Photo app

I was playing with my phone app the other day and I altered one of my photos from the Halloween Outing Shirley and I went on.  I turned this…

12774_591545904282597_2358923074543678187_nInto this…..Fright night at the old fort

With the exception of the date and time on the corner, doesn’t it look like one of those post-mortem photos?

You could say that modern times definitely beats Victorian times when it comes to photography options…though, artistically, I still prefer my manual film camera.

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!

Year in Review and Final HSF Challenge

Happy New Year!  And as every sewing blogger knows, now is the time to reflect on how much we managed to get done.  Wow!  It is really amazing how much I got done once I got out of my slump and there is only 2 reasons I was so productive-Deadlines and Challenges.  The vast majority of those came from The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenges.

There was crochet fingerless gloves and an 1950’s costume for work.  There was my 1900 widows weeds that includes a petticoat, skirt, bodice with hand-made frog closures, a serious hat and a “scary hat” for Halloween, and a cape.SAM_1466

I’ve knit a modern scarf and a Victorian shawl.   I have worn the shawl with my 1840’s Copper Penny dress and that includes 3 petticoats, the dress, bonnet, reticule, hand-made lace collar, and a muff.SAM_1559 (2)

I upgraded a hat for my 1890’s walking suit and made several pieces of jewelry.

I made a complete 1890’s swim suit which includes the suit, the skirt, the hat and shoes.

15I’ve made my first corset and I’ve made a handkerchief to give away.

I’ve made an ugly 1880’s Tea Gown…twice.SAM_1619

I’ve made my 1873 Polonaise that includes skirt bodice and hat.SAM_1371

Now for the final challenge I give you my new 1870’s mantle (that may or may not be worn with the above outfit).




The Challenge: 26 Celebrate

Fabric: Unknown, likely a synthetic blend

Pattern: TV501 1871 Mantle

Year: 1871

Notions: buttons, trims, thread, hooks and eyes.

How historically accurate is it? The pattern is accurate, the print is plausible to my eye, it is half machine sewn, half hand sewn which is plausible as well. The fiber content of the fabric is not. 70%?

Hours to complete: 15

First worn: just for this photo.

Total cost: $90

Spooky Carriage ride

My 1900 widows weeds-spooky incarnation had its inaugural wearing on Saturday night’s Ghostly Carriage Ride.  I took most of the photos at home where the light was still available.

The gown and make up on their own.  Note the zombie stance.  Not intentional-no time to pose properly with the timer!

The gown and make up on their own. Note the zombie stance. Not intentional-no time to pose properly with the timer!

Ghoulish make up and hair paint (that may have caused an allergic reaction on my neck).

Ghoulish make up and hair paint (that may have caused an allergic reaction on my neck).

Complete ensemble for the evening.

Complete ensemble for the evening.

I had the option to wear the veil up but I didn't actually think to do it as it was already pitch dark and hard enough to see.

I had the option to wear the veil up but I didn’t actually think to do it as it was already pitch dark and hard enough to see.

Shirley also wore her widows weeds and a friend of ours dressed as a Hutterite.  Don't worry, she was completely respectful.

Shirley also wore her widows weeds and a friend of ours dressed as a Hutterite. Don’t worry, she was completely respectful.


I wont freeze to death now!

I love capes!  They whip up so fast!  I used Truly Victorians 1890’s cape pattern TV590.  I decided against the tall collar-it looked to regal for mourning…and then I threw on some bling.  Go figure.


So for Historical Sew Fortnightly:

The Challenge: 20 Outerwear

Fabric: some mysterious, light sucking poly something, a poly something velvet, and a cotton lining.

Pattern: TV590

Year: The pattern is 1890’s but I’m using it with a 1900 dress.  Plausible.  My winter coats can last 10 years.

Notions: a fancy metal hook, a beaded ribbon and thread.

How historically accurate is it? 80%?  I’m middle-aged so I would be more worried about being warm than being au courant – especially in mourning.  It is all machine sewn but that is more than plausible for 1900.  Synthetic fibers are also plausible but I have no idea what those fibers are or when they were invented.  I did not research how hard-line they were in 1900 for types of fibers used for mourning.  The cape would perhaps be considered half mourning because of the beading. (The dress could be considered second mourning because there is some fabric trim on it.)  My hat probably needs a veil, which can be worn thrown back over the hat to make it a second mourning hat. But, some of those rules of mourning relaxed after the Queen died in 1901.  I think I will eventually add a veil but, I haven’t any in my stash now and finding a black veil material without spiders on it will be a bit of a challenge for a month or two.

Hours to complete: @10

First worn: not yet…I hope this Saturday

Total cost: Nothing.  Everything was left overs from other projects.

I can now mark that UFO done

It has taken over a year…a YEAR!…but I finally have it done (unless you count the cape I hope to make for it by next Saturday).

I’m not madly in love with it.  The black is light sucking.  I did so much by the seat of my pants that I have no idea if any of it is actually plausible.  I had to totally alter the sleeves from the original pattern because finishing it in fall means shorter sleeves will be impractical.  And the whole up sizing of that pattern was a challenge (aka  a drag).  But, it is done.  It is wearable.



My next goal is the cape to keep me from freezing to death next weekend.  I wish I had some black wool.  Alas, I do not.  And I have mountains of black material in my stash to use.

Two steps forward, one step back

I’ve made some headway on my mourning gown.  But, I did have to re-cut and sew a new front flap panel.  It fit with some squishing but I decided that in 1900 they were starting to move towards the pigeon front and not the snug fit of the earlier years.  This required a piece that was 3″ wider.  Thank heavens, I had enough fabric to re-cut it!



I realize that the remodeled panel looks crooked on the top.  It isn’t in reality. Once it is really buttoned down (I will be using the Chinese frogs I made for the Oriental challenge of Historical sew fortnightly) and the faux shirt is laying flat, it will be fine.

I’m on the edge with the faux shirt.  It seems a bit like over kill.  But, since it is just a bib like thing, I could find a fabric I like better and make another one.  This one will do fine for the more Halloween version of this dress’ incarnation.  The one thing I do like about it, is it adds some more curve that would help with the pigeon front look.  I just don’t know….

Once the sleeves are on and the fasteners are on and functioning, I should be able to make a better decision on the shirt front.

If all goes well, I should have the bodice done on time for my event next weekend.  It is an evening event and our evenings are getting decidedly cold.  I’ll need some sort of item for warmth.  I had thought of dying one of my knitted shawls black but the dye pack I was looking at, could not promise that it would dye black and not some dreary shade of grey.  So now I’m hoping to get a cape made by next weekend.  My oh my, being employed is getting in the way of my sewing plans!