Sunday, February 08, 2009
1740's Riding Habit
Another weekend, another Williamsburg workshop. This time we were learning to draft/drape 18th century riding habits. The riding habit above is one that the Williamsburg Millinery shop reproduced, and is an almost exact replica of a riding habit at the London Museum.
I went into the class only knowing that I wanted a green riding habit, with worsted wool in hand. I had no idea what style of riding habit I wanted to make - we watched a slide presentation showing habits from the beginning to end of the 18th century. Although I loved some of the later century riding habits (especially the hats), the riding habit on display had caught my eye and I was in love with it. When the instructor asked me what I wanted to make, I pointed over to the mannequin and said "I want that." And so, the 1740's riding habit project was born.
I took a close up picture of the back to show the pretty hand-detailed stitching, and the gorgeous point in the back of the riding habit. It's lined in the same blue silk taffeta that the waist coat is made from. I'm a little daunted at the prospect of figuring out how to drape the skirt of the coat by myself, as well as a few finishing details that I'm unsure on (cuffs, collars??).
At the workshops, we only work on the tops - the skirts are simple and something that we can do on our own at home. We get a basic fitting basted down, and then we're expected to finish up everything on our own. This is as far as my riding habit got. I have chalked on lines on the green wool which will take out some more fabric - right now it's able to close all the way down, but I actually only want it to button down to the bust gusset. I also have sleeves, but I didn't get a picture in them. They're very narrow and fit perfectly.
Here is my fitting partner - she had made her skirt and riding shirt ahead of time (I still have to make mine). The top was drafted by me. I think it went pretty well. I had some very minor corrections from the instructor, but otherwise I'm getting this draping thing down.
The instructor brought along an 18th century sidesaddle was pretty neat. We were allowed to sit in in and get a feel for what it might be like. How funny that this class was only a week before I started my sidesaddle riding lessons! I don't think the saddle above would qualify as a 'safety' sidesaddle that modern ladies use, but it's still fun.
I just HAD to bring back a picture of this Lady Worsley riding hat because I just drooled over it. There were so many feathers on that hat!! I tried it on and really liked it, but I'll have to figure something else out since my riding habit will be far too early for this look. Apparently ladies didn't wear tricorns after the 1730's (if you were British, anyway). I'm thinking I might take on an Austrian persona when wearing my 1740's riding habit so that I can wear a tricorn. Marie Antoinette was pictured wearing a tricorn in the 1770's.
I'll enjoy finishing this project, but it is definitely on hold for now. I'm putting the final touches on my regency ball gown before George Washington's Birthday ball (on Valentine's day), and then it's time to start some SERIOUS CostumeCon sewing.