WIP: Madeleine Part 3 Plus Fashion Research

Pattern pieces for Madeleine’s head and ear in four different sizes.

Madeleine’s pattern is set enough that it’s time to start trying out different sizes for her. Consequently, I took a clean set of the pattern pieces to the local Staples yesterday and used a copier to size them up. Starting in the upper left corner of the photo above and moving clockwise they are: current size of about 14 inches head to toe, sized up 115% to about 16 inches total, sized up 145% to about 20 inches total, sized up 130% to about 18 inches total.

I am thinking Madeleine will end up being either 16 or 18 inches in total height, and I will use the 20 inches total pattern as the basis for her male counterpart, Charles Frederick. Charles Frederick is named for Charles Frederick Worth, founder of the House of Worth in Paris in the 1850’s, which popularized the business model for haute couture that still exists today.

In the continuing fashion research, I have found Janet Arnold and her fabulous “Patterns of Fashion” books. She was a British clothing historian and costume designer who researched existing examples of historical clothing and produced four books (the last was finished by colleagues after Arnold’s death in 1998) which include scale patterns based on some of those examples. Since I’m planning on a “Pride and Prejudice” look for Madeleine’s first outfit, I’ve been concentrating on that era, although Arnold’s books span the history of English clothing from the mid-16th through the mid-20th century.

Sketch of early 19th century morning dress from Janet Arnold’s “Patterns of Fashion 1”

Scale pattern for the morning dress from Janet Arnold’s “Patterns of Fashion 1”

Finally, I’ve been looking at Spoonflower, which offers a print on demand service for custom fabrics. Just in case I can’t find an appropriately scaled sprigged muslin for Madeleine’s Regency-era dress and I need to design my own.

Busy, busy, busy.

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