Monday, August 31, 2009


Not completely done. The curtain is only pinned and I haven't completed the inside of the brim, but this is a good place to show it off.

Non-living history post

Sorry for the non living history related post but this is so cool. I don't have tons of friends, but the ones I do have are such dolls. Recently, my dearest and longest known friend went to Budapest by way of Salzburg. As some background, I was an exchange student out of high school in Austria and fell in love with Mozartkugeln. I always get some when I visit. I haven't been back in a long time. Well, my dear friend has sent me some!! It arrived today and I'm so happy. Yes, it is tourist chocolate, but I love it. Along with the Mozartkugeln were some postcards, a note book, a coffee mug, more chocolate and other little treats. I did not have a good day today and this small gesture really lifted me up and reminded me that I, too, am special!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Henkel Square site visit

I spent today at Henkel Square with about 7 members of the Civil War Center of Texas in Grandview Texas . They are planning on attending the Henkel Square event in February and wanted to visit the site. They enjoyed the site very much and have already picked out houses and preliminary impressions for the event. They mentioned that there are others from their group who wish to attend the event but just were not able to attend today. It appears we will have a bigger group this year, and more men, which is very necessary for the vote.

Yes, it was hot. But in the dog runs, with the breeze it was tolerable.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bonnet progress

Without curtain, ties, or inside finished. It's not as orangy as it appears in the photo.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bonnet form is here

And the bonnet form arrived today from Pam Robles. I'm going to be pretty busy for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Petersham is in

The petersham ribbon I ordered for a belt for my wool arrived today. I ordered some of the espresso and loden. The espresso is too dark, almost black, so that one will get put aside for use on some other project. The loden green goes well and looks wonderful with the new belt buckle. I do need to remove the bottom button on the dress to accomodate the belt. I thought I would have to but waited on it. I will probably take all the buttons off and redistribute; this is a good thing as the buttons were a bit far apart.

I'm almost done with a pair of drawers; once those are finished I'll do the belt. By that time the bonnet form should be in and I can finish that.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I have ordered the bonnet form from Pam Robles; she just happened to be working on it when I sent her the email. I'm also working on a pair of drawers; I decided that was more important than the sleepwear as I can use a chemise for that. I was really unsure what to do for the bonnet, but have now found my inspiration. I really like the back treatment of this one.

And then I found this fashion plate.

I have two pieces of fabric I wanted to use in a bonnet; the silk from my ballgown and a beautiful claret silk I got at Needle and Thread. The claret I think is too thin for this back treatment, but the yellow is a perfect weight.

Look at the bonnet on the bottom left corner of the fashion plate; it is obviously two different colors in the bonnet. So that is what I'm going to do. The yellow will be the back of the bonnet and the claret will be the curtain, ties and sheering. I was also thinking of caning the bonnet, but think I will sheer like the fashion plate. The two colors look stunning together and look great with the blue wool and the silk plaid I have.

I also ordered the petersham from Judith M. I ordered some of the brown and some of the loden and will decided which I want as a belt for the wool. The only other thing I'd really like to have before Lost Tribes is a pair of slippers.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wool Done

Sans belt and petticoats but done none the less. Ignore the bad hair...please.

I'm going to order the bonnet form in a day or two. I also realized I have not period sleepwear so I'm going to whip up a quick night gown.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wool progress

The skirt facing and hem tape are done. Next is the skirt pocket.

I found some petersham for a belt through Judith M; I'm thinking of the loden as it will be nearer the color of the dress trim, or maybe the espresso brown. It is not 100% natural, but I can't find any that 1) I can afford and 2) is the right size. With luck I'll have this done by the end of August and then can work on another bonnet and be all set for October.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New collar

The bodice is now done to my satisfaction. It sits kinda wonky on the form. Here's pictures of on the revised collar as I didn't really do anything to the main bodice to change it's looks, just the fit.

Back on track

Whoohoo. Everything is back where it should be with the wool dress. The bodice is the right length, the hooks are moved over and a new collar is done. I'll have pictures later. The only thing I need are a few more hooks on the bodice, it doesn't lay the way I would like it to. Now on to the skirt. I will probably sew the skirt panels together by machine. I'll need to get some skirt lining fabric yet. What else...I'd love to have a new bonnet to go with this one as well.

I'm still working on my presentation for Harrisburg; no worries there. Going to my friend's book signing today; a nice break from sewing for a bit.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New buckle

I just receive a buckle I found on Ebay. I love it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Figured out what happened with the bodice. So I took it partially apart and removed the back. I had just enough fabric after the skirt for a new back. Two steps forward five steps back. I'm also looking at the collar; I don't like it, so I'm redoing that and probably moving the hooks and buttons over. Hopefully the end of the weekend will see me back to where I was. The wonderful thing is it fits in the bust! The FBA really worked. Thanks Carolann!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Change of plans, again

The bodice is too short. So I am going to add a waist band to it and hopefully it won't look too bad. One of these days I will make a perfect dress, until then, this will have to do.

There was a request for a picture with the bodice on, so here ya go.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Speaking of publishing

This is not related to living history and is post war but a friend of mine has just published a book based on her thesis, And Grace Will Lead Me Home. The book and her thesis discuss the freedmen towns around Austin, Texas. She is having a book signing at the Austin History Center on August 16 from 3-4 pm. I'm very happy for her.

Being published

The Citizen's Companion is publishing my article on penwipers and the process I went through to reproduce an 1860s penwiper from Godey's; it is scheduled to come out in the October edition. I originally put the information together when I entered the penwiper at the Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860s conference last year.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bodice is done

The collar now completes the bodice and I'll start on the skirt tomorrow. I'm hand sewing all of this and my fingers really hurt now, so I will take a break. I'm happy with the way the bodice turned out.

All trimmed out

The trimming, hooks and buttons are done. Next the collar.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Finally sleeves

After taking one sleeve off because I had forgotten the piping and redoing the other because I can't tell right from wrong, I finally have a bodice with sleeves!!

Of course, now that it is managable, I had to pin the trim and buttons on just to see what they would look like. The buttons are glass.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fabric woes

I hate fabric that you can't tell which side is which. No, I hate working with it. I love my blue wool, but have now put together three sleeves. Not because I'm a mutant or because I have two left arms, but that is what I did. So now I have a right sleeve and a left sleeve. The sleeve wil go in this weekend and I'll have pictures then.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Changed things

Needed a sewing break so changed up the blog.

Sunday, August 2, 2009