Photo bomb

I will be photo bombing you today…not in the modern sense of the word (sneaking into other people’s photograph) but more in the manner of flooding you with several photos.  While at my volunteer job this week I saw several photos that are owned by the museum (see my last post) and I took pictures of several of them.  Since I don’t own these, I wont be sharing them one by one like I do with my own collection.  I will attempt to date them where possible.

The photo on the left is from the 80's and is of a girl around 14-16 years.  The one on the right is the same girl in her 30's in the late 1890's to early 1900's

The photo on the left is from the 80’s and is of a girl around 14-16 years. The one on the right is the same girl in her 30’s in the late 1890’s to early 1900’s

A little laddie and his dog.    So cute in his little kilt!

A little laddie and his dog. So cute in his little kilt!

1870's I'd guess.

1870’s I’d guess. Love her hair!


1860’s dress with fabulous ruffles.  I like ruffles…except they are a ton of work!

This was dated 1890

This was dated 1890-bit of a May/December relationship here.

1860's I think

1860’s I think-look at those sleeves!

This was my favorite!  Look at the embrodery on those pagoda sleeves!

This was my favorite! Look at the embroidery on those pagoda sleeves!

I think 1860's

I think 1860’s.  I’m not to sure about that boob accent!  Makes me think of the multi boobed hooker in Total Recall for some reason.

I took this photo because I didn't like the the dress.  My photo didn't turn out well because the sheer shirtwaist waist is more apparent in the original.  I really didn't like seeing the dark underneth.  It was like she through a shirtwaist over a bodice ball gown.

I took this photo because I didn’t like the dress. My photo didn’t turn out well because the sheer shirtwaist waist is more apparent in the original. I really didn’t like seeing the dark underneath. It was like she threw a shirtwaist over a bodice ball gown.

1860's I believe.

1860’s I believe.

A commemerative copy of the engagement photo of the Prince and Princess of Wales Edward and Alexandria.  The trim on her skirt is to die for!

A commemorative copy of the engagement photo of the Prince and Princess of Wales Edward and Alexandria. The trim on her skirt is to die for!  The original is not so blurry.

I would guess this is a 1860's-70's dress.  The photo really picked up the glossy shine of the silk.

I would guess this is a 1860’s-70’s dress. The photo really picked up the glossy shine of the silk.

Hope you enjoyed.

Planning ahead (dreaming ahead?)

I’ve been thinking about the Flora and Fauna challenge for Historical Sew Fortnightly.  It is challenge number 9 (and likely one I will not be able to pull off because of other deadlines fast approaching).  But if I could pull it off it will be this pattern.

Truly Victorian's 1870s Polonaise.

Truly Victorian’s 1873s Polonaise.

I’d like the fabric to be a floral but if I didn’t find one I liked, I’d go for a cotton material I do like so that it would fit the criteria.  I’ve been thinking about this “shape” of bodice ever since I got this cabinet card.SAM_0970

I really like the bow feature and would like to do something like that on the polonaise.  I also like this pattern because I could do the skirt part for the next challenge: literature.  The reference would be to Little House on the Prairie Series, the reading of which triggered my love of history. In 1873, Laura would have been still a young child and likely her mother was wearing pioneer type clothes for day wear but perhaps Ma had something like this for church.  Or the family saw it on town ladies or in ladies magazines.  Yup.  Definitely a loose match to the guidelines for the challenge.  I don’t mind the loose definition because the odds are good that I will be skipping these two challenges anyway as I can’t crank out an outfit a month and still hold a full-time job!

Hello Emily Binks

I have a cabinet card to share with you today.  Sorry about the flash glare.  I took the photo to late in the day and had to use a flash.  All that is missing from the photo is her hand.SAM_1062

The hair and the bustle say 1880s to me!  The skirt is SOOOOOO wonderful…it is alternating layers of fabric and matching lace!  There is this sparkly buckle like piece at the hip with a ribbon dangling from it.  I want this so bad I can taste it!  The bodice is plain…just a pin at the throat.  She is also wearing earrings.

