Barbara Johnson’s Fashion Book

9 Feb

I have discovered just today something so wonderful and commendable that I decided to share it with you.

Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) lived in England and she was a reverend’s daughter. Barbara kept a detailed diary of fabrics she bought and dresses she made out of them throughout her whole life. She started her ‘fashion diary’ in 1746. when she was just eight years old. Impressive in many ways, her book, now placed in Victoria & Albert Museum, informs us about everyday fashions for ordinary women in the eighteenth and well into the nineteenth century. Information about Queen Charlotte’s wardrobe is widely known but fashions for 18th century middle class Englishwomen aren’t that much.

Not only did Barbara keep a detailed diary about fabrics she bough and the dresses she made but she also described the sewing process. Luckily for us now, Barbara also wrote notes on current hairstyles, accessorize and she posted fashion plates with matching descriptions and her own notations.

Hope you’ll be fascinated as much as I was when I discovered this. How I relished in looking at all the fascinating details and delightful fabric prints! I can’t even describe my happiness, for this will surely serve me well for studying 18th century fashion in England (for example Cathy from Wuthering Heights could have dressed the same way).

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 1

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 2

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 3

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 4

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 8

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 9

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 11

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 10

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 12

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 14

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 15

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 16

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 20

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 27

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 28

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 30

1746-1823 Album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England 30

1753. Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) kept a meticulous diary throughout most of her life of the fabrics she used and details of the garments she made with them 1

1753. Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) kept a meticulous diary throughout most of her life of the fabrics she used and details of the garments she made with them 2

1753. Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) kept a meticulous diary throughout most of her life of the fabrics she used and details of the garments she made with them 3

1813. Barbara Johnson (1738-1825) kept a meticulous diary throughout most of her life of the fabrics she used and details of the garments she made with them

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4 Responses to “Barbara Johnson’s Fashion Book”

  1. christicarterphotography 16th February 2016 at 6:28 pm #

    What a FASCINATING “scrapbook” … thank you so much for putting together this post to show us an amazing glimpse back in time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Byron's Muse 17th February 2016 at 3:34 pm #

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I was fascinated by this scrapbook as well, I had to share it. All the best 🙂

      Like

  2. Elouise 10th May 2016 at 7:07 am #

    Reblogged this on Abstruse Musings and commented:
    Thank you Byrons Muse for posting this- it’s a beautiful reminder of our own ‘material memories’ xx

    Liked by 1 person

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