A friend of my sisters recently gave me the book 'Survey of Historic Costume', and I am so thrilled to get to look through it! It has been a huge help in the research for my project since there is a large Rococo section in the book.
The book has a chapter that covers from 1700-1790. It explains not only the clothing worn in the era, but also other details about what was going on at that time and how people lived their everyday life. It goes into the clothing of the age in great detail, starting with what the cloth looked like and how it was made, then goes into the styles of clothing from working-class to gentility. The book also talks about how styles changed throughout the century and why.
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of clothing.
And now for the promised Progress Report: I have been slowly but surely working on the stays of the costume. This is the most difficult part of the costume, so I cannot wait until I am finished and can finally move on the the dress and over petticoat. I will post photos of all the undergarments working together once I am finished this stage.
I am so excited to work on the 18th century dress, but unfortunately, I have to make all of the undergarments first. All of the things that go under a period dress are just as important as the actual dress. Without the stays, bumpad, and petticoat(s), the dress would look very flat, and without the chemise, it would be very uncomfortable.
Since this is the first time I have ever created a project like this, it has been a bit slow going, since I don't have anything already made. So far, I have finished the bumpad and chemise, and I am slowly but surely working on the stays.
This has been a bit of a nerve-racking process, but my American Duchess* pattern has made it much easier.
I was apprehensive to start on the stays since they are so different from anything I have ever made before. I decided to go with a different technique when it came to putting them together than what you would see in period garments, purely to make things a bit easier on myself. The biggest change being: I used cording rather than any type of boning. This is not accurate at all, as far as I have seen. Cording did not start in corsets or stays until the regency era. After that, it was quite popular throughout the 19th century, but before the early 1800s, I have not seen any examples of stays with cording in them in my research.
I went with cording for a few reasons. One, I have made corded garments before, so there was less chance of failing and having to start over. Also, I already had cording in the house, and I did not have to search or buy anything else. Lastly, I have never worn a corset or any heavily boned piece of clothing before, so I thought that this would be a better way of easing myself into that.
Another thing that will be different and not at all period correct is that I will not be bias binding the stays.
Once the stays are finished, I just have a petticoat to make, then I'm on to the fun stuff!
*I am not an ambassador for American Duchess, any opinion I have about the company and their patterns are my own:)