.

Yes, you can swap large and small scale prints.

Yes, you can swap now and sew later.

Yes, we would love to see what you’ve made with the swapped fabric.

Yes, you can use your own fabric in your swapped project.

Published in: on January 20, 2015 at 6:00 am  Comments (15)  
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A Hood For Everyday Wear

image

This is the hood I cut for myself in December. I finally got round to quilting and sewing it. As I am hoping these last two weeks were the depth of our cold, I don’t think I’ll keep it.

image

It has a cream silk exterior that has applique-esque windowpane padded stripes on it. It is a soft silk with flat slubs. Inside is my favorite cotton lining.  Just love this blue & red print. The batting is a super soft wool.

image

image

https://www.etsy.com/listing/219178299/victorian-style-winter-bonnet-in-quilted

Published in: on January 19, 2015 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Ultimate Winter Wind Hood

IMG_5679 Here we are, the first bonnet of 2015.

This winter hood is taken directly from an original in my collection. The original is a dark, royal blue on the outside with black silk on the inside. I went all black for this one. This is one of those hoods where I really wanted to know why it went together the way it did. IMG_5694 All the measurements are as exact as I could get. I kept with the original seam construction as well, right down to the use of salvage which I’ve come to love for its great reduction in bulk. I did make two additional changes besides the color. The original has a piece of half inch broken cane. As it is only a fragment and the pinholes that previously held it only showing in a small area, I could not determine exactly where it ran. I have not included that. There is a piece of black ribbon attached flat along the bavolet seam on the outside that is just off. I suspect it was either added later to cover pinholes from where a decorative ribbon was placed or to cover wear. (Here is the Etsy link.)

IMG_5701Now, I’m sure you are wondering why I’m calling this “The Ultimate Winter Wind Hood.” When I finished it and tried it on, I was greatly impressed by how wind resistant this hood is. The brim comes very forward of the face. At the same time, the ribbons inside the brim draw the interior of the hood down around the head, holding it snuggly and comfortably in place. The photo to the left an show you sort-of how those ribbons draw the interior down.

IMG_5697The bavolet that appears flat and rather long is just right for keeping the wind off the neck. It sits right around the neck so to not let the wind catch underneath.

Trying it on was truly a moment of understanding.

IMG_5692Back to the exterior, you’ll see an interesting combination of quilting. All the quilting is made of diagonal stripes spaced at 1.25″. But, the front of the brim and where it turns under to the inside the quilting makes diamonds, while the mid to back section of the brim is simply diagonal stripes. I happen to really like the way the look comes together. The bavolet and tip both have the full diamonds. (I can tell you, this is a lot of quilting.) IMG_5685

For 2015, I’m going to try to share the time and materials for projects. (which I know may be a little weird since many of the pieces will be available for purchase. But, I really like how others share their numbers on their blogs and for challenges.) So, here we go…

  • research and drafting – I didn’t count.
  • Cutting, marking, quilting and sewing – 19 hours
  • Approx 2/3 yard of black silk taffeta
  • Approx 2/4 yard of 1/2″ wool batting doubled
  • 4 yards of 1/2″ black silk taffeta ribbon
  • 1 yard of 1 1/4″ vintage black silk faille ribbon
  • Black cotton thread which I almost ran out of.

Announcing the 2015 Winter Fanciful Utility Swaps!

Sewing Box Filled

As I’m sitting here curled up with the snow coming down outside, I am already longing for color. With this, the first trio of 2015 Fanciful Utility Swaps will be all about color!

First, we will pick up the “Greene Swap” we didn’t get to last fall, making it the “Greene & Green Swap”. Then, in the following months, we will swap other period color fabrics.

