Cut! – Sense and Sensibility – Marianne

Marianne’s costume

Ok.. even I’m getting bored with these off-white/beige/yellow/etc costumes.  I didn’t even realize while I was at the Cut! exhibit how many there were!

Costume poster – click for full version

This dress is from Sense and Sensibility, a “film adaptation of the novel by Jane Austen about two sisters of modest means and the men they desire”.  According to the poster (click for a larger version) the film is set in England around 1800, and was made in 1995.  The dress featured here was worn by Kate Winslet in the role of Marianne Dashwood, and they describe the dress as:

“From Sense and Sensibility here is the dress of a young lady of fashion reduced to genteel but diminished circumstances.  Her dress is of cotton muslin rather than silk, the overdress also a cotton fabric.  The combination is pretty and reflects Marianne’s romantic nature, yet subtly shows that she is no longer a member of moneyed society.”

Marianne’s costume

The cut of the overdress is interesting, but would accentuate the bust I would think… (and I usually imagine this era being… ahem, preferring a flat-chested style…)

Marianne’s costume

Likely hooks and eyes to close…

You can also just make out the very faint print on the skirt

Marianne’s costume

The overdress has a very subtle monochromatic stripe.

Marianne’s hat

Bonnet.  Kind of boring really…

I still have a wealth of photos from the Cut! exhibit which I’m working on posting little by little… but I’m feeling less inspired now that so much time has passed…  Would anyone else like to add to the comments with more about this style of dress or it’s purpose in the film?

Cut! – Jane Eyre – Jane’s undergarments

Costume Poster

My previous post about the wedding dress from Jane Eyre gave a little sneak peek of the undergarments used to create the look for the dress itself. It probably is no surprise that I found the undergarments way more interesting than the dress itself.

Need a reminder?  Here’s that sneak-peek photo again, showing the dress in the foreground, with the undergarments in the background – complete with a chemise, corset, bloomers and hoop skirt/support.

From Jane Eyre

And below… the full version of the undergarments.

From Jane Eyre

I don’t know why the hem on the hoop is red – but I can remember several references (none of which can I find on short notice!) talking about petticoats and other underskirts being made of red flannel or red serge (both wool) so I imagine this has more to do with trend or fashion than practicality.  After all, a woman would have used one hoop under several different skirts, and I would imagine that a flash of red from under a more somber coloured dress would have been interesting… if you know the reason – please fill me in in the comments below!

From Jane Eyre

Above is a close up of the chemise, with a narrow ivory ribbon through a wide trim of lace, lots of tucking and lace insertion, and pale pink feather stitch embroidery. Tiny self-covered(?) buttons trim the front

From Jane Eyre

Here’s a photo of the top of the corset, with a wide band of red embroidered white cloth to bind the top, and hand-stitching also in red at the end of the bones.  I wish that the corset back was visible, and I would have liked to see this in different lighting to get a better idea of some of the lines of construction for the corset too.  Ah well!

From Jane Eyre

I found the adjustable center front for the top of the hoop skirt kind of interesting, and although hoops haven’t been my area of study, I really haven’t seen this before.  This is another area I’ll ask for comments about.. do you know what this is for?  It would appear that the hoop below the lacing panel is fixed in circumference, so the lacing only can affect the shape of the two upper-most hoops.  Would this have been done to change the shape?  If so, I can only imagine it changing slightly – so what’s the point here?  Also, why is the panel in the front versus the back?

From Jane Eyre

A close up of the red twill tape connecting the hoops and the leather strap used to create the lacing panel.  I find it interesting that eyelets were used instead of rivets on the twill tape to create the straps for the hoops.  I wonder if this was intentional?  (Or a make-due when someone ordered lots of eyelets and not enough rivets!?)

From Jane Eyre

A shot of the red panel at the bottom, softening the final edge of the hoop.

So… I have a few questions about the hoop – can you answer them in the comments below?

Cut! – Jane Eyre – Jane’s wedding gown

Costume Poster

Not too long ago Jane Eyre (or rather, a 2011 version of Jane Eyre) was on TV, and I actually watched it.  (Well, ok, I watched most of it, I came in about half an hour late.)  I know I’ve seen this 1996 version before, but although the story is easy to remember, it’s not exactly memorable.

