Monday, November 19, 2012

Hive Workshops Fall 2012 - Winter 2013

We're pleased to announce the workshops for the upcoming Hive season

Bed Gown
Sunday, December 2, 2012
You will be constructing a lined bed gown patterned from an original in the collection of the Manchester City Galleries in England.  The cost of the workshop includes a kit that contains pre-cut fashion fabric, lining, and thread. You will have a choice of fabrics. 
Fee: $125 - $150 Depending on fabric selection (includes all materials) 
Instructors: Hallie Larkin & Steph Smith
To register:
Location: Golden Ball Tavern, Weston MA

English Gown
Saturday, January 5 & Saturday, January 12, 2013
You will be constructing a hand sewn stomacher front / en fourreau back gown based on a period example and constructed in a period manner. This gown is correct style for women reenacting a period of 1760–1780. By the end of the weekend, your gown should be substantially completed.
Fee: $150 (includes bodice and sleeve lining)
Instructors: Hallie Larkin & Steph Smith
To register:
Location: Minute Man National Historical Park

 Quilted Petticoat
Saturday, January 19, 2013
We’ll take you through the steps of making a quilted petticoat as we build one together. You’ll also practice all the elements on a miniature quilt of your own that you will have for future reference.  We will also look at an original and discuss materials options and sources.  
Fee: $60
Instructors: Hallie Larkin & Steph Smith
To register:
Location: Minute Man National Historical Park

Making Drawers
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Make a pair of drawers – a garment worn under breeches. Mentioned in tailors' account books, advertisements and runaway ads, drawers were frequently worn by New England men and were made in linen, dimity, cotton, wool, and leather.  Reproduce a linen pair  - you’ll thank yourself at the next cold and damp reenactment! 
Fee: $50  (Materials not included)
Instructor: Henry Cooke
To register contact:
Location: Minute Man National Historical Park 

Original Garments: A Closer Look
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Take an up close and personal look at a collection of original garments and accessories. We’ll show you construction details, let you take a closer look at materials used to construct these garments, and learn some dress maker/tailor’s tricks.  See some amazing artifacts from coats, breeches, embroidered waistcoats, to a variety of gowns and accessories, including some brand new acquisitions!
$40/person for men’s clothing
$40/person for women’s clothing

Women’s Clothing 10 am – 12:00 pm
Men’s Clothing 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
To register: hive
Location: Minute Man National Historical Park

Making a Bandbox
Saturday, January 19, 2012
 You will learn how to make a period bandbox. The one you will be making is perfect for use as a sewing kit.  You’ll learn about period pieces and their use, while making your own during this one-day workshop. Fee includes all materials.
Fee: $40 
To register:
Instructor: Emily Murphy
Location: Minute Man National Historical Park

Cloaks: Men’s & Women’s
January 5, 2013
Period account books, diaries, and advertisements include many references to cloaks, plus there are numerous examples surviving in New England collections.  You will be making either a man’s or woman’s cloak, each is based on an original.  Not hard to make, if you have the space and a little sewing talent, this is a terrific project for the novice sewer!
Instructor: Henry Cooke
Fee: $50 (Materials not included)
To register contact:
Location: Minute Man National Historical Park

Leather Breeches
Saturday & Sunday, February 23 & 24, 2013
Leather breeches were perhaps the most universal garment in the 18th century male wardrobe; from Royal Governors to slaves in the fields, these durable and comfortable breeches were the blue jeans of their time. Join Jay Howlett and Jan Tilley from Williamsburg, VA for an intensive and very hands-on exploration of the arts and mysteries of the breeches maker. Participants will receive all materials and notions to cut and fit a pair of buckskin breeches.

This is an advanced level workshop requiring good hand sewing skills. Participation is limited to 8 to allow the individual attention requisite for proper cutting and fitting. Those sewing for someone other than themselves will need to have the wearer attend for parts of the workshop. Deadline for registration: January 15th.
Fee: $400 (includes materials)Instructors: Jay Howlett & Jan Tilley
To register contact: 
Location: Minute Man National Historical Park

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The English Bedgown

The English bedgown is the perfect article of 18th century clothing for the beginning reenactor and an essential component in the wardrobe of the more experienced.  The bedgown can be simple and humble, made out of practical linsey woolsey or quilted of white silk for the elite.  Worn for lying in, warmth, work or running away this loosely fitting garment has limited survivability for study.  One can speculate that they do not survive because they were well worn and not beautiful (always a killer), and often constructed of fabrics with an aftermarket value such as linen.

First some questions. What is a bedgown? How is the English bedgown different from the French version and why do we care?  What are the fabrics we should use?  How should a bedgown be worn?

Not to open the can of worms of semantics and the controversy of the short gown vs bedgown, one can safely say the bedgown is an upper body garment that is not tight to the torso. (How is that for a conservative statement!)  It has sleeves, and is front opening.  It can be long, so one can then assume it can be short.

"a long callicoe bedgown"
Pennsylvania Gazette, October 30, 1766

"a short Stuff bedgown, of a purple cast"
Pennsylvania Gazette, January 22, 1745

The four English bedgowns that I have examined in person vary in length from garment to garment, so we should make few definite judgments based on this small sample but there were differences. The range of length of those particular garments varied from 27 1/2 inches to 34 inches.   A swing of 7 inches.  Is that enough to differentiate between a long and a short version of a bedgown?  I don't know, but my guesstimation is no.  The length difference would need to be very visible in order to merit a notation in an advertisement.

The bedgown that is the inspiration for many reproductions today is based on the diagramed version in M. Garsault's, L' art du tailleur.  The French version is boxy when laid out, with a center back pleat and side pleats.   The top of the body and sleeves are in the shape of a T.

You can see the fullness over the hips (Fig 12) and the pleat at center back (Fig 8).   This diagram has been the blueprint for most 18th century bedgowns in the re-enacting community because Kathleen Kannik has meticulously interpreted M. Garsault's diagram and published a pattern.

Kannik's Korner

A good pattern (the collar is tricky), it makes up into a nice bedgown. But keep in mind it is French.  In New England shouldn't our bedgowns follow the English style?  So what does the English version look like?

Next post!