Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I was very honored to be nominated by Romancing the Sewn for the Sisterhood of the World Blogging Award.  It means so much that others have enjoyed reading my little posts and that I have, hopefully, made a positive contribution to the world of historical sewing.

Along with the nomination comes several wonderful questions, provided by Erin and Sophia of Romancing the Sewn, which I have been asked to answer.

So without further ado….here we go!

What is your favorite classic movie (pre 1970)? It can be for the plot, costumes, songs, sets.

I would have to say Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  While the costumes are in no way historically accurate, they are bright and colorful and evoke such fun!  I also love how athletic the dancing is along with the rousing songs like Sobbin’Women or the Barn Raising Dance.  A true musical classic!

If you could make your dream outfit with no time or money constraints what would it be?

This is an easy one.  I would make a late 1860’s gown with as much emerald green velvet as I could use.  A long train, full skirt, with as many swoops, and tucks as I desired.  And of course I would want matching lace along the neckline, sleeves, and each hem.   That would be glorious!

What is your favorite fashion designer or trend in current times?

This is a great question…I don’t have a favorite designer per say, but I love anything Kate Spade creates.  As far as my favorite current trend, it is hands down loose, flowy blouses over skinny jeans.  It’s my go-to look almost everyday!

What historical figure would you most like to have dinner with?

Abraham Lincoln.  Period.  To be able to pick his brain and listen to him speak would be the ultimate!

What is usually the starting point for your projects? (For example: original museum pieces, fabrics, color, etc) Where do you get your inspiration?

This depends on where I am.  If I am out, let’s say shopping for fabric, I will let what I find “tell” me what it should become.  Many of my gowns have been created this way.  Most often though, I get inspiration through primary sources and then rummaging through my rather large fabric stash to see what would work the best.

Share your secret! What’s the best sewing trick you’ve picked up over the years?

This one is rather a recent discovery, but it is to create your gown on a half-scale model before you make the real deal.  I used to create a full size mock up but wasted so much fabric and money on a gown that I would never use.  However, the half size dress form allows me to use up old scraps, as well as become familiar with the process and layout for the actual gown.  Huge time and money saver!

If you had an extra day in the week, what would you do with it?

Go for a day trip.  I love going for long drives and checking out local places that might be just too far away to visit in an afternoon but close enough that I could still sleep in my own bed.  One finds the neatest places by just traveling an hour or two from their hometown.

 What’s your favorite day-off ritual?

Starting with a hot cup of coffee on the front porch, writing until lunchtime, sewing until it is time to start dinner, and then finishing up the day with a long movie and a bowl of popcorn.  Ahhhh….I get excited just thinking about this wonderful little routine! 🙂

What inspires you to continue creating and blogging when there are so many other things competing for your time every day?

I had worked very hard to get to a place in my life where I have allowed myself to open up to my writing and how important it is that I create something everyday.  I am a happier and more fulfilled person when I allow myself this time, and therefore my family gets a “better me.”  Rearranging those other things in my day so that I can write or sew…even if it is for only 30 minutes, is what keeps my mind fresh and a fountain of new ideas.


I would like to nominate the following blogs for this award:

SpringyStitches:  I love the fun, “springy” pictures Becky shows of all her wonderful creations.

PumpsandNeedles:  Brigit always has such bright creations and a sweet way of writing.

My questions for those I nominate:

  1. When and why did you start sewing?
  1.  Who is your biggest fashion icon that either influenced your sewing or your personal fashion?
  1. What is the best investment you have made for your sewing habit?
  1.  What gets your creative juices flowing?
  1. What is the favorite thing you have ever made and how did you decide to create it?
  2. If you could wear any hairstyle from the past three centuries on a daily basis, what would it be?
  3.  Outline your dream vacation.
  1.  What movie is your go-to for either sewing ideas, or simple gown envy?
  1.  If you could give one piece of advice to those who are interested in starting to sew, what would it be?
  2.  Describe your perfect sewing room.  What would it have, how would it be decorated, and where would it be?


Many thanks again to Romancing the Sewn, for the nomination, and I hope you all have enjoyed learning a bit more about me!

See you all in August!


