What to wear, what to wear…

I have an event this weekend…a Victorian High Tea.  At first I thought of wearing my 1840’s Copper Penny Dress because it is very Dickens.SAM_1559 (2)

But, Shirley pointed out that it is a Victorian High Tea for Christmas and not a Dickens High Tea for Christmas.

I could wear my 1873 Polonaise because Shirley is going 1870’s….


I could wear my 1850’s tea gown to the tea event…SAM_1356

Gads, no!  It is not fit for human consumption.  Unless you are talking about the illness consumption…in which case one would not care what one looked like.  Thankfully, this photo is very “cell phone camera” blurry!

I could wear my 1880’s Half Grand Surprise Dress as it is a nice Christmas red.


I could wear my 1895 Dinner gown as I haven’t worn it in ages.SAM_0238

Actually, I don’t think I have worn it in public since I have finished the cape and the muff.  Might be a bit over the top for an afternoon tea but what the heck…. Okay, decision made.

Even if I do look like a linebacker in it…

The cape over the sleeves brings to mind a football player standing on the side lines.

The cape over the sleeves brings to mind a football player standing on the side lines.

Project machine!

Before we begin the fun, let us pause for a moment of silence to remember our fallen soldiers.  If it were not for them, we wouldn’t have the freedom to pursue our odd little hobbies and interests.


Project machine.  That’s me.  Just firing them off one by one.

I have an event next weekend (if all goes well) and I’m excited about it but I’m also shaking in my shoes in fear that I will be shaking in my shoes in freezing conditions!  I went out and bought some fall boots and if you squint in the dark, they will look like something that may have been worn in the 1840’s.  I will likely be modern with my heavy socks and waffle fabric long underwear but over that I will be wearing my new flannel petticoat.  

Wearing an embroidered cotton flannel petticoat in cold weather is authentic.  Having machine embroidery…not so much.  But I am pressed for time and if you squint in the dark…well you get the picture.SAM_1546

Once that was done, I needed to think about my poor hands.  I went for the muff I made here. I had made it so I could change the cover to co-ordinate with other outfits.  But, in removing the cover, I remembered that I hadn’t put in proper ties yet…it was still being held together with wool.  So proper ties jump to the head of the to-do list.  I made the channels too narrow, so what should have taken a few seconds to do took and episode and a half of Murdoch Mysterys! SAM_1547

Once the cover was off (and finished) I decided to steal my friend Shirley’s idea and flip my muff inside out and sew a pocket into it for slipping a “hot pocket” package in. SAM_1548Then I flipped it right way out again so that the pocket will be next to my hands. (We will call this last paragraph a tutorial “How to keep your hands warm and hide modern conveniences.”

Okay, with that done, it was time to make the new cover.  I wanted it dark brown to go with the trim on my 1840 copper penny dress and hat.  I went rummaging in my stash but couldn’t find a big enough piece.  What I did find is two smaller pieces attached to pieces of light brown.  They came from hacking the ends off of my pagoda sleeves when I decided that they were too long.  I sewed the pieces together and ended up with a muff cover that will go with my copper penny dress and my 1850’s tea dress.SAM_1552I hated that sewing line.  And it really was quite boring.  So….SAM_1553Now I have a submission for Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge 25 1 meter. Not bad for a half day of work.  I’ll likely rip that bow off and replace it with something more interesting when I have the time and the idea.  It will do for now.

HSF: Challenge #13-Lace and lacings.

My submission for this challenge is the lace collar I crocheted for my Copper Penny Dress.


I don’t know why I took the photo from the back of the dress.  But you get the idea.

The Challenge: 13 lace and lacings

Fabric: cotton thread

Pattern: from a vintage pattern book

Year: The pattern would be 1950s or 1960s

Notions: none

How historically accurate is it? I would say 80-100%.  They did use lace collars, it was lady like to crochet-even in the upper classes, the thread is cotton.  The only thing I’m iffy on is if the pattern is too modern.  I think it is plausible.  There was nothing to wild as far as stitches go.

