Friday, December 16, 2011

Wrapper and Cap Photos

So here are a couple of shots from my Christmas brunch yesterday.  I did dress up, and I'm really glad I did.  It was so much fun!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Morning Cap Godey's Lady's Book 1861

     This is my new morning cap, copied from the August 1861 issue of Godey's Ladies Book.  It is made of white batiste, the finest lace I could find (which still isn't comperable to the laces of the 19C), and blue velvet ribbon.  I followed the advice of the Sewing Academy and pleated the edges rather than gathering them and then whipped the pleats together.  The base pattern was adapted from Butterick 5663.

     Caps in the 19C were quite the accessory for the fashionable lady.  Some were worn as dress caps by married ladies, out of the house to dinner, dancing, the theatre etc.  Some, like this one, were worn around the house in the morning prior to fixing one's hair for the day.  These were usually worn in combination with a wrapper and were sometimes called breakfast caps as they made frequent appearances at that meal.  Keep watching the blog for pictures of  me dressed in my wrapper and caps.  I hope to dress up in them today for my quilting Christmas party.

     I thought I would update you all, as I realize I didn't include the information in the last post.  For the parasol, I plan to recover it as closely to the original as possible.  This will be a functional living history item for myself, and I want to maintain the accuracy of the parasol.  I am currently on the hunt for black silk taffeta as my local fabric shop doesn't have any.  Whatever happened to black being a wardrobe basic?  I'll probably have to resort to ordering a 1/2 yd online - oh brother.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Here!

My parasol was delivered last Wednesday and I'm still super excited about it.  When I opened the package I was very surprised at how tiny it is.  It would very nearly fit inside a standard shoe box, the canopy itself is about the size of a large platter (18" - 19" in diameter).  This is the cutest thing.  The ribs are completely intact, one is slightly bent, but should be easy to straighten out.  The fabric is completely shot and deteriorating quickly, but I think I have enough to create a pattern for a new cover.


This is a Marquis parasol dating from the early 1860's and is a very typical representation.  A Marquis parasol, from what I have learned recently, is a very distinct style of parasol.  They were almost exclusively manufactured mid 19c. and in the United States, with steel ribs and a wooden shaft with varying shapes for the finial and handle.  The covering itself was always black, though not indicative of mourning, and could have up to three ruffles.  Black was used for these parasols as brightly colored silks were hard to come by during the war and were quite expensive.  A parasol was almost a necessity in a fashionable lady's wardrobe of the time as bonnets were getting smaller and some protection was needed from the sun.  The Marquis style was easy to come by as it was sold in local department stores for sometimes as little as a dollar.  These parasols were definitely a functional, but fashionable accessory.  I would venture a guess (this could get me into trouble I know) that most women and older girls had one unless they were quite poor, or for reasons of locale such as remote farm wife etc.  Again I will stress the word fashionable; if they could, or wanted to keep up with fashion, even in a slight way, where they had occasion to dress up in their best a parasol was a very likely accessory.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Parasol Frustration

Oh, the delays of the mail!  Why couldn't things just work out one day sooner?  I won this parasol on ebay last weekend for a whopping $20.  Yes, it looks sad, but the frame is intact so all I need is a bit of silk taffetta to make a new cover - easy enough.  However, the mail is against me getting my parasol.  The little elves that make the post office work have turned into parasol trolls and are probably all playing with it as it has made it's way from NJ.   It was processed through the Federal Way, WA sorting facility early this morning (I'm stalking the tracking system), but there is no way on earth that it can be delivered in Blaine today.  It's scheduled for delivery tomorrow!  Tomorrow doesn't work, we have to go across the border today!  Now I have to wait another whole week, while my new toy sits in a dark, cold, lonely office waiting for me.  (Sighs)