Every year, my “Sewing Plans for This Year” gets altered as the year progresses.   Aim high and be flexible enough to accept an incomplete list.  I still plan on getting my leather gloves done for this months HSM challenge.  They will likely be late.

This means I would be late starting November’s project idea.  It is a massive idea so there is no way it would be finished by the end of the year…never mind the end of the month.  So this idea gets filed away until next year.e4890f80a30fb38258693b97224dbf71

Instead, I will do this.  Not as historically accurate but much more manageable!untitled.pngBut I do look forward to having this item under my skirts one day!medium

Garage Sales + Strange conversations + … = zombie land

This past weekend, my girlfriend had a garage sale and I added some of my crap and helped her out.  I got rid of some things I don’t want any more, froze in the misty rain and then came home with new to me crap. I actually didn’t make any money because when ever I sold something I used the cash to buy something else!

Later in the weekend I had a strange conversation about the shape the world is in (see last post).  The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning and cooking for guests.  (When my house reaches a level of uncomfortable dirt, I invite people over so that I am forced to clean.)

This morning I had to get up real early to drive my son to work because he is having car issues.  I got no sewing done this weekend and it ain’t happenin’ today.  I’m sitting on the couch in a state of semi-consciousness until I have to leave for work this afternoon!

Life does take over and shoves leisure into the background.

Flat Earther

This is a thing.  I spoke to someone yesterday that saw a documentary that caused him to doubt every thing he has been taught in school.  After I removed my palm from my forehead and got my mouth to shut I Googled it and it is thing that actual groups of people believe.  I despair for the world.  I like lots of things Victorian (and the belief that the world is flat got its main momentum in the Victorian Era) but this is silly!  800px-orlando-ferguson-flat-earth-map_edit

Now, I don’t blindly believe everything I’m told-even what I was told in school-or see on the internet.  In a debate, I do my best to see both sides of a coin.  (Notice: above I posted a link to a video that claims to prove the world is flat then a link to an article that explains where that assumption comes from with some reasons why it is wrong.) I do my best to avoid re-posting other peoples posts on Facebook if I haven’t at least checked it out on Snopes or checked to see if it is still current information. I like to think that I am at least a little discerning.  I AM struggling with allowing this person I spoke with, to form his own opinions based on his own exposure to information and to not roll my eyes into the back of my head (my eyes are truly in danger of stiffening up and getting stuck there!).  This is my own arrogance and over confidence in my own intelligence.  The struggle is real folks!

What do you think?

Turn the page: other side

The last entry I made about my cabinet card album was in the back pages, which is tin types and carte de visites.IMG_20160724_183532849

We looked at the left page. This time we will look at the right page.

The first photo is a tin type of a cute little gaffer with his gun.  Knowing Victorians, that thing probably does actually work!img_20160724_184846

The next is a tin type as well.  The subjects are two women (mother/daughter?) and my guess for date, based on clothes is the 1880’s.  Aren’t those hats wonderful!


Next is a tin type of two gents.  Love the wall!  It looks like boxes that have been paper mached to look like stone.


And finally, another tin type that I think comes from the 80’s.


The woman on the right is holding something in her hand but it is blurry.  I’m guessing she moved and I’m also guessing it is something like a folded fan.  Again, more cute hats and I’m loving that white dress!  A white dress is something I don’t have yet.  I might be a bit too old (and messy-the law of my life is I’m always wearing white when I eat spaghetti) to be wearing white. I associate white dresses with wealthy young single Victorian ladies.  Wealthy because white is a pain to keep clean…you need to not have to work, not have to worry about washing it yourself and not have to worry about replacing it if it gets ruined.  And I associate it with young single ladies because the debut dresses were all white.  Anyone know if 50+ women wore white? (The woman in the second photo above is older but my guess is she is closer to 30 than 50 and her dress is more tan than white.)

Self Discipline

I have made a rule for myself that really sucks but it is a necessary evil, especially since my sewing room got moved down into the laundry room.  My rule is that after a project is finished, I MUST CLEAN UP MY SEWING SPACE before I start a new project.

0000Pick things up.  Straighten things out.  Put things away.  Sweep.  Boring as h-e-double hockey sticks.  But, once it is done, I’m glad I did it.000

Makes it easier to find things.  I’m afraid the next cleaning cycle must involve purging fabric and hat trims because I have run out of room. (Note red fabric sitting on top of fabric bins and flowers poking out of their drawer.) It could involve purging all the knitting project ideas that are filling up the cupboards over top of the counter too…but lets not talk crazy!

Anyone else do this or do you go with the creativity inspired chaos?

Outing to the St. Boniface Museum

Shirley and I went to the St. Boniface Museum this weekend.  2It was my chance to wear something new and Shirley’s chance to wear something she hasn’t had enough opportunities to wear.62

For the most part, I was pleased with how the dress looks on but there were some issues with the jacket not sitting right.  I think the problem was the corset is the wrong era (and not small enough) so the “girls” were not smooth enough.5c

See how it rides up.

Before leaving home, I got the hubby to take an “at home” photo.1a

Corset cover required!  As well as a more appropriate corset!  The hoops need work too but I will acknowledge that they didn’t fall off this time, and I finally have them short enough that I don’t step on them (unless the ground is really hilly).

The St. Boniface Museum was built in 1847 and served many purposes.

