Thursday, January 16, 2014

HFC #1 wait now #2 and the tournure

I thought this would be for challenge #1, but I am going to to have to push it back to challenge #2 I thought this would be a three post project. It may turn out to be four, reason being Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh showed up on Monday. Instead of it being a helpful informative book I find this.

Yes, indeed, I find a picture of the bustle using as my inspiration. Page 125, Illustration #95. Yes, that thud you herd was my head hitting the table. To add insult to injury, I am given no further documentation other than in the book it is dated 1870-1875.

NO measurements, NO anything of value other then a three quarters view of the garment on a model looking even worse than the more current photograph I was working with.

EVEN WORSE, this photograph, I am convinced, is a reversed image. You can see the large bump out misshaped seam that is on the front hip. You can just make it out in the modern photo on the opposite hip. Not to mention for some reason the 1950's era photograph has a completely black background including the ground it's self. So it is pretty much impossible to really see any details. the 1950's photo was not reshaped properly like the more modern photograph.
.With all that being said I had a difficult time following Corset's and Crinolines due to the author using the French term tournure and the English term bustle interchangeably. At one point I actually thought a tournure was a competently unknown (to me) garment due to descriptions like this. 
       "Janury 1869
                The tournure is made of horsehair, and worn over the crinoline skirt, which is scant and has only three or four steel circles round the bottom. That the same skirt may be worn with both short and long dresses, the best way is to add to it a long flounce of the same material, corded round the bottom. this flounce is train-shaped; it is wider at the bottom than at the top; it has botton holes round the top, corresponding to the buttons sewn upon the crinoline, and can thus be put on or taken off at pleasure (93)."
        Corset's and Crinoline pg 123  quote and picture both

The picture at right is the accompanying image to this description. The book description. Crinoline with tournure and extra flounces. If you just looked at the picture it would not be clear that there is a crinoline. After some googling I figured things out, and then more confusion set in. How exactly did I want to make my pattern. What measurements to use and most importantly what was my needs for this garment?
As it was now Wednesday in the early am and the deadline looming at midnight I made the choice to step back and move this project to the second challenge which is innovation.
        Goal: To make an item that reflects the newest innovations of an era.

Well this is not the most innovative of items. However I am fascinated by the transition period from crinoline (hoop skirts) to the bustle only fashions of the 1880's. The more research I have done the more it became clear that there was no hard fast rule for shape, size, hem size, or even how the garment was constructed. My inspiration hoop is a combination of crinoline and bustle (or tournure). It is possible that if I wished to I could add a tournure/petticoat combination over top of the bustle/crinoline combination  to make it larger than if necessary in the future. So If I want to do a huge dress I could. Then went back to a comparison bustle that I found in Costume in Detail (CID) by Nancey Bradfield, pg. 234. The book is new so I did not want to break the spine. Below picture is the diagram for a 1872 crinoline/ bustle combination found in Corset's and Crinolines (C&C).
                                              Comparison Dimensions 
                       Inspiration Piece                         CID                                 C&C

Date                 1870-75                                 1873-75                               1872
Height  CF            38"                                        33"                                   46.5"*
Height  CB            37"                                     unknown                            42"*
Hem                      78"                                        86"                                   122"*
# upper hoop         4**                                       7                                        5
# lower hoop         5**                                       5                                        6
*All of these measurements are according to the diagram and I believe do not reflect the seam allowance being accounted for.
** This is my best guess based off of how the fabric is manipulated and based off of the stripes.
The page includes a scaled diagram that I unscaled the measurements for that are included in the above chart. Comparing the three garments and guessing from the the pictures what type of skirt or gown would go over it.

The C&C crinoline/bustle pictured to the left would certainly had fuller skirts then the CID bustle. The CID bustle would have skirts with a narrower bustle and skirt hem. My inspiration piece falls in between the other two. With more fullness in the front than CID hoop but less over all circumference then the C&C hoop. The largest hoop I have seen Civil War refractors us is 160" and that is usually for ball gowns not day wear. After looking at the projects I want to do I do need a fuller skirt than inspiration piece. A larger measurement in the back would be required. Something more on par with the CID. With everything to be considered. I am going to consider everything and draw up my pattern hopefully tomorrow.

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