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Showing posts from April, 2015

18th Century Boy's Breeches Progress

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I made a ton of progress on  my son's 18th century breeches today. If I had worked exclusively on them from morning to night, I'm pretty sure I could have finished them in one day.

I have to say I am in love with Mill Farm Patterns. The patterns themselves are so simple and straightforward. Sometimes the directions could use a little more detail, but she is really good about walking you through each step. The breeches pattern uses letters to match up all the different places that need matching (there are a LOT), and I really like that system. Dots and double dots or arrows or whatever just don't cut it for me. I also have to sing the praises of the pockets on this pattern. They have been the least painful pockets to sew - ever!! I don't know if they turned out exactly right since I don't have an expertly finished pair of breeches in front of me, but for the first time using this pattern and my only 2nd time putting in pockets, I think they're pretty good!

I'…

Project 12: Sewing - 18th Century Girl's Gown

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At last! I finally finished the project for March - an 18th century girl's gown for my 5 year old daughter. The dress itself wasn't too difficult to sew. I just kept getting distractions - namely the novel I'm working on! That's been sucking away a lot of time and it's hard to focus on more than one major project at a time.

I have to say I'm very pleased with how this dress turned out! The fit on her is just right and I'm so glad I nailed the length! Whew! I'd say the hardest part of the dress was that front point. I had to tack the bodice down to the skirt with the pleats put in already. I've done this before when it was a straight line for my 1860s dresses, but never a point! Man, it was tedious! I was paranoid about not getting the bodice to lay down flat - that it would bunch up or something. I went really slow and pinned everything down extra well, even fitting it on her and pinning just to make sure.

The only weird thing I might need to fix i…

The Joy of Cooking - 1946 & a Recipe

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I've had another recent, fun addition to my rationing cookbook collection! I was browsing at my favorite used book shop, WonderBook, when I came across this The Joy of Cooking edition, published, I believe, in 1946. While it is one year after the end of WWII, it had the most interesting preface from their 1943 edition! (I wish I could find that edition too!) I'm not sure why it's included in this copy in this way, and it's not very clear what the 'emergency chapters' refer to, but it's still interesting.
In this preface it states, "When the revision of this book was begun a year ago we had no intimation that international obligations would lead our land of plenty to ration cards. It now goes to print with a number of emergency chapters added, written to make the difficulties that beset the present-day cook.
"It has been a pleasure to compile this record of our American way of life. Tradition speaks to us in its pages, a tradition of plenty which …

Happy 155th Anniversary Pony Express!

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Today is the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express.

American Western history was never really my thing, but one aspect that always captured my fascination was the Pony Express. It's so incredible how the mail, newspapers, and packages could be transported so quickly (in as little as 10 days) across such a vast distance from Missouri to California using pony riders. It was a short-lived service, lasting only 18 months, but what I love most is that the Pony Express was on the cusp of drastic changes and availability of technology like the Transcontinental Railroad completed in 1869 and the widened use of the telegraph. It filled a need for the expanding country, serving as stop gap before available technology caught up.

For all of those far out lonely western settlements, having a service like that was important. And while the short-lived Pony Express may not have had a big impact like the railroad, it's still good to think about and remember the incredible risk those riders to…

First Draft is Done! Woo!

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Well, I finally finished the first draft of my WWII historical fiction novel! I was like a crazy person by the end, because I was so close and I kept getting all these interruptions and I just had to finish already!!! Man, that last stretch is brutal sometimes.

I started my book in August of 2014, and considering I'm a homeschooling mom with church duties, book group, writer's group, and other stuff - it's amazing that I got it done in 9 months! I feel incredibly grateful and humbled, because I know it came at the sacrifice of other things in my life. My family is so wonderful and supportive! And my awesome cheerleader and fellow writer besty, Mairi, really helped see me through with all her enthusiasm, encouragement, and feedback.

I wish I could say more about the book itself, but I feel it's truly a unique story and want to wait until I have it published to talk about it. What I can say is that it's set in a fictional town in Indiana, my beautiful home state. I&…