Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mystic Mine Basque

Hurray! Suzie has sent the instructions back, and I've made all the changes! By June 1st, I'll have a brand new pattern printed up and ready to go live!

This is the Mystic Mine Basque, named after a retired gold mine in California, and after my cat, Mystic. A little from the first page:

Style and elegance were critical to the Victorian fashionable mentality. Even middle class women aimed to achieve some sort of panache in their mode of dress, if only with a few ribbons. But the most obtainable part of dress was the style itself.

By the early 1870’s, patterns were available through mail order, and everyday sorts of women’s magazines were publishing pattern supplements in most issues, sometimes in the form of a tiny line drawing of pattern pieces, sometimes as whole – but single sized – patterns. These full sized magazine patterns had the disadvantage of having five or ten patterns on the same sheet of paper, with all of the dashed and dotted lines crossing and crisscrossing like an ancient city’s road map. As insane as these sheets appeared, they made a ghost of high fashion available to all home seamstresses. One of the sources for this pattern is the supplemental pattern sheet in the July 25, 1874 issue of Harper’s Bazar. (They changed the spelling many years later.)

The basque featured in this pattern is an example of an easily available bodice. It has the fashionably pointed front, and the sexy longer drapery at the back. It was stylish for walking, traveling, or as part of a riding habit. With more expensive fabric, it was appropriate for a formal dinner, or even a ball.

This pattern has two variations in the neckline: the standing collar and a square evening gown neckline. The sleeves may be cut three quarter length for reception or dinner wear; or full length for day wear; or they may be left off altogether for evening or ballroom wear. The back pleats may be single or double, wide or narrow. The front may be pointed or cut away, or it may be extended across the bust in an overlap.

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