Monthly Archives: July 2015

More Old Photos

I’ve been liking my growing collection of old photographs. They take up less space than clothing, haha.

Here’s half of my finds from yesterday – I went to flea markets and antique stores and came back with a nice collection! Only one was dated or inscribed, so the rest are kind of speculation.

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Here’s the oldest of the bunch – while I have a lot of photos that might be from the 1870s, she’s definitely that old. Her hair is awesome, her dress is pretty cool – and look at her smile. I feel like she’s genuinely happy.

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I like the spontaneity of this pose. I’m thinking this is between 1910-1914.

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Another 1900ish picture. This photo is so striking. She looks proud and confident and she’s such a beautiful Gibson Girl model. She’s also not super skinny, which is always nice to see because it helps dispel the people-were-smaller-back-then myth. I’m a little confused with the front waistline of her dress. it looks like a raw edge tucked into a waistband, and coming loose. The cloth looks pilled and ravely too.

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This is my only inscribed/dated photo from this batch: “To Anna with love, 1918”. This woman is now known to me as Lady Spock. But check out her hair.

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Lady Spock’s putzy matted hair. When you really want that new short look, but you just can’t bring yourself to cut anything … here are 1,309 hair pins.

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I think this is a really interesting photo. I’m half wondering if this is the woman from two pictures up. She’s beautiful and very Gibson-Girl-esque. I bought this photo because of her kind of risqué-looking dress – or is it a dress? It looks a lot like lingerie – and this on her shoulder …

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It’s a jeweled gecko. I’m assuming it’s a pin, like a brooch, but there’s not clothing for it to attach to here. She just balanced it there.

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It’s been a long, long time …

“Haven’t blogged on here, my dear, since can’t remember when …”

Well, I can remember. April something. Pretty long ago. I could say I’ve been busy but that’s only part of the problem – I’ve been absent and distracted – not all a bad thing! – but it leads to a lack of blog posts.

I have, however, still been sewing. On the list of more awesome things I’ve sewn is my late 18th century waistcoat. It’s made of cotton (cheap thin muslin for the lining and back, and slubby thicker stuff for the front), too-heavy pewter buttons which will be replaced by nice light brass ones eventually, and a bit of cotton cording for the back.

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Since I made this waistcoat for my upcoming sailor/Royal Navy look, I had to make concessions in the original fit. That’s why I added the lacing up the back. I didn’t want to add darts … those would have been too blatantly obvious. It’s 100% hand sewn with linen thread – and I drafted the pattern myself after looking at some originals.

I HATE buttonholes – but I wanted a double-breasted front so badly. I started this waistcoat with a lot of apprehension, because I was procrastinating the buttonholes until the last minute and that means if they turned out badly, I’d be messing up a pretty much finished waistcoat. Then a coworker asked me if I’d be using a buttonhole stitch. “What’s that?” I asked.

Um, yeah. The reason I’d never been able to make a nice buttonhole is because I never knew how. Don’t know how that happened, with all the research I’ve done. So I used a buttonhole stitch for the first time and they came out nice!

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The second project I’m taking on right now is a workman’s cap. Well, that’s what it began life as, about 15 years ago. Dad wore it, it was forgotten, and I cut the seams apart a few weeks ago in order to take a pattern from it and remake it.

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Its former glory.

Then I thought, I have the time. I have a brand-new pack of Sharpies and a spool of linen thread. Why not go crazy on it? So it’s becoming this: The banyan cap of epic awesomeness.

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Bam! And I haven’t finished adding to it.

Honestly …. it’s not super accurate. The linen thread is, yes, colored by Sharpies (my fingers are a nice shade of neon yellow). Just the fact that it’s embroidered with colored linen is a little off too – it’d be way more accurate with wool embroidery. The pattern is probably a little off too, even though I’m basing it on mid-18th century embroidery and block print motifs.

But hey, it’s garish!! It’s letting me practice my satin stitch, and I even taught myself a chain stitch on it. It’s like a sampler. And it’s building my confidence in embroidery, so much that I’m considering an entire garment sometime.

But that will have to wait. Next on the list is the quintessential sailor’s jacket of the late 18th century – the mariner’s cuff, brass buttons, double-breasted, navy blue woolen goodness that I can’t wait to begin.