This season’s swaps will include:

  • The Greene & Green Swap – For those of us with Susan Greene’s book, Wearable Prints, we will be swapping fabrics similar to those in the pages of her book. (Group1) — For those who don’t yet have her book, we will swap Green Fabrics appropriate to the nineteenth century. (Group2). (Of course, you can do both groups.) There were lots of popular greens of the century, including the infamous poison green. 
  • The Red Swap – We will swap popular nineteenth century Red Fabrics. 
  • The Blue Swap – We will swap popular nineteenth century Blue Fabrics

What is a Swap?

This is a chance for to exchange fabric with a small group of people. Each group will have 8 people exchanging pieces of fabric. All you need is a half yard of fabric and envelopes along with your copy of Fanciful Utility.

To Participate:

1: Sign Up Day!
On sign-up day, groups will be assigned on a first-in basis; the first eight will be the first swap group, second eight in the second group, etc. **Please be certain you will be able to fully participate by mailing your fabrics on the Mail-Out Date.**

  • “Greene/Green Swap” – Sign-Up Day: January 20th
  • “Red Swap” – Sign-Up Day: February 20th
  • “Blue Swap” – Sign-Up Day: March 20th 

2: Mail-Out Day:
Place a 9×9″ piece of fabric suited to the mid-19th century in envelopes for each of the 7 other people in your swap group, stamp them (be sure to double check at the post office, but the small 9×9″ pieces should mail in a regular envelope with a normal stamp), and send them off no later than the Mail-Out Day.

  • “Greene/Green Swap” – Mailing Day: January 30th
  • “Red Swap” – Mailing Day: February 28th
  • “Blue Swap” – Mailing Day: March 30th 

3: Get Fanciful!
Use your Fanciful Utility templates and techniques to make a project from the book, or copy your own from 19th century sources. We’ll all look forward to seeing your projects! You don’t have to sew right away, but don’t keep us waiting forever to see all the fun things!

(If you need a copy of Fanciful Utility, you can purchase them from the publisher at www.thesewingacademy.com

Fabric Guidelines:

  1. For the cotton and silk categories, your fabric should be early to mid-nineteenth century appropriate. (If there is a want for an earlier or later group, we can do that.) Prints and motifs should reflect those available in the 1840s, 50s and 60s. Cotton should be 100% cotton. Silk should be 100% silk.
  2. To keep the swap and sewing possibilities interesting, please avoid solids as best we can.
  3. Fabrics that do not work well for sewing cases should not be swapped. These include sheers, gauzes, heavy, thick, easy-to-fray, slippery and stretch fabrics.
  4. For the “crazy swap” category, think crazy quilt in a sewing case. This could include satins, velvets, textured fabrics. Quality synthetic fabrics are invited.

Swapper Guidelines:

  1. Please be certain you can fully participate in the swap before you sign-up.
  2. If something arises after you sign-up that will effect the date you are mailing your fabrics, please email your group so everyone is aware.
  3. If you fail to fully participate in a swap, you will not be able to sign-up for future swaps. (We do understand medical and family emergencies. I need to be able to ensure swappers will receive fabrics when they send fabrics out.)

Q&A

Yes, you can participate in 1, 2 or 3 of the swaps.

Yes, if we end up with multiple groups, you can participate in more than one group to swap more fabric. If you participate in 2 groups, you should swap 2 fabrics.

Yes, you can swap large and small scale prints.

Yes, you can swap now and sew later.

Yes, we would love to see what you’ve made with the swapped fabric.

Yes, you can use your own fabric in your swapped project.

Published in: on January 1, 2015 at 4:52 pm  Comments (7)  
Tags:

Fanciful Utility – 2014 Ornaments

A special something for my Fanciful Utility readers….

Use your favorite techniques from Fanciful Utility to make something with a modern twist. You can make ornaments for your tree or festive needle-books with these templates. I offer you a pair of traditional spun ornaments and a fun mitten and stocking pair.

