Historical Housekeeping: Creating a Country/Vintage Inspired Kitchen

Fresh and clean describe the condition of my ideal kitchen – maybe with a slight lemon scent in the air.  Colorful, cheery, and old-fashioned describe the feel of my ideal kitchen.  While organizing and purging my kitchen cabinets a few weeks ago, I was delighted to find several pieces that I had purchased over the years.  One of my newly discovered favorites was a cream colored, milk pitcher.  It now holds a continuous bouquet of fresh wildflowers on my counter.

Although we may all have modern kitchens, that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to keep that old, vintage, farmhouse look alive.  While my dream kitchen features a 1920’s range, my real kitchen features a Whirlpool gas oven.  Not quite the same thing – but it helps to have an old tin canister resting on top holding my cooking utensils!

Since I live my life on a budget (like so many of us) I find that well purchased decorations can make a large impact on the overall feel and mood of a room.  Here are a few of my favorite ways to decorate one’s kitchen:

april kitchen decorations

That wooden Breakfast sign I purchased for $30 at a local antique store…best spent $30 ever! 🙂

While decorations add to the look of a room, fabric adds to it’s comfort and warmth.  From tea towels, curtains, placemats, or table cloths, the tone and texture of fabric shows not only one’s personality, but that warm country feeling.

Here are a few unique types of fabric you could include in your kitchen.  Adjust the color, pattern, and weight to suit your own style!

april kitchen fabrics


Remember, creativity, not money, should be our guide as we find ways to bring the past into out modern lives…one tin canister at a time!

~ Aimee

Free Resources for creating your dream kitchen:

Free Retro Themed Kitchen Embroidery Patterns

Free Vintage Themed Kitchen Decals

Free Kitchen Cafe Curtain Pattern

 Steps to Create Wild Flower Arrangements

Free 1920’s Apron Tutorial…from me! :-0


Accessories: 1940’s Hair Turban

In keeping with the theme of spring cleaning, this little tutorial will be sure to keep you hairdo dust free!

While there are many ways to create the adorable 1940’s hair turban, I wanted to create something a little different.  My turban has extra long ties to create a bow on top of the head, while a hammock like piece wraps around the head to keep your hair tucked away.

*** The size of the rectangle can be altered according to head size and hair length.  Some bobby pinning may be required to achieve a secure fit.

Here is what you will need:

– 1/2 yard of cotton fabric

– Thread

Lay out your fabric and create shapes with the following measurements.  Cut out.  Cut two ties out of the 6″ wide section (3″ wide.)  You can make the ties as wide as you like.  For a more fluffy bow, try ties that are 5-6 ” wide.


Then hem the long sides of the rectangle.


Run a gathering stitch along the shorter sides.


Now take the ties, fold them right sides together, stitch, turn out and press.DSC_0064

Gather up the shorter sides to the length of the ties and pin.  Stitch right sides together.


Trim excess fabric and press.


And there you have a unique 1940’s inspired turban!



~ Aimee

On My Inspiration Board: The House Dress

As a little girl, I remember the house rule was as soon as you get home from school or church -change into your play clothes.  These clothes usually consisted of older stained and faded t-shirts, shorts or pants that may have a few patches and of course, hair back into a ponytail.  However I would never – well, my mom would never let me – wear these clothes in public, as they were for a specific, at home purpose.

Work or play clothes did the job of mentally allowing a person to complete the task at hand with gusto and energy, with little fear of getting dirty.  Today, these home clothes, at least for me, must be comfortable in feel and cute by design.  Here are a few of my personal faves from Target:


Take a look back and one sees a changing style of house dresses as social demands and social classes adjust.  While there may be more styles and examples out there, for my purpose, I focused on those consistent with the middle class.

1700-1900 shows some dresses that are simply toned down versions of day wear to others that are a complete different styles than those worn on the street.

april house dress

Fast forward to post turn of the century and the idea of women having specific clothing for work around the house continues, yet reflects the ideas of early 1800’s, that the look should still be stylish.  However, if one focuses on 1920’s and onwards, a fun change is noticed.  While there continues to be separate clothing for these activities, the styles are more vibrant and feminine.  By 1950, many women have the option to choose the house robe versus a dress, yet its flare and look still are beautifully apparent.

april house dress 2

Whether you are a one outfit a day person, or dress to fit the job, you are in great company!