In short, I really don’t like the story at all, and I can’t say that I like the costumes much better – though the details are rather nice, even if the overall look is rather bland.

The poster for this wedding dress says that the dress was worn by Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane Eyre in this 1996 production set in England in the mid 1800s.  It goes on to say:

“This is a simple yet appropriate wedding dress for a young woman who must work for a living while searching for equality in an unfair society – and for true love.  This one-piece dress of deep cream silk in a matt (matte) finish is partly overlaid with tulle trimmed with fringing (fringe) and blond lace.  It not only indicates Charlotte’s (Jane’s) station in life but follows the desire of director and designer to reflect the film’s somber gray atmosphere. 

Compared to the other costumes in this exhibition these three examples are masterful in their simplicity and restraint and fully illustrate the subtle messages about class and wealth that costumes can convey.” (corrections mine)

From Jane Eyre

The first shot is a bit of a teaser – the undergarments worn to create the silhouette of the dress (shown in the foreground).

Jane's wedding dress

Overall, the dress is pretty plain and ordinary.  I like the waist treatment (though what woman would wear that?) and you can get the effect of the tulle over the silk a bit in the skirt – though overall it doesn’t really read as anything special.

Jane's wedding dress

It’s in the close-up photos that I think the dress becomes more appealing.  The waist treatment is still lovely, (though unwearable) but then you can see how the tulle goes over the bust, leaving an impression of a v-neckline, over the silk.  The tulle also adds some softness to what is otherwise a pretty ‘hard’ dress considering.  I think the little decorative (non-functional) buttons are rather silly though personally… though it does have the “wedding dress” feel of modern dresses with their hundreds of little silk buttons down the back (which are likewise decorative rather than functional for the most part.)

Jane's wedding dress

In this close up you can get a better impression of the tulle over the skirt – though the colours are so similar that it almost seems redundant.  The cuff is simple and lovely though with just the little touch of matching lace, and the tiny wisp of lace inside the cuff.

Jane's wedding dress

I really do adore the little pleats inside the elbow though, to allow for sleeve shaping and movement…

Jane's wedding dress bonnet

… and the best part about this outfit is the bonnet in my opinion.  It’s rather interesting, draped all in tulle.

So, what do you think of this costume?  It definitely suits the mood of the film/story…

Have I mentioned recently how much I love….

Google Books?

General history

Image from Google Books

Image from Google Books. Linked from source, click for reference.

Accessories of Dress: An Illustrated Encyclopedia By Katherine Morris Lester, Bess Viola Oerke, Helen Westermann

This book has a wide variety of accessories from early history until modern times – and as luck would have it, the first part of the book that Google Books offers is on hats – both men’s and women’s hats, from early history until 1930 (when the copyright laws prevent them from showing more).  Masks, wigs, collars, shawls and more are included in the book itself, though the Google Books reference only includes the hat section.  Very fortunate for me, since that’s what I’m specifically interested in right now!

There are some very clear illustrations, however not a ~lot~ on each style… still enough to give a good impression, and a good jumping off point for further research on historical costume.
Another book with a general historial theme, although this one specifically about hats is Hats: a history of fashion in headwear By Hilda Amphlett. Again, this one has sketches of millinery from the 11th century until the 20th century.

Victorian & Edwardian

Image from Google Books.

Image from Google Books. Linked from source, click for resource

Victorian fashions and costumes from Harper’s bazar, 1867-1898 By Stella Blum

A really interesting look at fashion plates from old magazines.  There are also illustrations specifically of hats, jewelry, shawls, parasols and other items.  I would love to have (and have the ROOM to have) these sorts of resource books just for reference when costuming… but checking out the pages that Google Books has available for the time being is the next best thing!

A related reference book with fashion plates is Victorian and Edwardian fashions from “La Mode Illustrée By JoAnne Olian, also available in part on Google Books.

