Yes! Filler!

Joy! I discovered a stack of carte de visite and cabinet cards that I have yet to post here.  Whew, material for my blog!

I don’t know about other bloggers but I need “filler” material.  This is a costuming making and wearing blog and when I’m not making or wearing, I need filler.  My volunteer work with the Costume Museum frequently provided excellent material, but that has been put on hold as my new job schedule doesn’t work with the volunteering schedule.

So without further ado…let me fill you up.img_20161211_182245003

This is a cabinet card of an older woman who is obviously well off!  She has plenty of jewelry and a finely beaded and lace filled bodice.  I like her hair style and if ever I get bangs again, I will copy this style when in 1890’s costume.  There is no photographer name on the back of the card but there is 1895 stamped on the back.



A little steampunk

Gads, I hate trying to get anything done when I have a headache.  I had 4 projects I hoped to put some time into today and my success rate was minimal.

One project was changing some hooks and eyes into real buttons and button holes on an older project.  Nah.  Didn’t feel like it.

dawn stairs

I want the buttons to be functional, not just decorative

One was getting some knitting done on my Canadian cloud which will be my offering for this months HSF challenge.  It may still happen but don’t hold your breath…the wool is too fine and my eyes are sore…especially the right one.img_20160619_181345106.jpg

I did get some work done on last months really late offering for HSF but I probably should have stayed away.  I corded and attached a ruffle on a skirt but I had to take the ruffle off and reapply because the base skirt was wadded, bunched and pleated under the needle and I essentially shortened the skirt by 1/4 to 2 inches in a very random fashion.  I blame the migraine.  It alters my reality.  tv242colorfin

The second ruffle from the bottom was the devil that got me. It is on now but the whole skirt will sit idle until next weekend.

I had more success on the project I wanted to complete for Costume College.  They are having a Steampunk event and I am basically going to take an existing outfit and punk it up.


I will shorten (temporarily) the skirt, petticoat and bustle.

You will be able to see my feet so I will finally have a use for these things.

photo 2

I will use the “book bag” from my son’s old costume as the purse.


I bought a “bag o’ gears” from the craft store and tacked them onto the hat I will use.img_20160619_134817522.jpg

They will come off easy and not mess up my Victorian hat much.  There were a few gears left over so I made a down and dirty set of earrings to go with it.img_20160619_163512.jpg

My headache day wasn’t a complete bust.

A belt

I’m in a blogging slump…I can’t seem to get motivated to do anything more inspired these days!  Luckily, I have a ton of pictures from the Costume Museum of Canada to keep things going…

Today I have a belt that has similar features that I have seen in some of the chatelaines they also have in the collection.  It is dated 1890’s.

1890 belt CMC a

It has nice purple stones.  I love purple…1890 belt CMC b

And this is the part that reminds me of the chatelaines.1890 belt CMC c

I think it is made from brass.  I wonder what it would have looked like when new and shiny.

My plant is mixed up…so am I

I happened to notice that my Christmas Cactus seems to think that it is Christmas time!img_20160419_183241852.jpg

Odd little fella.  Or is he?  Lately, I have been working on projects that will be worn this December at the Dickens’ Festival in Carlyle.  Perhaps Mr. Cactus is just getting in the spirit of things around here.  So lets follow along, shall we?

When we think Christmas and Dickens, we think “A Christmas Story” which is about Scrooge who is a miser.  So let us check out a couple of miser’s purses (nice segue, eh).

1870 miser purse CMC a

The right side is showing the correct side and the left is showing the back.  Both sides are, in fact, the same.


It is a crochet and beaded bag from 1870’s and is from the Costume Museum of Canada’s collection.

1870 miser purse CMC b

The ends are beaded

Honestly, I must have been brain dead the day I took these photographs because I could not figure out how to get in it.  Now that I look at the photographs, it is obvious.  The top layer is a flap that you would lift to reach into the pocket. Gosh, I am so dim sometimes!

1870 miser purse CMC d

The two pockets are joined by braided strand that are knotted in the middle. (Yes we noticed the broken bead section and the loose beads and the poor thing was safely packaged up in an envelope to await some conservation work.

