Update from the Atelier- 1-31-2022

To our Patrons-

Sorry for being a little behind but here it is! Our first update from the Atelier- enjoy!!

Karin & Adam

What’s On… A Circa 1890s Walking Suit!

Just a sneak peak at our latest project- a walking suit based on an 1898 pattern originally published in the May 20, 1898 issue of “La Mode Illustree”. For our Aesthete and Modiste Patrons, we’ll be a pattern tracing of my drape which is a 43″ bust, 35″ waist which can be modified to your size. There is NO retail pattern of this in existence outside of the Atelier! Stay tuned for more!


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Starting an 1898 Suit

Finally cutting the aubergine wool for the 1898 suit that I painstakingly drafted from an original La Mode Illustree pattern sheet in late 2021. The skirt is finished, so it’s just this fitted jacket/bodice combo…have to admit, I like a good challenge. Details shared via Patreon, along with swatches and a jacket pattern tracing for our “Aesthete” and “Modiste” levels.


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Modes Robe De Jour Vers 1895

Fashion in the 1890s saw an explosion in dress styles and especially when it came to skirt and jacket combinations. Here’s just one interesting example of a circa 1895 day dress (In some instances, “day dress” and “jacket/skirt combinations” are used somewhat interchangeably.) from the Musée de arts decoratifs Paris :

Day Dress, c. 1895; Musée des Arts Décoratifs (26009 AB)

This dress has an interesting color palette consisting of a light gray silk taffeta bodice combined with darker gray silk velvet sleeves for bodice/jacket; and the same light gray taffeta for the outerskirt and train combined with a red and gold silk brocade underskirt. Even more striking is that the lapels on the bodice/jacket are also in the same red and gold silk brocade- the effect is stunning. Below is a close-up of the bodice:

Here, one can make out the stylized pockets surrounded by gold embroidery. Also, the top of a faux vest in the same red brocade can also be seen with a waist underneath. It’s very likely that  it’s all one unit giving the effect of multiple layers. Here’s a close up of the brocade:

Below are a couple of profile pictures:

Judging from the pictures, it would appear that the outer and inner skirts are really of one unit and represent an interesting evolution of the over/underskirt combination found on later 19th Century styles. Also, while the bustle style had mostly disappeared by the 1890-91, it still lingered on a bit in a more muted form with padding. Finally, here’s a three-quarter rear view that shows off the train:

This is an interesting dress in that it takes the basic walking suit of the 1890s and then takes it a bit further with using contrasting colors to create an over/underskirt style that’s reminiscent of what was more common in the 1880s. Colorwise, we seen the use of analogous colors with the two shades of gray (although they’re technically neutral) and the use of red as a contrast. It’s not a combination that one normally encounters and it definitely stands out. But what’s more interesting is that the dark gray is on a velvet which absorbs light thereby creating a dull luster while the light gray silk taffeta does the opposite.  We hope to come across more interesting examples of this style so stay tuned. 🙂

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