Thursday, March 3, 2011

Online 18th Century Patterns in Unexpected Places

As the majority of re-enactors and costumers are aware, Duran Textiles (based in Sweden) is one of the few resources for high-quality 18th century reproduction silks and printed cottons.  But what you may not know is that they periodically publish an online newsletter peppered with all sorts of fascinating and unique information, from the details of their own (period-accurate) printing processes to articles on perfume, fans, and period hairstyles to stunning photos and descriptions of reproduction garments and accessories.  Occasionally, they'll even include clothing patterns from their inspirational sources.  Below are a couple of our favorites:

- A Swedish short gown, dated approximately 1750-1770.  Note the collar piece, which is fairly uncommon.  The construction details are superbly documented, from the assembly to the stitches used, making this a great resource for a period-accurate project.  The original print, a block-printed cotton, has been reproduced exactly in scale and colorway as "Anemon" and is available on the website if you'd like to make an exact copy of this original short gown.

The original 1750-1770 short gown, from the Duran website.

- A late-18th century Swedish short gown.  The cut and construction of this short gown closely resemble the one above, though its shorter skirt and slightly higher waist date it slightly later in the 18th century, or even into the early part of the 19th.  The original resist-dyed block-printed cotton has been reproduced as a screen print and is available here.  Additional photos of the interior of this shortgown can be found in this article.

The front of the original short gown, from the Duran website.

Other costume-related newsletter articles that caught our eye were this one on a recreated 1780s robe a l'anglaise in a gorgeous Duran striped silk (*sigh*), a collection of cap and bonnet patterns conjectured from period images, and this short account of 18th century stays with some great photos. 

Shortgowns are a quick and easy project that swiftly help you achieve a period look (when worn with the correct period undergarments and accessories, of course!).  If anyone attempts a reproduction from either of the patterns above, we'd love to see your final product!  Here's a recent one made by Katherine (Koshka the Cat) from the second pattern above. 

If you're feeling in a shortgown mood, additional shortgown patterns taken from extant garments can be found in Costume Close-up (pgs. 43-6) and Fitting and Proper (pgs. 20-2 and 23-5).  If you'd like to draft your own shortgown pattern, visit Mara Riley's page, or see Beth Gilgun's instructions in Tidings from the 18th Century (pg. 48) for more information.

1 comment:

lahbluebonnet said...

I love the Swedish caps and bonnets!
PS I had a *great* day in CW! Lots of costume input and general fun all around!