27 October, 2011

Fabric swatches from Renaissance.

So, a while back I received the swatches I asked for from Renaissance Fabrics: spring green, peacock blue, copper, and gold-purple.

Clockwise from the left: Spring Green, Peacock Blue,
Gold-purple, and Copper.

I had hoped that the gold-purple would look amazing, but it photographs way better than it looks in person! The gold is more like a greenish-gold, and even though one of my favorite color combinations is green and purple, there's just something that looks wrong. Part of me wants to just make a gown out of it and see if it looks better in larger quantities, but at the same time, I don't want to waste my money if I end up hating it. Looking at the above photo, all of the colors photograph really well--the Peacock blue, top, has much more dimension however and isn't as dark. I think it's probably too dark for my fair skin, and maybe a bit too matronly. I like the copper but I have a lot of pink and blue undertones in my skin and I think it would totally bring those out and just be clash-y. And the spring green is nice, but maybe too light. It feels more like undress than dress to me (but one can never have too many silk undress gowns, especially since there is a big lack of simple silk gowns in the hobby!).

In addition, I don't particularly like the quality of the silk. Compared to the yellow taffeta I have, it just doesn't feel as smooth.

What is a girl to do?!

I need to start planning this gown for January but I'm out of places to look for silks. Burnley & Trowbridge has a beautiful raspberry silk taffeta but I'm thinking I want to go with that color for my garden party dress in August. I definitely need to head out to some brick and mortar stores (thinking of Artee's, especially as I need some good silk thread for both the taffeta and the broadcloths for my short cloaks), as well as call a store in Vermont to see what they have, and see if they can send me some samples. I think Hallie has really instilled in me that quality is always better, even if it costs more!

Coming up on the blog: the finale to all of my pocket posts (yes, it's done!!); more on the linen I'll be buying as lining; the broadcloths I bought from Wm. Booth, Draper for two short cloaks and documenting their creation; and something really exciting: examining an extant full-length cloak at Pilgrim Hall this weekend, and then reproducing it (which includes the search for museum-quality broadcloth in brilliant scarlet red)! Eventually, I'll be documenting the yellow silk gown and my formal gown, including looking for extants to use as inspiration. I know I've got a bunch of other stuff to blog about, both here and over at Crazy Concord Chicks, but I can't remember it all!

Clearly, I'm settling into my routine and my job, so I'll be blogging more! Hooray!


  1. I haven't, but I took a quick peek today at work and OHMIGAWD THE COLORS. Oooooverlooooooad! Have you used them before? How's the quality of the taffeta?

  2. I don't know, I have fairly pale skin and I love wearing colors like that gorgeous peacock blue. Rich, bold colors in general. I just really love it, anyway!

  3. If I could find a purple in that same color family, I would definitely make a gown from that. I'm not a blue person, and it reminds me of the Mercy Otis Warren silk sacque in her portrait by Copley--her's may be a little lighter and is definitely not shot, but she is 35/36 when that's painted. If we're going by the "10 years younger" modern age to 18thc. age, I would be 17 in the 18thc.!

    Modern clothing, I'd definitely wear something like the peacock blue. But I want a youthful color and gown, you know? I don't see that color as being very youthful.