Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Late 18th Century Shift.. and Introductions

I know I am posting this very late, but I did have it completed on time, along with all the other challenges. The reason for the late posts has been my lack of photos. Thankfully, my friend Jessie was kind enough to take a few today so that I can post them up.

Unfortunately, my personal photographer and husband, Nic, has been away for the last 4 weeks. I guess that now is as good a time as any to introduce ourselves better. Nic is a doctor of Archaeology. He specialises in Australian Frontier Conflict and Indigenous Heritage. I am very proud of him. Unfortunately, it means that he works away from home at lot. At this current time he is working in Launceston, Tasmania. The team he is a part of are excavating an 1830s settlement. I am really looking forward to seeing his photos of the dig and the amazing 1830s finds.

As for myself, I am currently undertaking a Research based Honours Program as a part of the final year of my degree (Bachelor of Education, Junior Primary and Primary). I started university last week and I believe that this will be a very full on year for study. This means I have had to put many projects and events for the upcoming year on hold. Thankfully, I have been able to cram a lot of sewing into the last few weeks, in preparation for the Reynella History Event, in South Australia.  This is the first Living History Event being held in our state, so we are very excited.

Anyways, back to my sewing. In order to finally create my turn of the century working class/private wife's impression, the first thing I required was a shift. I wanted to attempt a squares and triangles layout, but I must admit that it at first seemed overwhelming and scary. Thankfully, there are many wonderful websites that helped in construction and historical changes in styles.

18th Century Shifts
Making an 18th Century Shift
How to Make an 18th Century Chemise

I was also very lucky in having a friend, who supplied me with this wonderful "Dodgy" drawing of different cutting layouts.
Based on the information from these resources and books in my library I decided to make my shift thin with long triangles up to the underarms. I also went with thin arms that gather into a band under the elbow that can also be raised above the elbow and tied when working. I also decided to fold over the fabric to make the drawstring on the neck. I was surprised at how easy it was to make the string casing without using bias tape. I learnt a lot in creating this shift and I am very happy with the results. It is very comfortable.

The finished shift, not very flattering unfortunately.

The sleeve detail.

The Challenge 3# Under It All
Fabric: White Linen

Pattern: None - drafted using squares and triangle layouts
Year: ca. 1800

Notions: white cotton tape

How historically accurate is it? I believe that this is accurate. I even 100% hand sewed it, a first for me

Hours to complete: about 28 hours
First worn: today to take the completed photos

Total cost: I believe that the cotton tape was about $8 and the linen was about $40.

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