Archive for February, 2009

More inspirational striped pet-en-l’airs

February 23, 2009

I googled “pet-en-l’air” once again for some reason a couple of days ago and found just what I have been looking for since I started! Surviving examples of pet-en-l’airs with striped fabrics – like the fabric I’m using! They’re so darn beautiful I think I might have an episode!

So far I have been a bit cautious with a lot of my ideas for the project – looking for picture evidence or evidence in surviving pieces before I decide on what I’m going to do. One thing that had been bothering me was that I couldn’t find any evidece of pet-en-l’airs in striped fabrics. And we all know how picky they were in that time, was there a “style law” that said “no striped en-l’airs!”? I wouldn’t want to do such a great faux-pas! But here they are!!! I’m so excited! =D
   Now… I wonder if they usually had petticoats in different colored fabrics or in the same as the top… Hmm…
   The site where I found them – Hysterical Costumer – was a nice new addition to my favourites folder also, so go check it out! =)

The Excessively Diverting Blog Award!

February 19, 2009


I’ve seen the Excessively Diverting Blog Award nominations spread through blogs like a wildfire these past few days. I never reflected over the possibility to get a nomination myself since I’m so new with this blog. (I must addmit though that I’m happliy surprised by the great number of views and commets I’ve gotten since I started on dec 4th last year.) And honestly I hadn’t even taken the time to go and find out what it was all about. Today I got a message from a certain Lady Georgianna that both surprised me and made me super mega happy!

Hi there,
Due to the fabulousness of your blog, I’ve nominated it for the excesively diverting blog award! Swing by sometime and pick it up!
Kindest regards

Am I required to do like a speach or something? Because I could write one, a reeeeally long one, in the spirit of this award and Jane Austen, I love writing – I love Austen! No? Well then I’d just very quickly like to thank Lady G for the nomination and Laurel Ann & Vic behind Jane Austen Today for coming up with this great idea! But most of all I want to thank all of you readers – you’re the ones making my blog you know; with all your comments and feedback! THANK YOU!!!
   So this is not one of those awards where you just can take home the trophy and sit down and admire the shine of it for the rest of the day. I’m required to nominate seven (7) more bloggers – which I of course gladly will do! There’s just so many wonderful, witty and talented bloggers out there! I have these words to go by in my choosing though:

The aim of the Excessively Diverting Blog Award is to acknowledge writing excellence in the spirit of Jane Austen’s genius in amusing and delighting readers with her irony, humor, wit, and talent for keen observation. Recipients will uphold the highest standards in the art of the sparkling banter, witty repartee, and gentle reprove. This award was created by the blogging team of Jane Austen Today to acknowledge superior writing over the Internet and promote Jane Austen’s brilliance.

1. A blog I just very recently started to follow is Costumes, Cats and the 18th century. Writer Madame Berg has an utmost humorous, witty and amusing way of writing and I’m looking forward to many more posts, no – I expect them! ;D

2. And of course our queens of fashion, etiquette, irony, wittyness and… everything else, get their well deseved places among my nominations. Our beloved Marie Antoinette’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century


3. The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century. These two have made many a day brighter for me and countless others with their undisputed wit and absolute fabulousness!

4. Okay, it didn’t say anything about what language the nominated blogs had be be written in. I know this excludes many of my readers from deciding on their own if the blog I’m now going to niminate deserve it, but you just have to trust me. Gustaf III:s Wänner is a Swedish blog where the many writers celebrate the 18th century in a most cheerful and witty way with, among other things, wonderful quotes and stories from the 18th century.

5. And how can I not nominate a fellow costume maker? Nicole of Diary of a Mantua Maker, like me, document her making of 18th century clothing in her blog, she does so with great detail and tutorial-ish explainations – which is very much appreciated indeed!

6. And an absolutely adorable blog is of course Une Collection Francaise where art collectors Thierry and Don blog “French miniature portraits owned by a French collector who wishes to share them with art lovers”. I just love the very idea! I know the award is about writing and this blog hasn’t very much text – but isn’t it just fabulous!?

7. The first blog I thought of when I was to choose my nominees was Johanna and her 18th century blog – Fashion and culture from the 1700s. This is one of the first blogs I started subscribing to, there’s just something about her. ^^

So, I hope I did this right and just to be sure I’ll just copy the instructions for my nomination recipients from Jane Austen Today.

Recipients, please claim your award by copying the HTML code of the Excessively Diverting Blog Award badge, posting it on your blog, listing the name of the person who nominated you, and linking to their blog. Then nominate seven (7) other blogs that you feel meet or exceed the standards set forth. Nominees may place the Excessively Diverting badge in their side bar and enjoy the appreciation of their fellow blogger for recognition of their talent.

