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 on: March 24, 2017, 03:16:56 PM 
Started by Paula - Last post by Elizabeth
Elaine, I definitely need the nudge. Cheesy We have the permission, I just need to finish my notes and diagrams, and then: NEW FREEBIE!

 on: March 24, 2017, 08:59:32 AM 
Started by Paula - Last post by Elaine M
Paula, I love the depth of the curtain!   I do hope this will come out as a pattern (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Liz!)


 on: March 15, 2017, 06:55:16 PM 
Started by KatelynH - Last post by Elizabeth
A sheer white basque would be great for a 50s event in warm weather! You'd wear it with a silk skirt or a similarly-sheer skirt, either one.

 on: March 13, 2017, 09:49:37 AM 
Started by KatelynH - Last post by KatelynH
Thank you for those references!  I only searched sheer basque, not white basque Roll Eyes.  I wish I could see what one of these white basques looked like, because, as you said, they may not extend below the waist.

I found one reference for a cambric basque in Godey's 1853 that goes with an embroidered skirt.  It appears to be used as a wrapper or morning dress, based on the description.

I found two sheer basques, but I don't know exactly how they were worn.

This one was labeled (on pinterest, I can't find the original source so I really don't know anything for sure about it Sad) as 'Sheer cotton net embroidered waist with basque. c.1855-57'

This is the basque that sort of started up the whole question:

This one was from Ebay so I only know what the seller was saying about it.  It's supposed to be from 1858 and is made of muslin.

 on: March 12, 2017, 11:45:59 AM 
Started by KatelynH - Last post by EKorsmo
My first thought would be that a sheer basque and skirt ensemble would have awkward shadows where the bodice overlaps the upper skirt (unless perhaps the whole skirt were flounced to make a regular pattern of it).  

Searching through the fashion descriptions, I'm finding several mid-50s references to contrasting white 'basques' for light summer wear; these appear to be for wearing with a skirt, not as outerwear over another bodice (silk basques over lightweight skirts also seem to pop up).  There aren't many illustrations of the former, however, so I'm uncertain about how "basque" is meant in context: it could just be a separate bodice, not necessarily extending below the waist.  There's also some suggestions that sheer cotton dresses (organdy in particular) are not made up with basques, but barege (which, if I recall correctly is a semi-sheer wool or wool/silk material) is frequently named for basques.  Perhaps someone else can make sense of it:

From  Graham's American Monthly Magazine of Literature, Art, and Fashion, 1855:

"[Detailed description of flounced silk skirt] The basque was trimmed in the same manner but for the warm days we should advise a white basque with pink or light green ribbons."

"Another dress of very novel and pretty effect of fawn colored barege with three flounces embroidered in a deep scallop with silk of the same color. Between each of the barege flounces is a flounce of plaid silk also scalloped in silk. When a white basque is not worn with this dress the basque made for it is of the plaid silk the same as that which compose the flounces."

"Light materials are of course prevalent this month, and flounces have established their reign. Moire antique, however, has not been laid aside but then it is only worn as a skirt; thanks to the universal fashion of white muslin basques or waists, rich silks can be worn this year Many prefer this to muslins and bareges which are so soon tumbled and which require so much care in the accessories and the underskirts There are however some beautiful light materials this summer: barege, of course, mousseline de soie, crepe de Paris, grenadine and chali (challis?), which is only a revival, but one much to be admired for it is a beautiful tissue and most becoming from its graceful folds. Besides there are jaconets, and organdies, and lawns of very beautiful pattern... A very good innovation for hot weather is to line the barege basques with soft fine mull muslin; it is better than Florence silk for this purpose at this season... Dresses are almost all made with basques--still for very young ladies we think the plain or full corsage is more suitable..."

The London and Paris Ladies' Magazine of Fashion, 1855:
"... the bodies of barege and organdy dresses are made full without basques; the flounces of organdys are edged by a small guipure or lace edging the top flounce, left open in front as a tunic which gives the effect of a basque... When the barege dresses are without basques the bodies are full, with ceinture of wide ribbon and floating ends, but the basques are more generally preferred. There is a new material of still slighter texture than barege, but less flimsy; they as well as bareges are worn over silk skirts flounced which is preferred to lining the flounce."

