Wednesday, April 06, 2011

18th Century Fashion Accessories

It's spring, which must mean it's time for another fabulous Burnley & Trowbridge workshop! I really missed attending these workshops: while I was in Colorado last year I missed out on the polonaise workshop I'd been begging and pleading for.

This workshop focused on "Calashes, Bonnets, Mitts & Lovely Little Bags," or the accessories of the late 18th & Early 19th Century. The accessories can really make the outfit and contribute to the authenticity of a look. Feast your eyes on all the eye candy accessories they brought with them to display at the workshop:Over the course of three days the ladies from the Margaret Hunter Mantua shop in Colonial Williamsburg and Angela of Burnley & Trowbridge taught us how to make little inked bags, calash bonnets, muffs, and mitts. No visit to Williamsburg is complete without a visit to the Mantua shop, and this time I was thrilled to see a little miniature doll-sized store on display. Look at the wee little stays, hoops, and pocket!!

I'm going to post separately about each project, starting here with the inked bags. Apparently these friendship bags were common in the early 19th century. The PowerPoint that Burnley & Trowbridge showed us had lots of period examples of these bags, but unfortunately I can't find any images online. You gave these bags to friends and loved ones as little tokens. There were even some really neat examples of these bags made in pink with abolitionist messages printed on them.
Black ink was applied directly to the cotton in order to mimic embroidery. We used a light box to trace out the images we liked. Here's the front of my bag: And the back of my bag which is a Jane Austin quote about a friendship bag: Unfortunately my back started hurting pretty quickly bending over the light box, or I might have made a more elaborate bag. Still, I was very pleased with how it turned out. I especially like the fringed edge, the hand braided decorative cording that I made, and the handmade tassels...which I just realized are not in my photograph. Oh well.

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