Thursday, April 16, 2015

1865 Dress Research, Part II: Skirts and Skirt Support

More thoughts and sources since the first iteration.

Pictures provided by K. Krewer at the Sewing Academy got me thinking along the lines of layering the skirt (the striped silk in my first research post also had the "en tablier" front, but with a back bow instead of the puffs in Mrs. Krewer's example).  It's a cool effect, and one I'd like to try if I can make the fabric (metaphorically) stretch.

"The petticoat is ornamented with the same lace as the train, sometimes in flounces, sometimes in puffings or bouffons of tulle, sometimes en tablier, that is, down either side."
-Description of Court Dress from The Habits of Good Society, 1865

(In this context, the "petticoat" is meant to be seen... because Court Dress.)

The same term 'en tablier' is used in 1864 (in the February issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine) to describe a morning costume with a contrasting front panel.
En tablier dress, Frank Leslie's, August 1865.
From Frank Leslie's Ladies' Magazine and Gazette of Fashion, August 1865 
"Dress of black silk, trimmed en tablier with a wide band of violet silk."

The French, however, seem to actually mean 'apron-shaped' instead of  'open/contrast panel' when they use it:
White taffeta en tablier dress from La Moniteur de la Mode, 1864.
La Moniteur de la Mode, December 1864
"La jupe de taffetas blanc forme bien la traîne, elle est ornée d une haute dentelle s'arrondissant derrière en habit-traine et en tablier plus court devant."

For the less high-fashion minded, here's what Peterson's had to say about dresses in February 1865:
Fashion description from Peterson's, February 1865.
Summary: High waists, waistbands, gored skirts, and narrow sleeves.

As for what's going on under those skirts (forgive the expression):
Crinoline description from Peterson's, February 1865.
Peterson's, February 1865
Crinoline description from Peterson's, May 1865.
Peterson's, May 1865
Elliptical covered crinoline, Der Bazar, March 1865
Der Bazar, March 1865
Footprint of elliptical covered crinoline, Der Bazar, March 1865
Footprint of the above hoop (Der Bazar, March 1865)
Gored petticoats to support gored skirts, and the crinoline shape itself is morphing along similar lines (fuller in back than front; less "bell" and more "conical"/"pyramidal" in shape, with an egg-shaped footprint instead of a round one).  As I'm not about to make two new crinolines for one event, I'm working on some gored and/or full-backed petticoats (with a small 'tournure'/'dress improver') for use with with my existing cages, to simulate the full-back look.  My 1865 persona is apparently an economically-minded woman who already has a perfectly serviceable cage, and is being cautious about this new 'fad' in skirt shape, while trying not to look too out-dated.  

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