Tuesday, November 01, 2022

1940's Inspired Costume

Costumes were required for our orchestra's first fall concert. It has been many years since I had an opportunity to dress up in costume, and of course I went with a vintage look. Since the majority of my vintage and historical-inspired patterns, fabrics, and embellishments are still at my parents home, I had to be creative with thrift store finds. 

The 1940's seemed to be the easiest to duplicate with a simple plaid skirt, and blouse or sweater.

The sweater is a modern Gap brand that I found in new condition at my local thrift store. The plaid skirt is a vintage woolen from the Pendleton brand, also from the local thrift store. The shoes came from American Duchess several years ago.

While wearing fingernail polish isn't something I generally wear, some non-toxic polish was a must! I also wore some lipstick from Lancome called "simmering." 

The hat came from a antique store, and while I'm not sure of era, is seemed to work okay. 

Several people asked if I was dressing up as Queen Elizabeth, or Miss Maisel, but no, I was just going for a 1940's inspired look. 

There is a resemblance I think of my paternal grandmother when dressed up for this era though! She was such a classy lady, and though she passed away when I was barely a teenager, I remember her being firm, but kind.


Sunday, January 23, 2022

Pretty (Unmentionable) Things

Playing dress up as a kid often required the “minor details” that help create the look your going for. The tattered crocheted blanket for a shawl, another blanket turned into an apron held up by a nearby broken jump rope or long piece of yarn. Having the right petticoat or pantalettes underneath a dress is the frosting between the layers. ;)

This set is from Kirsten Larson’s pattern for girls, put out by Pleasant Company many years ago. It took longer to put together than what should have been. Partly due to the fact that stores no longer seem to carry flat eyelet lace, and a good majority of gathered laces rarely match when spanning widths. I also didn’t calculate correctly just how much I’d need since I was ripping the the bias that gathered said laces.

Thankfully another trip to the fabric store yielded just enough lace to complete the project. Such a fun and overall easy pattern to put together. A picture of petticoat and pantalettes is below, but more pictures can be found in my Etsy shop if you wish to see more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

A Reproduction of Pleasant Company’s Felicity’s Birthday Dress

It was around the same time that I finished up Felicity’s school outfit that I was already gathering supplies for another historically inspired project.

But then December. Christmas time is one of my most favorite times of the year, but in the life of a musician, it is also the busiest and most hectic. There were rehearsals for both church and school festivities, not to mention other performances and parties to attend or host. 

Once they all came to a grand finale, then whatever spare adrenaline was left took me on a road trip out to Colorado to see my family for 10 days by spending the remaining December days there. 

Out of all of the months of school, January tends to be the quietest. A chord struck to organize the living room closet this week, but I didn’t get very far when I came across my sewing machine, fabrics, and patterns staring me in the face. They were the first to pull out if the closet, and before I knew it, the machine was in a rhythm of sewing again. 

This time I attempted to recreate Pleasant Company’s Felicity’s birthday dress and pinner apron. The actual dress is simply made from some rose cotton found at Joann Fabrics, but the apron fabric; which is nearly an identical copy to the dolls, was a little harder to find and a little pricey to purchase. But it was worth it, I think.

More pictures of the dress can be found by visiting my Etsy shop, PeasantCottage.

Monday, November 01, 2021

The Seamstress Still Sews

Continuing to be the director of the growing string program of a private school in Michigan (and loving every moment of it!), there have been moments outside of the three beginning string classes (just shy of 4 dozen kids in these various levels of classes), the three levels of string orchestras, nearly 3 dozen private string students, oh, and the constant driving back and forth between two campuses every day with no time in between these scheduled lessons or classes.

(Fairly certain the limit of allowed words in a sentence was exceeded. I teach music, not English!)

Last year when school was online for a while, the sewing machine was dusted off and took up residence on my kitchen table for months as I sewed nearly 500 cotton masks. Some were sold in my Etsy shop, but most of them were donated to nearby hospitals and health clinics. As happy as I was to be of help, sewing that many certainly took a toll on any desire to sew anything for while. 

This autumn the sewing machine was pulled out from the closet, scissors snipped through cottons and flannels, and a historical outfit came together from Pleasant Company’s dress pattern (out of print) of Felicity’s School dress. 

It was great fun to try something from the Colonial era (probably more inspired, than truly accurate) considering that many years ago I used to only sew mostly from the Regency era and Edwardian era (a favorite!) with a few other time periods here and there. The outfit is listed in my Etsy shop for anyone interested in seeing more pictures.

