Another “I have nothing to talk about so show photos post”

1900 hair catcher2

A hair catcher from 1900.1900 hair catcher1Sweet lid isn’t it.

sewing kit1

Sewing kit.  How do I know it is a sewing kit? Lift the lid and you find little packets of needles.

sewing kit2

Lift the next lid and you find…sewing kit3

…a space to put other things.  Perhaps there was a few cards of thread for emergency mends.  Or may be there was a tiny pair of scissors.sewing kit4

The underside of the kit.  The photo is too blurry to read the stamp.  I wish I had noticed it that day and took note of the words on the stamp.

Both of these items are tarnished.  I wanted to polish them and see what they might have looked like “back in the day”.  I often wonder about the owners of such items.  Did they love the item or was it just something they needed?  What were they like? What were they thinking about when they used it.  I wish things could talk.

Inspiration has struck! To bad time and money hasn’t!

I really want to make this!  May be in a blue or purple!  Or red!httpwww.metmuseum.orgcollectionthe-collection-onlinesearch107772rpp=90&pg=1&rndkey=20140921&ao=on&ft=&deptids=8&when=A.D.+1800-1900&pos=68

The part that has caught my eye is the wool and bead netting on the skirt and the strip that goes around the edges of the bodice!  I love it!C.I.45.38.1ab_SI think it would make a wonderful sound as you walk!C.I.45.38.1ab_B

I have nowhere to wear a train like that so I think I’d pull it back some.  And all those pleats.  I’m going to have to take the plunge one day and make some pleats like that.

But here is a dress that would be hard to wash.  You risk loosing all the pleats and the wool trim could shrink and tangle.  The skirt part would have to be a separate so it could be washed separately (and give the wearer the option of not wearing it.)  With all these cleaning issues, it could not be in pale colors for me.  I’m always eating spaghetti when I wear white!


Victorian Charm strings

Last month, I learned about something new…Victorian charm strings-I may make one of these one day.  I read about it on the Costume Museum of Canada’s blog.  I wont re-write what is a fantastic explanation on the link about charm strings.  Basically, it is a button collection that has been added to a string and it was a hobby done by young women.  This appealed to me because as a child, I used to love to play with my grandmothers button jar.  I loved to sort by size or color.  I liked to find ones that had several matching mates but the one-offs were the best.  They were usually kept all by their lonesome because of some remarkable trait or beauty!

I still like buttons.  (Remember me telling you about wanting to sink my arms into the barrel of buttons?)

sr fabrics 1Anyway, the next time I was at the museum, I asked about the charms and got to see them first hand.  I took some photos of my favorites for your pleasure. This first one is like the cut steel ones I got given to me a couple of months back.

photo 5

This next one is just a pretty color.


photo 6

There is a leaf pattern in this one.
photo 7

The picture doesn’t do this justice…it was shiny…oooo, so shiny.

photo 8

Again, a nice colored one.

photo 9

More cut steel with a star pattern in 10

Hey!  The anchor pattern is still being made today!  I think I used it for one of my outfits! photo 11

A dog button…I want one!photo 13

The god 15


There were some many others but I did have to stop and get some work done!


Tuesday’s Treasure

What glorious item did I find during my volunteer  work yesterday?  Lets see….I’d have to say it is the 1860-70 head-dress.  It  is a bit dingy and rumpled now but I bet in its day it was very pretty!1860b

If ever I make a ball gown, I will make a head-piece like this.  Sigh.1860c

Tons of lace and stuff in the back.  With the purple and black I wonder if it was a late mourning accessory.

HSF ’14: Challenge 17-yellow

I’ve been thinking that if Historical Sew Fortnightly should happen again next year, I will have to rethink my efforts.  I have a closet full of gowns now.  I’m going to be hard pressed to jam any more in there.

I think next year, my focus should change. I think I should focus on projects like the one I am posting about today.  I will make trims and laces and then I will add them to existing dresses. Much of the Victorian era was about detail and my dresses are pretty sedate compared to some.

This plan could also be stash busting (and money saving).  I have a lot of left over material from previous projects.  They could be made into ruffles, bows, piping…excetra that could be added to the dresses and hats I already have.

This isn’t to say I WONT make new dresses (I can’t walk away from pretty fabric that is on sale…no, no, no, I can’t).  I just want to limit it to one or two.  Really, I’m reaching the point that I have more dresses than events to wear them to in a year.  I may have to start hocking some of them.

