Completing the look…..one glove at a time

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I know this should probably be a post about Halloween.  I mean, today is Halloween.  However, I have a more pressing matter at hand.  A lost glove.

It has been so chilly  and crisp in the mornings.  Chilly enough for me to remember to wear a coat…but not to grab my gloves.  Having had cold fingers a little too often this week, I was determined not to forget them again.  After an hour searching and pulling out just about the entire coat closet,  I only found my super heavy pair of mittens.  I knew I had a lighter weight pair that would be perfect for the current weather but had no idea where they ended up.  So I took a deep breath and tried again.  This time I turned up one glove, but not it’s buddy.  Sigh… I really liked that pair.  So, I will try one more time to find the lost glove, and if no luck, than I will have to pick up another pair.

Now, on the few occasions when I do pick up gloves or any winter accessories, I really try to make sure everything matches.  Once the really cold weather hits, it doesn’t matter what one wears underneath…all you see is the outerwear, especially when you are running errands.  So I want to make sure my winter gear looks polished and put together.

Take a look at these pattern collections from the 1930’s.  I mean, this is what coordinated and polished looks like!

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47aaeef515ece7179cceea2e4f3b17b0Finding these many pieces today that all blend and go together is nearly impossible…at least at the same store.  However, I did find these stunning gloves that come in both oxblood and black.  I feel like the addition of the three little buttons really takes these gloves to the next level!  A perfect replacement to my potentially lost gloves.

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Gloves from Lord and Taylor

Of course, what about something for a more casual winter look?  I don’t really have anything, and, well, just take a look at this crocheted collar!  It looks so warm and cozy, yet adds such personality to any outfit.  I could even wear it without a coat and just a nice long sleeved tee underneath.  Hmmmmmm…. 😉

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Crochet Collar from Victorian Trading Co

Well, I’m off to give it one last go at finding my missing glove…and if it can’t be found…oh well! 😉

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Oh and since it is Halloween….here a post from last Halloween with links to other fabulous articles on the art of the Fancy Dress!

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Four Fabulous Fall Crafts

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Even though it is nearing the end of October, there is still plenty of time to create a few more fall themed crafts!  With Thanksgiving weeks away, spending a few happy hours creating something festive the perfect way to prepare and welcome this most joyous holiday.  So, with that in mind, I scoured the internet to find four fabulous ideas that are perfect to either bedeck the house with, or keep you warm while you watch those fall football games!

So take a look and see if anything tickles your crafting fancy!  Then, simply click the link under each picture to be take to the post along with instructions!

To start, I adored these no sew pumpkins.  Perfect to whip up in a hurry, and in a variety of colors and patterns, these can be done by adults and children alike!

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Project from Confessions of a Plate Addict

Although I don’t personally crochet, these adorable little leaves make me wish I did!  Perfect for a wreath, a garland, or pinned to a jacket, these colorful little beauties are to sweet to pass up!

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Project from Idea Stands

This next craft blends crafting and sewing together in a most wonderful way!  I can see this garland above a window or doorway.  What a great way to welcome guests into your home this holiday season!

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Project from BugabooCity

Many of us have already broken out the hat and gloves for those cold chilly mornings.  And wouldn’t a lovely pair of plaid hand warmers like these come in very handy?  I think so!

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Project from Sadie Season Goods

So grab that cup of warm cider, pop in your favorite movie and get to crafting!

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An Eye (and Envy) for Detail

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Which came first for me? Learning to sew by hand or by machine?  I’m sitting here trying to remember….I think it was by hand first?  Maybe?  Regardless, when I did learn to sew by hand, I remember as a young girl, sitting as patiently as possible with some old scrap of calico, trying to get my stitches as even and neat as possible.  You know, like Laura Ingalls Wilder had to do when she was a child.  I remember really struggling with not bunching up the thread on the back side of the fabric, and trying to make sure knots didn’t form on the thread itself….it was a very stressful experience! 🙂  But, like so many things in life, the more practice and time I put in, the easier and better looking my hand sewing became.

