More musing on my 1840s Copper Penny dress

In case you missed the post where I mention, in passing, how I came up with the name for this next dress, I’ll tell you it is because of the coppery color of the fabric I picked up.  I’ve been thinking about what to do about a hat and I found the PERFECT hat at the Victoria and Albert Museum.1845 hat V&A

I will do it in the brown as it will go with my hair, help take off some of the possibly bad effects of the color of the dress on my face and will match with the fringe trim that I want to add to the dress.  I haven’t bought the fringe yet because I ran out of money and needed another pay check.  I also delayed buying it because I wasn’t sure about what color to pick.  Shirley suggested brown and she is way better than I am at picking contrasting trim.  I get scared and end up going matchy matchy or white more often than not.

Anyway, back to the hat.  I want to do it in a brown that will compliment the brown fringe trim.  I have to check the stash and see if I don’t have something good in there.  I will decorate that with some flowers that go with the fabric.  Luckily for me, I wont need a pattern as I already own this one and it is close enough to the hat above. (Top right).Butterick hat patternIt doesn’t have the same brim but I like that.  The museum hat is the same shape as my bonnet for my 1850s tea dress and I don’t want to repeat that.  Not that it was a horrible experience or an ugly hat!  It was in fact easy enough to do and pretty cute.  I just want to try something different and may be learn a new skill or two.  The museum hat will serve as an inspiration rather than a goal.  I like the color.  I like the trim.  The pattern will inspire the shape.  Mix them all together and we will see what we get!

What do you think?

I’ve been trimming down my posts to 4 times a week.  I’ve decided to aim for posts on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.  Do you miss me yet?  Is this working for you like it has been working for me?   I’ve been working on my Spanish during my spare time and I now have the understanding of a 4 month old Spanish baby!  Just kidding!

For todays post, I’m sharing another of my cabinet cards.  This is a fun one.  It comes with a name.SAM_0955Mary Anne is wearing a dress with water marked fabric.  Don’t you just see it in a green?  Her hair style is 1880s and her dress is lacking a bustle so I’d say this is a natural form dress from the early 1880s.  The photo is a smidge on the blurry side so it is hard to see many other details of the dress.  For a closer view of the writing and the photographers name….SAM_0956I didn’t get to far with the photographers name.  The hand written name is Mary Anne Cafmeir.  When I google that, I get the listings from the person I bought the card from.  But, there is also listings for Mary Anne CAFMAYER from Wisconsin born in 1855 which would make her about mid 20 when this card was made.  (I’m chalking up the difference in name spelling due to a friend not knowing how to correctly spell her name.)  I haven’t been able to contact this family so here is hoping that they’d find this post and contact me and can possibly confirm that this is or is not the same Mary Anne.

Progress on my 1840s dress.

For my 1840s dress I needed to build up my undies collection.  I needed more petticoats because the 1840s had big skirts but no hoops to hold them up.  They were held up with several layers of starched petticoats.

Today I finished my corded petticoat.SAM_0949

I’m not sure that they used anything but white in that decade so I may have taken some creative liberties.  When I bought the fabric I would need for lining my dress, I bought twice as much as I’d need so I could make all of the petticoats with it too.

I was also able to finish a plain petticoat that will go over top of the corded one.SAM_0951In case you are wondering what that furry thing is on the floor it is…

Trudy's hair.

Trudy’s hair.

I hope I will have time tomorrow to make the ruffled petticoat that will go over these two.

That’s all for now folks!  I’ll pop by again tomorrow.

What do you think?

I’m considering cutting my posts down to every second day.  There are 3 reasons for this.  One is I want to learn Spanish and I’d like to find the time to do that without sacrificing something else-like my sewing and crafting.  The second is it is a bit of a struggle to come up with something to say (every single day) that is worth reading.  And the third is, I think my readers have lives and most do not have the time to read blogs every day.  Likely, they are doing what I do with the blogs they read.  They go to them every few days, skim all the posts that have been made and only read word for word, the ones that interest them.

I say that I am considering this idea for 3 reasons.  One is I have the habit of posting everyday and I think I’d miss the habit at first.  The second is I worry that once I get out of the habit of posting everyday I will lose the discipline all together and I’d soon become one of those blogs that sits there dormant for months at a time.  The third is the worry that if I am not as regular, I will begin to lose the few regular readers I do have.

