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01 June 2012

Pretty Undies

Sorry I haven't been blogging for a while I have been busy making some new ladies with the York show in mind, I had got quite low.  I have also been sculpting and modifiying a sculpture in order to produce a ball jointed doll, I'm a long way off yet, but watch this space.

Clarrisa’s undergarments of the Georgian period consist of the – the panier which the ladies wore to enhance the shape of the elaborate gowns of the day.

  The bodice which I have made from  damask silk  has lent itself perfectly for support and shape, aiding the forced full bossom.   I hand dyed the gold lace to contrast with the bodice which seems to work well with the ruby stone effect fasteners up the front.

Seems ashame to cover it over with a gown, we see people wearing  much less in today’s fashions.  I made the pannier (or improvers, as they were sometimes referred to)in  3 tiers to give a gradual shape this was covered  with silk and pretty lace. 
I watched a programme recently which demonstrated how these ladies went to the toilet in this gear – which was basically done whilst stood up using a contraption which after use was then given to a poor servant to dispose of, don’t suppose they washed their hands after, they were pretty much an unhygienic lot.

Her shoes are also made from silk which I have finished off with tiny seed beads, which you can just make out in the picture – I love the shape of the ladies Georgian shoe, they usually look so delicate when exhibited as museums.  Clarrisa’s patch is in a position which I understand implies she has kissable lips – if my research serves me correctly, I do know they varied in shape and the position also denoted something specific, I did read they were originally used to cover pox marks.
Elsa's attire consists of a tea-gown which is a soft floaty fine silk fabric, trimmed with lace. The undergarments of the Edwardian era afforded considerable comfort and freedom of corsetry compared to previous eras -the pretty laced bodice is made from cotton batiste with matching drawers.                           

Elsa is in the midst of dressing for the evening but is interupted by a letter from an admirer, her tea gowns drapes off her shoulders. 

 I love all the beautiful laces and silks of the past periods, I know, they were far from practical and as for wearing all those layers in this muggy weather we are experiencing at the moment – somewhat fragrant?

Georgian Clarrisa and Edwardian Elsa, I wonder what they would talk about or think about each other if we could bring them together?

I am going to be exhibiting these 2 ladies next week at the York Miniature Fair.