Next up, patterns – again taken (I imagine) from magazines from the Victorian era Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns: A Complete Lady’s Wardrobe By Kristina Harris.  I’ve seen this sort of thing before, and there are a bunch of caveats when using these for actual pattern-making… 1) historic clothing fits differently than modern clothing 2) the patterns aren’t multi-sized, so you need some idea of grading for your size. 3) patterns are rarely included for facings, cuffs, etc.  With those caveats, seeing the more detailed patterns is a great way to see how different shapes were made, and then translate that into original drafts.  There is another book on Google Books that I found: Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques  By Kristina Harris however it mostly shows hand-sewing techniques, and although there might be more to the book…. I wasn’t nearly so excited as I was about the others.

Edwardian, Regency & the Teens

Google Books

Again, from Google Books - click away!

Everyday fashions, 1909-1920, as pictured in Sears catalogs By JoAnne Olian

More actual historic illustrations – this time from 1909-1920.  I love seeing the actual catalogue illustrations of the hats from earlier in the period – how big those hats were!

For more fashion plates (with lots of descriptive information) this time from the Regency era, they also have Ackermann’s costume plates: women’s fashions in England, 1818-1828 By Stella Blum, Rudolph Ackermann

But alas…

There’s also a book listed, with no preview at all – that I’m really curious to see more of…. Practical millinery lessons by Julia Bottomley

Oh, but there’s also…

On the topic of Google Books – although Google Books specifically didn’t have the following books, they were available through the Hathi Trust Digital Library. Millinery, by Charlotte Rankin Aiken.

From the University of Wisconsin library, there is The art of millinery: a complete series of practical lessons for the artiste and the amateur by Anna Ben Yusuf, which, I will admit I didn’t look too much at – I found it difficult to scroll through all the pages quickly to scan it… so I’m noting it for another time!

There is also Your millinery by Winifred Reiser at the Wisconsin library as well, which I also didn’t actually go through.  😦

The Library of Congress has a full digital version of A complete course in millinery  by Julia Bottomley, & Emma Maxwell Burke, which looks really interesting as well. I skimmed through this one, but think it’s worth a read later on as well. There is also a copy of Home millinery course by National Millinery Company, which covers similar material, but is less extensive.

Millinery wish-list

I’ve made these lists before, and here’s another one – though this one is specific to millinery!

I was making this list, remaking this list, and remaking it again… and thus far I’m organizing it by era represented… in a round-about way at least.  I imagine that this list might become a ‘work-in-progress’ even after I publish it, because I can imagine myself having more and more ideas as time goes by.

Georgian hats

Screenshot from The Brotherhood of the Wolf from the Costumer's Guide.

Tricorn hat

I made a few mini-tricorn facinator hats, but I would like to make a full-sized version as well.  I can’t quite figure if I want something highly decorated (like with a giant bird or a sailboat) or if I want to keep it fairly simple – just black with some trim or something.  I also can’t quite figure if I want it in wool (once we’re there with the class that is) or if I want one in fabric to go with a different outfit or something…

Obviously, this part of the wish list is not particularly well thought out yet. For the time being my reference photo is from a movie called The Brotherhood of the Wolf (which I’ve never actually seen as far as I know…)  which is a wool felt (I imagine) tricorn with red fringe-like trim on the brim edge and three metal decorations just on the left hand side.  (There’s another screenshot showing both sides, and it’s only on the left.)

Status  – Early November – blocked buckram crown

Mini Tricorn

Although I’ve made the mini tricorn hats already, I still have them in mind – likely due to just finishing watching Marie Antoinette!  Like the ones in the movie I’m thinking candy colours, lots of trim…

Screenshot from Marie Antoinette

In the movie, the majority of the ones I saw are domed tops, with a few flat tops that I noticed as well.  Since I’m unlikely to find a block the right size for a domed top mini tricorn, a flat top one will likely have to do!  In terms of size itself, I was reading an article about mini hats, suggesting that 3/4 size is perhaps more flattering and interesting than the “doll” size that is common with the minis.  This means that 18″ crown would be ideal… which I might actually find in a domed block… We’ll have to see!

My reference photo is from Marie Antoinette – from the Costumer`s Guide website.   This hone has trim on the underside of the brim, and a rosette made out of loops of the same trim on the left side.  There`s also a golden braid on the crown band, with a small gold pin in the shape of a star in the centre front. There`s also a grey ostrich feather in the center back – which isn`t as visible in this screenshot, but is in the side shot.

