Chance meeting with a celeb. Or at least a good impersonator.

I was out on Saturday and stopped at the new craft store that opened up close to my place.  (Insert happy dance here.) As I pulled into the parking lot I spotted a famous guy.  Another couple and I helped each other snapping some good shots with him.  Part of me suspects that this is merely a good impersonator though.  Tell me what you 3

For those of you not in the know, this is what a Google search says about this guy.

Sir Tow Mater KBE, or simply Mater, is a character in the 2006 animated Pixar film Cars and its sequel as well as the spin-off series Cars Toons. He is voiced by Larry the Cable Guy and inspired by a 1951 International Harvester tow truck.

There wasn’t a show going on that I am aware of.  He was the only one in the parking lot.  I guess he just needed some craft supplies too.  Myself and the other couple were thrilled to see him and we are grown ups.  I can only imagine what the kids in cars would have been doing when they saw him pass by!  photo 4

The Tragic Stereoscope Card Story….

I bought some cards to go with my stereoscope and upon enjoying them, I discovered, with some imagination, I could create a story.

A young couple meet and fall in love.

A young couple meet and fall in love.

Mom and Dad are not thrilled.

Mom and Dad are not thrilled.

They get married.

They get married.

And have a romantic life.

And have a romantic life.

But she dies.

But she dies.

And the poor fellow is left to manage his declining years alone.

And the poor fellow is left to manage his declining years alone.

The end.

How to make mannequins to fit the clothes

The tiny bodices in the Costume Museum of Canada’s last display would not fit on the modern sized mannequins so we needed to make new ones.

Measurements were made of the larger bodice every 2 inches along the length.  Using those measurements, ovals were drawn on 2 inch thick styrofoam. Then using an electric knife, cut the ovals out.mannequins bWe labelled the pieces so they go in the right order.mannequins a

The we hot glued the pieces together.mannequins c

Once the pieces were glued together…mannequins d

…we had the general shape and size we needed.  I don’t have photos of the next steps but they are straight forward.  Using the electric knife,  the edges were smoothed out.  The styrofoam was then padded with quilt batting so the mannequin was more squishy and the edges were further smoothed out.  Using a stretchy knit, we covered the  whole mannequin and its padding. At this point we tried the bodice on before sewing the knit covering shut, just in case we needed to peel back the layers and shave more of the styrofoam off for a better fit.  When the fit was good, the knit cover was sewn shut. A hole was left in the bottom of the cover and padding so a stand post could be shoved in.

I have thought the same method could work to create a dress form.  Instead of an existing bodice for measurements you would use your own measurement.  You could probably salvage the stand and post off of an old Christmas tree.  When my dress form Trudy dies, I will try this.  Trudy may die sooner rather than later as the combo of the weight of my dresses and the burden of corsets and padding that is needed to get her close to my shape had been a strain on her adjustable joints.


Greetings from Milwaukee

I bought this cabinet card that was made in Milwaukee in the 1890’s.SAM_2770 aI’m guessing that this is a 1890’s photo because of the sleeves.SAM_2770 bInteresting paisley-like fabric on the middle lady’s bodice, don’t you think?  I wonder what color it was.  I think she is a daughter and the two seated people are her parents.

The back of the card is very pretty!SAM_2770 cI’d like to see a building like that.  Also, note the add in the top left window.  12 cabinets and a life-sized crayon for $4.75.  Well that brings an image to my modern mind of a gigantic wax crayon.  Pretty sure that was not what this photographer was selling.

It seems a crayon portrait  was a process.  Copied from this website. Go to the link and scroll down till you see the below quote and an accompanying photo.

Crayon Portraits/Charcoal or Pastel 1860 – 1905/1930 Crayon a French word meaning pencil, the term “Crayon portrait” is any art that is both free hand, and photographic. Photographic crayon portraits, they usually measure around 16 x 20 inches, usually a vignette and often a convex oval. When found in frames they were a large gilded, or ornately decorated frame. They were the commercial attempts at photographic enlarging, through the Woodward Solar Enlarging Camera, patented by Woodward in 1857. The weakly printed solar enlargement required the crayon portrait artist’s touch up work in order to strengthen the image. Crayon portraits enjoyed great success from roughly 1860 through about 1905, and in some isolated areas until the Great Depression. These were the first “life-sized” photographic images that were available for portraiture. Artists used bromide, silver, and platinum prints as the photographic base. An out of print book (1882) by J. A. Barhydt describes the process of making the portraits, “Crayon Portraiture: Complete Instructions for Making Crayon Portraits on Crayon Paper and on Platinum, Silver, and Bromide Enlargements.” Now and then a copy shows up on eBay for around twenty bucks or so. Unfortunately, the genre is not highly valued as a topic to historians of photography, as evidenced in most texts on the subject.
Concerning the dating of one of the artifacts . . . the enlargements were made from an earlier daguerreotype, ambrotype, tintype or late, any variety of the smaller prints made from glass plates. As a result, dating the image can be tricky and may require research. A daguerreotype made in 1847, for instance, might not have been enlarged until 1867. While clothing styles may have been updated on a few images, this is rare by my experience, and I have examined thousands of crayons as a photographic materials conservator who specializes in them. If there is a question regarding the date of the artifact, seek a conservator’s examination–or date the artifact as closely as possible to a decade using circa; c1865, c1875, etc. To assist the dating of artifacts, there are books available showing clothing styles of the 19th century and how fashion changed from decade to decade. Attempt to date both the original and the enlargement if possible. This information was found on, author unknown.


Sewing room to guest room

I’ve done some mad sewing this past week because my sewing room will be a guest room for the next few weeks and I wanted to be at a stage where I could still work on a project without a sewing room.  Actually, it wasn’t mad sewing.  Everything fell into place easily for the apron/over-skirt part of my next ensemble and it only took a couple of hours to get to the trimming stage, which is all hand sewing.

Best view!

Best view!  Love the waves of folds.

Love the waves of folds.

Back view.

Not sure if those sashes are supposed to be tied to look like an apron tied on.

Not sure if those sashes are supposed to be tied to look like an apron tied on.

Front view.

Boring as all get out.  But will be better once the trim is added.

Boring as all get out. But will be better once the trim is added.

I need a name for this dress.  The bodice will be a basque so lets go with 1872 Basque in Blue.  It rhymes and I like that.

2 Brown 1880’s dresses from the Costume Museum of Canada

1880's dress brown CMC dWhile on display last May.  I liked the trim on this dress.1880's dress brown CMC bI also liked the hidden watch pocket.  I want to put some in my dresses.1880's dress brown CMC c

The dress had nice details at the hem of the skirt.1880's dress brown CMC e

This is the other black dress (you can see the back of the first dress in the background)1880's dress grey CMC a

The tabs were folded gross grain ribbon.1880's dress grey CMC c

Poor thing has some issues under the arm.1880's dress grey CMC bIf you look at the two photos above, you will note that the details on the skirt are asymmetrical.  I struggle with that when I make dresses.  It hurts my modern sensibilities.