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Showing posts from September, 2012

The "Old-Fashioned" Days

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I was just having a conversation with my 5-year-old son. He was asking me if the "old-fashioned" days were real. I reassured him that they were. Then I explained about the spinning wheel I'm borrowing from a friend and how in the "old-fashioned" days they used that to spin wool, to weave into cloth, and then made their clothes. It was a long process! 
Then my son asked, "Was it black and white back then?"

hahahaha! I couldn't help laughing at that and he laughed right along with me.

I then had to explain about old cameras that made movies black and white and old TVs that didn't have the technology to show color, and of course old-fashioned days were in color! Haha!


This reminded me of a wonderful book I found at a thrift shop called "The Olden Days" by Joe Mathieu. The author used Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA to model the book after. The illustrations are beautiful, colorful, and detailed and clearly show how things were…

From the Archives

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We've been a bit busy around here with my in-laws coming to visit from Utah and attending the Mother Earth News Fair, which was a blast! Now that things have calmed down, I thought I'd share the newest installment of "From the Archives".

Make Do And Mend Keeping Family and Home Afloat On War Rations
I happened to get this using an Amazon gift card for my birthday. Yay! I got a companion book to this that I'll post at a later time. You have no idea how ridiculously giddy I was upon opening this book...

Make Do And Mend is a collection of reproduced instruction leaflets published by the British government to help people deal with fabric rationing. It is the perfect little book of tips and tricks for mending, knitting, altering, caring for, and in general, helping you make the clothing you had last as long as it could.

I have already skimmed most of the book and found lots of tips I could use today in repairing my family's clothing. Skills like darning and patching…

It's Finished!!

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I've finished my corset! Hooray! There are a couple places that need some hand tacking, but other than that, it's wearable!


Yesterday was my birthday and I asked my husband if we could go up to Gettysburg again. I needed to go to the shops to get some supplies for my corset. So, we decided we'd bring our bikes and bike trailer up too. What a fun way to spend my birthday! We loaded up the kids and bikes and a picnic lunch and drove the hour to Gettysburg.

We had a fun time riding our bikes around the monuments and having our picnic. We even chatted with a few people at a Civil War encampment. I have to say that I felt completely joyful riding around. Riding bikes is so much faster which is wonderful as everything is so far apart. But also, I felt so much closer to the place - feeling the wind on my face, smelling the grass and earth and being close to the sense of history that walking or driving in a car can't give in the same way. *sigh!*

Anyway, we got caught in a hug…

Progress of the Regency Corset

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The past couple days I have been working hard on my Regency 1810s corset. Yippee! Having a double of myself would have come in handy, but my husband was able to help hold the corset in the back so I could see how it was fitting. It has been years since I've made a corset for myself, so I don't expect this corset to be perfect.

I've been pleased with how it's turned out so far! I impressed myself by how quickly I learned how to properly put gussets in, which was strangely satisfying. I had 24 to put in altogether, so I am quite the expert now! Ha! My corset is composed of 3 layers - gold silk cover, a thick and sturdy cotton drill for the inner lining, and a white linen for the outer lining. I was worried about the linen. It is very strong, but also very flexible. I think the other stiffer layers should keep it in check though.

Right now, however, I'm at a stand still. I need metal boning to put in at the seams and center back. It's nothing a trip to Gettysburg…

Homemade Dress Form!

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Making costumes for yourself by yourself can be a little tricky. I have memories of sewing a costume, trying it on, taking it off, sewing some more, and all the while dodging pins and half the time having to sew in my corset! Not very fun, but at least I had great posture! haha! However, considering the Regency corset only laces in the back and does not open in the front like my Civil War corset, I would be forced to sew my dress bodices in my corset without the luxury of unhooking it for a breather. Not good!
So, I have been doing research and looking around at various dress forms and man are they expensive! Even on sale at $99, it's a boatload of money for, what a lot of reviews feel are, expensive pieces of plastic junk. I was starting to get discouraged until I stumbled upon the most wonderful thing. I was more than thrilled to find a very nice tutorial for...

...making your own dress form from paper tape!!!

So cheap! So easy! So awesome!!!

Here is the tutorial. I can't w…