Do you want to know something….

I have a few odd tendencies and phobias.  I believe I have misophonia which is a condition where certain noises make me crazy.  I hate the sound of people eating corn on the cob and I hate the sound of the word “moisture”.   There are other sounds that bug me but those are the two worst.  And the closer the noise maker is to me the worse I feel.  I’ve kept this oddity to myself because I thought I was the only one and that it was a sign of my immaturity and lack of self-control.  Now that I know there is a name for it, I don’t feel so odd.  Lets imagine Mr Victorian eating corn on the cob and talking about the moisture in the bathroom.  On the outside I appear calm, perhaps even uninterested.  But, on the inside I’ve just punched him in the mouth.

My phobias are fairly common.  I hate snakes and crowded elevators.  Luckily for me, there are not many snakes here so this is not a crippling phobia.  If I need an elevator and it is crowded I can get on (if it ever stalls I’ll go bonkers I’m sure) so again, annoying but not crippling.  I never used to hate bugs but I’m getting a few I dislike.  My son once showed me a photo of a camel spider.  Gross.  Bad son for showing mommy that.  I hate sow bugs, which used to infest the basement of my old house.  I used to have to send my children down there to kill them.  (Bad Mommy, bad mommy).  Today I got one of my worst bug “issues”…a wood tick.  Why, Lord, did you invent those?  Nasty beasts.  It was crawling on my clothing but I have been imagining thousands of them crawling on me ever since.  Nasty beasts.  I have now filled my mind with nasty sounds and images.  I shall enjoy some nightmares this evening

Made up some lost ground!

All those trials with my bodice seem to have been worked out (I hope) and I’ve begun to make progress on my trim! A few more hours of hand sewing and it will be done.  Here is a sneak peek….

I’m so pleased with how it is turning out!

I didn’t spend the whole day parked on the couch sewing.  I did get they puppy out for a trot by the man-made lake.  We saw a pelican.

Geese and their babies were swimming in behind the pelican.

The baby geese are starting to get their adult feathers.

The young ones have the markings but they are less distinct…more grey.

Someone is feeding these guys because as I was standing and taking the photos they started coming for me.

Ginger and the geese hadn’t noticed each other yet. Thought I best move along. Ginger would start chasing them and with young ones, I suspect the parents will stand their ground and beat the crap out of my little fur ball. discretion is the better part of valor as they say.

Happy Friday all.


1862 wedding dress from the Canadian Costume Museum

I’ve been madly sewing because I had the dumb idea of getting a costume done in one week for an event that Shirley and I had only just heard of a couple of weeks ago.  I have 2 completed costumes that I have yet to wear out but I wanted to have a new one for this event.  Dumb or what?

I was making good time until today.  My needle broke and I couldn’t get the new one to work properly.  Wasted an hour until I found another package of needles and they worked like a charm.  Then I had construction issues.  I didn’t make a muslin because A) I rarely do. (My bad.) B) I had already made this bodice and the last time it was snug but wearable so I made this one, one size up.  All good right?  Well, for some reason, in spite of cutting it one size up from the last time, it is one size SMALLER than the last time.  I think what happened is I felt I had some wiggle room so I was less conservative on my seam allowance and because my interlining is much thicker this time it takes up more room.  So I had to take the lining off and resew all the seams a bit smaller and then rip out all the old seams.  (Thank god I had not trimmed the seams yet!)  It is still snug but  I think, if I forgo raising my arms I should be able to wear it.  Me thinks the rushing is not doing me favors!   Tomorrow I hope to finish reattaching the lining, finish the arm holes and put all the hooks and eyes.  That will leave me one day for the fancy trim I’m planning.  Once I show you my inspiration piece you will laugh at my madness!

1899 jacket from the Met

I just want the front bit…not all the stuff on the sleeves and back.  And I will use buttons not knots to hold it shut.  Those buttons may be just decorative.  We shall see how hard this is to pull off….in a day….

Time for another installment from my mannequin dressing stint in May.  Today’s dress is a striped 1862 silk wedding dress.We draped it in the shawl (I believe it was 1840s) because the fabric in the bodice was showing great signs of wear and I found it to be distracting when looking at the shape of the dress.  I was distressed to see it so…well…distressed!

The double poofs are really interesting!

Here is the back view.

If you click on the photo, you should be able to zoom in and see the lovely white on white embroidered bird on the shawl.

Well, that’s all folks.  See ya tomorrow!

1860s carte de visite

I have a CdV of a younger lady from what I believe is the 1860s.