Thank you all again!!! *Kiss on cheeks*

Walking stick thoughts

February 19, 2009

Berg gave me a link to Smiling Fox Forge where they have a great looking walking stick for sale at $50:


A bit too expensive for me right now – but it’s very inspirational! “Women that belong to ‘The Sisterhood of the Silk Snobs’ love the elegant sticks to help them move gracefully while taking their morning and evening strolls.” As they say! ;D
   I’m guessing walking sticks will go for around that price though so I’m exploring the possibilities of making one. I’ve found great tutorials on making walking sticks from branches and stuff, but they’re all very rough. So I’m going to ask Robbie (my handy other half) if one can make a walking stick from a wooden round staff found in stores and just carve or lathe (?) it narrower at the bottom for the right look or if that will weaken it. Any thoughts on that?

Burn test with satisfying results!

February 19, 2009

I got very good tips concerning the riddle of the material in the green piece of fabic! Of course I could do a burn test – even an unexperienced wannabe silk snob like me knows that synthetics melt and naturals burn. I just needed a little help on the way to remember I knew that, hrm hrm… ;P Anyways! Katafalk gave me a link to a Swedish sewing/crafts forum where they had a guide to how different fabrics behave when burning. This guide basicly says:

  • Cotton, Linen, Rami, Viskos, Modal, Lyocell – Burns easy with even flame, smells like burnt paper and leaves almost no ashes.
  • Wool and natural silk – Burns jurky and pretty bad, smells like burnt hair and leaves a lump that easily crumbles.
  • Acetat and Triacetat – Burns very fast, smells like burnt paper and vinegar acid (?), leaves a hard lump.
  • Polyamid, Acrylic and Polyester – Doesn’t burn but melts, smell varies with material, leaves a very hard ball or lump.

With this as a guide I made a burn test to decide what kind of material it actually was. When I had a closer look at the fabric I noticed that it was made up of black thicker threads, that definitley felt like cotton or at least natural, and green thin silky threads. The fabric burned easy/fast with even flame and left no ashes or big lumps to speak of, just burned fabric that crumbled at touch. And I think it just smelled burnt…
   Sara said that if it is a home decor type of fabric it probably is a cotton blend and that’s what I think it is after my results. After deciding that it’s not all super melty synthetic I’ve also decided to use it as a petticoat! I think it looks great and it drapes nicely. If I want to be all 18th century later on I can make another petticoat with an all natural fabric – right!?

Cane and garters – it’s all in the details.

February 18, 2009

I was thinking I have to get myself a walking stick – it would absolutely be the icing on the cake that is going to be my pet-en-l’air:


I have also been thinking about garters… First I thought I wanted to make a pair in silk or something and I thought I could make an embroidery pattern to match the pockets! But then I remembered I have two pieces of woven ribbon/band from my grandmother that I think may have been intended to be used in Swedish national costumes – I know bands like them are used as gartes like that on national cotumes. I also found this post at The 18th Century Trading Post (Australia) with bands/band garters much like the ones I have:


They are a bit simble and peasant-ish though and I want mine to be a bit more luxurious. ;P So I’m a bit ambivalent concerning that too… I’ll put up images of the two bands I have later, promise!
   Maybe I should weave a band myself… I got a “gate loom”(?) from Kristina (mother-in-law again, love her) that I used to finish a band I had begun with a gate of my own but that broke in a move:


This gate is wider and better than the first one I had. The band in the image is made of linen (flax?) and the work of a beginner, hehe. ^^;

I want your blogs!

February 18, 2009

I’ve discovered that many of my readers have blogs of their own. I had guessed that it would show by a link on the name in comments and such, but no…
   Honesly people! You have to tell me these things – if you have an 18th century related blog or site or what ever! ;D I’d love to see what you are making, what you are thinking and finding! I eat this stuff! Of course I’ll put a link up in my blogroll! =D

Fly fringe tutorial up on Fancy Girl!

February 17, 2009

I know many of you – like me – have been waiting for Vivcore‘s promised tutorial for the very 18th-century-popular fly fringe! Today it is up on Fancy Girl!!! *Dance ’til I faint*

Fly Fringe

Made a lot of new friends…

February 17, 2009

Since I started this project I’ve made sooooo many new friends! Love it – love YOU!

I got to talking to the girl I bought the wig from and I thought that I should advertise her a little bit. She sells more 18th century related products on a Swedish auction site – could be of interest. I’ve also now learned that she’s thinking of starting a site or selling her wigs on Ebay – so I’ll get back to you about her! 😉

Thought I had seen it all

February 16, 2009

At some point in your research for original 18th century fashion you inevitably experience that you have seen it all and emptied the Internet’s resources for what you want. It seems I have yet to experience that day! I though I had come to that point last week, but today I was proven wrong!
   I had a look at who had been visiting my blog and found a fellow rococophile who has just recently started her own blog. She stumbled upon Centre de Documentacío i Museu Tèxtil (or Textile Museum and Documentation Centre in Terrassa) with a vast gallery of original costumes from the 18th century. Go here, to the “IMATEX service” to see the archives with all those fabulous costumes! Here’s a taste:



Wonderful exhibitions to fill your day with

February 16, 2009

Don’t know how I got there, but I just discovered Kent State University Museum and they have some great exhibitions to have a look at. How about:

The Art of the Embroiderer


In Bloom – Patterned Silk Design Innovations in Eighteenth Century France


The Right Chemistry: Colors in Fashion, 1704-1918


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