Sunday, January 16, 2011

You can tell a lot about a woman based on her_______

Have you ever walked into an old Victorian house and wondered whose home it used to be?  Who touched this doorknob?  Who opened these shutters?  What kinds of board games were played by this fireplace?  Or have you ever eaten off of one hundred year old china and mused about the person whose plate you shared?  Did they help polish the silver, or just polish off the food :) ?

Given that I sew from old patterns so often, I find myself thinking these things all the time.  You may remember my post from a couple of weeks ago, where I made a ruffled blouse from an old sheet?  Well, it came from this pattern:
You can tell a lot about a woman based on her sewing patterns.  I know that she made the dress from this 1/16" lime green gingham fabric:
A time capsule of history that was left inside the pattern for all these years.
I wonder if she was as glamorous as I picture her.  Did she realize how iconic her poodle skirt would become?  Did she really wear heels every day?  In a funny way, I feel a connection to her.  I often know her "name"--this one's was Mrs. J. L. Gaines.  Back in the day, oftentimes ladies would write their names on the outside of the pattern envelopes (presumably to claim ownership from the sharing that went on?).  I can tell if she smoked, for when I iron the sixty year old wrinkles out of the pattern pieces, it sometimes emits that unmistakable aroma.  I can guess if she had more than one daughter by how many nicks the outline of the patterns had; well used patterns tend to lose their precise edging with each use.  A sewing pattern can even give clues on how organized the seamstress was.  Was each piece folded neatly back into the envelope, or were they haphazardly stuffed in? 

In writing this post, it made me wonder in today's world what a sewing pattern might equate to.  Perhaps your jewelry box, or lack thereof?  Are your earrings placed in pairs in each perfect cube, or all tossed into the large compartment at the bottom like mine :) ?
This was a yard sale find of mine from last summer.  It may be one of those once in a lifetime kind of deals.
So maybe you don't even keep a jewelry box.  But what about all those digital photos you've taken?  Are they still on your computer?  Printed off and all put in the same box?  Organized by year?  Or maybe even scrapbooked to highlight your favorite ones?  I think maybe sixty years from now, those might be things that people will look at and wonder about us.  Speculate on how we might have been.

But for now, I'm content in knowing that one thing I have in common with Mrs. J. L. Gaines is that we both had a little girl, age 2, who liked to wear fancy dresses.

Today's happiness:  I have four different sewing projects that need to be finished, but I took and nap and blogged instead.  Napping on a cold, gray day is my interpretation of finding the silver lining on winter weather.  

I hope you have a really great week!  The kind that's so good that it's unmistakable for something special.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sabrina's Gavin's birthday outfit

Yes, you read that correctly.  No, I don't know what my son is wearing to his own birthday party yet.  But he's turning the big 0-5 this month, and his sister needs to be appropriately dressed for the birthday festivities.  Said jamboree will take place at Monkey Joe's--one of those bounce-house-energy-burner gifts from God.

Given the amount of activity that will hopefully occur, I had to resist the urge to stitch out a dress for her.  Instead, I started thinking about the possibilities of...PANTS!  I must digress here to explain that I have no problem with pants whatsoever.  It is just my personal taste to do a dress with leggings or jeans before actual pants.  Don't ask me why.  So, back to the pants.  In keeping with my relative disdain for practicality when it comes to fashion, I couldn't just do a simple pair of pants.  I had to find an Anne Adams romper pattern from 1940-something and update it a bit. 
The lighting sure is terrible when my daughter naps (AKA my work time) in the afternoon.


But wait!  There's more!
Surprise!!!  It's drop-back for easy pottying!
Once the party commences, we will be better able to assess the user-friendliness of the flap-back getup.  But for now, we can just marvel at this long-lost phenomena (It may be a bad sign that patterns don't offer this option anymore.  Too many dips in the pool, if you know what I mean?).

P.S.  Because of the one-piece potty dilemma, a La Modish will likely never carry anything like this in its line.  But your thoughts are more than welcome!  If you would still dress  your girl in something like this, we would love to know!

Today's happiness:  This is one of those mixed-fabric outfits that genuinely worried me a little.  Usually, those are the ones that end up being the best combos, though!  And bonus!  This was made up entirely of fabric pieces I already had on hand.