Friday, February 13, 2015

My 1860s bodice

Yesterday, after spending several hours sewing ruffles to the skirt, I quickly cut out and sewed the main pieces of the bodice glad not to be sewing gathers or in a straight line forever.

I used a pattern that is later than 1860 but hope to tweak it down to that period.  I think I am going to add white, a sort of under blouse look, to break up all that blue.  After all those ruffles, I am a little sick of the blue.  So, here I was trying out what it might look like.

The idea is also is to widen the shoulders to match the wide skirt and to repeat the navy stripes that are on the skirt.

This is where I am so far.....Tomorrow I hope to get the bones in and then I will be able to finish the bottom edge.

After I bought this material I was kind of upset with myself because I thought it rather bright for the period.  But, I googled the invention of fabric dyes and got the whole history....but what mattered at the time was the 1834 entry.  I did copy a bit of the history, just for you!

1825 Mathias Baldwin (later of locomotive fame) began the first American production of engraved metal rollers for calico printing which were used in the Philadelphia area and could produce 300 yds of fabric per day.
1834 Runge, a German chemist, noticed that upon distilling coal tar, aniline would give a bright blue color if treated with bleaching powder. This helped to pave the way to the development of aniline (basic) dyes 22 years later.
1844 John Mercer discovered that treating cotton with caustic soda (lye) while under tension improved its strength, luster, dyeability, absorbency. The process was called "mercerization".
1856 William Henry Perkin discovered the first synthetic dye stuff "Mauve" (aniline, a basic dye) while searching for a cure for malaria and a new industry was begun. It was a brilliant fuchsia type color, but faded easily so our idea of the color mauve is not what the appearance of the original color was.
1858 Griess discovered diazotisation and coupling on/in the fiber
1858-59 Magenta (fuchsin) discovered by Verguin the 2nd basic dye and more widely used than Mauve

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