Feb. 21st, 2017

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The science and geometry of dress

by Jackson, Louisa L., Mrs. [from old catalog]

Published 1876

Topics Dressmaking


So this is really interesting and does indeed help explain the fish dart in some garments.


The basic pattern blocks for bodices were still based on ones from the 1860s. This is to say the end at the waist. I’m started printing the pages up . The first section is for the basic bodice block, then there is a saque, next up are basques (ie bodices that extend past the waist.) So this is very exciting 🙂 My printer is liking the pages so that is also good!

1876 tools

Feb. 21st, 2017 09:08 am
pinkdiamond: (Default)

I am not completely convinced the size is correct but I have isolated each tool from:

The science and geometry of dress

by Jackson, Louisa L., Mrs. [from old catalog]

Published 1876

I only know the dart and the skirt tools are correct for printing- as pdfs. The waist and curve… not so sure. I need to really go through the full text to make a bodice pattern to check the placement. Anyway. If you have photoshop you can rescale the files anyway. If you have a pdf viewer choose “poster” as print type and it will automatically print to size.

thumbnail of tooldartrule thumbnail of toolsideform

The dart is true, I have seen these only in printed form inside books so had no idea just how big they are. I think in terms of centimeters. The curve feels far too big, I scaled to match the 1,2,3,4 as inches.

thumbnail of toolminibackthumbnail of toolminidrfrontess

These were very hard to figure out. I scaled using the waist length as true to size so is scaled so the distance between each “inch” is one inch.

thumbnail of tooldressskirtrule thumbnail of tool

These two were much easier. What I love about the first skirt tool is it does show some care in deciding on the angle of the side of the skirt gores! The rest of the skirt is basically as per “Nora” (as seen in Patterns of Fashion) but this is about the angle from waist to hip, aso that is very cool 🙂

I also spent the noight padding a form to my most ideal “Victorian” shape. So I can make corset and bodice patterns that give a very good exagerated ideal form. Not easy when I have a shape that simply has not been fashionable. Okay. c1480 and say 1550-1610 in Cleves and Spain. But that’s kind of it.But that’s for another post. I need sleep!

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at was a win.

I don't use patterns but they appeal to me as objects of their own. So I have a small stash of them. But this one I know people want. And I can see why. It's lovely/ Really lovely.
I have the US 16 to 24 sized pattern and it really is not able to be scaled down to my size. But the sleeves and hip pleatsand everything is just very nicely laid out.
So would be a good start.
Basically it looks like the Diderot pattern, sans piecing. And of course with consessions to modern ideals in terms of a little but of a curved front edge and some modern construction. But the pieces are all in the right places so you can adjust fit in pretty much the same places as the originals :) 
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As per my previous posts I now have the tools for the 1876 drafting system.


The science and geometry of dress

by Jackson, Louisa L., Mrs. [from old catalog]

Published 1876

I printed and used contact spray to lay them on the inside of a cardboard box my new mirror came in. So nice to have an honest mirror that I can also move for best light/view 🙂

So I think I got the bodice close, in comparison to the size of the dart anyway. If I have any concerns I know I can redo them using the miniature dart form.

Last night I also padded and resized a dress form to be the ideal shape. Which means today actually draping and drafting 🙂


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This particular form has a few features I have, a pronounced upper ribcage curve, high bust, round ribs. Her hips are a bit too round in cross section but that is easy to adjust by dialing the front and back dials a size larger and the side dials a size lower.


I used very taper shoulder pads to fill in the upper side of the bust, a corset is meant to lift and support so I want this in the same position as I want to achieve.

The padded bra is foam bonded to lycra based fabric so is very soft. I also filled in the gap between bust point and edge of should pads with a bit of foam.

And then a lycra shell was stretched over and basted at neck before I started basting through all layers including the velour form cover.

I darted to the armscye and took a dart out of the back panel on each side.


And voila, a form that is me but exaggerated (also at a height for wearing heels, I should have dropped her down for the photo but hey.

The form has a slight belly which is good for spoon busk corset types, but not so exaggerated as to not appeal modernly..

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The science and geometry of dress

by Jackson, Louisa L., Mrs. [from old catalog]

Published 1876

We cut on the fold due to wide fabrics, this explains why cutting fronts is best done individually.

Yes! The side is where you can do some final fitting tweaks. But it was better to adjust everywhere else first.

How to space buttons for a large bust- it depends on the button size.

The crossdart! (Fish dart) And how it was used and how the third dart came about (I think seen in at least one PoF garment).

Tips on how to draft a princess dress. I am so happy about the polonaise comments! I have been wondering if there were rules about this but no 🙂



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