1950’s Skirt With Cummberbund Tutorial

Perfect for that tucked-in-blouse look, this 1950’s inspired skirt oozes simplicity and elegance!

The Pattern

Cut Out:

  • One large rectangle of fabric that measures 29″ by 60″.  Adjust the 29″ for desired length and the 60″ for desired width.
  • One rectangle that measures 7″ by waist measurement plus 3-4″

Materials Needed

  • 1-1 1/2 Yards of fabric
  • 7 1/2″ zipper
  • 3 hook and eyes

The Process

  1. Stitch the side seam of the skirt stopping 7 1/2″ from the top.DSC_0055
  2. Insert zipper.Putting in a zipper
  3. Hem the 3 outer edges of the cummberbund.DSC_0071
  4. Attach the cummberbund to the skirt by dividing it into eight equal pieces with pins and pleating the skirt to fit as necessary.  Stitch.DSC_0072DSC_0074
  5. Hem skirt to desired length.DSC_0077
  6. Gather the sides of the cummberbund using basting stitches and gather to desired width.  Secure.DSC_0078

7.  Attach the hook and eyes to the cummberbund.
DSC_0081Enjoy your new skirt!  



Pattern for Sleeveless Blouse HERE.

Proper 19th Century Table Etiquette

“In order to appear perfectly well-bred at table when in company, or in public, as at a hotel, you must pay attention, three times a day, to the points of table etiquette. If you neglect these little details at home and in private, they will be performed awkwardly and with an air of restraint when you are in company. By making them habitual, they will become natural, and appear easily, and sit gracefully upon you.

Even when eating entirely alone, observe these little details, thus making the most finished and elegant manners perfectly familiar, and thus avoiding the stiff, awkward air you will wear if you keep your politeness only for company, when you will be constantly apprehensive of doing wrong.

At breakfast or tea, if your seat is at the head of the table, you must, before taking anything upon your own plate, fill a cup for each one of the family, and pass them round, being careful to suit each one in the preparation of the cup, that none may return to you for more tea, water, sugar, or milk. If you have a visitor, pass the cup with the tea or coffee alone in it, and hand with the[106] cup the sugar bowl and cream pitcher, that these may be added in the quantity preferred.


After all the cups have been filled and passed round, you may take the bread, butter, and other food upon your own plate. Train your children, so that they will pass these things to you as soon as they see you are ready to receive them.

If you are yourself at the side of the table, pass the bread, butter, etc., to the lady at the head, when you see that she has sent the cups from the waiter before her, to those seated at the table.

If you occupy the place of head of the table, you must watch the cups, offer to fill them when empty, and also see that each one of the family is well helped to the other articles upon the table.

Avoid making any noise in eating, even if each meal is eaten in solitary state. It is a disgusting habit, and one not easily cured if once contracted, to make any noise with the lips when eating.


Never put large pieces of food into your mouth. Eat slowly, and cut your food into small pieces before putting it into your mouth.

Use your fork, or spoon, never your knife, to put your food into your mouth. At dinner, hold in your left hand a piece of bread, and raise your meat or vegetables with the fork, holding the bread to prevent the pieces slipping from the plate.

If you are asked at table what part of the meat you prefer, name your favorite piece, but do not give such information unless asked to do so. To point out any especial part of a dish, and ask for it, is ill-bred. To answer, when asked to select a part, that “it is a matter of indifference,” or, “I can eat any part,” is annoying to the carver, as he cares less than yourself certainly, and would prefer to give you the piece you really like best.

Do not pour coffee or tea from your cup into your saucer, and do not blow either these or soup. Wait until they cool.


Use the butter-knife, salt-spoon, and sugar-tongs as scrupulously when alone, as if a room full of people were watching you. Otherwise, you may neglect to do so when the omission will mortify you.

Never put poultry or fish bones, or the stones of fruit, upon the table-cloth, but place them on the edge of your plate.

Do not begin to eat until others at the table are ready to commence too.

Sit easily in your chair, neither too near the table, nor too far from it, and avoid such tricks as putting your arms on the table, leaning back lazily in your chair, or playing with your knife, fork, or spoon.

Never raise your voice, when speaking, any higher than is necessary. The clear articulation and distinct pronunciation of each word, will make a low tone more agreeable and more easily understood, than the loudest tone, if the speech is rapid or indistinct.

Never pass your plate with the knife or fork upon it, and when you pass your cup, put the spoon in the saucer.

Never pile up the food on your plate. It looks as if you feared it would all be gone before you could be helped again, and it will certainly make your attempts to cut the food awkward, if your plate is crowded.

If there is a delicacy upon the table, partake of it sparingly, and never help yourself to it a second time.

If you wish to cough, or use your handkerchief, rise from the table, and leave the room. If you have not time to do this, cover your mouth, and turn your head aside from the table, and perform the disagreeable necessity as rapidly and quietly as possible.


Avoid gesticulation at the table. Indeed, a well-bred lady will never gesticulate, but converse quietly, letting the expression and animation of her features give force to her words.

Never, when at the home table, leave it until the other members of the family are also ready to rise.”


table etiquette


Perfecting the Pin Curl

There are so many wonderful tutorials, both old and new, on creating the perfect vintage hairdo that I wanted to pile as many as I could into one place!  While my hair is too long to really take advantage of many of these styles, I am still fascinated with the variety and elegance the pin curl can create in one’s hair.

