A Summer Walk with CHARLOTTE, an 18th-Century Over-Dress in Toffee Linen

Recreating the clothes of 18th-century peasant women


The 18th-century clothing models that I create at Atelier Serraspina do not pretend to reproduce the magnificent dresses of the ladies of the court of Versailles. On the contrary, I set my creations in the 18th-century countryside. I imagine that these dresses could have been worn by peasant women or humble city dwellers of the Age of Enlightenment.

 

A Summer Walk with CHARLOTTE, an 18th-Century Over-Dress in Toffee Linen

 

The materials I choose for my creations, linen and wool, sometimes a little cotton, point precisely towards this objective. I like to create simple, solid 18th century clothes that were often passed from generation to generation. To buy a new dress was often a luxury that the peasant women could not afford. But linen, a strong material, allowed them to reuse their sisters' clothes, their mothers, or their grandmothers for a long time.

A Summer Walk with CHARLOTTE, an 18th-Century Over-Dress in Toffee Linen


Charlotte in toffee linen

This morning walk along the irrigation ditch of the Pobleta de Bellvehí was an excellent opportunity to wear the CHARLOTTE model in toffee linen over a steel blue linen petticoat.

A Summer Walk with CHARLOTTE, an 18th-Century Over-Dress in Toffee Linen


CHARLOTTE is a dress coat or mantua from the 18th century that is put on directly over the corset and fixed with lace on the front part. Wide-open, it makes the most of the petticoat. I chose for the occasion a color that contrasts sharply with brown. This combination of blue and brown is the Outlander tartan of my shawl. It was still hot that day, so I also planned a thinner linen shawl with large gray and blue checks since it was late summer.

A Summer Walk with CHARLOTTE, an 18th-Century Over-Dress in Toffee Linen
A very peasant shift

A Summer Walk with CHARLOTTE, an 18th-Century Over-Dress in Toffee Linen
Until now, I mainly had sewn cotton batiste shirts, like the ones of the SOPHIE pattern. Very thin, they are also delightful to wear. But I decided to innovate and create a linen 18th-century shift whose color would evoke waste. That's how EMILIE was born in sand-colored linen gauze. There is no ornamentation here: it's a simple long-sleeved shirt, adjustable at the neck and wrists with a simple linen cord.

 

“There is nothing new except what has been forgotten- This quote was
said by Rose Bertin when Marie Antoinette approved a dress Mademoiselle
Bertin had refashioned for her.”

Rose Bertin