Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Moving Forward to Go Backward: On to 2016 and the 18th Century!

Now is the time when I would typically write a "year in review" post, but with grad school and my crazy life I didn't actually make many projects this year. I'm ok with that, though--because when I did sew, I was able to update/improve some outfits I really love, get outside of my comfort zone, and make some really ridiculous projects--some of which I haven't even managed to blog yet!

I was also lucky to do my first photo shoot (as the photographer), get some good practice in with my petzval plates, put my 1940s Graphlex mod through its paces, and take some portraits I'm really proud of.

So as I start to plan for 2016, I'm feeling grateful for skill-expanding craft lessons, wonderful adventures, and fabulous friends.

Salem in the snow during our record-breaking winter

a deserted corner of a very cool speakeasy in Las Vegas

the town square of Tartu, Estonia, shot through a life-sized National Geographic frame as part of a national tourism project  
sunset on the National Mall, from a trip to DC in April

being silly, because we are great at that!
playing roulette at our Casino Royale party
in Star Trek (original series) uniforms
And I've got quite a year to look forward to!

In particular, my fabulous friends and I are heading off to France this spring to attend an 18th century ball at the Palace of Versailles. I'm immensely excited, but also feeling nervous about sewing a new period with such high stakes. So with a few exceptions as things come up, I'll be spending the next five months making a robe a la francaise from the inside out, starting with a chemise and stays! (Don't worry--I'll still sneak in your regularly scheduled programming of tartan history, event photos, and other research.)

I've started a Pinterest board for the project, which includes inspiration for clothing and accessories. Naturally, some of my favorites are plaid...

silk plaid robe a la francaise, 1760-90 (Met)
c.1765 (LACMA)

 c.1765 (Whitaker)
c.1752 (Mussee Mode)
...but my francaise will be a lovely dusky purple silk taffeta. Mostly because I got a really great deal on fabric, but also a little bit because no matter how much historical clothing research I do, there will still always be a part of me that is totally in love with the Sofia Coppola's candy-colored Marie Antoinette movie.

Actually, after reading Caroline Weber's biography Queen of Fashion, and watching this movie, I attempted a robe a la francaise in high school. I used the very costumey Simplicty pattern, and it was a huge mess...but I've never lost my appreciation for how incredibly elegant they are. So with several years of sewing under my belt, a lot more research, and some helpful friends, I'm heading back to the 18th century.

purple robe a la francaise, c.1775, Colonial Williamsburg (via)

And to help keep myself on task (and take advantage of a wealth of knowledge), I'm also jumping into the Historical Sew Monthly for 2016. I probably won't have something complete for every challenge, but I think it will help me stay motivated. So here's to a new year!

No comments:

Post a Comment