Friday, April 5, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly #7 Accessorize - Part 2: 18th C muff cover!

Way back in March of 2011 I went to the Colonial Williamsburg Costume Accessories Symposium.   Like all of the CW symposiums I've been to it was a great learning experience and one of my favorite parts of it was the hands-on muff making class Janea Whitacre of the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop gave.  (Val of Time Traveling in Costume wrote a nice review of the class which you can read here; you can see me in group picture in the front row with the pink muff.)  I made a muff base and cover in that class but have always wanted to make one of the beautiful portrait muffs I'd seen in museum collections like this one:
MFA Boston 1785-1800
So when I saw Katherine of The Fashionable Past had come out with a tutorial for a portrait muff knew it was time to make one!

My muff cover design was inspired by the extant muff above and this one Maggie did, I really liked the pleated trim on the sides of both of these and wanted to add that to mine.  This was a pretty easy project, the base fabric is just a rectangle with a draw string on either end.  I took Katherine's advice and added my trim before stitching the rectangle closed into a tube.  I was lazy and just fused my portrait to another scrap of fabric with stitch witchery then stitched it onto the fabric about 1/8 of an inch from the edge.  I pinked my trim on both sides,  pleated it, then stitched it down about 2 inches from the edge where the drawstrings and then hand sewed the sequins on top of the portrait edge.
 


Fabric:  Ivory Silk Dupioni - not the most historically accurate fabric I know, but it was the only color in the stash that worked with the portrait and was neutral enough to work with most of my costumes.  The portrait is one by Elizabeth Vigee-Le Brun of Madame Grand I found on Wikicommons and uploaded to Spoonflower.  I ordered a swatch of the fabric for $5 and voila!  Added bonus, I have several more Madame Grands I can make into muff covers for friends!  I seem to recall reading somewhere that LeBrun thought Madame Grand exceedingly silly and given I often seem to be making goofy faces and am also a blond I thought it rather apropos.  

Pattern: The muff cover I'd made in the CW workshop I mentioned above.

Year: 1780-1800

Notions: Silk ribbon for drawstrings, copper sequins from Berger Bead, thread

How historically accurate is it?  Not all that accurate given the modern printing, plastic sequins and the fact that I machine sewed all of it save the sequins! 

Hours to complete: 2-3

First worn:  Not yet!

Total cost: $5 for the portrait fabric (plus shipping) all other materials were from the stash.




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