Author: The Dreamstress

Felicity the Sewing Cat for Scroop Patterns,

Pattern cat at work! Stay tuned for a new pattern!

The next Scroop Pattern is in the final stages of development, and Felicity the sewing cat is hard at work, helping out. She’s been finessing the cutting layouts, making sure the fabric requirements measure up, attempting to add her quota of cat-fur embellishments to the sewn-up samples (and looking at me very disapprovingly when I attempt to prevent the same), keeping my lap warm while I make final tweaks to instructions, and generally making sure everything is up to scratch (sometimes literally). Hopefully you’ll enjoy the next pattern (I’m pretty excited about it!) and all her work will be worth it!

Rate the Dress: early 18th century Riding Habit stripes

Update: house tidied, votes tallied, and last weeks chrysanthemum and swags dress came in at 6.8 out of 10, loosing a point for awkward transitions, and lots of points for looking like eyeballs (a resemblance that I can’t see no matter what size I look at the image from, and how much I squint!) I’ll be coming back tomorrow morning to tally the votes for last weeks Japonisme-inspired ensemble, but I’m afraid I was too busy tonight getting the house ready for guests (why do you always get a spectacularly good evening when you have to vacuum the whole house instead of getting to go for a walk in the actually-balmy weather!).  For now, here is this week’s Rate the Dress for your delectation. Twenty-year old Henrietta Cavendish Holles, Countess of Oxford and heiress to one of the largest fortunes in England, is depicted in a suitably luxurious and decadent riding habit the year after her marriage to Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford. Portraits in riding dress were all the rage in early 18th century …

The Carillon of Scarpa

Friday(ish) Reads: Flora Klickmann’s The Carillon of Scarpa

I’m a big fan of Flora Klickmann, because her books are such an excellent glimpse into life in England during and shortly after WWI.  Her ‘Flower Patch’ collections of autobiographical musings were so popular that she must have run out of personal material, so, in 1925 she decided to try her hand at fiction, in the form of a Ruritanian romance.  And thus was born ‘The Carillon of Scarpa’. I imagine the conversation went something like this: Editor:  So…it’s been a while since you wrote a Flower Patch book.  Ready for a new one? Klickmann: Oh, I don’t know, I don’t really have anything to say there.  I was thinking of another handiwork book, or something inspirational on how to be a good person… Editor:  Like the last three?  Yeah….those didn’t sell so well.  Why don’t you try something different! Klickmann:  Different? Editor:  Yeah, we were thinking you should write a Ruritanian romance. Klickmann:  A Ruritanian romance?  With Baltic princesses, swashbuckling men, gypsies, mistaken identities, kidnappings and governments in peril?  Ummmm…I write books about flowers and gardening …