Monday, 14 September 2015

My mantua now has a petticoat

This isn't the most exciting or glamorous project,  but I'm really happy to have it done just the same.  The mantua I made back in May looks so much better with a petticoat underneath, and it's a nice petticoat made of fine brown wool in a herringbone weave.   It's an attractive fabric in its own right, but it doesn't overpower the blue mantua.  This photo gives a better indication of what the brown wool looks like:

Yes, that's a pocket slit.  The V&A tells me tie on pockets were already in use in the 17th century when the first mantuas started to appear.

As with the mantua, I used construction techniques that were used in the 17th century.  All the seams are handsewn with linen thread, using a combination of running stitch and whipstitch.

The Challenge: Brown.

Fabric: 1.9 meters of lovely herringbone twill wool.

Pattern: This tutorial from the American Duchess.  Her Grace's pattern is more 18th than 17th century, but I used it anyway because it gives the right shape to go with a mantua. All the pictures of mantuas show petticoats with quite deep knife pleats, so that's what I've done.

Year: Late 17th to early 18th century.

Notions: Linen thread and cotton tape to tie the petticoat.

How historically accurate is it?  I think the pattern is reasonably historically accurate, but since I'm not all that familiar with this time period it's hard for me to estimate how accurate this project is.  Wool was certainly a period fabric and brown is a pretty common colour in all time periods.  Cotton tapes probably aren't accurate; in the 17th and 18th centuries they would have been linen.

Hours to complete: About 8.

First worn:  To check the length.

Total cost:  I've had this wool for a long time, so don't remember what I paid for it.  I would guess somewhere between $15 and $20 per meter.

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