At the bottom of the card there is a name.  Emily Soutwell Binks.  I googled her name and got this site.

The important bit is this:

On May 28, 1887 Robert Binks married Emily Southwell.  They were both “operatives” at the time of their marriage (perhaps they met on the job).  He was born in England as was Emily.  (Did they meet on the job and strike up a conversation because of the familiar accent?)  They got married in Franklin NH.

The last bit has convinced me that I have the right Emily.  When I googled her name, I did not google the photographers name (Welcome…isn’t that awesome!) or address, which happens to be Franklin NH.  I was thinking that the place, and years seem to jive.  Maybe this was her wedding photograph.  It is a wildly wonderful dress that would be a great wedding dress!

Another google search revealed that Emily and Robert (aka Bob) had at least 3 children. If you scroll down to “Date 09”  in the section for the month of February, you will see that Bob and Emily had a daughter on Feb 9, 1891.  That is 3 kids in 4 years.  Bob was still working as a mill operative.


First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Wanda and the baby carriage.

Last week, in my “If I was born 100 years earlier, what would I wear” series, I looked at the wedding dress I would have worn as a 20-year-old in 1884.  Possibly, my parents would have been dreadfully relieved that I was not left “on the shelf” as 20 years old would have been pushing it.  In modern reality, I was married at 25.  Another reality is I held off on having children a couple of years because I could.  There were no real birth control options-and certainly none that I know of that would have been SAFE and controllable by ME in 1884 so likely by 1885 I would have needed this maternity dress:

If anyone knows where this originally came from please let me know. I found it on Pintrest

It is a bit hard to see with a front view but the mannequin has a baby bump.  I wish I had a side and back view to show you.



Well, that explains it…

I think I know what is going on with those stupid pop up ads.  I don’t like it but I guess I’ll have to live with it.  Here is what I found on WordPress’ help section.

We sometimes display advertisements on your blog to help pay the bills. This keeps free features free! We only run them in limited places, and we do not show ads to logged-in readers, which means only a very small percentage of your page views will actually contain ads. To eliminate ads on your blog entirely, you can purchase the No-Ads Upgrade for a single blog (per year).

So apparently, I’m the only one on my blog site who will be tormented with this crap…but I’m to cheap to cough up the cash to make them stop.  It does feel a hair like extortion, though….makes me think of the guy with the heavy accent and the nostrils that point towards his left ear that vows the store owner wont be robbed if he pays the protection fee.  Ok, slight exaggeration there….  I don’t like it but I don’t have to play their game.  No cursor will drift over those dumb red lines…no sireee Bob!

Anyway, on with the show.  Last week I shared what I might have worn as a 16-year-old in 1880.  By 1884 I would have been 20 and, surely, married.  So lets look at a wedding dress.  In my dreams I am well off so a white dress would have been feasible.  Just look at that lace at the neck edge.

1884 wedding dress from the met

Love it!

Made of silk and cotton

And now the smashing, grand train for the walk down the aisle.

Isn’t that divine!

I’m just not sure about the poof on the side.  Is it supposed to be there…the whole asymmetry thing…or is it just laying funny after being in a box for decades?  If I made this dress I wouldn’t do that poof thing.  I also wouldn’t do it in ivory for three reasons 1) I look better in pure white than ivory, 2) for sure the meal at the costume event would be tomato based and I’d end up dumping it on my ivory/white dress and 3) it would look too much like a wedding dress and some how a 47-year-old Victorian bride in white seems…well…off.  I don’t think they would have considered it dignified-even if she was still virginal.

How would I describe myself…

One thing would be I’m always aware of how I present myself to the world.

I don’t drink much….

but when I do I lean against trees and make Popeye faces!

See what I mean!

Spinach anyone?

I’m not at all mellow dramatic.

Ok…may be just a little….  Look at that facial expression!

I have never been prone to violence….

Murder on the Red River….

