Friday, February 28, 2014

HSF '14: 1780's Linen Shift

I sort of cheated for this challenge.  Dan and I are planning on going to Elfia this year as hobbits, so I'm using the HSF to make a couple of our pieces.  They will be historically influenced, and I intend to research exactly how I'm diverging from history, but when it comes down to it, they're still fantasy costumes.  

For HSF Challenge #4: Under It All, I started with my hobbit shift/chemise.  Female hobbit costumes draw inspiration from both the late 1700's and 1550's fashion.  Their chemises seem to come directly from the 1780's, so that's where I started.  This was my first brief foray into the 18th c, so I had a lot to learn. And the biggest shocker is that they didn't have ruffles at the neckline or sleeve, unlike every manufactured Marie Antoinette-era costume ever!  This may seem small, but it means that the shift was both more versatile and less.  At the sleeve cuff, one could add (lighter weight) ruffles if an ensemble called for it, or leave it off if one wished.  But at the neckline, instead of using ties to gather the neckline to whatever shape was called for, the neckline was finished and again you could add a ruffle to it if you wished--meaning your neckline was fixed, making that particular shift only suitable for a specific dress neckline.  Is all that clear?  Probably not.  Sharon Ann Burnston says it a lot better than I do here.

The ChallengeUnder It All: Make the foundations of your outfit: the things that go under it to provide the right shape and support, and to protect your fancy outer garments from sweat and grime.

Fabric: Loosely woven, coarse linen I found at one of Amsterdam's fabric markets.

Pattern: I started with Mara Riley's shift pattern, with neckline research from Sharon Ann Burnston.  

Year: 1780's ish.

Notions: Thread and cotton twill tape for the neck and sleeve ties.

How historically accurate is it? Not great.  My fabric choice is okay, linen being the material most commonly used for undergarments of the time.  My basic pattern is reasonable.  But then there are all the things to make it more Hobbity.  The sleeves should have cuffs with lighter weight fabric attached.  Same goes for the neckline--it should be fitted and have a ruffle attached.  Also, parts of it are machine sewn.

Hours to complete: 12?

First worn: It will be worn to Elfia in April.

Total cost: Fabric was $5 per meter, so about $12.50

1 comment:

  1. cute! sleeve gussets too, I've been fraidy-cat to try that detail yet