Bedgowns and Petticoats

I am so happy to be able to blog again! I am able to use Devin's old computer until mine gets fixed, so I can show you some of what I did this summer in Williamsburg!

For those of you who are not familiar, I spent my summer in Williamsburg,Virginia, interning at the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop. The shop is still a thriving trade shop; preserving the art of Mantua Making, Millinery and Tailoring of the 18th century. Every stitch is handsewn, every method is period. I was lucky enough to get a change to taste for the first two. It's pretty intense.

Upon arrival, we were thrust into work. The first projects were small; a pin pillow and work-bag; mainly to practice stitching. I whipped them up a day a piece then was on to bigger projects. The first big project being a petticoat to wear.
That is a bumroll making me so very "pronounced"
I chose a lovely reddish brown linen for the petticoat (in the 18th century, most skirts were called petticoats) It was a heavier linen, so hand-sewing on that thing was a bit of a bother, especially since my handsewing experience is not very extensive. Luckily for me it was mainly backstitches so I got in the groove pretty quickly. The project took 3 days to complete and fit wonderfully.

Since it's almost like a kimono???
 Next on the agenda was a bedgown. Now, a bedgown of the 18th century is not a garment that is worn to bed or in the bedroom. It is merely a woman's more informal garment. They are extremely easy to cut out; as we were not using patterns and had to cut completely by eye; relatively simple to make, though I got my first taste of hand felled seams. Phew. This one was finished in 4 or 5 days and I was very happy with the result.
Finished salmon colored bedgown and brown petticoat!


An Optimistic Cynic said...

Fantastic work!

The Dreamstress said...

Fabulous! And I love to see more people in less fancy clothes - it's so accurate.

Great colours on you too!

the Vintage Rose said...

How did you get your internship there? I really, really, really want to try to intern there this summer, but do not know how to go about applying. Thanks so much!