Thursday, December 11, 2014


I have been working on several of the small pieces for my Cabinet of Curiosities. I have finished two pincushions and the glove. I have the scissors sheath stitched but have not yet finished it. As part of the "story" of the casket and it's maker, I am dressing a porcelain doll in the dress of the period. It is about 1670 for the girl that stitched the box and all of the things in it. The painting that I have will have to be of an older sister or cousin that is her mentor.
I have been doing research on the clothing of about 1670 and have discovered that many of the portraits are of women in very casual settings with their dresses looking like they didn't quite finish dressing.

I wanted a more formal look and so here is my inspiration.

 I took the corset pattern from Norah Waugh's book on period clothing.

 Here is the chemise. It is fine linen stitched with cotton threads and ribbons for ties.

 Here it is on the doll. One of the sleeves is tied but the other is left loose for the picture.

 Here is a close-up of the sleeve. Period fashion had the sleeves
 of the chemise showing with ribbons or pearls wrapped midway
up the sleeve to gather it.

The corset is 2 layers of linen with the top layer of pink silk. I stitched it with white linen thread and pale gold silk. I wanted to make it as authentic as possible but the stiffening reeds that were used would not be in scale. I thought of using pine needles because it would have looked right but I was afraid that it would break and be too thick. is stiffened with strips of plastic. I did make an ivory busk for the front of the corset.

Here is the back showing the channels for the boning. I thought that doing the eyelets for the laces might drive me nuts but it was worth it.

I think that the corset looks great on the doll. So Mistress Katherin has her first two layers. Next comes the petticoat and perhaps a bum-roll. Have to do some more studying.

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