 ~ Aimee

From My Sewing Table: April

It has been rainy, cloudy, and chilly…which can only mean one thing – spring must be here!  While it may be too early for tulips and daffodils to be in full bloom, it isn’t too early for robins and returning geese…a sure sign that warmth is on it’s way!

April, and therefore spring, means the much needed spring cleaning which encompasses (at least in my household) the inside and the outside.  Organizing holiday decorations in the basement, cleaning out closets, and removing excess debris brought in by large snow drifts, are just many of the duties that need to be done.  This year I am planning on having a large yard sale, so I have extra motivation to pore through all those boxes and bins piled up in the hidden places of my house.

Of course this has led me to reflect on the origins of “spring cleaning” and the various parts of keeping one’s house clean and organized.  Therefore, all posts this month will focus on “keeping things tidy.”  From 19th century weekly cleaning schedules, to bathing routines, and house dresses over the years, April’s posts will hopefully serve to keep you motivated and encouraged as you tidy up your own little piece of heaven.

April is also the month we honor our world by celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd.  This also happens to be my birthday – and it’s the big 3-0 as well! 🙂  So for all you April birthdays out there here is a little poem taken from a 1900 Good Housekeeping article –

april babies poem

So as the bright rays of the sun slowly bring life and green to our world, I hope you find this month full of opportunities to renew and reenergize.

Best Wishes,


A few upcoming posts to watch out for this month:

  • 1940’s Hair Turban
  • Linen Laundry Bag Tutorial
  • 1928 Bathing Routine

april sewing table1


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 turned it out and pressed it.  The points were no where near as clean as I have made in the past…so again, not the happiest.

Overall, I am pleased that I finished the gown and am really looking forward to my plan for next month!!

Here is the info:

The Challenge: # 3 – Stash Busting

Fabric: 8 yds light blue cotton blend, 1 yard white muslin

Pattern: Based on an 1780 round gown as seen in Janet Arnold’s book

Year: 1780’s

Notions: 5 yards of cording, 1 yard wide ribbon, 1 yard boning, thread, snap tape, and twill tape

How Historically Accurate is it?: Fairly accurate, although due to only using items from my current stash, not all the notions used would be appropriate

Hours to Complete: 25 Hours

First Worn: Not yet…hopefully soon!

Total Cost: $0



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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 the richly dyed fabric.  Seen mostly in evening wear, green gowns of various hues have been gracing ballrooms and tea rooms for decades.

So in honor of March, St. Patrick’s Day and the Emerald Isle, I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite green gowns!


 -To see gowns that didn’t make the final cut, check out my Pinterest Board.

March green inspiration

From My Sewing Table: March


Welcome to a new monthly post entitled “From My Sewing Table.”  This written reflection will not only focus on what I am currently working on in my sewing room, but on other unique areas of historical living.  As you may have noticed, I have added several new categories to the header of my blog homepage.   These new categories reflect the new style and content of material to be featured in upcoming posts.  From 1600-1950, I look forward to sharing fun, interesting, and creative topics with you.  To see a brief description of each category, along with the posting schedule, please visit my About Page.

For all my international friends, please pardon me if my weather complaints seem minor, but my, has it been cold!  So cold in fact, that it has made me long for spring with unusual intensity.  Originally from the southern portion of the United States, I was comfortably used to mild winters and long springs.  In fact, March was usually the signal to the start of my favorite season.  Not so in the north!  March usually means “hang on, you’re almost through…almost.”  So I must content myself with store bought tulips and the promise of the warmth to come.

My Inspiration Board has been filled recently with pictures of 1780’s gowns…round gowns to be exact.  Work has already begun on a powered blue, round gown with a large collar.  On the opposite end of the historic timeline, I have also been pining over any 1920’s house wear.  Simple, densely patterned shifts and aprons dripping in rickrack…..heavenly!

With the purchase of Voices of Fashion, which many have encouraged me of it’s fairly easy construction, I am excited to start unlocking the design of the early 1900’s – and possibly recreate several Gibson Girl inspired hairstyles.  We will just have to see!

So let March, wherever you are, be a month of dreaming, planning, and enjoying any little shot of color Mother Nature may share!

Happy Creating,


A Few of the Many Upcoming Posts to Look for This Month:

  • How to Make a Mini Sewing Crate
  • 1920’s House Apron (a one yard wonder)
  • Folding a Gown the 1840’s Way


march inspiration