Oh, I would so love to do this….!

I found a TV show on YouTube that I would have dearly loved to star in!  I’ll be watching this again as I recuperate from my surgery.

It is a British show and it is called the 1900 House.  A Victorian home was restored to its original state and a modern family moved into it and attempted to live in it as Victorian’s would.  It is really quite good but I have only two gripes with it.  The family should have gotten more training because one of their greatest difficulty is trying to figure out how to do things.  A Victorian woman would have been taught from youth how to do laundry and cook edible food on a coal-burning stove.  The other gripe was the fact that two of the family members suffered from boredom and isolation.  If there was at least one other family doing this project, they could be visiting amongst each other as a normal Victorian family would. Other than that I would LOVE to do that.  Unfortunately, I do not have a family that would LOVE TO DO THAT WITH ME.

I hope you enjoy.

Was this a special occasion?

Last weeks couple was in their 40s.  This weeks couple looks to be 20 (lady) to 30 (gent).  Was this a wedding photo?

Very nice looking couple!

Photographs were a serious affair for most folks in those days so the facial expression was usually serious .  With that in mind, the lady is practically grinning ear to ear!  Ok, so she is suppressing the urge to grin from ear to ear.  The sentimental fool in me says this is a wedding photo and this girl is very pleased with her lot in life!  And I hope this pleasure continued through out her days.

To date this card by the woman’s clothes I’d say 1880s.  She has a definite bustle on the back of that skirt and though it isn’t clear, she looks like she has the curly bangs that were popular in the 1880s.  I am in love with all those buttons!  I count 16 buttons on one side and it looks like the other side is made to match.  There may be more buttons under her hand.  There is ribbon going down the front of her skirt and an asymmetrically placed oval brooch.  What color would you guess the dress to be?  I hope is was a rich blue or green and not a somber brown!

The photographers stamp reads, “Benedetti & Co, Court Photographers Rye Lane SE.  When I googled that I found this.  It basically gave me the first name of Benedetti (Gustavo) and the street number on Rye Lane (78) and that it is in London.

When I googled Gustavo Benedetti (how romantic is that name!) I got this page (same web site as above).  If I read this correctly, this studio was on that site from 1884-1901 but they did not include the street number on their stuff until after 1888.  So if I have it figured out right, this couple had their photo done between 1884 and 1888.


Sewing progress.

Well, I go under the knife today.  I wont bore you with the details.  It’s not serious but I may be out of blogging commission for a bit.  I’m writing a weeks worth of posts ahead of time and scheduling them to come up on their own.  After that I should be back on “live”.  If I fail to return I likely have not died but am just being a crabby ol’ baby.

During the Victoria Day weekend I finished the reticule I was making for my 1890s summer ensemble and I posted those pictures.  I also finished the under skirt for it.  I had considered making it as a separate slip which would have several advantages-it would be easy to sew, allow for changing the skirts appearance by using a different colored under skirt, and allow me to use this under skirt for other projects.  The other option was to sew it directly to the skirt  saving me some material and cutting down on the bulk around my already bulky gut.  I went with option two but now I am wishing I had gone with the first.  It was a lot of work sewing that thing to the under side of the striped skirt.  Ah, well, I didn’t weld it together so I could remove it and rework it if I felt so inclined. 

I love the color combo very much!

I’m not sure if I didn’t make those slits wide enough or if the problem is the weight of the outer fabric.  You see, I had to pull the under skirt through the slit with my hands to get it to show for the photo.  If I didn’t do that, the slits completely close up and you can’t see the under skirt at all.  I haven’t tried it on myself yet.  Perhaps it will do what it is supposed to do when I am walking and sitting.  I’ll pretend it is sexier if it is completely hidden when I am standing and it only shows when I walk and sit.  But drat it all!  Those freaking pleats took forever!  I want them to show!

Come on out little pleats!

I may try wearing more than one petticoat to see if that helps hold the slits open more-especially in that back, which doesn’t just close, it completely collapses in on itself.

Millennium Centre

The Millennium Centre started its life in Winnipeg in 1911, as the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Now it is used as banquet hall (mainly for weddings).

The Millennium Centre’s main Celebration Hall has a 52 foot stained glass ceiling dome, as swell as the original marble walls, columns and floors.

The Canadian Costume Museum stores its artifacts in the bank’s old vaults.  Sunday afternoon, there is an Open Door event (many older buildings in town are opening up their doors to the public for tours) and the Centre is showing off its archetecture to curious people (who will hopefully one day book the venue) and the Canadian Costume Museum is showing off some of its prizes.  Because the building is frequently rented out for weddings, the CCM is displaying wedding dresses.  My team and I spent the afternoon dressing mannequins in wedding dresses from the 1830s to 1890s.  There were two other teams doing the earlier 1900s and the later 1900s.