Anyway, on to the current challenge….

photoThe Challenge: 17 Yellow

What it is: 2 meters of needle tatted trim

Fabric: none

Pattern: found on line

Year: early 1900’s

Notions: cotton crochet thread with metallic strands mixed in

How historically accurate is it? I don’t know if the metallic part of the thread is correct but the cotton is plausible and the technique is correct. So I will guess 90%. I’ll probably reduce accuracy of one of my dresses by adding this to it. (1870’s dress with 1900’s style trim LOL)

Hours to complete: @15

First worn: not yet

Total cost: $6 for the thread

Victorian at Heart Mourns

Last weekend, Shirley and I took our mourning gowns out to St. Andrews Church. 10665271_568476726589515_6265713402837685707_nThis church building was finished in 1849 which is old by our reckoning.  I realize there are far older churches in Europe but Canada is still a young country so an 1840’s church seems old to me.  If I ever go and see Europe I might curl up in a little ball trying to fathom such age!

We did some high drama acting near the old gravestones.




This is my favorite photo of Shirley…very dramatic looking towards the river!


Shirley thought of a parasol.  I did not.  It was cloudy when I left the house so I didn’t think I’d need one-I don’t have a black one anyway.  Shirley let me borrow hers for a few photos.10410940_568469093256945_2934596794085090474_n  I wore my 1900 gown.

10616121_568468359923685_3024631134859929350_nI like the hat but the edge might need to be wired because the flipped up edge isn’t staying that way.  I’ll also need to cover the under brim as the straw is not holding the paint very well.

10698638_568468649923656_6748618379861413123_nI think I nailed the hair though!


This is my favorite photo of the two of us, taken by Shirley’s daughter who came in modern clothes so no photos of her. 10626882_568470916590096_5102460268827037851_nAwesome bustle Shirley!

I like this photo because I totally upstaged Shirley and covered her face with my hat and nearly took her eye out with it!  Once a diva always a diva!15763_568473079923213_4078478645519478934_n

After we were done fake sobbing, we headed off to Maple Grove Tea Room in Kennedy House.  They had a nice photo op right outside the door.984226_568473229923198_3885575208904263670_nI absolutely loved Shirley’s hair!

Once inside, we of course had tea!

10593218_568473549923166_8565092041535921944_nThen we used some of the rooms in Kennedy House for photo ops.

10407765_568474199923101_3074646781603304159_nIsn’t Shirley’s hat yummy!?

10392281_568474286589759_1117581601965560714_nI think this is one of my favorite photos of myself…if were just a little less blurry…well maybe the blurry helps!

Treasure Tuesday: perfume

Here are a couple of pretties that still held their lovely scent…even after all these years. I don’t recall the years but they are late 1800’s early 1900’s I 1 (7)

photo 1

The ring on the second one slips over the finger.  Was it worn like that?  Was it hung from a chatelaine?  I’m going with the second option.  A quick search on line suggests the chatelaine option was the correct one.

HSF 14: Challenge 16 Terminology

What the item is: a narrow decorative strip done by tablet weaving.
What the term is: Tablet weavingphoto 2
This is a “new to me” technique that I discovered at a Viking reenactment village. I taught myself from sites on-line. The band is not complete yet but the make do loom is part of the learning process for me so I included it in the photo.
I like this new hobby and I have 4 goals: 1) get or make a more authentic and or convenient loom. 2) master more complex patterns. 3) improve my tension so the width of the strip is consistent across its entire length (the first 2 feet of this strip is funny-it looks like a string of sausages!) 4) try it in the more authentic wool-which is freakishly expensive.

The Challenge: Terminology-Tablet weaving

Fabric: none

Pattern: The pattern is not a well known one. I was trying for a well known one but I made a mistake (I know what I did wrong so next time will work out better) so now it is a made by me pattern. Lets pretend I planned it that way okay?

Year: Goes back to the iron age

Notions: cards and some sort of loom (I used two vise grips) and a shuttle (I cut grooves into a soft plastic ruler).photo 1

How historically accurate is it? 40%. I think they used wool not cotton for their strips. They did not use vise grips or rulers and probably not playing cards!

Hours to complete: Not done yet but it does go fairly fast. I took about 2 hours to set up. It takes about 10 minutes per inch so I think when it is done it will be 18 hours for 3 yards.

First worn: not yet. I don’t know what I’m going to use it on.

Total cost: The vise grips were given to me from my father’s estate. The ruler was $2 and the cards were $3. I bought 4 balls of cotton at $6 each. So $29. I wont use all of the cotton so it will go into my stash to be used in another project that I will count as money saving as it was stash busting!