Month: March 2015

In the Kitchen: Sally Lunn Bread

Delicious, dense, and easy, Sally Lunn Bread is perfect for Easter brunch, Sunday supper, or any other special occasion where a rich bread is needed.  I have made this bread many times over the years and always enjoy the process and of course, the end result. The history of the Sally Lunn bread dates back to the 1680’s after a French baker named Solange Luyon fled to England during the persecution of the Huguenots. For more information on the history of Sally Lunn and the origin of her famous bread check out Sally Lunn website. Many recipes of this bread exist including one from the 1700’s: Beat four eggs well; then melt a large Tablespoonful of Butter, put it in a Teacup of warm Water, and pour it to the Eggs with a Teaspoon of Salt and a Teacup of Yeast (this means Potato Yeast); beat in a Quart of Flour making the Batter stiff enough for a Spoon to stand in. Put it to rise before the Fire the Night before. Beat it over …

HSM #3 – Stash Busting: 1780’s Round Gown

I am actually shocked that this gown was completed this month.  There were many days when I thought I should just stop trying and quickly find something easier to make for this challenge.  But I persevered and finished it Tuesday night! For this challenge I used some beautiful light blue fabric that had been left over from a custom order that didn’t go through, so I thought this would be a great use of the material.  Following the creation of the pattern and the extra difficulty of only being able to “shop” in my sewing room, the gown slowly but surely began to take shape. All one piece, this gown features a false front skirt that ties about the waist and underneath the back portion of the skirt.  I struggled with the inner lacing as I was reduced to taking old ribbon and the small amount of boning I had to create the lacing panels.  I am not happy with them…at all.  But again, be creative was the theme!  The collar looked great before I …

The Elegance of The Nightgown

Whether flannel, linen, cotton, or silk, no other garment can evoke a feeling of femininity and comfort quite like a nightgown.  Following a long, hot soak in a bathtub, slipping on a clean nightgown is the completion of a wonderful relaxing ritual.  Although, in my experience, the use of a nightgown for actual sleeping over the years is not as common, nonetheless, the appeal remains. With its simple start as the shift or chemise worn under one’s day clothes, the nightgown has evolved into a complete garment of its own.  With frills and lace more popular during certain times than others, examples are as varied as day gowns.  And as these gowns grew in popularity, so did the advertisements, evoking all the grace and charm many women desired.   Even though I am unable to sleep in a nightgown without it ending up around my neck by morning, the attraction of these elegant shifts still draw me.            ~Aimee

Be The Best of Whatever You Are

I have found that one’s own journey to life long fulfillment is just that, life long.  Especially at this time in my life as many decisions are before me and need to be made.  The search for this fulfillment seems to be a constantly evolving “thing” that twists and turns as the years go by. Several years ago, I read a poem written by Douglas Malloch in the early 20th century  which spoke of being the best at whatever you are, wherever your are.  When I find myself overwhelmed with personal comparisons, judgements, and the want to bypass struggling times, I will pause and reflect upon this poem and it’s meaning.  Being content with my life is something, like many of us, I struggle with as I make those too often comparisons with others around me.  Putting the focus back on to what I do have rather than what I don’t have is so important. So as we grapple with life choices, I encourage you all (as well as myself) to take the message of this …

Secrets of Distinctive Dress: The Hair

….”Study the contour of your face.  Study pictures of beautiful women.  Magazines, especially  beauty advertisements in them, contain many pictures of beautiful women.  Study these for new ideas of dressing your hair, and when you find a way that you think is just right for you, practice doing your hair like it until you have perfected the style.    Do not try to do your hair all up in one twist.  A capable hair dresser will divide the hair into four to eight sections and carefully pin each section in its place until she gets the effect she desires.  A woman who carefully arranges her hair in the morning, using enough hairpins to give security, will not have a disheveled, careless-appearing head of hair at the end of the day.   And this prompts me to tell you about hair pins.  Bone hair pins are softer in the hair then wire ones and should receive the preference.  They should be medium small, and of a color that matches the hair, if possible, so as to …

The Mini Sewing Crate Tutorial

You knew it was going to happen.  Bending over, knee deep in numerous fold of fabric and you run out of pins.   Unfortunately, the nearest pin cushion is conveniently out of reach, as you lay sprawled on the floor trying not to loose a carefully folded pleat.  I have been in this position too many times to count and not just with pins.  Tape measures, needles, thread, the overly-used seam riper are always somehow not near me when I need them. Introduce my traveling, mini, sewing crate. I wanted to create something that would neatly hold all of my needed supplies and yet stay safe and sturdy on the floor within reach.  So on one of my numerous trips to the craft store, I came across this little $6 wonder.  I quickly snatched it up for exactly this purpose.  A couple of hours  and some well used remnants later, left me with this new addition to my craft room. Here is how I did it: Supplies and Tools

On My Inspiration Board: Lovely Green Gowns

Growing up green was (and still is) my favorite color!  Rich, deep emerald and hunter greens being my absolute favorite tones.  I remember when I turned 12 and was getting ready to start junior high school.  My eyes, up that point, had been blue…sort of a deep, rather muddy blue.  I always dreamed of having green eyes…but had resigned myself to a noncommittal blue that nature seem to have bestowed upon me.  But then…it happened.  My eyes changed to green!  Many thought I had lost my mind.  “How do eyes change?” they said.  But nonetheless, they did and I took it as a good omen for the beginning of my 7th grade year. Green in its various shades can ooze an aura of calm, of control, of earthiness, or of richness.  As well loved as the color blue, but not as often worn.  In fact those wearing green may find their daily quota of compliments delightfully increase! The same can be true for women of past centuries who paid a pretty penny for numerous yards of …

1920’s House Apron

If you have an urge to use up some of your fabric stash, or simply have an hour to spare for some much needed crafting time, try this easy tutorial to make a charming slip-over apron.  Based on an 1926 pattern, this adorable apron features a scooped front, slightly gathered back, and two fabric ties. Supplies: 1 yard (36″ wide) of cotton fabric 5 yards of bias tape Optional: rickrack Tools: Paper or spare fabric to make pattern ruler and marker Scissors and pins Sewing Machine