That bell skirt says civil war to me!

The sleeves are quite interesting with the “baggy” elbows.  The low shoulder seam is very 1860s as well.  Her hair is pulled back tightly to the nape of the neck.  I can’t tell if it is a bun or hanging loose.  My guess is a bun.  There is something lighter color on her bodice at the opening.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this lady has the same problem I have with all my bodices…they pull so that you can see the lining…though my problem is higher up…..

On the flip side of the photo we see…

2c Washington proprietary stamp. C. Smith. Photographer. Annville Pa.

This is my first revenue stamp so I wanted to know a bit more about it.  According to this site “This is a proprietary revenue stamp.  When photographs were taken, the photographer had to collect 2c government tax.  The stamp proved that the sitter paid the tax.”  This site helps us date the card. “Because these stamps were required on photographs only from 1864 to 1866, their presence (or their absence) gives us the approximate dates of ancestor photographs of the Civil War era.”

When I googled the photographer I found this site that lists C. Smith being in business in 1864.  Other photographers on this list have a span of years listed but C. Smith only has the one year.  Perhaps he moved on or died or tried a different line of work.  So this lady had her photo done 1864-66 and possibly we can narrow it down to 1864.  I do wish I had a name for her.

Must have some 1890s.

My “must have” offering for the 1890s is another Worth gown.

1892 evening dress from Worth.

I love the mauve color and I love the detail, they make me think of piano keys.

The only thing I’d change is those short sleeves.

I’d change the sleeves because my upper arms are not my beauty spot.  The rest I would copy if I had the talent/money!

See you tomorrow with a new cabinet card.

My 1880s travel outfit is done!

Man…I’m cranking them out faster than I can come up with events to wear them!  If I could arrange to be at home full-time and still have the cash to buy material I’d have a complete wardrobe for every era in no time!  I got the bustle done.

The tail of the bodice does sit better with a bump to sit on!

Also managed to get a “carpet-bag” done and the skirt.

I love a bustle!

Still wish I would have used blue for the lining!

Check Trudy out walking away!

St. James Museum

Just before touring the old cemetery of yesterday’s post, I went to the St James Museum.  The museum consists of 3 buildings.  The first is a municipal hall building from 1911.This building contains some items that came from the surrounding area.  Most items are  fairly typical of a museum but there were a few pieces that I had never seen before.

A string dispenser that may have been used to tie packages at a store. I thought it would be awesome for knitting too.

Then there was this horror!  Hair perming machine.

Looks more like a way to extract secrets from a spy than a beauty device!

The electrical wires are frightening….

The second building was a modern building that was put up for displays for blacksmithing, farming and travel.  The items in this building were nice but fairly common.

The third building was a house built in 1856 in Headingly Manitoba and moved to Winnipeg in the 1950s.

Needs a little paint I think….

It was built by William Brown and his second wife Charlotte Omand who was Metis (half aboriginal half French).The house had the usual house stuff but it did have the odd unusual thing that caught my eye.

Old Bible…beautiful cover!

Then there is this little doll which I was told was a toy….

Mini hand cranked sewing machine.

The needle went up and down when cranked and the wheel under the foot plate turned….

Which got me wondering if it actually sewed.

I just couldn’t figure out where the bobbin was/went.  So I Google searched and found it WAS sold as a toy.   I  also found some information that says “Some of the examples produced were offered as real machines to compete with more expensive machines, but like other toy machines from this period they typically just sewed a chain stitch without a bobbin or second thread.  Not really a workable stitch for regular use. ”  This quote wasn’t speaking specifically about the Baby machine and it wasn’t clear if this little machine was the bobbin machine variety or the chain stitch variety.  If I was a child over the age of 5, I would have been annoyed that my stitches didn’t stay.  So not being satisfied with the idea of a toy that would have frustrated a child and not really knowing which type of machine this one was I kept looking and found this site….  If you scroll down about a quarter of the way, there is a little video of how the chain stitch would have worked.  It would have actually held two pieces of fabric together well enough for a child to make doll clothes.  It also would have worked for an emergency patch job while travelling.  But, the look of it would not have inspired an adult to make a whole dress out of it.  So now I know.  Makes me want to have one of these things.

I kinda like cemeteries.

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with cemeteries.  Especially, old, well established ones.  I’ve watched one to many zombie movies to be OK with said cemeteries at night but in the day time they inspire peace and a sense of how finite and therefore valuable our time on earth is.  They also make me a bit sad (not in a bad way but like you do when you knowingly watch a sad movie…more like catharsis.)

