torstai 24. joulukuuta 2015

Vernet project finished!

I think it was around mid-September last year that I got involved in the Vernet project, a fashion recreation challenge conducted by costume bloggers and other fashion history enthusiasts around the world. The idea was to recreate the fashion plates drawn by a French artist Horace Emile-Jean Vernet in 1814. There are 30-odd plates in the collection titled Incroyables et merveilleuses de 1814.

When I joined the project there were only 2 ladies plates left which in retrospect was probably a good thing, because I'm not sure if I could have chosen just one from all the plates. My choice was the plate number 23 which portrayed a "chapeau de paille, orné de coquelicots, robe garnie de bouillonnés", meaning a straw hat trimmed with poppies, and a dress decorated with poufs.

Plate number 23, source

I started with the hat because I thought that it would take the most time to make and I've already written a separate post of it. I've since added the poppies and a simple ribbon trim to it and I like the result. The hat is fairly top heavy, so when I wear it outside it needs serious pinning to keep it on.

The dress was a fairly straightforward affair, I used my trusty bodice pattern cutting it with a very high neckline, and adapted a 1820s hem pattern from Jean Hunnisett's book. The Hunnisett book also had an 1815 hem pattern, but to me the 1820 pattern looked more like the fashion plate dress's hem so I chose to use it. For the decorations I used readymade whitework trim which I attached to flounces of the dress fabric to achieve the needed width for the frills and ruffles. I sewed narrow channels to where I wanted to gather the pieces and then threaded them with cotton yarn. I'm pleased with the tidiness and tightness of the gathers and they work well with the collar ruffle and cuffs which need to be adjusted every time the dress is worn.

The collar ruffle is a separate piece, simply a lenght of lace attached to a rectangular piece of dress fabric. It has two layers, the bottom one has lace on both the long edges and the top one on only the lower edge. The top layer is attached to the bottom one and it is gathered and positioned so that it creates the pouf layer when the collar is tied close. The hem flounces are done in a similar manner. The smaller lace frill and pouf are attached to the very hem of the dress and the wider flounce is attached higher on the hem.

The dress closes at the back with 5 hooks and thread loops and has a separate sash of blue and white gingham ribbon. I might change the ribbon later, I really couldn't find anything remotely similar to Vernet's original drawing so I went with the least offensive option. I also didn't attempt to make the shoes because I don't have any use for such weird colour boots outside the fashion plate project.

I bet you want to see the dress already?

Attempting an imitation of the fashion plate pose. I don't have the parasol and couldn't make my face to produce that smug smile that the lady in the Vernet drawing has...

It's so... frilly.

Silly, silly cap :)

Seemed like a perfect chance to pose with my faux-Chinese teacup.

The dress is very high-necked. I actually like it better with the collar on, this just looks a bit odd...

Closeup of the hem.