Let’s begin with the basics:

Skirting the Issue created a wonderful introduction and tutorial entitled Pin Curls for Dummies.


Picture from Skirting the Issue

And of course, there are the instructions taken right from the era…




Once you have mastered the basics, why not use these vintage sirens as inspiration:




Along with the vintage look, there are also some wonderfully modern ways to implement pin curls.

Here are a few of my favorite:

The Freckled Fox has an AWESOME tutorial on a modern pin-up look.


Image taken from The Freckled Fox

Another fantastic look comes from Brit + Co:


Image used from Brit + Co

And for a 1930’s inspired look check out this one from weheartit.com


Image from weheartit.com

So go get those bobby pins and start pinning!  🙂


pin curl

Being Grateful

“About the only time we ever stop to realize how glorious it is to be well enough to go and come as we will is when we are indisposed for a day and have to stay at home.  Funny thing the way we accept good health as a matter of course, just like good drinking water or hot coffee for breakfast!  We never think how seemingly unnecessary it is until we are deprived of it.  

It’s a pity we take so much for granted – our food, our clothes, a bed to sleep in – why of course, we have all of them.  But go roughing it some time and sleep on a sparse, ill-equipped bed for a  night or two.  You will then appreciate, as you never did before, your own good bed at home. 

We all grow so used to having things done for us – this is taken care, that is looked after – that we get out of the habit of doing them for ourselves.  But let the paper boy forget to leave the paper just one evening, and we are lost completely.  We would insistently help to get him “fired” from his route; yet day after day, sun or rain, he brings the paper, and we are conscious of its importance only when we miss getting it just once.

Habit causes us to accept family, friends, comforts, and pleasures as a matter of course.  Every now and then we should find ourselves without them all, just to learn to appreciate them more.

I have always felt I could be grateful for charity, but I could appreciate love and kindness.  And that is what we need, it seems to me, more than anything else – to be kind…to help, to encourage, and comfort those who need us, to say a happy word is wanted, but never to be guilty of doling out kindness as we would plant beans, never more than the specified amounts.  

Not long ago I was in Philadelphia, and I visited Independence Hall.  Everything there reminded me of the sacrifices that were made for our freedom, comfort, and well-being, and I wondered a dozen times and more whether we appreciated it all as we should or whether were were in the habit of accepting it as we do the daily paper, forgetting how much real effort had gone before to give out many great privileges.”

Source: Thimblefuls of Friendliness by Mary Brooks Picken, 1924

being grateful


On My Inspiration Board: Brown Gowns

Simple, natural, and eternally chic, brown is a color in which the name does not do it justice.  While you can describe it in its various tones of chestnut, sienna, or even walnut, the color brown encompasses a wide array of flattering hues.

A very common color in both house and walking/day dresses, seamstresses of various decades created outfits which let the skill and design of the gown shine.  I often notice the lines of a dress more when it isn’t competing with a bold pattern or bright color.

Brown is earthy and grounding.  Synonymous with all things Autumn and harvest.  It is one of those neutrals that can instantly warm the face and evoke a mood much more uplifting than black.

Take a look at this magazine cover…you notice the brown but you also notice the face…a delightful combination.

And for a more old fashioned take on the homey, albeit domestic, appeal of a brown dress, here is an excerpt from a poem entitled “My Apple Tree Neighbors”

“In her modest brown gown she flits quickly about, 

to make the home neat while her husband it out – 

Providing the dinner which she must prepare

They have fruit every day, and their meat they like rare.”

Now for this month’s collection of historical brown gowns:

Brown Gowns

To see more, please visit my Pinterest Page.

Best Wishes, 


Source: Poem by Abbie Folsom Taber, 1889

From My Sewing Table: November

It is that time of year when you switch your thermostat from “cool” to “heat.”  For me, it is a symbolic switch and indicates my acceptance of the oncoming cooler season that sees not only a change in my use of jackets but also a switch to my warmer pajamas.

The evenings are cozier now.  Candles are lit at a more regular interval than the previous months.  Hot chocolate is seen more in my coffee mug and I start searching for soup recipes on Pinterest.  I have already found quite a few I can’t wait to try! 🙂

I also begin to crave family more as the weeks to the holidays fly by and I look forward to those upcoming get togethers…even though I struggle with large crowds…just ask my poor family! 🙂  In addition to the holidays, I find the desire to nest up at home overpowers my desire to venture out into the chilly air.  To keep myself busy I have begun small crafts that I can work on in the evenings…and yes, some of them are for Christmas!

I hope that last month you took some time to appreciate the little things in life and will continue that viewpoint as we begin to round up 2015.  While the snow may start to fly, I hope that you can create a home that is warm and cozy.

In planning for this month’s theme and subsequent posts, I was enchanted to find so many wonderful articles and posts from past writers that surrounded the idea of “hearth and home.”  From dinner menus, to advice to get through the holidays, to perfecting the fashionable Autumn ensemble, November’s blog posts promise to be a virtual cornucopia of ideas and inspiration!

Happy November my friends!


“There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireside.”

A Few Upcoming Post to Look for this Month:

  • A Child’s Guide to Thanksgiving
  • Dressmaker’s Guide to Fashion, 1856
  • Perfecting the Pin Curl

November inspiration board