Even though I have no immediate plans to make cloth fingerless mitts, I’m very interested in exploring the possibility of making them, especially since the basic skill, and base pattern, would translate into various periods easily. Over the course of my research for other projects, I’ve found some good images of mitts of this type, and even found some construction information, both in print and online. So I’m using this post to collect that information, and keep track of it as I find it. Hopefully I’ll eventually translate my collected research into making a reproduction pair of mitts!
- Black, J. Anderson, and Madge Garland. A History of Fashion. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1980.
Image: Regency era, early 19th century painting by Ingres of a young woman in a short-sleeved gown worn with very long fingerless mitts, cut with a fairly straight curve across the knuckles, on page 9.
Updated January 12, 2012 – finished object pictures coming soon
This garment was created as part of my 1830s clothing independent study during the spring semester of 2010, and was documented using Chicago style footnoted citations in my research paper “Reproducing and Documenting 1830s Women’s Clothing.” The relevant section has been copied here, complete with footnotes. It has been formatted for this site and hyperlinks have been added, but otherwise it has been left intact, and is therefore written in a more formal and academic style than much of this site, which is designed to be more readily accessible to the public.
(Excerpted from pages 15-17 of my research paper, “Reproducing and Documenting 1830s Women’s Clothing.”)
The second garment, and fourth item, that I reproduced was a pair of pockets, a type of garment common in the eighteenth century, which fell out of use during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, when narrow skirts were in fashion, and which came into use again once skirts regained fullness around the 1820s. A pocket or pair of pockets were worn under the gown, and under at least the outermost petticoat. Referencing the eighteenth century but still relevant later, Linda Baumgarten states that “Pockets fastened around women’s waists with narrow ties made of linen or cotton. Although pockets were hidden beneath the skirt and petticoats, women often decorated them with needlework or piecing.”1 I drew from several sources to create my pair of pockets: the illustrations and directions in The Workwoman’s Guide2, the illustration of and accompanying notes about an extant pair of pair of pockets in Nancy Bradfield’s Costume in Detail: 1730-19303, and the photograph of and information about an extant pieced pocket on the Old Sturbridge Village collection website4. For my fabric, I ordered quilting-weight printed cotton from a reproduction fabric collection, the Pennock Album, circa 1840, available from Windham Fabrics in association with the Chester County Pennsylvania Historical Association. My fabric had a dotted warm tan ground with small, evenly spaced bouquets of burgundy and plum roses. Because I did not have quite enough fabric for the four pieces that needed to be cut out for the pockets, I made the decision to piece one pocket, patchwork-style, similar to the example on the Old Sturbridge Village collection website. For the other pieces, I used a plain light pink-brown cotton cloth, which I also used for the small interior pockets which I added, similar to those in the pocket depicted by Bradfield.
Posted in 1830s Independent Study Spring 2010, 1830s pair of pockets in calico with piecing, 1837-1839 fashion plate ensemble, 18th Century Sewing, 19th Century Sewing
Tagged cotton broadcloth, cotton calico, cotton twill tape, decorative stitching, garment intro posts, hand stitched, piecing, romantic era, Various Accessories