Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fanchon Drafting, Part 1

Continuing from the research post, which got too long.

Bonnets in Der Bazar, May 1865.
Bonnets from "Der Bazar", May 1865
So, spring 1865 fanchons, to recap:
  • Have three corners, like a "half handkerchief"
  • Have cheek tabs
  • Sit close to the face at the sides and peak up at the top (but less than the spoon bonnets did)
  • Have a little trim and some lace under the brim (but less than before)
  • Have soft crowns (description, January, Peterson's)
  • OR appear to be cut in one piece (images showing brim-crown combo; February-April, Peterson's)
  • OR have no crown (May-summer, Peterson's)
  • Have little to no curtain (may have a short ruffle or some trim along the back edge)
  • Some bonnet ties continue either across the middle of the brim, or along the now-curtain-free back edge 
  • Are "easily made at home".  The editor of Peterson's thinks this means the fashion establishment will keep pushing the "empire" bonnet, but didn't think a pattern useful to include.
Some poking around eventually produced a diagram of a '68 fanchon (courtesy of Cornell University's Library) in Harper's Bazaar for May 9, 1868:
Harper's Bazar fanchon diagram, May 9, 1868.
Harper's Bazaar, page 436, 5/9/1868
(Just to annoy me, Google books finally turned up the same page; neither, however seems to contain the elusive "Fashion Supplement XIII", which promises a pattern)

Fanchon wire diagram, Harper's 1868.
1868 Bonnet wire diagram, Harper's
Fanchon frame diagram, Harper's 1868.
1868 Fanchon frame diagram, Harper's
Der Bazar has some schematics a little closer to the target date (again, without the supplement which promises a cutting diagram):

Fanchon form, Der Bazar January 1865.
Der Bazar, January 1865
Fanchon form, Der Bazar April 1865.
Der Bazar, April 1865
The '68 images are crown-free, but it's still there in the '65 images, however abbreviated.

For the actual drafting, I started by cutting a triangular piece (like a handkerchief folded in half) out of newsprint, and fiddling with the length and depth until it sat properly.  I then drew in the cheek tabs, and tweaked those until a satisfactory arrangement was attained.  This suits for the crown-less "May" fanchons.  For the earlier winter-spring styles, I added a small semi-circular half-crown as in the January image from Der Bazar.  Small darts on the lower edge help to shape this piece.

c. 1865 Fanchon pattern with cheek tabs (self-draped)
The actual bonnet forms are cut of buckram, with millinery wire around the edges to help shape them (cotton crinoline bias tape covers the wires).
Crownless fanchon form.
Fanchon form (no crown)
Partial crown fanchon form.
Fanchon form, partial crown
In comparison to the Der Bazar image, the partial crown should be deeper and a little less abrupt at the transition, but I haven't been about to make that shape work in paper.  Hopefully, the silk and trim will cover these minor sins. 

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