Monday, November 28, 2016

Museum Monday!

c1790 Gold Silk Lady's Shoe 394.2007.12
 This week's Museum Monday number is 394...I let my daughter pick a number because I didnt get any requests off the blog this week~ (evidently, 394 is the page that Snape tells the students to turn to in one of the Harry Potter movies)..... just a single shoe, but wonderful none the less.
 I feel in 18th c shoes, any other color one finds aside from black, is special. This shoe's color is a rich deep gold. Tiny perfect hand stitching is always appreciated on early shoes
 The point of the toe shows the outer silk worn away, revealing the inner linen lining
 The dainty Louis heel was first carved from wood, then covered in silk to match the upper. The white stitching attaches the leather sole to the heel
I always like to see shoes saved that have been worn~ by the amount of the wear on this pair of shoes, they were probably an every day shoe. Many 18th c shoes survive as singles, each having been given to a loved one as a keepsake at one point in their lives~ which is such an interesting lesson in our social cultures and how things change over many of my readers have saved a shoe of their own from adult life....(baby shoes not included) to pass down? I saved my wedding shoes, but other than that, I have found my shoes fall apart way before I want to be finished wearing them....let alone long enough to be saved!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Museum Monday!

c1820 Cotton Combination Underwear   

This week's Museum Monday number is 647.  Not as rare as one may think, this pair child's combinations date to the early 1820's, and measure 18.5" long from bodice top to hem.

They are entirely hand stitched in three different cloths~  a medium weight cotton bodice and straps, woven diaper trouser legs with fine cotton frills at the ankles. Unlike later button-on combinations for children that had the bodice finished separately and buttoning onto the pantaloons or trousers as they were called then, the earlier types were stitched together as one unit.  To close, these have a 3 button bodice closure, with the waist buttoning once on each side of the wearer.

With the waist unbuttoned and folded down,  one would think that these had a center back when the little one would have to go potty, all they need do is unbutton at the waist.....  

Actually tho, they are center front closing (Ill explain in a moment), which surprised me, as most combinations I have seen are center back closing.

 Center crotch gussets added for plenty of room to move. Now if you wondered how to tell a girls combinations from a boy's pair...the frill at the ankles would have nothing to do with it, as either could have frills. A little boy's combination would , however, have an opening here in the center crotch seam, referred to as a 'wee hole', for him to easily relieve himself. 

Here one can appreciate the diamond weave of the diaper cloth~ its a bit thicker, and buttery soft. If you look closely at the first photo, you may or may not notice that both the knees have been patched~ both with tiny little careful stitches, in same cloth as the legs are from. There is no extra cloth anywhere on these, no pockets or large seam allowances that patches could have been cut from, which tells us these were mended in the same era they were made, and by little size, we have a crawler that wore out the knees rapidly. This can also tell us why these are front fastening, so Mamma could change little ones pilch, or diaper, easily from the front. That being said, at this small age, these could either be for a little boy, or a little girl.
A simple, yet beautiful cotton frill to dress up the ankles on our little crawler~ 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Good Bye Flemish Fantasy!

Only 9 Kits Remain

 If you have been pondering a purchase of my Lt Edition 2016 Flemish Fantasy Ornament Kit, or have one on your Christmas Wish list, this is faire warning they are nearly sold out~ I have just 9 left in gold tinsel, the silver is completely gone.  

If you are interested, you can learn more about what is included, and order one on my shop blog, 

Just click on the "Flemish Fantasy Ornament Kit" tab at the top of the blog page~

Monday, November 14, 2016

Museum Monday!

c1750 Infants Linen Christening Mitts 676/7.2102.49/50
 Today's Museum Monday number is 676~ a beautiful and exceedingly rare pair of 18th c infants linen mitts. Entirely hand stitched in nearly microscopic stitches, they are part of a 10 pc Christening set that includes silk satin gown, sleeves and sash, along with a small linen suite pictured below including a bonnet, shirt, forehead cloth and muff, all with hollie point needle lace insertions.

 Even when pictured with the other pieces in the suite, its not easy to tell how tiny they are~ size for a newborn, the mitts are just 12cm from edge of the lace cuff to tip of the foldback over the hand.

 Width across the fingers is just 5cm (thats just 2" for non metric folks!) I have left the pictures large so you can really see the fine details in these~ really masterfully stitched.

 Decorative pink silk stitches adorn the back of the hands, as well as run along the edge of each mitten

 Little thumbs so cannot help but feel a heart full of love places in each and every stitch. If you look closely, tiny white whip stitches can be seen joining the thumb to the palm of the mitts in construction, afterwards the double row of pink decorative stitches were made.

 Butter soft bobbin lace trims each cuff

Only a ruler can allow the minute size of the stitching to be appreciated~

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Is That.....

Real Gold on my Palette????? sure is! It's actually suspended in liquid as an ink but I am painting with it today....

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

A Special Gift

There Once was a Little Red House.....
 Yesterday I got such a wonderful surprise in the mail I have to share!  Of my my Dear friends emailed me a bit ago~ 'give me your address' she says....'I found some little beads I want to send'.   So when I opened my mailbox and found it stuffed with a big padded envelope....I didnt know what to think! Janet has sent me a copy of her book along with the precious weensy beads~ Thankyou Thankyou so much Janet!

Janet is a true Kindred Spirit~ she loves to embroider and make dollys~ and has the most wonderful imagination that she loves to share. I love reading her blog~ you can see it here

What is funny is one day we are talking and she says, you know we have alot in common~ we both have a Pierce....referring to the Pierce dollhouse that I got for Christmas when I was little and took me forEVER to get 'finished'....well she has one of her own and is so uniquely 'Janet'! Thats what the Red House book is about~ and its amazing! Her dollys are so full of life and energy...I dont think it possible for her, or them to ever sleep!  She's also making an embroidered casket that is just as ultra fantabulous as her Red House... perhaps we will see her casket as a book one day!
Go grab a cup of tea and head on over to Janet's blog~ the perfect escape from this world!

Monday, November 07, 2016

Museum Monday!

c1815-20 Green Silk Purse 680.2012.53
 This week's Museum Monday number is 680~ a beautiful bottle green silk purse, or reticule, as purses were referred to in the early to mid 19th c, this one, circa 1850-20. One nearly identical in shape can be found here at the Met Museum. 

  Construction is very simple with a single strip of silk taffeta gathered front and back onto two pieces of kid leather. The materials used are what gave this purse its class and fashion~ the silk taffeta was easily enough acquired by anyone at the time, but the gilt stamped green kid would have been expensive.

 The back piece is cut with a flap at the top that folds over and catches a button. We see a dorset button has been used, but it was once covered with matching green silk taffeta as evidenced by remains still on its underside.

 Looking under the flap, there is a little loupe catch for the button, and we can see the remains of the fragile silk binding that once covered the edge of the kid, the same as the one in the Met Museum's collection.

 Examining the corners of the kid, the overlap of the gilt design tells us a roller was used, as commonly was used in bookbinding. I have two different pair of children's shoes in the collection here with gilt stamping on the vamps, so am of the opinion that book binders most likely sold stamped kid leathers for their customers to take and have made up in to shoes, purses and other little trifles

We dont see many of these purses surviving because of just how fragile they were when made~ thin tissue silk taffeta is all that held the two front and back pieces together~ there is no lining in any of them I have studied.