Hoping the sewing machine can be brought out more, and some vintage-inspired aprons can someday be back up in the shop, too. 


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Life As I Know It

While at a leadership seminar over the weekend I was introducing myself to someone in the catered buffet-style lunch line and after giving her a complete and thorough job description she asked, "And what else do you enjoy doing when you have spare time?" I looked at her for a solid three seconds before I could even think of what to say next. "What else do I do? Oh wait, in a different context I enjoy sewing, gardening, and just domestic kinds of things" was what I was thinking and ended up saying something along those lines to her. It was nice to meet someone who seems to enjoy sewing as much I do (did?) though.

["The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies." --Laura Ingalls Wilder]

Life now though is completely different than any other season of life I've been in yet, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I've inherited well over a dozen private violin students, I have 25 students in my 2 group string classes, and well over a hundred (or 200?) little children in my Kindermusik classes, though thankfully I only see 30-45 of them a day. There are lesson plans to write, violin bridges that fall down and that need to be put back up, egg shakers and zigzag blocks to be sanitized, bulletin boards that need to be changed once a month (and of course I *only* have 4 of them), instruments to be tuned or new strings put on to replace the broken ones, giving a listening ear to heartbroken 4th graders, tapping a steady foot to the dreaded rhythm exercises ("Aw, man, not again!"), holding precious 3 year olds who just want to be loved instead of shaking bells, and ... I probably just exceeded the legal word count for a sentence. Or is that even a sentence? Perhaps this gives a shapshot of what life looks like as a strings teacher. It is the best thing ever, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Wait, I think I already said that though didn't I? :)

If my evenings and weekends aren't busy spending time with friends, going to Bible studies, working in my classroom or helping another teacher with theirs, I generally like to go back to my "cottage" and turn on the stove for a whistling tea kettle, pour a cup of tea (my college roommate got me hooked on lemon ginger when she came up over the Thanksgiving holiday), and read books or catch up on social media. Since I don't have wifi or internet set up yet, I'm limited to my small DVD collection to watch on my laptop if I'm in the mood. As idyllic as that sounds, my evenings tend to be spent running errands, grocery shopping, fixing supper, and prepping for the next day. I generally try to get as much done as possible since once my ever-consistent 6am alarm goes off, my task between then and arriving at school is spent in attempting to wake up (we aren't even talking getting out of bed yet...) and looking presentable for the day.

Christmas break flew by so quickly that I never had the chance to pack up any sewing supplies while at my parents house, so alas, it will be after school lets out until I'll be able to see them. Most likely my parents will bring them out when they drive out for the annual family vacation. So while that is one hobby that I've let collect dust, I've uncovered several antique shops within driving distance from my rural (comparatively speaking) town. Still on the lookout for a small bookcase and a nightstand; both for my bedroom. It is fun to "set up housekeeping" as my Grandma calls it, and she has been so sweet to give me a few things. One of which is her mother's solid wood rolling pin. Still have yet to use it, though I was just given 6 lbs of sour cherries so I'm thinking a cherry pie is on the menu in the not to distant future.

The stove beeper is calling my name. Must run, but I hope to be back on the blog sooner rather than later. Kudos to anyone who actually read this post after being silent for months in the blogosphere. :)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A New Thing: Cottage Living

I officially accepted a strings teacher position at a school (K4 through 12th grade) that was offered to me back in February of this year. That meant a move across the country to the beautiful Midwest. All I could fit in my car was what came with me, and sadly, there was no way that my sewing machines and supplies would fit, so they have to stay put in my parents home until Christmas.

While it isn't a true cottage, my new place of living will be "the cottage" here on the blog, and I'm looking forward to setting up house, figuring out real adulting, and learning the new and very wide gamut of teaching in a private school.

Any tips are welcomed for this newbie! :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Thread in a Vintage Milkglass Bowl

Organizing my sewing recently led me to my monstrous bag of crochet thread that I use for tatting. These are variegated colors that I will probably not use, only because the smaller spools have a longer distance until the color repeats itself. This would be perfect for those who tat or crochet larger bookmarks, dollies, and lace.

There are eleven spools of size 30 thread, all in various lengths, and most likely have been used at some point so I can not guarantee or estimate the yardage on these. If you're interested, I put them up in the shop last night!