Hours to complete: @10

First worn: the Mother’s Day fashion show at work

Total cost: I got the thread at a thrift store and I didn’t use it all…may be $1?

Mother’s Day Victorian Fashion Show and Tea

Last Saturday, Shirley and I put on a Victorian Fashion Show for our seniors in the nursing home that we work in.  It went very well and I do think our ladies loved it!  Here are some photos from the event.IMG_1178 - CopyI am doing a co-workers hair up.  I didn’t have permission to use her face so I blocked it out.  But I will tell you she REALLY suits the 1860s styles!IMG_1198Coco Worker is wearing one of Shirley’s dresses.  You’ve seen it before here and here.

IMG_1210 - CopyOur teen volunteer wore my dress based on an 1895 fashion plate.  I hate it when someone else looks better in your dress than you do!IMG_1227Here is Shirley’s new dress!  Isn’t it divine!

IMG_1229Another co-worker wore a dress made by Shirley and worn on Dominion day.

MOTHERS DAY TEA 030 - CopyThis is my new dress. The skirt is what I contributed to the Sew Fortnightly Challenge 11 Squares and RectanglesSAM_1102

This front view was taken at an earlier date and did not include the lace collar that I made and added on.

And this is why I can’t use real silk…

I’m making good progress on my 1840 copper penny dress.  The skirt has been attached with lovely little cartridge pleats.  It is a painful process but they look so lovely! The hem was finished yesterday and I was 1/4 way through putting on the hooks and eyes when I dumped my coke on it!

And there is the culprit

And there is the culprit

If it had been silk, the dress-that I’ve never worn, that I need badly for mother’s day and that I’ve worked hours on would have been RUINED!  I don’t even want to think about how much money that would have been.  But my mystery fabric looks like it will look fine after a quick rinse under the tap.  I have to wait until it dries to finish the hooks and eyes, give it its final press and then try it on.

A good day revives the soul!

I had a good day yesterday.  I did lots of lounging which is always good for a body.  I got some knitting done.  I got the skirt for my copper penny dress cut out and I got some laughs in while doing it!SAM_1059I don’t know how people get anything done living with a cat.  This guy is laying half on my lap top and half on me at this moment.  He is messing up my typing.   He goes back to his home tomorrow and I’m half relieved and half missing him already!  I will be relieved that the half of him that is laying on my keyboard is gone but I will miss the half that is keeping my tummy warm (it is snowing again here….Grrrr)

Anyway, I was able to run a couple of errands (get those off my to-do list) and then go out with a really good buddy.  We had our favorite soup at a local restaurant and then went to play bingo.  We ate icecream while we played…yum….  Then she won $100 and I won $123!  So we had to go out for a drink afterwards to celebrate.  I feel wonderfully relaxed!

Useful but not stunning.

I’ve been sick all weekend.  But, I have managed to keep moving.  I have found small projects I could work on without expending a lot of energy.  I don’t know about you folks but I find wrangling huge skirt gores a demanding and physical job-I actually sweat doing that work.  The skirt was out of the question for this weekend.

My hat was at a stage that it needed simple seams machine sewn or hand sewing (when you are flaked out in a recliner, hand sewing isn’t that bad…) The bag for my 1840s costume falls under that category as well.SAM_0998I decided to keep it simple as there will be a lot going on with that dress.  The silly story that goes with this bag is that it originally wasn’t going to be a bag.  It was going to be the fabric covering my hat brim.  After I cut the brim out, I realized that the pattern piece had actually torn and the two fabric pieces were too short to cover the hat.  I had to recut them.  But, that used up all my remaining material so I had to use the rejected pieces for the bag…hence the slightly elongated shape.  Ah, such is life.  At least my fans should fit in there.  The chain is left over from a package I had bought that also had a gold chain in it.  The gold chain was used to fix my broken pocket watch chain.  So the bag qualifies as being completely de stashing…yeah me!