Rules for Award

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.(√)
  2. Put the Award logo on your blog. (√)
  3. Answer the ten questions sent to you. (√)
  4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer. (√)
  5.  5. Nominate ten blogs. (sorry, many of the blogs I follow already have been nominated)


A 1930’s Accessory in Ten Minutes or Less…

Looking for the perfect accessory to go with that 1930’s outfit?  Why, yes you are!

Have 10 inches of the perfect fabric?  As a matter of fact, yes!

Have ten minutes to spare?  Of course!

Then this little scarf is for you!

 Add another 20 minutes and you can also whip up the flower pin…look for the link to the tutorial below.


2 pieces of fabric cut to 10″ x 32″….or however long you would like the scarf.


1. Slightly round the edges of the scarf.


2. Then stitch right sides together, leaving an opening to turn the scarf right side out.


3. Turn scarf right side out, then pin the opening closed.


4. Whipstitch closed.  This side will be the “bottom” of the scarf.


5. Figure out where you would like the scarf to be gathered, and run a long gathering stitch from one side to the other.


6. Gather and secure in place with a few stitches on the backside.


7. Repeat with both sides.


Pin around neck and add any decoration you would like!





Add your own Flower Pin for an extra bit of elegant fun!

Happy accessorizing!


Beauty for the Traveler

I don’t know if it is just me, but I never feel that as look as good when I get ready in a hotel versus at home.  I use the same products, apply everything in the same manner, yet I think to myself “eh….it’s been better.”  Then I remember… I forgot my foundation.

Yep, that would explain the difference!

Oh and that new bottle of sunscreen with the light floral scent I bought specifically for this trip…it’s on the shelf in my linen closet.  Sigh…

Perhaps I should have followed this wonderful advice from a 1930’s author:

“Vacation time finds us all atingle.  For aren’t we all going somewhere, even if it’s only for a day or so?  Most summers I’ll warrant you’ve planned for your vacation weeks ahead, and then, at the last minute, as an afterthought, you tucked a jar of cold cream in your bag and forgot to take it out until a night or two before you came home.  And, instead of arriving home a dazzling vision of health, your nose was red and peeling, and you had an unbecoming half-burn, half-tan that took months to wear off.  Skin must be cared for on long trips by motor, train, or boat, and beauty care must be continued consistently just as at home.

Experienced travelers “travel light” for too much baggage is a vexation.  Therefore, preparation is key when it comes to packing.  For skin care, I recommend assembling a beauty kit with all of the essential items of skin care.  In addition to your cold creams and lotions, you’ll very likely need extra cleansing tissues, too, and a roll of absorbent cotton, the latter providing convenient powder puffs that can be used and thrown away.  The small guest-size cakes of soap are very handy, especially for short trips.  A holder for your toothbrush is also indispensable.  Then, of course, you’ll need toothpaste, a nailbrush, and a brush and comb, and you’ll do well to include dental floss.  Don’t forget that care of your hands, either.  You can secure complete manicure sets in flat, easy-to-pack boxes.  And by all means, take along a lipstick.  

Suppose, with these suggestions in mind, you list the most necessary articles for personal comfort and grooming, considering the sort of vacation you plan to take.  Then there will be no last minute confusion and you’ll have a pleasanter and more successful trip.”

I wish you all better luck than I have had with packing, and may your sunscreen always be waiting for you in your toiletry bag!


Source: Fashion Service, 1931

Painting by Emilian Lăzărescu (1878-1934), ‘Cochetărie’, oil on board.

Beauty Care for the Traveler

One Piece Dress: 1920’s Style

This dress started in the same way that many of my sewing projects have started…with a picture.  A simple, little picture of a dress.  This particular picture was tossed among waves of other dresses, yet it popped right out of the page and straight into my imagination.

You see, I have a hard time with 1920’s dresses.  Not because they aren’t cute, or because they aren’t stylish in their own way…but because then have little to no waistline.  And being a girl with a body shape that emphasizes finding said waist, this style goes against the grain.  Nonetheless, the little image of an early 1920’s dress just wiggled it’s way right into my heart, and I knew I had to make one of my own.

Created out of a soft yellow cotton with a brown check, this easy-to-create dress is made unique with the three panels that hang down just below the hem.  As always, I have included the pattern as well as the list of materials needed.



