Brown and gold

I still have some terrible camera phone photos of the last exhibit for the Costume Museum of Canada.  Lets use some up shall we….



I was attracted to this dress because of the trim.1900-09 dress CMC b

It is really displayed best on the back.1900-09 dress CMC h

The sleeves are quite nice too.1900-09 dress CMC d

Close up of the bodice.1900-09 dress CMC c

The closure is hidden on the left side (wearers left, your right).1900-09 dress CMC f


Oh no!

I have hurt my shoulder just a week and a half away from going on a big costume trip.  I’m in a I sling at this point.  I may have to come up with a period appropriate sort of sling.  Maybe it is time to pull out my old Victorian medical book and see what they would suggest.

small passage of time…

No help there…but I can tell you how to treat a bullet wound if the bullet passed through the body.  For cases of fracture, the reader is told to call a doctor or experienced person and use what is at hand to secure the limb and stop any blood loss.

So what do I take from that?  If I still need a collar and cuff sling…11_N40_i610_218

I use what is on hand and I will quickly whip up a cover for it (one handed…might not be quick) so that it doesn’t look so modern.  I don’t need a full triangle bandage sling but it may do the trick while in costume.

It is a fairly minor injury so with any luck I wont need the stupid thing after all.

Turn the page-West coast

The next set of pages in my cabinet card collection album is a man on one side and a woman on the other.SAM_3346

Close up of the man out of the album…SAM_3347

the photograph was taken in Vancouver British Columbia (aka BC), which is on our east coast.

77 Cordova St. (Vancouver)/1889

An internet search placed him at this address in 1889: 77 Cordova St. Vancouver

And this is the lady.SAM_3349

Just as a side note…we often think of Victorians as tiny people.  With the exception of the corset, this lady has a shape that is very typical of this day and age.

An internet search places Hall on 416 Cordova St. during the years of 1887-1891.

An internet search places Hall and the Vancouver Photographic Company on 416 Cordova St. (just a few blocks from the other photographer) during the years of 1887-1891.

The web site also had some interesting information about this photographers life. According to an 1883 newspaper article, Hall immigrated with his parents in 1867 to Canada (Ontario) and settled in Brampton. After moving to Toronto and working for R. Walker & Sons, he then started with Notman & Fraser, photographers, about 1869. He moved to Winnipeg in 1881 and formed a partnership with William Johnston as Johnston & Hall. By 1883 Hall had taken on a new partner, Skene Lowe. The partnership operated as Hall & Lowe. Lowe had moved to Victoria by 1885. Hall had visited Victoria and his brother Robert H. in Fort Simpson in the summer of 1884 and that may have prompted Lowe to relocate. Hall was reported doing itinerant photographic work in Medicine Hat in September 1886, and moved to the coast in July 1887 the Vancouver Photographic Company was opened that October. The Hall & Lowe studio in Victoria continued to operate under that name. The partnership was dissolved in May 1892 and Hall sold the Vancouver studio toDavid Wadds. Hall became sheriff of Vancouver, a post he held until 1917.

There is a notation at the back of the lady’s photograph.SAM_3351

And this is the reason I confined my searches around this date.  These two people lived in the same city and likely had their photograph taken at similar times.  Were they related?  I doubt they were a couple.  If they were, it would be more likely for them to use the same photographer.

And what relation, if any, do they have to the rest of the folks in the album thus far?  Geographically, they didn’t live close to the others but by November 1885 rail travel from Montreal Quebec to Vancouver BC was possible.  (That rail line was what convinced BC to join the confederacy.)  Were these two part of the same family and was the railway a contributing factor to the family spreading out?

I have not forsaken you

I’ve been quiet this week as I’m am wrapped up in some more self imposed deadlines as well as the start of the madness known as Christmas.  I’ve completed some projects but they will have to wait until after Christmas for posting as they will be gifts.

In the mean time, it is snowing here and it looks like it is here to stay.  With that in mind, I give you a pair of winter boots dated 1900.

In the Costume Museum of Canada's collection

In the Costume Museum of Canada’s collection

Blue velvet and white guess is rabbit.

Blue velvet and white fur…my guess is rabbit.

Bonnet from the 1890’s

The Costume Museum of Canada has a bonnet dated at 1890 that makes me think of pioneer style bonnets.  To my thinking, that seems like an odd date for this style of bonnet.  If the dating is correct, I can only imagine that it wasn’t intended as a fashionable kind of item but more of a practical thing for gardening or doing heavy, dirty work.  I can also imagine an older woman wearing it because that is what they wore back in her day.

Front: the hand is where the face would be.

Front: the hand is where the face would be.  You can see that the tie is running through a channel at the back, which would help with fit.


Left side.

Left side.

This is where you can see the pieces (brim, side, back and neck) and where the cording should be.

Close up of the cording in the brim.

Close up of the cording in the brim.  It looks like it was done by pushing a crochet hook through the fabric. Correct me if I am wrong!


The back.

The back.

You can see the gathering and tucking that forms the neck piece and that helps with the fitting.

This is the right side detail showing how the neck piece was added on to the body of the bonnet.

This is the right side detail showing how the neck piece was added on to the body of the bonnet.

If I ever get around to making work style garments, I think this hat would be a nice one to work on while watching TV!


The project with a dead line

A couple of weeks ago, I was lamenting the fact that I had procrastinated a couple of projects and was killing myself trying to make up the lost time.  One of the projects was crochet ensemble I had promised a friend of mine.  He wanted it for Halloween in New Orleans and I was up to 4:30 in the morning finishing it. He picked it up at 5 am on his way to the airport.  Talk about cutting it short!

I blotted out the faces to protect the innocent...

