On My Inspiration Board: Calico Gowns

calico cover

It is hard to believe that a fabric which evokes simplicity, homey-ness, and (if you are me) Little House on the Prairie, has a very fascinating and international history.  Originating from Calicut, India, the fabric we know as calico gained popularity from it’s early 11th century birth and well into our modern age.  Known for a sold color on which a simply design repeats all over, calico has become a much used piece of fabric.


An example of an early calico fabric

Long used for a variety of sewing projects which ranged from dresses to quilts to kitchen linens, calico is easily one of the most widely used and widely appreciated fabrics around.  The other wonderful thing about calico is it’s very affordable price tag.  I love picking up yards of happy calico, even if I don’t have a particular project in mind, because of its versatility.  While not exactly known for it’s luxury, there are many examples of gowns constructed from calico.  In fact, Hollywood has some wonderfully fun samples of calico dresses, even if they aren’t completely accurate:


Little House on the Prairie


Jane Eyre, 2014

So with all these wonderful choices, I had a very fun time creating this month’s inspiration board!  I hope you enjoy!


Click HERE to visit my Pinterest Page for more examples.

Have a wonderful Monday,


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What to Wear in the Morning…or Dream versus Reality


My morning routine…..well, I must say I am a creature of habit, but it isn’t exactly a pretty picture.  My alarm goes off at 5, and I stumble to take my shower.  Once clean, I shuffle off to the kitchen to brew a cup of coffee and turn on the Hallmark channel so I can listen to I Love Lucy as I try to get some blogging done.  Then I begin the 45 minute procedure of preparing myself to go out into the world.  And up until that moment of when I put on my street clothes, I am wearing a very warm, very comfortable, but not very flattering, purple flannel robe.  I have tried to switch to something a bit nicer, but after a few days of flying powder dust, wildly applied hairspray, and coffee dribbles, I end up back in something a bit more durable.  Of course, this doesn’t stop me from continuing to hunt for a robe thats both comfy and more attractive.

I know I am not alone in this dilemma of comfort versus beauty.  And in discussions with fellow friends, I was comforted to realize that while many of us want to feel more attractive in the early morning hours, removing oneself from a warm bed to put on some lacy, thin thing isn’t very appealing…especially during the winter months.  And as I further mulled over the morning ritual, I began to search for examples of past robes or morning gowns to see what women in the past would have put on during their morning routines.  And based on my findings, there are quite a few I would love to wear!


Known as wrappers during the 1840’s-1860’s, these robe-like gowns were often worn over all a woman’s undergarments (hoop skirt included).  While I love the idea of a loose, flowy gown, still having to have on your corset isn’t always my ideal.  However, the pattern on this example is simply stunning.



Another example of a morning gown or wrapper, this particular one has a lovely royal blue contrast with tassel tie.



So, this is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, gorgeous!!  The lace, the color, the ribbon tie…..sheer perfection….and a little too chilly for me in the mornings.  I love it, but I personally wouldn’t wear it.



The Kimono robe, and the robe as we know it today, began to emerge in the late 1910’s to 1920’s.  While I would struggle keeping the long sleeves clean, this is exactly the sort of thing I would love to slip on and wear around the house.  I probably wouldn’t get much accomplished, but I sure would look and feel great while wearing it!




While these 1930’s options are not exactly robes, they are morning dresses and would be lovely to wear around the house.  While I  still feel like it would require quite a few wardrobe changes throughout the day, the look is adorable.



Now this is something right up my alley!  I love the quilted versions of these robes along with their tailored construction.



So let your morning routine be beautified by a lovely (and comfortable) robe! 



“Come for Dessert and Coffee”


I absolutely adore cookbooks!  To me, they are as fun to read as any book, and are a wonderful way to pass a rainy afternoon.  I especially love older cookbooks as they give you a glimpse into past.  From food choices that may have faded in popularity over the years, to types of gatherings that seem to happen very rarely.  One of these gatherings is the Dessert and Coffee party.  Designed for a late evening or even midnight get together, this party highlights a great cup of coffee and a few fabulous desserts.  While I would make sure to sip on a cup decaf of coffee, the whole idea just sounds wonderful!


coffee 1

coffee 2

coffee 3

Interested in hosting your own little Dessert and Coffee party?  Why not use a vintage inspired coffee service set like this one:


Coffee Service Set from English Tea Store


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Sources: The Hostess Cook Book, 1950’s

From My Sewing Table: May


There are three things that I looked forward to the most during the warmer months.

  1. Sitting on the front porch
  2. Warm mornings for long walks
  3. Bright colors to wear

It isn’t a very extravagant list at all. But to me, it is the essence of what spring and summer are all about.  Every morning I check the weather to see if maybe it is warm enough to sit outside (without needing a wool blanket of course) and while it is still hovering in the 40’s at 8 am, I can tell we are getting so close.

As far as wearing bright colors, my absolute favorite color right now is cantaloupe!  I have never had the color before in my wardrobe until just a few weeks ago, and I adore it.  It is truly a mood lifter.  Here is one of the new pieces I purchased in this lovely color:


Blouse from Francescas

And of course, I am not alone in my love for this sherbet color.  This stunning picture  of Jackie Kennedy is another example of the appeal this tone can offer!


Reflecting back on the whirlwind that was April, I am looking forward to May with the hopes of a little less craziness.  I have so many projects I just can’t wait to get started on…. along with the goal of trying to create a better 1920’s One Hour Dress! 🙂  Fingers crossed!

My husband and I are also busy on making some improvements to our little house over the next month or so.  While it has eaten up a lot of my free time, I am so excited about it as many parts of our yard and home need some serious help!

May promises to be a more relaxing month than April, which is a much needed relief.  I hope it proves the same for you!

Happy almost summer!


May BOrd

Upcoming Posts to Look for this Month:

  • Unique Perfume Bottles
  • Organizing Your Patterns
  • What to wear in the Morning….Historical Style
  • Vintage Pattern Book Release!!!  More details to follow!
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