Pardon me ma’am your hoops are showing

One of the things that costumers like to achieve is a smooth skirt which is achieved with enough petticoats over the hoops.  The hundred dollar question is “was the lumpy look truly inauthentic?”

Today, a woman may go for a popular look but not quite pull it off.  It doesn’t fit right. She can only afford a poorly made knock off.  It doesn’t suit her age/build/style/coloring….  I’d like to argue that this happened 150 years ago as well.

This carte de visite shows a woman (likely from the 1850-60’s) whose hoops are plainly visible under the skirt. It can sometimes be said that nearby furniture pushed the skirt over, causing the hoops to appear but I don’t believe this is the case in this photo.  I think this is a case of not enough petticoats to hide them.


So, if you ever look back at your costume photos and see hoops, don’t think yourself (or any other costume enthusiast) inauthentic.  Victorians weren’t all perfect Victorians so how can we expect ourselves to be?

Wandering thoughts

My mind is rambling today.  I’ll share some excerpts.

Canada did get our bookend gold medals in men’s and women’s curling and hockey.  And now the Olympics are over.

Can I manage to finish my current 1860’s project and an 1830’s gown for a possible presentation in my church next May?

Have I managed to kill my cactus?

Will this freaking snow ever go away?

I think I’ll have to pay to get some dental work done on my dog this spring.  Sigh.

The light on my dashboard for my air bags is lit up.  Will I be driving along and suddenly end up with a face full of air bag? How much is it going to cost me to shut that light off?

Cough. Cough.  Stupid cold.

I have my next project cut out.  I hope I can get it together next weekend.  It is an elliptical cage.  I went for an el cheapo option for the hoops.  The last time I did that I ended up with an epic fail.  I tried plastic tubing…

This time I am trying those plastic thingys used to protect wall corners.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  I went for something completely straight in the hopes of avoiding the above boa constrictor look.  I’m hoping that they wont be so rigid that they refuse to hold a bend (and I look like I have a pile of curtain rods hidden under my skirt) or they bend too much (and I look like I’m hiding swords under my skirt) or they just plain break.

Mexico, do you miss me like I miss you?

Why did I decide to get back on my diet today and then go out and buy my son’s favorite treats.  They are mine too.

Oh, go to bed Wanda.  Go to bed.


It is 6 am and 2/3 of Canada is up watching Sochi Olympic Hockey.  We are hoping for another set of bookends.  What do I mean by that?  Well, glad you asked.  In the curling event, both our men’s team and our women’s team won gold-book ends.  Our women’s hockey team won gold last week and this morning we are hoping our fellas will do the same-another set of bookends.  Hockey is our game after all.  Many children have hockey skates strapped on them before they have completely mastered walking.  Fingers crossed!QR_2E.pdf-25

Source of photo.

Tin Type of old couple

TGIF is all I can say.  My cold lingers on, sucking all my energy out of me and making dragging my behind around all day a real chore.  My soul is happy that tomorrow morning I can sleep until I can’t sleep no more.  But, my body looks and feels like this work weary couple.  (Date unknown…not enough clues to make a good guess at.)SAM_1693

HSF 14 # 3 Pink

I have completed my table cloth shawl.  It wasn’t as easy as I’d thought but then again, it never is when I’m trying something with no instructions to guide me!

Front view

Front view

The Challenge: #3 Pink

Fabric: Cotton (possibly a cotton acrylic blend) crochet table cloth, cotton broadcloth, poly something velvet

There is the poly something velvet

There is the poly something velvet

Pattern: self drafted (self hair pulled out as well)

Year: 1860+

Notions: poly ribbon

More poly ribbon

More poly ribbon

How historically accurate is it? The pineapple stitch was around in the 1860’s (thanks to the info from the hive mind) and used in lace. The crochet was hand done. Most of it was hand sewn. The cotton (if it is truly cotton only and not a cotton acrylic) is OK but I’m not sure if they would have used cotton or silk to crochet. The poly velvet and ribbon are definitely no nos. This was made for me (a very middle-aged woman) I’m thinking the pink might be moving into the sheep dressed as a lamb area. All in all I’d give it about a 60%. It drops in percentages from the synthetic fibers used, the guess-work done on the construction, the age appropriateness and the fact that this started out as a table cloth and not as a strip of lace.

Hours to complete: @30

First worn: not yet

Total cost: Table cloth was thrifted at $3 and the ribbon was $8. The linings were stash. So $11

Post script: The hubby was not loving it and hopefully asked if I was going to give it away to one of my seniors at work.  He looked a bit more relieved when I told him it was for my costumes-note-he is never seen in public with me when I am in full costume.  I think the poor dear thought I was going to wear this with modern wear.  Could you just see that!  Lady Gaga would have nothing on me!  If she can wear meat, I can wear a massive doily!

Happy Louis Riel Day

I’m having a holiday from work today because of Louis Riel Day.


Louis Riel (1844-1885) was part French and part aboriginal which is known as Metis.  He became a leader of the Metis people, a politician and the founder of the province of Manitoba.  In his time he was both hero and enemy but hind site is 20/20 and we have come to accept that Canada as we know it (especially the part I live in) was largely impacted by his life and we now see him as a forefather and political hero.

To learn more about Louis Riel go here.


An unwanted souvenir from Mexico

I had hoped my post for today would be my finished entry for HSF’s pink challenge.  I had a good start on it before my trip and figured I’d finish it with the two solid days I knew I had after my trip for the hand sewing.  But, I came home with a terrible head cold that drained me of all energy  (walking from the bed to the couch is exhausting) and I didn’t do anything more with the project than look longingly at it from afar (in a horizontal position).

I am feeling somewhat better today so a day of sitting and hand sewing might be just what the doctor ordered and I may have something to show tomorrow.  Alas, I will be a day late with the challenge but I must remind the anal side of myself that these deadlines are meant to be encouragements and not damning whips of guilt and shame.

On the upside, this weekend is a long weekend here in Manitoba so all of the other things I’m meant to do on a free Saturday (errands and such) can be done on Monday (assuming I will continue to improve as the weekend rolls on.) I must remember to do a post on the focus of this holiday….

Honey I’m home!

Baring any disasters, I expect to be back at home today.  I will be spending the day with all my children: my youngest boy who manned the house while we were away; my oldest boy who, at the time of this writing is expected to be back from his 5 1/2 month journey and my four legged child who has cuddles saved up for 2

Pineapple Shawl

A couple of weeks ago I found a crochet pineapple stitch table cloth that had to be a shawl in my eyes.  SAM_1676

I had to take several stabs at it to get this project to look like something.  I was starting to think that it really didn’t want to be anything but a table cloth.  Basically I’ve done about 2 hours of pinning and sewing and about 4 hours of ripping stitches to get it thus far.

photo 1 (1)

The next stage will be to hem the two layers of lining and I’ll get to that when I get home.

photo 2 (1)

The inside layer is a pink velvet.  I’m liking the look of it so much that I may have to turn the edge and make a “lapel” so that shows.  Those decisions will be made in the final trimmings and closures stage, which I hope wont take too much time.