Showing posts from April, 2013

Some Weekend Finds

Our town had their annual yard sale/flea market this past weekend. I missed it last year and was determined to go this year. Since my husband and son were out of town on a camping trip, I brought my 3-year-old daughter along (without a stroller!!). I thought I got there early, but by 7:45 am it was already packed! We meandered along , and while there was a lot of cool stuff, there wasn't a lot I felt compelled to buy right then.

Until... I came to this one guy's spot that had a ton of antiques. It was this older guy selling stuff on his son's behalf (which = great prices and bargaining potential!). This was the first thing I spotted and snatched up:

Now, okay, I don't normally go for 1940s guy magazines. I've usually stayed pretty close to the women's side of things, but I couldn't pass this up for a lot of reasons. The main reason was the main article "Policing a Nation at War" - an interview with J. Edgar Hoover.
But as I got to looking I found …


A couple weeks ago I met a sweet lady at JoAnn Fabrics who was working at the fabric cutting counter. It was her first day and someone was training her to cut fabric. As she was helping me, she saw my fabric and asked me what I was making:  I told her I wasn't making anything in particular. I was just trying to find some 1940s-esque fabrics and this one fit the bill, I felt. She said she thought it looked from that era and mentioned she had some of her mom's old hats and a brown velvet dress she was trying to sell. I told her I would totally be interested, so I got her number and went to see her today. She sold these two lovely 40s' felt hats for a very nice price. She said she wanted them to go to someone that would appreciate them.

This is my first time owning vintage hats. She felt they were from the 1940s, and I'm inclined to agree, though I'm not expert. Still, I am really excited! Now I need to find a hat box...

Regency Short Stays Progress

Ooh! I'm so excited! I am nearly finished with my first pair of Regency short stays and compared with the long stays, I have to say I am sooooo glad I made this second pair. Not only can I bend and sew while wearing them, but just from fitting them on, I can tell they are going to be way more comfortable. What a relief! I was really put off by those long stays and had to step away from the Regency thing for awhile until I just determined that I was going to make a new set of stays. Now I'm just waiting for my steel boning to come in the mail and then I can finish them up. Hooray! Then I can finally start making my dress.
By the way... I had started hand sewing the short stays like I did with my Regency chemise, you know, to be historically accurate. I was a little concerned with the strength of my stitches and then it was taking forever and then I said to myself, "Sarah, what are you doing?! No one is going to see these! Sew them on the machine for goodness sakes, girl!…

The Dilemma of First Person Interpretation

These past few days, as I have been working on my Regency short stays, I've been engrossed in watching the Edwardian Farm BBC series. It has been absolutely fabulous! Just as good as their Victorian Farm series, if not better. These programs are experimental history at its finest!

This is one thing that I've always been passionate about - the bringing to life of the past, turning it inside out so that we can examine it in the best way we can through the actual doing. I was drawn to this as a teenager and was thrilled that I got a job at a superb living history museum, Conner Prairie. We went through vigorous training for 3 months before we even got to go work in the village which was 100% first person interpretation of all the characters. I loved, adored, and soaked it all in. It was awesome... until I actually had to work in the village and deal with visitors.

Now, I actually really love to teach. But when you couple that with trying to stay in character and be true to the t…

Some Dress Progress

For now I have abandoned my full Regency corset and am instead devoting my time to starting some Regency short stays. I think these will be much more practical for me to wear, especially if I have to sew in them. I think that was my biggest problem with the longer set of stays. It is a little sad that I wasted that gold silk on a cover for the corset that isn't even really that historically accurate, but I was working with what I had and thought I needed to use. Aah well! Yesterday I cut out the pieces for the short stays (linen lining, cotton drill interlining, and a pretty striped linen for the outer layer) and I am excited - mostly because the pieces are so small! Hopefully, it will whip up in no time once I get a chance to sit down and sew. 
I am also working on a 1940s dress. I have been struggling to know what to make the dress from. I usually have avoided rayon like the plague because it didn't exist prior to 1900, but for the 1940s - it's fair game! Now that I nee…

Lovely Read

I recently became friends with a woman who shares a similar interest with me on rationing, women's roles, and social issues during WWII. Her book collection is amazing and she's generously offered to let me come to her house anytime to do research using her books. *happy sigh*

When I went, I was picking up some 1940s Reader Digest magazines that she was giving away and while I was there and perusing her books, my eyes immediately were drawn to this random book entitled A Small House and Large Garden written in 1920 by Richardson Wright. She highly recommended it (she had even visited his house he talks about in the book!) and kindly let me borrow it along with Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther (a novel written in 1943).

I just finished reading A Small House and Large Garden and it was absolutely wonderful! It was perfect for picking up and reading here and there and had many nuggets of thought-provoking insightfulness. I am still amazed that it was written in the 1920s and was stil…


For anyone that knows me, they know that I don't normally geek out about shoes. I have uber high arches and slightly wide feet, so I am really limited in what I can buy to begin with, let alone what feels comfortable. So usually, my shoes are very practical and I never wear a heel higher than one inch. I've told my husband he should be grateful that I own less than 10 pairs of shoes. I'm not lying! That's all I have!

Well, what people may not know is that I secretly love shoes - historically inspired ones to be exact. I will readily drool over 1940s "librarian" shoes, 1780s pumps, or these incredibly amazing Edwardian shoes pictured below:

Well, I was reading a new post at one of my favorite new websites and she was wearing these awesome 40s vintage-style shoes to go with a very pretty 1946 dress she had made. I assumed they were a pair of pricey repros, but below she said she got them from Payless! I couldn't believe it! So I looked them up of course - …