I blotted out the faces to protect the innocent…

The colors are Harley Davidson logo colors.  The pattern is self drafted using my husbands clothes as a template and the stitch is a basic afghan stitch.  The idea is my friend’s based on samples he saw on line.

The original plan was for sleeves but I ran out of time.  I think the no sleeve option works…it shows off the tattoos he has on both arms.  The one you can see represents God pulling him from the grave and is in reference to his battle with cancer.  My youngest son did the simple line drawing that my friend gave to the tattoo artist (who then added the shading and definition.)

There was some left over wool from the project so I used that to make a project bag.  IMG_20151115_184634966I plan on making more project bags with left over materials.  I insist on having dozens of half started projects so at least I can have them in something better than cheap plastic bags that rip while they lounge around behind my couch waiting for me to get interested again!

“Accidental burn test” or “lets pretend I planned it shall we”

My current project is fighting me every step of the way.  I need a cloak for earlier Victorian years so I don’t freeze to death at a Dickens Christmas “thing” I have this December.  In central Canada, December is the beginning of a 3 month frosty period that can only be compared to walking wet and naked into a deep freeze. I decided I wanted something like this…

I wanted the colors to go with a few dresses and I wanted not to spend a million dollars.

I was looking in the brown tones of the woman behind Judy Dench (don't you just love her?)

I was looking in the dark brown tones of the woman behind Judy Dench (don’t you just love her?)

I went with a huge piece of synthetic fabric (inexpensive).  First obstacle: I thought I had enough to use as both fashion fabric and lining. I had enough if I had no intention of moving my arms.  So I found another fabric to line it.  It was in my stash and it matched my trim so lets pretend I planned it shall we. I used the formally designated lining fabric to piece together a bigger piece for the fashion fabric.

Second obstacle: The above pictures look like 3 rectangles gathered up.  Easy. And yet my bigger piece of fabric did not want to drape nicely.  It rode up in the back for one, and I decided that once the inner lining was added for warmth it would be too thick and bunchy – it was already too bunchy without the inner lining and lining.  Well, I always wanted to try draping and this seemed like an easy project for that so lets pretend I planned it shall we.  So I did some trimming and shaping at the shoulders and neck.  Now I am wondering if I am moving to far away from the shape and technique used in the mid-Victorian era.  But there is no help for it.  I just didn’t want to look like this:fisher-junior-lined-sideline-cape-67

Third obstacle: the felt, flannel and fleece I planned to use for inner lining were now not wide enough.   So I spent a huge chunk of time piecing that together.  I zig zagged that to avoid huge chunky seams inside the cape.  Piecing is authentic right?  Zig zagging isn’t though!

Forth obstacle: (and the one that made me grind my teeth and opt to move away from the sewing room).  I went to press my seams…because that is what you do.  If I had any doubt about my fabric being synthetic, they are gone now because I forgot to check the temperature of my iron and my fabric melted.  IMG_20151114_173411103

Let us pretend that I wanted to know for sure what the fiber content was and I planned it that way shall we? A small mercy is this was only the smaller collar part and it wasn’t the side that was already trimmed.  Annoying but not catastrophic.

Turn the page: Two more gentlemen

The next page in my anniversary photo album is two gentlemen.SAM_3341

The gentleman on the left has a very strong jaw and an impressive mustache!SAM_3342

I bet his eyes were ice grey!SAM_3343

He had his photograph taken by Lockwood & Lothian in Soo Michigan.  I didn’t have any real luck locating dates for this photographer.  And as I have said many times, I have no idea how to date men’s clothes.  But for connections to the other photographs I have a little more info.  Soo Michigan is 46 km or 28.5 miles from Sault Ste Marie Ontario.  Who, from this album is from Sault Ste Marie?SAM_3263

I think they look alike.  At least they have similar taste in hair and facial hair!  The jaws are different but the eyes are the same icy grey.

This girl is also from Sault St Marie.SAM_3258I wonder how/if they are related.

Back to the current page:  the other side is a young man.SAM_3344

His photo was taken in Sudbury Ontario and his photographer was AJ Lothian.  First facts first.  Sudbury is 364 km or 226 miles from Soo Michigan.  You would drive through Sault Ste Marie to get from Sudbury to Soo.  (Sudbury is 395 km or 245 miles North of Toronto and I have cards for Toronto as well).

These two cards have photographers with the same last name and they are fairly close in distance.  So my theory is that we have a family business or trade.

The edge of the card is scalloped and that started in 1886 and was popular until 1900.

So far there are several photographs from the Southern Ontario, Northern Michigan area.  I believe that most would have only been a day away by train.

There are a few photographs from Southern Manitoba.

And somebody named Lucy was given one of the photos so she may be the owner of the album.

Baby dress I don’t need

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned being overwhelmed with deadlines. The overwhelming was a direct result of procrastinating and doing things that didn’t have a particular deadline.  One item was making a baby dress.  I don’t need a baby dress.  My kids are in their 20’s-not babies anymore.  And neither has any intention of making me a grandma in the immediate future.  I just liked the wool and had to have it.  I did finish the project this past weekend and I even managed to squeak out some booties with the left over wool.  IMG_20151109_065258429

I think it is cute.  Now to decide what to do with it.  Do I try to sell it in my friends craft sale?  Do I keep  it for some unexpected baby shower?  Do I hoard it until such time as I actually need it for a grand-baby?  You tell me!

Fancy dress dinner

Shirley and I went out for dinner this past weekend.  The intention was to take some photographs by the river first but it was too cold.  So we opted for some window shopping at an antique store.1

Then we headed off to dinner.3

It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening…dressing pretty and planning our next big event…next month!  Hope you had a good weekend too.  Cheers!9