2014 1 2014 2

Published in: on December 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm  Comments (2)  
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A Winter Hood

Except from “The Romance of a Tassel” (The Christmas Annual, 1860)

We were to have a sleigh-ride, and the principal topic of conversation was, the delightful morning and the promise of pleasure; I was olde enough to feel all the enthusiasm of the occasion, and yet to temper my feelings with quietness. My Cousin Kate and I had been knitting some new hoods, beautiful we thought them, and of a new pattern. As my fingers had toiled through the countless loops, I had only thought what a delight it would be to wear it, and a little vanity was mingled with my feeling, for truly I looked like another person in its scarlet and white border than in the faded silk of my old hood.

All the young girls and boys of the village were to go to this ride, and I knew very well that Kate and I would have the most dashing head-gear of the party and I remembered with pleasure, that Esquire Thomas’s son Chester had come from the city and was to be one of the party.

I presume I tried my hood on twenty times the day before, because, I said, it felt so comfortable, but I had to look in the glass each time to see just how comfortable it felt.

After our breakfast was over, my Uncle Oliver rode up with his daughter Nancy, who had been sent to join in the day’s pleasure. She lived several miles back in the country, and I must acknowledge that I felt too little interest in her pale face and quiet manners, because I thought she was not quite so smart in her ways and dress as we village girls; but I had not an unkind heart, and so I ran to meet her with a hearty welcome, saying “Why, how cold you are; your cheeks at least are red as roses; come to the fire.” My mother with gentle manner took off her straw bonnet, trimmed with its light faded ribbon, and gave her some coffee, and I ran to get ready for the ride. It took me an hour. I twisted my curls over and over again. I asked Kate if I looked well enough. Then I put on my hood – too it off – re-arranged my curls. “There,” said Kate at last, “you look like father’s beautiful scarlet and white carnation pinks, and if Chester does not say so, I will box his ears.” – And what will Chester say of you?” I asked “Oh what he always does. “you most beauchiful butcherfly.” “But is not Chester handsome, Susy? And he is really so good, so manly, so noble, father says, none of your fops – but come, let’s go down.”

Just then my mother with her gentle touch opened the door. I remembered the look she cast on me – it was one of mingled pride and trust – her eye was bright and cheerful, but there was a look so ful of hope for me and trust in me, that I ran up to her with a kiss as hearty as when I was five instead of fifteen.

“Susy,” said she, in her animated but gentle manner, “Nancy has nothing to wear but her straw bonnet. She will be ill if she thus exposes herself to the cold wind. She says sh will stay with me rather than suffer as she did coming here this morning.” “Well I think it’s queer how some people live,” said I, “Never having anything to wear that is appropriate.” But Susy, she says her mother has been so sick, and you know her father is rather afraid of pennies.” “Afraid! I should should think he was anything but afraid the way he hugs them. Well, Nancy can have my old hood, thought it don’t look very well, but it is better than that old straw bonnet.”

My mother’s look changed instantaneously; there was a sad, half reproachful, half hopeful look on her face as she opened the door, saying, “Would you like to have her wear the old one?” She shut the door and went out. What a commotion was in my heart. I knew my mother had expected me to offer my new hood to Nancy, and wear the old one myself; but what visions were before me of Chester and the effect of my hood on him; of the general look of the whole party as they saw me again in that old Silk. Then came to my ear the sweet tones of my Mother’s voice. I heard all she felt, but more powerful was the thought of what would they say to see me looking like an “old dud.”

I believe I should yielded to the selfishness of my heart if Kate had not spoken.

“I think it is absurd for your mother to ask it; of course you will wear your own things.” Her tone and manner brought to me my Mother’s hopeful trust in me, for she had called her absurd and I knew she was anything but that.

“Of course I shall,” said I, and I ran from the room with swift step. I tore my hood from my head on the way. “Here Nancy,” said I, “You must wear my hood this once, it is so warm and perhaps your father will get you worsted to knit one – Wont you Uncle Oliver? It only costs a dollar., and just see how fine it looks.”

Continue reading on page 100…

Published in: on December 8, 2014 at 6:00 am  Comments (1)