The New Monthly Belle Assemblee, 1853:

"Gowns in barege, organdy, tarlatane, and grenadine are made with flounces...  As for the corsages of the gowns, those in thin materials are either a la vierge or full bodies gathered at the waist and shoulders or a sort of vest with basquines; but this last is very difficult to make and rarely fits well. The basques are much easier to succeed in and produce the same effect. Most of the corsages with basques, particularly those in silk, are made quite high."

 on: March 11, 2017, 09:00:52 PM 
Started by KatelynH - Last post by KatelynH
Quick question...

I'm attending an 1850's event this coming weekend and I had wondering that I couldn't find the answer to with my digital collection of originals.

I was going to wear my velvet basque and a skirt, but it's supposed to be on the warm side.  I could wear my sheer, but that got me thinking.  Were there sheer basques?  I found one extant muslin basque and one extant net basque but I can't figure out how these were worn.  There is a discussion in the forum about them being used as outerwear, but I can't find anything else on them.  I found two photographs of them being used, both as outerwear.

In fashion plates, I can find gray basques, green basques, black basques, brown basques, but no white ones.

Were these ever worn as 'bodices'?  Like over a corset cover or half-high lining?  Or were they exclusively outwear?

 on: March 11, 2017, 06:36:56 PM 
Started by Elaine Kessinger - Last post by MaryDee
I'm especially thinking of the excellent long discussion Mr. Trent started here on "Controversial Impressions at Mainstream Events."  I just reread it.

I've found out that he also was a frequent contributor on the "Civil War Talk" forum, where his posts were always informative and well-reasoned. 

 on: March 06, 2017, 07:14:21 PM 
Started by Elizabeth - Last post by Elizabeth
Elizabeth K, this list makes a great springboard to develop some free resource sheets, too.

I think you're right--a lot of times, things fall into use because they were expedient, and there was a time crunch.

On the plus side, that does give a lot of interesting scope for incremental upgrades!

 on: March 06, 2017, 05:56:16 PM 
Started by Elizabeth - Last post by EKorsmo
Based on one site I was previously affiliated with, it seemed like a lot of the 'old tyme' activities there were the result of off-the-cuff brainstorming rather than research: an event was coming up, and X number of games/crafts were needed, so the organizer would try to think of X number of things to do that seemed 'old fashioned' or had been done last year. I moved soon after, but in retrospect, it might have helped to have a short list of games or crafts that could be done with little or no outlay, so that an accurate activity could be suggested before the make-do became established.  Challenging the already-established routine is daunting, and I'm in awe of those of you who have done so successfully.
If anyone's looking for ideas:
The Girl's Own Book (1856)
The American Girl's Book and Hints for Happy Hours (1857)
The Boy's Own Book (1838) (1881 edition)
The Boy's Own Toy-Maker (1859)
The Girl's Own Toy-Maker (1861)
What to Do and how to Do it: The American Boy's Handy Book (1882)
The American Girl's Home Book of Work and Play (1883)
How to Amuse Yourself and Others: The American Girl's Handy Book (1887)

 on: March 05, 2017, 06:40:46 PM 
Started by Elizabeth - Last post by Maggie Koenig
Paula hints at a great point.  Taking things slowly.  Small changes here and there can equal big results without putting noses out of joint or scaring site managers with the idea of all the money its going to cost.   Once the dust settles from one change make another. 

One problem I've noticed with a lot of historic sites is that without any real budget they are left with part time staff or volunteers who are either retired, working part time while the kids are in school or they are bored housewives with no kids at home.  It can be hard to change the minds and hearts of people who like the idea of working at a museum but aren't actually that into history.  I'm not kidding either, I used to work with several women (all in their late 60's into their 70's) who had no real interest in history, they just liked working with the kids.  They were also some of the hardest people to introduce actual facts to.  I've spent several years there with other historical minded types and the director trying desperately to stomp out all the bad docent lore.  Its really hard to do when trying to explain to a coworker that its not call a toaster because you stir the contraption in front of the fire with your toe (toe stir=toaster apparently) and that a girl didn't have to make exactly 13 quilts before she could get married.

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