I am really quiet bright.

What do you mean I have a vacant stare?

I’m not judgemental.

I can’t believe she said that!

And I am definitely not an old battle-axe!

Blah, blah, blah, nag, nag, nag….

Hope you enjoyed the out takes from Victorian at Hearts outing to tea!  Have a great Saturday!

Traveling 1880s style.

My city has an antique train called the Prairie Dog Central.  Mr. Victorian-not and I rode on it earlier in the summer. For this trip, Miss Shirley and I took our 1880s travel ensembles out for a ride.As per 80s styles, we were both bustled up.Once we reached the end of the line……the porters helped us descend.

There is a little house museum to tour.It isn’t perfect…quite a bit of mashed up eras goin’ on but it was still fun.  The owner who donated the house, also shows it.  She was saying that they are using what they get given to them but they will replace things with older items as they come in.I think Shirley looked especially well in the red room.For some reason I looked best in the….…the bathroom!

After our running around, we began to feel a bit tired so we heading to the waiting station where we were warned of the evils of travelling alone.Shirley fed her laudanum addiction……and I had a shot of my energy elixir.

I checked the time….

and when it was time to go, we boarded the train again.Once home again, we picked up our luggage and headed for our houses…..Until next time…..

Ooops! Missed must have Tuesdays-1860s!

This whole post-op stuff has me a bit messed up as far as days of the week and I missed “Must Have Tuesdays”.  Better late than never!  This little dream is from the Met.

Gotta love purple!

I keep wanting a dark purple dress but money and fate never bring me and dark purple together…..

This is a late 1860s and seems to be a bit of a transition dress-half bell-shaped and half bustled.

And now for the back view….

Love the tail on the jacket.

With the exception on the trim running right across the nipple line of the bodice I wouldn’t change a thing about this dress.  That naughty trim…I don’t think I’d get rid of it…just move it up to more collar bone level.

Hope you like too.

Why so sad, Lady?

My cabinet card for this week comes from Boston. There is some foxing on the photo and the womans dress is lovely but….

She looks so sad.

If it weren’t for the white feathers and lace I’d swear she was in mourning.  Man, I do love those feathers.  She has lovely pleating on the front panel of her skirt and cute little fingerless gloves.  Did I tell you I’m working on making my own fingerless gloves?

To date the card: I figured based on the hairstyle and the bustle of the dress that it comes from the 1880s.  The gold beveled edges of the card (in fashion from 1885-92) confirm my guess.

The photographers stamp doesn’t show up well in this photo.  It says Walter E. Chickering.  627 Washington St. Boston. Near Globe and Park Theaters.  I looked up the photographer and though I could not find specific dates for his practice I did find this from

  • Name:Walter E. Chickering
  • Sex:M
  • Birth:  ABT 1855 in Pittsford, Vermont
  • Occupation:  1887 Photographer/
  • Burial:  1905 Mt. Hope Cemetery, Boston, Mass.
  • Death: 26 NOV 1905 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass.

This means the card is not older than 1905 (no surprise there) and that Chickering was taking photos in the 80s.  I do not interpret the above information to mean that he started taking photos in 1887.  I read it as there is only found proof for him at that date and he could have been taking photos for years prior to that.  My guess this photo is from the last half of the 1880s.

New goodies arrived this week.

My patterns for my travel costume I am planning on for later this summer arrived.

A bustle, skirt and bodice from Truly Victorian

I was a bit surprised by the bodice as I thought I had ordered the one with a longer tail but now I remember thinking to get this one instead as it would require less material and look better in a plaid which is what I think I want to make this out of.

I also took out a couple of books from my library.I have skimmed Authentic Victorian Dressmaking before.  I took it out because it has a nice description of pattern matching that I wanted review before I tackle my possible plaid.

The other is Couture Sewing which came highly recommended by The American Duchess.  She says it is loaded with tips that would make costume making more interesting.  I hope she is right.  But, really when has she been wrong about costuming?