Screenshot from Marie Antoinette

In this side shot, (also from The Costumer`s Guide) shows the ostrich feather a bit better, and more importantly, it shows the size, and proportion of the hat – along with how it`s worn, perched very far forward on the  head, with the lovely curls behind.   The hat from the Bright Pink Gown  from Marie Antoinette also seems to be a flat-top small tricorn as well.

Status – early November, blocked buckram crown, covered crown and crown lining, cut out brim.  Mid-November, completed hats, waiting for further embellishment.

Dinner plate

Promo Still from Marie Antoinette

Such a funny name, I know… but every time I look at this style of hat, all I can think of is a dinner plate!  The best guess I have for the real name is a porkpie, but I don`t think that`s really right either…

Once again I`m referencing Marie Antoinette – this shot from the Costumer`s Guide  as well.   In this shot the title character, as well as the woman in the background left are both wearing the style I have in mind. I think the one on the right is a bit different, but the basic idea is the same: a small hat worn very forward on the head, with a small flat-top crown with a very short band and a moderate brim.

Promo still from Marie Antoinette

Another shot from Marie Antoinette has more of these hats – though Marie Antoinette`s has a much taller brim – the one in the background (pink) is more like what I have in mind I think.

The Ball-Jointed Doll magazine online also has a tutorial for a ‘dinner plate’ style of hat, that they call a Marie Antoinette hat.  It is, of course, made of card and glue, but I found the tutorial really charming nonetheless! (And, btw… I found the article via a search for hats… not a search for doll things..hehe)

Mostly I want to make the hat for the `ship`hat below…
Status – Early November – Crown band and tip cut out of buckram and assembled.  Still need to cover, cut out brim, etc.  Mid-November, crown is mostly covered.  Kind of stagnating on this one.

Marie Antoinette ‘ship’ hat

Hat by Topsy Turvy designs

I have seen a few hats out there that have obviously been inspired by Marie Antoinette’s “ship” hat – Topsy turvy is one of them, and this one is based on the aforementioned `dinner plate`hat.

From the (terribly little) research I did – the woman who wore the `ship`was actually a contemporary of Marie Antoinette – not actually M.A. herself – but she was known for putting all sorts of crazy things in her wigs, so it`s not completely out of the realm of possibilities…

Hat from Paris Atelier's blog post about Modern Marie

Hey Sailor  also does some `ship`hats.  Hers are small tricorns as far as I can see, though I can’t see much detail in the fashion shots.There’s a fairly fabulous costume up on craftster worth a look too…  There actually seem to be a number of interpretations of this idea, which makes my interest kind of wane a little bit – although it certainly means there are probably more resources available!

Screenshot from the Sofia Coppola movie Marie Antoinette

From the Marie Antoinette movie, there’s a scene where she basically has the ship just perched into her wig – but I think I really want it to be on a hat instead… The movie had a LOT of mini-tricorn hats, tricorn hats, and ‘dinner-plate’ (porkpie?) hats.

Beautiful "ghost ship" facinator hat from Professor Maelstromme's Steam Lab

I’ve already picked up the lightweight clay to make the hull of the ship though, and I’m thinking of white silk for the sails.  I just need to think a little more about the masts and other elements.  I’m still kind of half-hoping to find something in a toy or model store (that isn’t hundreds of dollars like the models I’ve already seen!) to help me avoid the bulk of the work….

Status – Nothing so far

Regency-inspired hats

The Regency era was a very short period of time after the Georgian period but before  the Victorian era.  From Beau Brummel .com the Regency period  came “after the Georgian time of powdered wigs and gaudy satins, but before the Victorian  time of dull, straitlaced staidness. Some say that when Victoria took the throne, she was fed up with the loose  morals and hedonistic behavior which had characterized the Regency. The Regency Era, generally c1790-1820, was  indeed a time of undiluted pleasure-seeking and over-indulgence.”  In 1811  King George III (the “mad” king) was deemed unfit to rule England and his son ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent until 1820.

