Thursday 24 June 2010

17th century smock

I’ve been mulling of the 1660’s smock in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 4. As the original is believed to have belonged to Catherine of Braganza, it’s lavishly decorated with cutwork and other embellishments. I’m not a queen, however, and I don’t aim to make clothes that luxurious, so I want a plain smock for my 17th century gown. However, the cut is exactly what I want. It has an oval neckline, which would fit well under a gown from the period and it doesn’t have the usual triangular gores, so I think it will be fun to sew it as well. I haven’t seen any smock made after this pattern, though I’m sure it exists. Has anyone seen one?


A. The body of the smock. The broken line indicate that its folded. The oval is the neckline, with a split down the front.
B. A strip of cutwork (in the original) about 8 mm wide. You can’t see it, as it’s tiny, but it’s supposed to be folded too, at the top.
C. Sleeve. The broken line indicate that it’s folded. Gathered and sewn to B until the dot. In the original the end of the sleeve is cartidge pleated into a cuff.
D. A rectangular piece of fabric that has the same function as a triangular gore. The top is cartidge pleated and sewn to the bottom of B.
E. Underarm gusset
F. Neckband. It’s slightly shorter than the width of the neckline, so that has to be eased to the neckband.

Note that I haven’t bothered to make the measurements correct, this is just a diagram of the shape of the pattern pieces and where they will connect with each other. I hope it’s understandable. Yell if you want me to explain more.

I have got some linen gauze that is very sheer, whish I think will look quite lovely. I’m not going to have a cuff and instead fold up and pin the smock sleeve to the gown’s sleeve. At first I planned to omit any embellishment, but I’ve found some lace made out of linen thread that my grandmotehr have made. It’s about 1cm wide, so I think I will use that for pattern piece B. It’s not made from a 17th century pattern, but it’s handmade and I always try to incorporate something from my grandmoter in everything I sew. Usually that may mean just the thread (I inherited boxfulls) but I’m always happy to find use of something else from her stash. It’s gong to be completely hand-sewn, purely for practical purposes. I use my machine to attach pattern pieces and then finish everything else by hand, but this fabric is so sheer, that it will be more of a hassle to try to use tha machine and to make it look good, than doing it all by hand. Not weighing much and also washable, makes it a perfect project for me to drag around this summer and sew whereever I want.


GentlewomanThief said...

I love that you're going to use your grandmother's lace - that sounds lovely, and so does the fabric. Does it have any sort of ruffle at the neckline?

Isis said...

She was a wonderful seamstress and as I'm the only one in the family who is interested, I was given everything she had, sewing-wise. :-)

No, no ruffle, but I assume that the neckband can be folded down.

Isis said...

Ooops, trigger happy. To be folded down and act like a collar, I meant to say. It will be exiting to see if I'm right. :-)

Lauren R said...

Isis, I've awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award :-D

Thanks for keeping an entertaining and inspiring costume blog!

Isis said...

Lauren: Thank you! :-D

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