1870 miser purse CMC c

The rings are attached to the knot.  The end ring is covered in a stitch that I have done when doing Dorset buttons.  That ring could attach to a chatelaine of some type or be worn on a finger.

I think I have another project to try some day!

Before I start another miser purse, I should pull the one I have started, out of the UFO pile. This is as far as I got… Bah, humbug.Miser 3

It has been so long since I have looked at it, I will have to figure out how to do it again.  I can’t even remember what my plan was for the bead pattern.

May be this bag from the 1890’s (also from the Costume Museum of Canada’s collection) will inspire me.IMG_20160405_180209855

1890 miser purse CMC a

Happy Christmas in May and a Bah Humbug to you and yours.

I got my photo files back!

The hubby’s computer pro friend worked his voodoo magic and got my files off of the dead computer.  Happy days!  I will post the following photos with great gratitude!  The photos are of a dress that the Costume Museum of Canada had on display awhile back.  I hope you think it is lovely too!  It is a day dress from 1898.1898 dress day CMC a

1898 dress day CMC b

I love the black velvet detail on this dress.

1898 dress day CMC c

The beading and soutache is amazing!

1898 dress day CMC d

It looks machine sewn.1898 dress day CMC e

1898 dress day CMC f

Those buttons are so cute!1898 dress day CMC g

1898 dress day CMC i

I didn’t have a chance to take photos of it after it was steamed out but it was a sweet little number!

Hope you enjoyed!

1890’s henna dyed wool dress

Currently on display in a pop up exhibit for the Costume Museum of Canada is this 1890’s henna dyed wool dress.  1890 copper dress CMC c

The lace is the best part by far!1890 copper dress CMC d

I think it was handmade.  1890 copper dress CMC k

It is on the cuff as well.1890 copper dress CMC jAnd on the front.

1890 copper dress CMC f

Here is a better view of the front.1890 copper dress CMC aThere is a black velvet panel up the front.  And that is where the closure is hidden (both sides).1890 copper dress CMC b

The black velvet trims the edges of the bodice…1890 copper dress CMC g

…and the skirt.1890 copper dress CMC i

There is smocking on the skirt that I imagine had a dual purpose of fit and decoration.1890 copper dress CMC h

So, some of these phone photos are okay and some just suck.  The thing is, they look fine on the phone.  I am due for a phone upgrade.  I’m going to look for one with a good camera!

Winter cap

1894-95 winter cap...handmade.

1894-95 winter cap…handmade.  Costume Museum of Canada collection.

Winter in my neck of the woods is, in a word, brutal.  This little cap may have been worn indoors or on less frigid days for quick trots out to the back yard.  It is hand-made and more utilitarian than fancy so I’m guessing it wasn’t used by a lady use to the finer things in life.  It also seems more “old-fashioned” than the date implies so may be worn by an older woman.

Left side view

Left side view

Back view.

Back view.

Right side view.

Right side view.

Top view

Top view

As a lover of knitting, I attempted to figure out how it was made.  I have thought I’d made one or two more “common folk” wear outfits and this would do nicely as an accessory.  The ties and edge trim was easy to figure out.

Hairpin lace technique.

Hairpin lace technique.

It has been awhile since I took these photos and my cell phone takes crappy pictures, but I think it is 3 strips of hairpin lace.  The red line is an outside edge of one strip.  Red wool has been worked into it to finish of the edge.  The next line is the inner stitches of hairpin lace.  Here is a good description of a basic hairpin lace stitch.

The next wavy line is the edges of the first strip joined with a second strip of lace A strand of matching wool snakes over top of the join.  Unfortunately, I can’t quite make out how the join was made.  I have a few ideas how I could mimic but I’d have to trial and error that one.

The process is repeated with a third strip of lace and an edging of red is added to that out edge.

For the back edge, it looks like the same process is done but the three strips of lace are joined as above and then folded in half lengthwise, gathered and then attached to the “body” of the cap.

Now the body of the cap is the real tricky part.

1894-5 CMC h

It is possible that this is a knit stitch similar to this one. But I really think it is actually a weave.

I also had the sense that it was two woven pieces together (for extra warmth).  It was really hard to tell without really yanking on these old fibers!

So someday I would like to give this a try.