Straw bonnet

Straw bonnets existed in both the Regency and Victorian eras, however I was reading a website that suggested that the Regency ones were a little smaller and more restrained.  I have yet to do the research to back this up… but it felt appropriate to put this hat style in here all the same…

Bonnet from Lily of the Valley designs - gorgeous!

I first thought about making this style because of one of mum’s doll books – there’s a pattern for one in one of the books, and of all the other hats, it somehow appealed to me.  I also love the Elegant Gothic Lolita/etc fashions using the bonnets (albeit often in velvet rather than straw) and I then found a little tutorial on the Lily of the Valley blog (a Mori (forest) – girl/EGL/etc designer) for a straw Spoon Bonnet.

This bonnet has basically a pillbox frame for the crown, and then a shaped straw brim, which is possibly the nicest version of this that I’ve seen.  This was obviously a LOT more work than just taking a straw hat and cutting it apart and gluing on some trim, and I really respect the work she’s put into it.

Bonnet from the EGL hat competition.

In her post, she also refers to the contest she entered this hat into, and that led me to this hat from the EGL LiveJournal group.  I don’t love the colours, but I love the method of trimming this hat – both inside and outside of the brim.  I would really like to do something similar to this with a bonnet (although I really do prefer it lined with the white lace rather than the self-fabric.

Stovepipe bonnet from the Oregon Regency Society

I also really like the stovepipe bonnets shown on the Oregon Regency Society page – there are some beautiful versions – though I think that the stovepipe might be a bit TOO tall for me – a bit too costume for my liking.  (Not that I have ANY problem with costume… but I’m thinking I want something a bit more wearable…)

So.. really the biggest question here is if I want it to be a straw hat… or if I want it to be a buckram hat, covered in fabric.   Since we do have a straw portion of our class coming up, and I don’t really have any other ideas for straws, it might be really nice to try this in straw….

There is also the soft-poke bonnet, where the crown is replaced/covered with a puffy pillow of poofy fabric – but I’m not as attracted to this style right now….

Status – nothing so far

Victorian style hats

Of course, with my desire for more things Steampunk, and my love of Victorian and Neo-Victorian fashion.. I can’t ignore Victorian-influenced hats in my wish list!

Mini Victorian Riding Hat

Victorian mini riding hat from Ms. Purdy's

Along with the mini (almost 3/4) Tricorn, I think that the same form would make for a really nice mini riding hat as well.  Basically I think it will take on a Derby shape, but I foresee it being highly embellished.  I found a photo of something similar to what I have in mind on the Ms Purdy hat site, in green.  However, the photo isn’t really good for showing how the hat is constructed, so there’s also this brown version worth taking a look at just to see how the actual hat looks beneath all of the decoration.

Brown version from Ms Purdy's. Click for larger version

Status – buckram blocked

Curved riding top hat

Another style I’m interested in is a top hat with a very high “curve”.  I’ve seen this style repeatedly from one of the milliners I follow, and an example can be seen here.  That being said, I am not putting this style at the top of my list at all.

Edwardian Hat

Screenshot from the movie Titanic

Portrait/cartweel brimmed hat

Basically a hat with a huge brim.  The instructor said that everyone will probably want to do something with a large brim, so she’s ready for us… haha.  She mentioned that these large brims often require a wire framework as well – that often just buckram can’t support the weight/shape of a wide brim.  Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten there yet to get more information about how wide is ‘wide’ and how to create that wire framework.

I’m thinking of something along the lines of the hat Rose wore while boarding the Titanic (erm.. in the movie…) or photos I’ve seen of Audrey Hepburn from My Fair Lady (as Eliza Doolittle). (Another movie I’ve never seen…)

I’m also thinking of this with a very ‘poofy’ crown as well, though I haven’t really seen much that speaks to me yet as an example.
Status: Mid November –  I’ve made the base of the crown, and have wired the brim so far.

