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Showing posts from August, 2013

A Vintage Dilemma

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I grew up reading what we in my family called "the white books". They are really a set of books called "My Book House". photo from amazon.com I had fond memories of reading them (at least volumes 1-4). Unfortunately, when my siblings and I grew up, my older brother who got married and had kids first somehow claimed them as a birthright or something and I was a little ticked off.  Then I got married and I spied a set at an antique shop and drooled over them. They're the same cool vintage 1960s edition we had when I was a child with delightful artwork. My wonderful new husband surprised me and gave them to me for our first Christmas that year. I was so happy I finally had my own set! (Take that big brother!) ;-) Well, fast forward nearly 8 years and I've still  only read in books 1-4. Isn't that silly? I've been trying to declutter, especially our bookshelves and am trying to keep only the books I love and have finally come to the conc

1942 McCalls

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My husband left two weeks ago to spend 4 months overseas on a temporary job assignment, so things have been a bit crazy with ensuing drama after he left. (like insane car problems, dryer problems, computer problems, etc.) I feel like things are slowly calming down and once the kids were tucked in bed tonight, felt I could finally devote a little love to the blog. A friend of mine has been graciously letting me borrow her 1940s McCalls women's magazines and boy have they been fun! Here are a couple images from April 1942: I love this picture of the boys - and I got all giddy with excitement over the ration stamps in the foreground! (Man, I am some weird kind of geek! haha!) Hmm! Do you think some of these could still work today? The whole family is doing "their bit" with a lot of help from Lipton Tea, apparently. Ooooh! Anyone for a slice of Plum Nut Cake? And I couldn't leave out the latest fashions. These dresses are to die for!

Add a Little Trim...

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Here's a peek at what I've been adding to my Regency dress. The bottom gathered/rouching (sp?) type trim was inspired by the popularity of trim on the hem of the dresses in the 1810s. Below is a fashion plate with an example. I'm currently adding another layer of lace to the upper tuck. I even put some more narrow gathered trim like the skirt hem on my sleeves. Not sure if that's accurate to the period, but it looks lovely! Once I'm finished I'll put the dress on and take a few pictures. Here is a dress with similar trim on the bottom. (ca. 1822)

Are You Smarter Than An Eighth-Grader...?

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Are you smarter than an eighth-grader... from 1912 ? Most of us might think - yeah, sure. Of course. Especially if you happen to have a college degree. Well, that's what I thought at first too. I was talking on the phone with my mom this morning and she excitedly told me about how Bullitt County, Kentucky recently found an 8th grade exam for Bullitt County schools from 1912 and posted it on their website. You can see the exam  here  and test your knowledge! So, I took a look and started skimming the Arithmetic. Uuuuhhhh.... Okay, then I moved on to grammar. I'm pretty good at English and spelling and whatnot.... Ooohkay, I couldn't even answer the first question! Moving onto Geography, I did pretty well. That's another strong suit of mine - as long as you don't ask me about modern Eastern Europe, I'm good! Physiology, not bad. Civil Government... eek! And History. I totally thought I would have that one considering my degree is in History, but NOPE!

Sleeve Update

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I have been thrilled with how easily my Regency dress went together. The drawstring look is not the most flattering on me (it poofs out at the belly from the gathers - a really bad place to poof!), but I am happy with it overall. I fixed the sleeves with a gusset-type insert and was so excited that they turned out perfectly and fit so much better! I was even able to get the dress on and off without assistance. Hooray! I'm going to be working on the hem next. I'm thinking of putting in a tuck and then try adding a gathered something at the bottom as the hem needs some weight. To do that I'll need pinking shears though. I'm happy with how well the insert is hidden by the pattern. I also added some of the blue velvet trim to the sleeves. I'm not sure about the look or the placement, so I may or may not keep it there.  Also, I just found out about a free 1812 event happening east of D.C. at the Riversdale House Museum at the end of August. I think I'll tak

Regency Dresses on Exhibit at the MHS

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I must admit that I am not a sign-reader at museum exhibits. Unless it's a topic I'm completely enthralled with, I just look at the artifacts and occasionally skim the reading. This is, at times, unfortunate because I don't get the needed information for pictures I take. I remember looking around for a sign about these dresses, but don't remember seeing much. The first two dresses were in the War of 1812 exhibit, so I'm pretty sure they are from that time period, though I don't know who they belonged to. The last two dresses were from an exhibit on Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, who I believe married Napoleon's brother and was divided between life in Europe and her life in Baltimore. I'll be putting a selection of photos here, but I put them all up on Flikr - I'm still new to that photo venue, so I hope the link works. Click here to see all the photos. A lovely printed dress with a ruffle along the bust, high neckline, and long sleeves with a

Stitching History

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“Mary Pickersgill Making the Flag.” Oil on canvas by R. McGill Mackall, MdHS, 1976.80.61 Maryland Historical Society Saturday my family and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Star Spangled Banner Project at the Maryland Historical Society (MHS) in Baltimore, Maryland. Maryland has the distinct honor of being home to the original Star Spangled Banner flown at Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812 and  of being home to Francis Scott Key who penned our National Anthem. In honor of the Flag's upcoming 200th anniversary, the MHS started the Star Spangled Banner Project where they decided to make a reproduction of the original flag that inspired Key to write our anthem. Not only that, but they wanted to complete the replica in the same amount of time it was orginially created by Mary Pickersgill - hand-sewn in 6 weeks! Then, on Defenders Day in September they will be flying the reproduction flag at Ft. McHenry! To make the flag, MHS used reproduction wool bunting woven b