Resource: The Bartos Collection

Oh my goodness! This is such a cool and huge collection of photographs and fashion plates! Lauren over at American Duchess has been referencing images from the Bartos Collection for awhile now, but I didn’t get a chance to check it out for myself until just recently. It is WONDERFUL!

The collection focuses on the mid-19th century through the early 20th century. There are fashion plates and mounds of period photographs and pictures of extant clothing… If you love historic clothes and hats and hair you MUST VISIT! Here’s the link, again, because you must go visit and drop your jaw with me!

1812 Tailcoat Pattern

I thought I would just quickly share with you this 1812 Tailcoat Pattern. You can find it in the pattern section of Wm. Booth, Draper. The pattern actually has a wider date range on it than strictly 1812: it is listed as a tailcoat pattern 1800-1820. This is the description:

This tailcoat pattern is the first well made civilian tailcoat pattern specific to the first two decades of the 19th century. The pattern comes with three sizes: Medium, Large and XLarge. There are two options for the collar, comprehensive directions and documentation. 


And here is the information about the quantity of fabric needed, etc. (the underlined sections are other items that Wm. Booth, Draper carries):

To make this coat between 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 yards of superfine wool broadcloth or slightly more (to allow for shrinking) linen and about the same amount for a lining of oatmeal 3.7 oz. linen is required. An extra 1/4 yard will be needed for the pocket bags. Notions needed are about 1 1/4 yard linen buckram interfacing, between 6 to 8 5/8″ buttons or button molds, one or two additional buttons that are flat on both top and bottom are recommended for a double breasted coat. For the sleeves 4 to 6 1/2″ optional matching cuff buttons or button molds are needed as is Linen threadof either 50/3 or 35/2 to match the lining and outer fabric. For sewing the button holes you will need one or possibly two spools of quilter’s thread or buttonhole twist that matches the outer fabric.

Reproduction embroidered gown, neat!

From the blog: Diary of a Mantua Maker

I came across this blog post that I just think is so neat! It’s a post showing the method used to create the fabulous embroidery along the hem of this gown. (Hint: it was machine embroidered, not hand embroidered.) I find this is very inspirational, because I do not have the skills or patience necessary to hand embroider a historic garment. You can see more pictures of this gown being worn at a ball at this related blog post.

So I thought that just to give you a little sample of the use of embroidery on historic garments I would include a few pictures. Embroidery has been a very popular method of adorning historic garments of various sorts (undergarments and outer garments) for hundreds of years.

Now, before you look at this pictures below, just think about how long it would take to hand embroider a garment… keep thinking… keep thinking… keep thinking… keep thinking… keep thinking… Ok, now you can look at the pictures!

Late 16th century Italian Blouse at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Detail of the above blouse
1760-1770 Waistcoat at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
c. 1806 Morning Dress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
c. 1806 Morning Dress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A waltzing Zouave?

In my last post (Returning Heroes 1860s Ball 2011) I mentioned that one of my favorite moments of the night was dancing a waltz with a Zouave. First of all, what is a Zouave? Secondly, why would I be dancing a waltz with one at at 1860s ball???

In the 1830s, the French military fighting in North Africa incorporated a tribe of fierce fighters into their ranks. These original soliders were renowned for their skills. In fact, in 1852 the French created three units of Zouaves to be entirely of Frenchmen. These French Zouaves achieved legendary status for themselves during the Crimean War (1854-1855). More detailed information about their involvement can be found in this history of Zouaves (this site also has some great pictures of Zouave regiments). The French Zouaves were quite inspirational to American forces during the American Civil War: both the Confederate and Union armies formed Zouave regiments who wore imitations of the French uniforms.

114th Pennsylvania Infantry (1861-1865)
Zouave Music Sheet 1850-1865

Now we know what a Zouave is. Why would I be dancing with one? Well, the idea of the Returning Heroes Ball is that “Gentlemen in uniforms of both sides of that great conflict are welcome.” So it is perfectly reasonable for a Zouave be dancing alongside the formally clothed men at the ball. Fun!