I have decided to set a project for myself for the year. I want to make a complete costume circa 1720. There are a lot of pieces and work involved, not to mention costs.
This is the dress I would like to loosely replicate. It is in the collection of Victoria and Albert Museum. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O13810/mantua-unknown/
It is silver brocaded silk. The V& A says this about the piece: "By the early 18th century, the mantua was worn by women as formal day wear. The pale blue silk of this example is brocaded in silver in a large-scale pattern of fantastic fruits and leaves, a typical design for the 1720s. The train of the gown is folded up and the sides held back with a loop and button. This complicated draping required a reversal of the silk when sewn together, so that only the right side of the fabric would show when properly arranged."
I haven't decided what color I will make my imitation. I think I will just decide when I see the right fabric. It looks like I will need a brocaded fabric and a moiré in the same color.
I ordered a "stays" pattern from Mantua Maker. It should arrive on Monday. I can't wait but I'm sure it will be tons of instructions. No problem!
Here is an example of a 1700s set of stays. This yellow example is French and is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/90404
This is quite a fancy set. It has silver braid all over the front. I think I will make mine more plain so that it could be worn with various costumes I may make.
I will make a Stomacher to match the dress.
Mine won't be as fancy and embroidered as this one. It is an British example. It is also in the Met. http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/156994
There are a few other pieces I will need as well, including a chemise and bloomers for under it all.
First, however, I am finishing the Cinderella costume that I started back in October. The sleeves are complicated, sewn in four or five segments.