I was in my glory!  I was so thrilled that I did not mind spending half a day in an old vault that is being renovated.  The lights were disconnected so I was working with a trouble light!  Not the best lighting I must say.  I was allowed to take photos which I hope I will be given permission to post here.  (If I do get permission to post the photos I will start doling them out one dress at a time in a couple of weeks.)

Sunday morning I will be going back to move the dresses up the stairs to the main room and to steam the wrinkles out of them.  I’m hoping that in better light and wrinkle free, my photos will be even better.  Then later on in the day some of my family will be coming to see the display.  My step father used to bank in the building when it was still a bank and he is hoping to get in to see it.  I hope he will get past the main room but with the renos going on I don’t think he will.

So that was my happy day.  I hope your day was good too!

Alice has given permission…

Shirley asked her sister, Alice if I could post her photos here and she has agreed.  So here we go.  As you recall Shirley made her sisters outfit.

The museum staff were very nice to us…allowing libertys that I don’t think are very normal….

They let us sit on the antiques and go right into barred off rooms.

Love the “real” poke bonnet on the bed!

Here is one of Alice and I together.

One of the museum staff agreed to pose with us in the house.

Now here is the very best photo of the whole day.  It was actually taken by a staff person who’s job it was to go around and take photos of the event and get releases signed for future advertisements…we could be stars some day!

A fellow in the photo adds to it doesn’t it…makes it look more real.

Queen Victoria’s Tea

The Lower Fort Garry (an original fort-not a reproduction) hosted its annual tea in honor of Queen Victoria’s Birthday.  My buddy “Shirley A. Victorian”, Shirley’s sister, and myself dressed up for the occasion.  The Fort was built in the 1850s and so that was our theme for our outfits.  Shirley’s sister was dressed in an outfit made by Shirley.

I do not actually have permission from the sister to throw her photos out into the wild blue yonder so I will refrain from using face shots of her but I will assume that the permission I got from Shirley last time, carries over to this time.

Wanna know what got me thinking a shot of whiskey might be better than a cuppa tea?

When I first arrived at the fort, I felt something odd across my legs….

“Oh, crap! My hoops just fell off!”

Had to go behind a wall and a bush….

And Shirley’s sister had to “reapply” my hoops!

Mercifly, I decided to don some modern undies under my split drawers or I’d be more than a little embarASSed!

This is my favorite photo of just myself…

To bad it is in the basement and not the parlor!

I like it because I have a nice expression on my face and you can see the reticule my mom bought me.  You can also see my very modern camera….

I also like this picture of myself in front of the store.

Is it getting hot out here?

Here is a good one of Shirley and I.

“Shirley…we must keep our porcelain skin protected…”

I take up 3 seats in this dress!

Good Gravy! No snuggling on the porch with a fella in this dress!

It is time to head home….

Time to leave this quaint little world….

And head on back to the modern one….

You can drive in a hoop skirt!

I have two things added to my to do list.  One is to ask Shirley if her sister will give me permission to post photos of her face to the world because there is a really awesome one of the three of us!

The second thing is to shorten my petticoat and skirt by about 2 inches because I nearly killed myself walking in those things.  They worked fine on flooring-gliding along nicely.  But on brick, gravel, grass, rough wood….they clung to the surface and I ended walking on them.  I was having enough trouble managing my fan, bag and parasol without having to haul my skirts around by hand too!

Faded cabinet card.

My next offering for cabinet cards came from eBay.  It is faded but you can still make out the details nicely.

A 40ish year old couple.

Not much to go on here for dating.  The hair style on the wife is quite severe (I think she would be pretty if she had a more relaxed style!)  The severe styles for day wear seem to be prior to the 80s when curly bangs came in.  Being an older woman though, she may have gone for something practical and more in style when she was younger.  We can’t see the back so it is hard to tell if there is a bustle on her dress.  She doesn’t have the monster sleeves from the 90s or the drop shoulder seam from the 60s and 70s.  My guess is this is an 1880s photo and she has chosen a style that she wore when younger in the 60s or 70s.

There is a photographers stamp on the back.

R. RobertsWillson 116 Walworth Road London SE. Established 1865.

Well, now we know the card is not older than 1865.  According to cabinet card dating sites, there are 3 things that date this as an 80’s card.  1) The color of the back (red) is different from the color for the front (green). 2) The photographers stamp takes up the entire back of the card. 3) The stamp is in gold ink, which was popular in the late 80s.

I looked up the photographer on my favorite site for British photographer information~Watch the Birdie.  But, there wasn’t any dating information there.  And the few other sites I’ve been to can’t seem to help out either.

So here is my guess.  This is a middle aged married couple from London in the 1880s-most likely the late 80s.