This is why when I see any examples of hand sewing so stunning that one questions if a machine did it, it makes me simply giddy with envy and happiness.  Whoever that person was who created that magnificent item, valued and understood the importance of practice, practice, practice.  A needed skill and character trait that is so important when trying to better oneself.  I’ve collected four pictures of such garments that really show the skill and detail of really, I mean really, high quality hand sewing!

Let’s begin with this late 1700’s bodice.  I mean, look at all that hand detail!  The stitches, the curves, the ruffles….. absolutely gorgeous!! 

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These stays also show the skill and hand strength needed to create small, identical stitches through very stiff fabric and boning!

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The back of this bodice also shows the delicate hand stitching that can really take a garment up to the next level:

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And of course, the most amazing of all is this 1820’s bonnet, complete with tatting, that shows not only a person’s skill, but the needed height to accommodate the hairstyle of the period!

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Even in the age of computerized sewing machines, high quality hand sewing is still a much needed and much appreciated skill!

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Jacket Weather

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Despite the unusually warm weather over the last few days, the air is beginning to take on a definite nip.  And with that comes the ability to wear my absolutely, most favorite type of clothing: jackets.  I love jackets!  All jackets…any jackets….it doesn’t matter.  They are all more than welcome to come make a home in my closet!

I love coats as well, but to me, there is a very big difference between coats and jackets.  Jackets are usually shorter, lighter weight, and come in a variety of shapes and colors.  This trend is not only visible in today’s fashion world, but it was also true of fashion from the past two hundred years.  For example, the Spencer jacket was a common piece of clothing for women during the Regency era.  Different than a pelisse, the Spencer was a short jacket with long sleeves and a fancy collar.  Like this example:

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As fashions adapted over the next few decades, so did the jacket’s shape and length.  This 1860’s jacket, often referred to as a mantle, looks both warm and becoming.

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Fast forward to the 1880’s and even though the name hasn’t changed, the shape of this mantle has narrowed quite a bit!

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I absolutely adore the perfectly tailored style of the 1890’s and early 1900’s.  With never a hair or thread out of place, this young lady is the epitome of high fashion….with a stunning jacket to match!

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Both fabric, shape, style, and color of this 1920’s jacket are stunning!  However, knowing me, I would want to wear it everyday….although I am sure such a fancy jacket would look a bit out of place at the grocery store.

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Fashion took another turn towards restraint and rationing during the early 1940’s as this jacket and skirt combo shows.  But just because the fabric is rationed, that doesn’t mean the style has to be…I mean what a stunning belt!

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Now after all this fashion talk, it is time for me to head off to the fabric store to pick up a few things!  Oh, better grab my jacket! 🙂

Happy Friday my friends!

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A Regency Era Photoshoot

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What do you get when you take two friends, a plethora of historical gowns, and two large Pumpkin Spice Lattes?  A wonderfully fun time with some fabulous pictures to prove it!

 A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to photograph a large portion of my historical gown stock using real life models.  So armed with a fully charged camera, my friend Cassandra and I braved the rainy and slightly chilly elements over the past two weekends to photograph some really stunning images!  And since there are so many pictures to see, I will just get right to it!!  

I hope you enjoy!!!

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Oh and one last picture of Cassandra discovering the most perfect fall leaf of all….lovingly named “Leif Erikson”

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All of these gowns are available on my Etsy Shop!

I hope you enjoyed these photos as they were an absolute delight to take!

Have a fabulous Monday!!

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Warm and Cozy Pajamas!!

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As I sit here writing this post, I am very comfortably snuggled up in my pajamas.  A little too early perhaps, but as long as no one rings my doorbell, I am free to lounge around in my pjs until bedtime! 🙂  It’s funny how clothes that have specific “jobs” can often make a person feel as if they are cheating or will be judged for wearing them at the wrong time.  It is also very freeing to spend the day at home in the same clothes you woke up….very freeing indeed!

