Now that I’ve got all the photography done, it’s time to pick up where we left off in The Basic Conical Torso Block (Part 1). We’re completing a basic torso block that we can use for the simplified, conical torsos popular in Renaissance, Elizabethan, Jacobean, Pompadour, Colonial, and all other eras between the Sixteenth and Eighteenth centuries. (She says, throwing as many keywords into one sentence as humanly possible.) One block, three hundred years of fashion – how can you lose?
Month: June 2010
Aiglettes are a great way to give a renaissance costume a very finished look (and keep your points from flopping about and untying). But why would you possibly want a removable aiglette? Laundry. It’s nice to be able to take all the metal bits off before things go into the wash…
Another fine theatrical production has been downgraded to a pile of stinky laundry. Yes, Chicago is finally over (except for one or two more loads of laundry, the great put-away, and other glamorous parts of the job). My design partner and I were incredibly pleased with the way the show looked, and the fact that it’s over.
For several hundred years, beginning where the High Middle Ages met the Renaissance and continuing through the eve of the French Revolution, fashion treated the female torso as something of an inconvenience. The breasts were flattened, first by bands of wool or linen, later by corsetry and boned bodices. The sides of the body were straightened and the tum controlled. The torso became a conic shape. In some decades, like the 1590s, 1690s, and 1780s, it’s a very long cone. In others, like the 1640s, it’s a very short cone that disappears into skirts below the bust. During these times, a very basic conical torso block can be used as a basis creating custom patterns.
The Shoulder to Shoulder width is crucial for making wide necklines that don’t fall off the shoulder. It is also crucial for spacing the straps on corsets and bodices so that they stay on the shoulder and you don’t have to fuss with them all day.
My life, and probably yours, gentle reader, would be much simplified if, perchance, our predecessors of the fifteenth century had taken a few moments to write a book on their patterning practices. Alas, they did not. Nor did our predecessors of the sixteenth, seventeenth, or eighteenth centuries, gosh darn them. I can’t tell you that I know how they did it, either. (Sad, but true: though I freely admit to lying whenever it’s convenient, I’m basically an honest girl.) What I can do is share the method I’ve worked out for my own use over the years. Who’s in? ;)
So for reasons that I can’t quite wrap my head around, I’ve fround myself making show-girl headdresses. This is great, except that I don’t fully know how to make a show-girl headdress. I’ve a notion that it’s definitely a wire-and-plier project….
I’m just digging myself out of the black hole that was tech week (and, in fact, the weeks prior to) – too much sewing/arts and crafts work, not enough time, and no where near enough coffee in the universe. The show is up though, and it looks pretty good.