FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Outline the story …
To start with, I had no heating for several days this winter and that was quite uncomfortable. And I started my journey in discovering how people of the past solved their everyday issues. Sleeping in the cold in particular. They had hot water bottles, long night shirts and caps. So, I had to make myself at least one shirt, one cap and get a hot water bottle.
I was inspired by old stories and tales that described people wearing night shirts. I decided to make something based on 18th century clothes - why should it not be someone who could listen or tell the tale? - before going to bed. Or take a night watch - like old Anton, from H. C. Andersen tales. So, I decided old Anton to be the guiding persona of this work. I do not pretend this to be historical accurate, but I suppose this to be an 18th century stylisation. Well, I use it. It warms me - and I am totally happy.
Outline the construction…
Both shirt and cap are made of white linen. Four thread buttons are made of the same waxed linen thread that was used for sewing the shirt and the cap. I handstitched all seams, except for long side seams in the body of the shirt and long straight seams on the sleeves of the shirt. I used auction items as reference and museum items, in particular a night shirt that belonged to the Russian tsar Paul. The most challenging was to make a frill on the front. It had to be nicely hemmed - and it took so long - almost two evenings.