Monday, June 26, 2006

Jumps Research - Recreating Cries of London 'Strawberries, Scarlet Strawberries'

One of the pictures we found in our jumps research is a Cries of London Mezzotint called 'Strawberries, Scarlet Strawberries'. We poured over this, looking at the details, trying to figure out what is she wearing?

She appears to be wearing a shift, as one would expect from that time, even though it is not always visible. In this case we can see the sleeves. We can see she is wearing a white modesty piece/kerchief over the shift, made of what appears to be a very thin, light weight fabric, tucked into the upper-body brown garment.

We can see that the garment does not cover the bust. It appears to stop below it, and possibly curve around it. We cannot see how the Strawberry seller's garment is attached, nor whether it goes over the shoulders. Could these be jumps?

Going on the fact that a tight fitted garment that is not boned won't stay up, we decided to assume that there is some sort of shoulder aspect to the garment. We created a pattern that is like a tight-fitted vest that instead of covering the bust, goes under it, like the garment in this picture, supporting the bust some on the sides. What basically happens is that the shift is held in place by this garment, the shift then holding and providing support to the bust.

I created a garment from this pattern, did a number of adjustments to the fit, and finally got something I was happy with. It is possible the original laces or hooks behind. For my ease the garment I made laces up the front with a hook and eye at the very top. I need to be able to dress myself, and hooks or lacing behind requires help.

Here is a picture of the final result, noting that the fabrics and colors are nothing like the original, and of couse I'm much older as well. We didn't get the right angle, but I think this photo shows how the jumps fit the body along the sides. The bust edge of the jumps are covered by the blue modesty piece. The shoulder straps curve around where the arm attaches to the shoulder, giving freedom of the movement through the shoulders that is needed to work.

Results: I've found jumps to be extremely comfortable for low-impact work. Just the sorts of work one would expect to be doing most of the time. In fact, they are more comfortable than many modern bras.

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