The bodice of
a gown has always provided one of the most spectacular settings
for displaying imposing jewelry. For a lady, getting dressed
in the mid 1700's was an adventure. She had to think ahead and
usually needed the help of a servant. The lady would prepare
herself for being dressed by having her hair finished, her shift
(short day/night dress), cap, earrings, stockings, garters and
shoes on, in preparation for the stays being laced around her.
This, she could not do herself as they usually laced up the back.
Stays were made from multiple layers of fabric that were quilted
together leaving vertical channels. The channels held either
strips of chair cane or baleen for support. Once laced around
the body, they offered the smooth, conical body shape, popular
of the time.
a lot of gowns, the next layer would have been the addition of
panniers. Panniers were tied around the waist and changed the
width of the wearer's hips. These shaped cages were made from
layers of fabric and chair cane, with musket balls added to the
frame for weight. Then came a series of petticoats with the last
petticoat being the most decorative. Tied around the waist, their
number would depend on how your wealth.
A stomacher was
then pinned over the top of the stays, for beauty and to hide
the stays from view. This item was usually highly decorated with
embroidery, pearls and trims. A stomacher was a long triangular
shaped piece, stiffened with multiple layers of fabric. The gowns
bodice would then be placed on the lady, pulled really tight
around the body and laced, over the top or underneath the stomacher
then pinned or sewn into place.
If the lady was
dressed appropriately for a formal occasion, her servant would
then pin or sew one or more bodice ornaments to the front of
her stomacher. These elaborate bodice ornaments were large, stone-encrusted
pieces that were made of gold. Shaped to cover the upper edge
of the stomacher, most surviving examples are works of art. The
ornaments were usually made of open filigree work masterfully
done in gold, set with diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones.
The lady was just about ready, with finishing touches depending
on fashion. But at this point she was resplendent!
bodice ornaments that have survived from the 18th century inspired
Milady's Brooch & Pendant Ornament. A trillion shaped stone
is set within Peyote Stitch then layer upon layer of Peyote Stitch
and embellishing techniques make channels, or paths of beadwork,
that hold small pearls and CZs set in fine metal settings. The
edges are finished with a stylized foliage design representing
filigree work. A pearl encrusted dangle adds movement to the
bottom of the ornament. Lavishly set, extremely rich in ornament,
this piece can be a brooch or a pendant. If the wearer chooses
the pendant style, then we will add a shaped bail and slide the
pendant over a simple Peyote Stitch tube with a toggle and loop
closure for a spectacular finish! For those that would prefer
a brooch, we will sew a high quality pin-back to the back of
the beadwork so that you can wear this ornament in 18th century
style. Whatever style of ornament you choose, the kit includes
materials to make a pair of earrings to match the pearl drop
on the ornament.
- Tubular Peyote
stitch (even and odd count) with increasing
- Split circle
techniques for the closure of the necklace
- Flat circular
Peyote stitch with increasing
- Stone setting
You must be very comfortable with Peyote stitch.