And of course as the weather begins to take a chilly turn, warm and cozy pajamas are a must.  Nothing feels as comfy and relaxing as hopping into a cute pair of pajamas then spending the last evening hours on the couch with a book…assuming, of course, you don’t sack out within in 15 minutes! 🙂  While a good pair of pajamas can be tricky to come by, one can always whip up a pair!  So with that in mind….

Here are a few of my favorite vintage pajama patterns:

I love the yoked top of these pajamas!

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These lounging pajamas could almost be worn in public!

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The pajamas on the right remind my of ones Lucille Ball wore in the early seasons of I Love Lucy!

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The quilted jacket looks like the perfect thing to wear on a chilly weekend morning.  All this is missing is a steaming hot mug of coffee! :-0

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And for something a little more modern, I love all the pieces of this pajama set from Simplicity Patterns.

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Now its time to grab a cozy blanket and take my pajama-clad self into the living room to finish my book!
Have a fabulous weekend!

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The Timeless Appeal of Velvet….

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I am going to a wedding this weekend and, of course, when a major event requires you to dress up….you suddenly have “nothing to wear.”  Well, let me be the first to say that I have plenty  to wear in my closet.  And I am sure if I dug deep enough, I would have found something that would have done a passably good job.  But this is a very good friend’s wedding and, well, do I want to look just passably good?  Heck no!  So, off I went to the mall this past week in search for the perfect dress.  Now, normally when a person is determined to find a certain item, it always turns out that you can’t find anything.  But not this time!!  The fashion gods were beaming their good graces down upon me and dress upon dress was looking and feeling great.  But it wasn’t until I slipped on a wild card that the bells of discovery clanged loudly!

This out of the box, never thought it would work, item was a emerald green velvet dress.  This very one in fact:

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Dress from Lord and Taylor

Now, I haven’t worn velvet since I was seven years old.  Strangely enough it was also an emerald green velvet dress that was two sizes too big…but when you’re seven, you don’t get caught up on those types of details.  Anyway, I was nervous about this particular dress.  Could I pull off such a classy and fitted style?  I know that velvet is fabric that never goes out of style…but that doesn’t mean that it was something I should snap up right away without giving it a good thought.  So I did…and well, its currently hanging up in my closet! 🙂

It is easy to think that fabric is just fabric.  That as long as it forms the shape you need, it is forgettable.  I disagree.  Some fabric has a life and a character all its own…and has the power to secure a fond memory somewhere in your brain.  Velvet is such a fabric.  I have worn many Easter dresses in my time….but I will always remember the one when I was seven, because , well, it was velvet.  And I am most certain that our foremothers felt the same way.  I mean, take a look at these stunning, green velvet creations from the 1880’s-1890’s

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I am sure the lucky women who were able to wear these gowns thought back on them with fondness…and I hope I am able to do the same! 🙂

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All Things Apple Pie

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I think I have eaten apple pie at least once a week for the past month and a half….I can’t get enough of it!  I love every warm, soft, gooey, delicious bite.  So nothing would do but take some time to fully appreciate all things apple pie!

To start with, here is one of my go-to recipes from my 1950’s Betty Crocker Cookbook:

1 recipe for Double-Crust Pastry
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 Heat oven to 425ºF. Prepare Double-Crust Pastry.
2 Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Stir in apples. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
3 Roll other round of pastry. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
4 Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Serve warm if desired.

Now that you have the perfect recipe, you need the perfect accessories!  

Every good pie deserves a careful companion to ensure a deliciously flaky crust…and that perfect buddy comes in the form of a pie bird.  This one is sold by Le Creuset and is simply adorable!

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And any fall pie would look even more appetizing on an autumn themed plate like this:

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Plates from William and Sonoma

But if all else fails, you can always enjoy the scent of an apple pie from a lovely candle like this:

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Apple Pie Candle from Candlelit Desserts

I hope you are able to take advantage of fall’s delicious bounty…in the form a pie! 🙂

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