In my post op state, I am building up my tolerance in an effort to get back up to speed for when I go back to work in 2 weeks.  So I’m getting out and walking.  But, walking for the sake of walking is tremendously boring to me so I’m getting out with a goal.  Todays goal was to see a couple of sites in my town that I’ve only just heard of.  They are not tremendously well advertised and being on the other end of the city from me I was oblivious to their existence.  Lord, knows how these small venues survive on donations and word of mouth!  One of these venues was a small house museum which I will save for another day.  The other was up the street from the house museum.Historic St James Church and Cemetery.  I will quote the pamphlet they hand out while I toss in some interesting photos.

“The Parish of St. James was founded on June 17, 1851 on a provisional land grand from the Hudson Bay Company.  It was to serve settlers, military pensioners and retired Hudson Bay personnel.”“The site of the church is an old Indian burial ground.  (More reason to stay out of it at night…_ It was chosen because there was a ford nearby.  The ground also appealed to the bishop as a place of refuge in the time of flood.  Indian lore indicated that the ridge chosen as the site had at no time been covered with water.  It was on this spot that the settlers camped to escape the great flood of 1852.”“The first timbers for the church were washed away from the site during this flood but the rectory stayed put and was a refuge for many.”“The oak timbers that you see in the church today were rafted down the river, hewn by hand, and fitted into place by volunteers from the parish.  The church was completed in 1853.”

In fond remembrance of Elizabeth, the beloved wife of Peter Kirton, who died June 19th, 1874, aged 30 years.

“The first baptism was January 9, 1853.”

In loving memory of Jessie A Kirton, wife of W Isbester, died February 19th, 1888, aged 20 years. Rodrick J Isbester, died August 22, 1887, aged 2 months. The 2 month old son died and then 6 months later the wife died. Poor man. The wife was likely related to Peter Kirton whose wife died in the previous photo. Was she the daughter?

“The first wedding was solemnized August 11, 1855.”

In memoriam, James Hallett. Died May 28th, 1885, aged 85 years. Sarah, wife of the above, died May 14th 1885, aged 83 years. Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord. She died and 2 weeks later he died. Illness or loneliness.

“The first burial was on December 10, 1856.”

…..son of R.M and A.C Chester died Nov 28, 1891, aged 11 months. This one made me sad…the name is gone on this tiny little marker.

The parents of the previous photo didn’t have as much money but likely felt as much pain as these more wealthy folks in the next photo.

In loving memory of Stella Irennie Ketcheson, died November 17, 1891, aged 1 year and 6 months.

And I just noticed that these two babes died 11 days apart.  Likely an illness got them.  Sad.

I feel their grief.  And the sad thing is they loved their loved ones enough to have funerals and put up elaborate stones or to scrape together enough for a simple stone and 100 years later no one remembers them or looks after their stones that were so lovingly placed.  And these were the best of the old ones.  There were many others that were in pieces on the ground and some, the stone was gone all together…just the base it used to stand on.  Likely the work of vandeles and thieves looking for a good Halloween decoration.  Sad….

Canadian Costume Museum 1850s wedding dress.

I’ve pulled out my pictures again from the display of wedding dresses I helped set up for the Canadian Costume Museum.  This weeks feature dress is from 1850.  One would expect a dress from the 1850s to start having the bell shape but there wasn’t enough material in this dress for that.  Since it was made at the very start of the 50s, it may be what is called a transition dress.

A lovely blue silk plaid.

I really like the lace and buttons at the front.  I’m going to have to try that on one of my dresses.

The mannequin was a bit to wide and we couldn’t button her all up but the buttons lined up perfectly when done up.

The sleeve had a little poof at the shoulder.back view.

Ohhh, for more petticoats.

I wish I had more petticoats available.  There wasn’t enough  skirt for hoops so the dress needed to be filled out with petticoats, which I did not have enough of.  Also, with no legs to hold out the petticoats I did have, skirt ended up looking more like a bustle dress than a bell.  Oh well, most people only looked at it from the front.

I think that this dress was made by a pretty good home seamstress.  I think that because….

The pattern matching is close but not quite right.

From far away, it looks pretty good!

I hope to be back tomorrow but we are having some internet issues.  Our router crashed and the oldest boy bought a new one.  He got the two computers that are directly wired to the internet going but the two that are wireless are still just big typewriters.  That means the competition for internet access has just gone up.  If I’m late or non existent please forgive me.  I hope that eldest boy and his computer savvy pals will get me back on-line ASAP.