1847 – 1956 Under the auspices of the Grey Nuns, the convent served as Western Canada’s first hospital, orphanage and seniors’ home. It was also a school, initially for both girls and boys; Louis Riel was a student here. Eventually, the Sisters operated a boarding school for girls.

Louis Riel was a Metis person (Aboriginal and French parents). 72

He was not pleased with how his people were being treated by the Canadian Government and he led a rebellion that set up a provisional government which ultimately started what became the province of Manitoba.  He is now known and honored as the founder of my province but at the time, the ruling class were not pleased with his actions and he and his supporters were imprisoned and he was hung.  Canada is a great country but it has some ugly skeletons in its closet…the treatment of the aboriginal people is one.

Because of his connection to the convent, many artifacts of his life and death are preserved in the museum.  There is also many artifacts related to the Metis peoples…7a

…and, of course the Catholic Church in Manitoba.  13

The nuns who ran and used the building for a century are represented as well.

Different displays were set up to represent Victorian and Edwardian rooms.  (It really is a big place!)  33

I loved the dishes from the above table and the nut cracker on the near by side board.

They had several nice examples of spinning wheels that makes me think I need to get back on mine!11

Shirley and I had fun trying to photograph ourselves in the mirrors.


When I got home, I played with my phone app and made a few special pictures just for the heck of it.44a

Keep workin’, workin’, workin’

This will be a progress post.  Number one item is a photograph of the finished Atessa dress.  I had it done when I wrote the last post about it but was too lazy to put it on Trudy for a photograph.00.jpg

See, all hemmed.  The purse was a gift from a friend.  Definitely modern and a bit to blingy for a more serviceable dress but the color goes.  I may make a more suitable dress for that bag one day and a more practical bag for this dress too.  For now, this will do.

My next project is making leather gloves.  I have a pattern but based on my success with store bought gloves, I’m going to assume that the pattern fingers will be too long and to thin for my hobbit hands.  A mock up is in order.  We all know I hate mock ups.  So, I am using a satin in my stash and making a mock up that, if it isn’t dreadful in shape and size will become something fancier later on in the year.  img_20160916_094957889.jpg

They are meant to be elbow length and I already know the pattern will never fit around the sausages I have for forearms so I added about 4 inches to that circumference. Leather gloves would have tiny seam allowances so I’m hoping that will help with the width of my fingers.  (These mock ups will also have tiny seam allowances to simulate what would happen with the leather ones.)  I will likely have to chop half the length off to make up for the lack of length in my fingers.

The mock ups will be machine sewn (who has time for hand stitching mock ups?) The real ones will have to be hand sewn.  I don’t think my machine could handle leather.

Tomorrow, I hope to have all my pictures from this weekends outing sorted so I can share that with you.

I think I have a plan

I have decided what I want to do with the linen I bought at CoCo. 1909-dress-va-d

It is a 1909 dress from the VA museum.  I know it isn’t Victorian but I think I want one Edwardian dress for those occasions that are more Edwardian than Victorian.  I wont be needing all the plaid I bought so it goes into the stash for some other unknown project.  I do wish the linen was in purple…even a dark purple would do but I think dyeing it would not work well.  It would just go darker brown.  So I will aim for the impression of the dress if not the color.

My dance card is full till the end of the year but come January I will be setting up my goals for the year and I think this will be near the top of the list.

Rationalize the apron purchase.

Earlier this summer, I gave into my impulse to buy an apronIMG_20160807_115725766I wondered if it was a viable option for wearing with costumes.  My biggest concern was the neck band.  In my limited memory, I thought the common way to support the bib front was pins, not bands.  But a quick search on the Met’s site showed the bands would be fine.





The next apron shows that white with lace is also acceptable.



My costuming pal, Lottie Lovette pointed out, however, that Battenburg lace was not really a thing until the late 1800s so I will have to confine the aprons use to my 1890s outfits.


It would work with this outfit.


Or with this skirt and the other shirtwaist.

The white apron on a white shirtwaist may be a bit much so perhaps I need to make another shirtwaist.  But what color…?  A pale yellow may work with both skirts.  Not a fan of yellow though.  Both skirts have stripes so I think I will avoid stripes in the new shirtwaist.

I’d also like to make an apron (or two) more suited to earlier times…. One should be practical, something a lady might actually do some work in and one should be more decorative.  The examples posted above are excellent inspirations.  So many project ideas…so little time!

HSF: 2016 challenge 8 pattern

Challenge #8: Pattern


I’m using the photo I took before hemming and adding the hooks because I haven’t taken a new photo yet and really…not much difference would be seen between the two photographs.

What the item is: German day dress

Fabric/Materials: cotton

Pattern: TV 454

Year: 1845

Notions: hooks and eyes, cording, bones

How historically accurate is it? Pattern is good.  Fabric is 100% cotton so that is good.  Print is paisley, which is good but paisleys changed over time and I’m not knowledgeable enough on the topic to say this would be a good version for the 1840s. I’m also not knowledgeable about weave to comment on that. The colors are believable. I machine sewed a lot of it so “no” for technique.  Notions were metal hooks (I think some of them are actually vintage and I used natural fiber cording.  The bones were plastic.  I will be using it for a lower middle class woman for day to day wear.  I think, with enough petticoats, the silhouette will be fine.  I give this a generous 70%

Hours to complete: 15

First worn: not yet

Total cost: the notions were in my stash (cost already accounted for in other projects).  I don’t recall the cost of the fabric but I think no more than $30…I was on a tight budget during the shopping trip where this was bought.