Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Serendipity Strikes

So I've been debating about whether I was going to try the Historical Sew Fortnightly this year, especially since its one project a month, rather than two.  But it's already almost halfway through January, so I needed to make a decision soon.

But I also wanted to pursue the Tang Dynasty project and the January HSF challenge was foundations. I am still waiting for 5000 Years of Asian Costume to arrive, so I googled "Tang Dynasty Undergarments" on a lark.

And I found the most amazing blog: Dressed Up Dreams.  It is alas, mostly dormant now, but was a wealth of research on Tang Dynasty costumes.  (The blogger seems to be from Singapore and fluent in Chinese and English, and used sources from the original Chinese, which is absolutely invaluable, since my Chinese is verbal only and limited to simple phrases like: "thank you" and "no more thank you, I'm full")

In a nutshell, this lovely blogger has done all the research I need to not only get started on the Tang project,but also start work on the first HSF challenge!  The strapless part of a Tang noble lady's ensemble is called a Hezi and it was first worn by Imperial Consort Yang, when she used a piece of embroidered cloth to cover scratches her lover had made.  Other court ladies adopted the look and by the later part of the Tang Dynasty, the hezi was a standard garment.  Don't you love trend setters!

(pictures are from Dressed Up Dreams research.  The link to the original article in Chinese did not appear to be working.  I am unable to provide more accurate  attribution to the original source, but will be happy to do so if someone can direct me to it)

Now I just need to work on drafting a pattern based on Dressed's research, getting it to fit *wince* and then deciding what fabric to use and making the Hezi,

Much more to come in the coming days, but I am delighted to have "completed" my research for the project in one fell swoop.  I am off to bed to have Chinese brocade dreams.!

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