Posts Tagged ‘18th C’

Europe Part II: 18th Century Ball at the Palace of Versailles

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

You people. You PEOPLE! I know that this happened months ago, but I am only now getting around to writing about it. I wish I could say that the delay was because it was so absolutely magnificent (which it was), but in truth, I simply haven’t had a moment to dedicate to writing about this most excellent of events. As fortune turns out, the lovely and sublime Sarah Lorraine, featured in the picture below (and a total heartbreaker, as you can see) has written up an excellent post on the topic, and I highly recommend you visit her site, as well as watch the video of Jason Schwartzman hosting Cribs at Versailles.

This has been a fantasy of ours for quite some time, though the Palace of Versailles does not normally allow costumed guests on their premises. Here, everyone was required to dress the part, and what a spectacle we made of it.

18th Century Mens Shoes – a la Garsault

Friday, May 13th, 2016

In preparation for an amazing trip (of which you will hear more about soon), I worked up a new pair of 18th century shoes. Similar to the ones I worked up a while back, these ones were actually for me! The basic pattern was similar, but I must note that as it had been over two years since I worked on that past pair, I made some rather newbie-type mistakes. I must also preface it by saying that I visited several museums just weeks after finishing this pair, and as is always the case, one discovers so many things that were done incorrectly. Refer to the original source material in all things! In any event, they look decent enough, though I can’t wait to get my hands on a couple of weeks to make another pair for myself, an even better pair.

One thing about this piece is that I attempted it in a manner consistent with what is described in Garsault’s 1767 work, the Art of the Shoemaker, translated and annotated by the master cordwainer Al Saguto at Williamsburg (available here).


1780s Shoes – Finished Products!

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

I promise to write this up into an official lesson, but there is simply so much to tell that it’s a bit daunting for me! I will get it written up at some point. I learned an incredible amount on these shoes, and although I do plan to make another pair at some point soon, I think that these are of sufficient quality to present here. In truth, they knock the socks off of my Lesson 5, and I’m far more pleased with them. The upper leather is black waxed calf from Dickens Brothers, one of the oldest leather merchants in the UK. Further, it is precisely what the shoemakers in Colonial Williamsburg use. The insole, rand, and outsole leather is from Joh. Rendenbach. Both leathers were an absolute pleasure to work with.

The buckles themselves are actual antique 18th century silver buckles. These buckles are neat in that they are “clasp” buckles, where a small button is pressed and the actual strap attachment hinges out of the buckle proper. Then, once the shoe is buckled, the silver portion is clicked back in to place. Quite neat!

1780s Shoes – Teaser Pics

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

I’ve been hard at work on a pair of 1780s shoes – I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you, but I thought that you deserved a teaser pic, at least! I’m modeling these on an old sample shoe that I was incredibly fortunate to get from one of the shoemakers at Colonial Williamsburg. These teaser pictures show the inside and outside strap closing stitches, at a modest 10 stitches per inch, just about what the sample shoe was measured at. This has been, by far, the most challenging piece for me to date, and I’ve learned an incredible amount over the past couple of weeks. As always, you also find our exactly how far you have yet to go, but if one never starts the process, one never improves. I look forward to writing up the actual lessons!