1920’s hat


Angelina Jolie in a cute cloche

One of the hats we’ll be making in class (remember, this is a scheduled post!) is a cloche, presumably in felt.  I wasn’t too thrilled about making a cloche, since again, I don’t know if it will be something that’s flattering to my face.  To the left is a shot of Angelina Jolie from the movie The Changeling. The shot is from the Beauty Cent website.   I don’t know if I have ever actually worn a cloche – they seem very fitted, and it’s possible that any I’ve ever tried have been too small…

So, when our instructor said that we would be doing a cloche, I was somewhat uninspired – but that was until I wandered onto the BJD Magazine blog.  (Ball Jointed Doll)  I don’t even remember how I found myself on the website, but there was a tutorial for a cloche for dolls – but really it’s the shape that I love, and the embellishment!  I am not entirely sure how I can translate some of these embellishments to human-size, but I’m a lot more inspired now!  I love the oversized look of the cloche too – much less form-fitting – and thus I like the shape a lot better.

Ball-Jointed Doll in a cloche

Another cloche example

Even the traditional cloche shapes, embellished in the same way, I really like!  I think the really large flow-y bell would also be much more flattering than the typical head-hugging style.

There are also a few examples of nice cloches on the Victorian Trading company website.

Status – haven’t started in any way yet.

Glamourous 1940s asymmetrical hat
Vogue photo from The Fedora Lounge

Years ago Vogue patterns came out with patterns for 1940’s style hats, and I loved them.  Unfortunately, without access (at that time) to real wool felt, nor the skill to steam and shape them – I pretty much gave up on the idea.  Hopefully throughout the class though I’ll be able to create something in this vein… really though at this point I have no ideas.

Status: nothing so far

1950’s Pillbox hats

I’m not actually a huge fan of pillbox hats, but since this is the first style we’ve explored in class, I’ve begun thinking of ways to adapt the style that would work for me. I’ve also thought about how the basic construction could be adapted for different styles.

Pillbox Facinator
mini pillbox from Kaboodle

I think it would be interesting to make a mini-pillbox facinator like this one.  I really like the buttons/buttonholes on this one too!

Another cool style is from Topsy Turvy Designs.

This Next also has a mini pillbox, but it’s been titled incorrectly.

Status: I have a pre-made hat form that I might use for this instead of making my own, though I haven’t gone much further.

Shaped Pillbox

It might not be really a pillbox when I’m done with it – but the basic construction is what I have in mind rather than the shape.

I can’t find any photos of what I have in mind yet, but it’s more of a facinator than a hat (it will need a clip or a comb to stay in place I think) but I have something in my head and the best description I can think of is “shaped pillbox”… for now.

Status: Mid-November… DONE! whoohoo!  I’ll have posts soon!

Modern interpretations

Feminine Top Hat

Bridal top hat from Suite 101

Another style that interests me is doing a modern, feminine interpretation of the classic top hat.  I have a few mini-top hat facinators (one I made, two I bought) but all are black.  Black is very wearable of course, but I keep thinking that something more colourful might be interesting as well.  I also have one (possibly vintage – I purchased it in a vintage clothing shop) men’s top hat. (Also in classic black.)  However, while going through the web, I found this photo to the left of a white top hat with netting/veiling, lots of flowers, and an asymmetrically shaped brim.  Lovely!

While I don’t think I want anything so bridal…I really do love the shape, the size, the adornments… everything except the colour! I can really see this in a wine or burgundy… maybe even a navy blue…

From the Victorian Trading company;

Status: nothing so far

Elegant Gothic Lolita mini-crown

MIni Crowns from the Enfant de Peche blog.

It’s been on my wish list for a while, but I’d also really like to make a mini-crown.  I don’t know who made these ones, but I found them on the Enfant de Peche blog. I don’t know if I can really even count these as hats… but let’s just roll with it anyways!

I love these ones in leather, and I saw one on Style Hive with fur trim at the bottom that I liked as well (the fur trim, not necessarily the whole crown).

Funny enough, I saw some REALLY similar as Xmas ornaments not too long ago.. (But I didn’t get them, because they were made really cheaply, and were a bit too small.)

Status: nothing so far

British eras

Georgian era c.1714-1830
Regency era c.1811-1820
Victorian era c.1837-1901
Edwardian era c.1901-1910
WW I 1914-1918
Interwar period 1918-1939
World War II 1939-1945

Yep… sometimes the eras overlap…