HSF 14: Challenge 14


SAM_2432The Challenge: Paisley and Plaid

What it is: a reticule for my 1860’s blue plaid dress

Fabric: unknown fiber content velvet silk plaid lining

Pattern: self drafted

Year: reticules were used through a variety of decades

Notions: ribbon, trim

How historically accurate is it? About 50% Shape is plausible. Lining accurate. Outer fabric is an unknown fiber content. Machine sewn.

Hours to complete: 2

First worn: not yet

Total cost: $0 all stashSAM_2433

Cooks Creek Medieval Festival or new family tradition

Had a great time at the Cooks Creek Medieval festival.  Not my genre but still oodles of fun.  My son dressed up willingly.  The husband dressed up sacrificially.


The festival is held to raise funds to keep this Catholic church in good repair.


This is the interior of the church.  Really quite lovely.


A bird rescue group had a few birds on display.


There were plenty of photo ops.


And some superior costumes out there…


….unlike my “slightly better than a department store Halloween special”.  I whipped it up from a Burda pattern (didn’t even deviate from the colors on the packaging.)


The over skirt is a bit on the short side.  When you hurry you make mistakes, but I really don’t mind it this way.  I don’t care enough to research and perfect for this era.  Nor do I care enough to try to fix this, which I think I could with a bit of work.

The jousting was the thing I most looked forward to seeing at the festival! The horses were really quite lovely but they are dangerous and HUGE!  During one of the warm up sessions, one of the knights was thrown by the horse and ended up with a concussion and broken shoulder.  The speaker commented that jousting is not necessarily dangerous…but horses can be.


Even the armor was lovely!


The event will happen again in two years time and I will be going again!  Let’s see if I can get my family in on it again!

Camel’s back

Going through a rough patch here so sewing is slowed right down (if not completely ground to a halt).  I’m going to be keeping this blog running with yet more photographs from the Costume Museum of Canada.  Mentally soothing and yet not challenging for me.  This is a good thing.

In addition to costume pieces, the museum has some books.  I think I want to buy this one!

SAM_2349Which ones are your favorites?  I like the blue one in the photo above and the yellow in the photo below.


I like the one on the right in the next photo.

SAM_2352Far left for the next one.


Middle lady with the parasol.




I had hoped that I’d get some sewing done this weekend to show today but it didn’t happen.  I spent my weekend with various family members.  Two are seriously ill, one is planning on moving out of the country and, well, several are just getting up there in age…Time for me to consider if I’ve got my priorities straight.  In my head I do, but is that translating into what I do and how I balance my free time?  Thoughts to ponder.

I’m not saying I should cut back on my sewing-the creativity charges my batteries after all-but perhaps I’d have more free time to sew AND spend time with family if I’d cut back on some of those stupid games I have on my phone.  I probably spend a bit too much time on the computer as well.  Do I really need to watch all of those videos people “like” on Facebook?  Pinterest is a bit of a vortex of time as well.  How many of my “pins” have actually translated into inspiration that translated again into an attempted project?  I’m sure there are other time wasters in my life…ones that I like but keep me away from the people and things I like more.  Why do we do that to ourselves?  I can’t be the only one!

What do you all think about free time, priorities, hobbies, balance, family….

HSF 14 Challenge 13 Under $10


What the item is: collars

The Challenge: Challenge #13: Under $10

Fabric: cotton thread

Pattern: from a book that I can’t remember the name of now…sorry. They were meant to be circular lace for doilies. I just didn’t close the circle.

Year: I think that needle tatting has been around since at least the 1850’s and they were making collars…I saw a pattern book on-line that is dated for that time and I have been coveting it ever since.

Notions: none

How historically accurate is it? Like I said, it has been around since the 1850’s and used on collars but whether or not these particular patterns were around then I couldn’t say. But the first thing I do when I learn a new skill like this is start to imagine how I could make my own pattern so someone could possibly have made something up like this, never to be printed or mass produced or seen by anyone other than that lady’s circle of friends and family.

Hours to complete: This is very fast work. I’d guess 10 hours for the one on the bottom and 20 for the top.

First worn: not yet. Haven’t figured out what they will go on.

Total cost: $0 I got the thread from a friend who was down sizing her elderly relatives home. But even if I bought the thread, it would have been about $10.

1900 child’s hat

In my last post, I showed you a few photos of me trying on some of the Costume Museum of Canada’s hats.  One looked particularly bad on me.22

Well, that is because it was a child’s hat.  I didn’t know that until I read the label.  Since I have a large melon for a woman, it is no wonder that I wasn’t rockin’ that child’s hat.

It is ca. 1900 child’s hat and has some lovely little details on it.  If I had a little girl….25It is cute, isn’t it?  Hidden in the feathers is a very sweet trim.24

To get that above photo, I had to blow on the feathers.

As I told you last time, my job is to make notes on the items.

27I make notes on the item number which tells you what it is.  This hat is called HBC-58 which means it is a hat/bonnet, child-58th in the collection.  I write down the donor number, the year and which box it was found in.  Many of the items are stored in random brown cardboard boxes (often mislabled-I grabbed this box because it was labeled 1880’s women’s hats-not one in there.) We plan on fixing this box problem by getting new acid free boxes that are all similar sizes for the ease of stacking.  Until that happens, I have to pack them up safely and put them back in the box I found them in and then re-label the box so we can find them again.

So what happens to these notes I am taking?  Well, most of the items have been written up on little cards and these cards (thousands of them) are stored in file cabinets.  When looking for a certain type of item, we have to flip through all these cards trying to find them. (Remember trying to find a library book back in the day?)   If you wanted an 1880’s wedding dress, you go to the dress drawer and you flip through umpteen cards which are all mixed up.  We have to flip past 1970’s work dresses and 1890’s visiting dresses and 1940’s party dresses.  Then you find some cards, take them to the vault and find the dresses by the noted box number…crap, this one has damage no one made note on.   Frustrating. These old cards will be transcribed onto a new computer program that will hopefully be like the Met (at least for the use of the staff).  Put in key words and it pulls up photos, information and descriptions of the items.  Now some of these items don’t even have these cards, or the cards are incomplete (they don’t list damage for example) so I am working on these.  The girls in charge will take my notes and input the data.  It is surprisingly, a lot of fun!