  • 5 yards cotton for dress
  • 1/2 yard cotton for revers and belt/band.










How to Pack a Trunk in 1870…

At some point in our lives we learn the best way to pack a suitcase…maybe.   Whether we learned it from a parent, an instructional tutorial, or through trial and error, efficiently packing a suitcase is a much desired skill that makes the difference between being prepared or being caught without some needed item.  When you take into account all the restrictions placed upon modern travelers, properly packing a suitcase is almost an art form in itself.  Except when on the way home from a trip….then everything just gets shoved in and quickly zipped up!

But if you are planning on traveling for a major historical event, and need either advice or some tips, then I’ve got you covered!  I know that using a steamer trunk on a plane isn’t feasible – probably not even if you drive in a car.  But between large, compartmentalized suitcases, or even large tupperware containers,  proper storage can happen.  And when you need upwards of 15 items per ensemble, organaization is key!

To learn how a woman in the 1870’s should pack for a journey from author Annie Frost, read on:

Read More

Who’s Ahead – Vacation Clothes

It is a warm summer evening and anyone who is anyone is mingling down by the bandstand.  You know, the one in the center of town that has a lovingly placed plaque dating it to some bygone era, where the once crisp white paint is starting to chip and show signs of one too many harsh winters.  The reason for the gathering is clear: the town orchestra is playing a summer concert of past favorites, a few marches, and one or two sing-alongs for the whole crowd to join.  It happens every year and is looked forward to with eager and earnest anticipation by old and young alike.  It has become even more popular to tote along a packed picnic basket of those delightful treats that are musts for outdoor eating.  Cold cut sandwiches, hot dogs, thermoses of hot or cold soup, numerous types of potato salads, and mugs teeming with ice and refreshing lemonade: a feast for all.

As the wrist and pocket watches indicate the start of the show along with the customary squeak and groan of string and woodwind instruments warming up, parents hustle their children to the family blankets while grandparents nestle into their sturdy folding chairs.  All are dressed in proper flat footwear, shorts or capri pants along with cardigans and jackets located nearby to ward off the encroaching night air.  The conductor bows and starts the group off with a crowd favorite when you notice a nearby tourist struggling.  She is wearing a lovely sleeveless blouse, a flowy long skirt, and beautiful, yet very skinny high heels.  She seems rather chilly as she walks precariously to an empty park bench, heels sinking into the soft grass, and mentally bemoaning the inevitable mud kicking up to the hem of her skirt.  If only she had brought her sweater and a pair of flats….then she too could be swaying gently to the music and not from severe cold chills and lack of proper footing.

I have been that woman too many times to count and have firmly learned the invaluable lesson to dress for the event….not just for my personal taste! 🙂

Here are a few more dressing for location tips from a 1949 Good Housekeeping article entitled “Who’s Ahead”

Who's Ahead 1

Who's Ahead 2

Plan well for those vacations my friends and always be “ahead!”


Source: Good Housekeeping, Volume 129, July 1949

Travel: By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Many of us are born with a wandering soul.  That insatiable desire to always see what is past the next mountain peak or what potential beauty awaits around the next bend of the river, drives one’s life.  Some may view these dreamers to never be satisfied or unable to “settle” in one place, but I see them as entrepreneurs, explorers, and kindred spirits.

This poem is for them:

Travel Poem


Cover Painting by Ray Ottulich

Poem Painting: The Old Railroad Bridge by Leslie White

Inspiration Board: Yellow Gowns

Following in the mood of Friday’s musical post, I thought I would share this lovely still from the musical Calamity Jane starring Doris Day.  What makes this scene so entrancing to me is that Doris, or should I say Calamity Jane, looks absolutely stunning in this buttery yellow gown!



This exact scene proved to me that blondes could wear yellow…a self-imposed restriction I had long imposed upon my fashion sense was blown right out of the window!

Yellow is fresh, airy, the essence of summer, and a color that shows up everywhere in nature.  Canary, buttercream, marigold, or lemon are just a few of the plethora of shades in which yellow can appear and each one deserves a place in your wardrobe!

So go ahead and done nature’s most “sunny” color…I know I sure will!


Yellow Gown Collage

Visit my Pinterest Page to see more gowns in a variety of delicious shades!