Showing posts from March, 2019

1790's Spring Tea

Hey everybody. Now that Spring has finally arrived, it's a perfect time to celebrate with the first tea of the spring season.  This past Sunday, I attended my good friend Carolyn's 1790's themed tea party. I have never been to one hosted by The Modern Mantua Maker before, but I'm so glad I made it because it was so much fun. I particularly enjoyed how everything was set up: Food and libations in the dining room, card games in the smaller dining room, and a space for lounging /conversing in the living room; music by Bach, Vivaldi and Handel were playing in the background to give the ambiance of the time period... It was perfect. Plus, everyone present was gorgeously dressed out in the decade between 1790-1800.  Ladies playing "Marrying Mr. Darcy"  Catching up on the latest gossip   Emma and Chelsea in candid conversation  Carol and Ginger donning their pink 1790 and 1800 variants In preparation for this event, I made some chan

Evolution of Black Fashion in the 18th Century

Recently, I came across this article that was floating around on Facebook called "An Indian Chintz Gown: Slavery and Fashion" . It was an amazing story about a beautiful Chintz print gown that was stolen from a woman, and then turned around and was sold to 2 different slaves, one of which was George Washington's slave named Charlotte Judge (aka Ona Judge's sister-in law). The original owner of the dress confronted the new owner Charlotte about the gown when she saw her wearing it in downtown Alexandria, and tried to get it back. Charlotte having paid for the gown fair and square, had augmented the gown the way she wanted it to look; she was a seamstress after all, and was not having any of this woman's lip. Some words were exchanged more than likely, and Charlotte was back on her way to do whatever she needed to do on her day off in Alexandria. But looking closer into the narrative gave me a BIG insight not only to this remarkable woman as far as her tastes in

The Art of the Fan: dyeing with natural pigments

Wanted to try a little experiment this week using some old Tumeric powder I had laying around in the pantry, and one of my sandalwood fans. Given that both subjects are made of natural fibers I speculated that the fan would dye very well in the natural dye bath. However upon my research when it comes to using Tumeric as a dye, the color would eventually fade after a few washes. So the question to keep the color as vibrant as I wanted once the fan was dyed, and how much of the powder to use in order to create the exact pigment I wanted? Turmeric powder  Normally when dying any subject, you want to first soak it in warm water. Given that this was wood and this was my first time staining wood with a food dye, I opted to just use boiling water and let it soak for a good 20 min. I also want to point out that when using Tumeric as a dye, you do not need a mordant; somehow it holds to the subject well on its own. I then drained the hot water out of the dish, and the