Saturday, 3 July 2010

Off to the museum...Chintz Caraco & Petticoat

I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London yesterday. It is so huge, there was no way you could get round it all properly in a day,or even a week, and I only had half a day. I focused on the 18th century costumes, taking pictures and quick sketches.
My camera did a better job than I thought through the glass without flash. This outfit is a Caraco and Petticoat from 1770-80.

The right sleeve had a ruffle around the bottom edge, but the left one didn't. I think it probably must have come off with age, but other than a small tear on the inside, I couldn't see any evidence of it.

The front closed with 9 hook'n'eyes, three on each pair of tabs. They don't match up in a straight line. I thought this was strange, if you are going to spend so much time making a dress, you would think you would take the time to make sure the most visible part is neat. But then maybe is has just stretched that way from being worn.

The skirt was a wide box pleat with the pleats outwards from that being around 2" apart.

It looked like the hem was originally pale blue ribbon, but the museum had put some kind of net on it for conservation purposes, it looked like a modern addition.

1 comment:

  1. Hello fellow seamstress, I just found your blog via an image search for 18th-century fashion pictures that I might use in a blog post on fashion taking up room in the public sphere (with all those petticoats...) - and I photographed the exact same dress back in March when I was visiting London! (here: I'm amazed at your eye for details and I love your sketches!