What do you think?

A Picton Family

I have, for your enjoyment, a cabinet card of a young family from Picton Ontario Canada.SAM_0946The photo is a bit faded so it is a bit hard to see. We have a young boy with knee pants and button down shoes and he also has his father’s face!  The father appears to be in his late 30s or early 40s and in typical clothes for men.  This is why I can’t get excited about Victorian mens clothes.  They all look the same from one decade to the next.  Of course my interest is in the lady and her dress.  Based on the details of the card and the details on her dress, I’d guess this to be late 70s or early 80s, which was called the natural form era.  The natural form era ran from 1877 and 1882 (between the two bustle eras).  The skirts were relatively straight and there were frequently over skirts with some puffing in the back but not like the protrusion of the bustle eras.  Her skirt appears to have several layers of pleats and an over skirt with a shiny trim.  Our lady has a pretty face and her jabot at her neck draws your eyes to it.  I can’t make out the details on her sleeve.  What is that?  Fur trim?  A huge puff?

I know they were at least in Picton Ontario, if not actually living there by the photographers stamp.SAM_0948Unfortunately, the name W. H. Dame has led me know where.   I wonder who they were and were they reasonably happy.

Enjoy your day!


Thoughts on my 1840s dress.

I have begun working on my petticoats for my 1845 dress.  Intellectually, corded petticoats are easy and therefore should go fast, right?  Not so much. As I sewed, what felt like mile after mile of cording, two things were running through my mind…the spanish words I am trying to learn and the problem of keeping that somewhat orange material off of my face.  (Recall, orange is not my best color.) The solution I came up with is a fake white collar next to my face so the orange is not immediately next it.  The trouble I had, was not knowing if they did that in the 40s.  I know they did in the 50s but I didn’t know about the 40s.  So off for a search in the museum collections. At the Met I found this afternoon dress from 1848….

1848 dress afternoon bIf you look closely, you will see the mannequin has a little white collar!  Yeah! Problem solved!  I think I have enough hair to pull off that hair style.  I wonder if it will look okay with my particular neck to chin ratio?  Here is a color photo of the dress (sans collar).

1848 dress afternoon aAnd I must say, I like that fringe.  I think I will have to trot back the to store before sewing the bodice and buy a few meters of fringe.  And may be some tassels for my buttons….

I should have been sewing and cleaning…

It was a lazy Sunday for me.  My house looks like a bomb went off in it and I didn’t feel like making it worse by setting up my sewing in my living/dining room!  I did get a knitting project done though.

I made a cowl scarf.  It should go well with my new fall/spring coat.

I made a cowl scarf. It should go well with my new fall/spring coat.

Today is a holiday in my neck of the woods.  Perhaps all that cleaning and sewing will get done today.  For all you other folks with a day off…enjoy!

My belated Valentines

The hubby and I had our Valentines yesterday.  When Valentines falls on a week night, we will often postpone it until the weekend.  It is just too hectic.

For dinner we went to a Greek restaurant which was very yummy and we also went to a movie.  We saw “Identity Theft” which we were not expecting much from, as that director has made a couple of movies that we didn’t see because the humor seemed too crude.  This movie was actually laugh out loud funny.

Then I got a present on top of that!  We don’t usually exchange big gifts as there are always bills to pay…this year especially after our trip.

A white gold band with diamonds!

A white gold band with diamonds!

Haven’t done one of these in awhile…

I have a really nice head shot cabinet card for your enjoyment.SAM_0942Judging by the style of the clothes and hair I’d put this at an 1880s card.  What I like about it is the quality of the photo is so good that she looks like at any moment she will turn her head and look at you!    I love the detailing on her jacket and she obviously is pretty pleased with that hat!  The only jewelry we can see is a little flower shaped pin at her throat.

I’ve been looking up the photographer Ober Artist 425 Washington St Boston and the best I could get was this site.  About 2/3 of the way down they list a Clara F Ober as a photographer active at that location from 1892-93.  It is possible this photo is from those years.  It is also possible that Clara or a husband or father was at that site in the 1880s.  With this blog and this cabinet card collection I have learned that just because I can’t find a reference to a photographer named Ober being at that site in the 1880s does not mean they weren’t there.