All posts filed under: 20th Century

Courtesy of Tony McKay Photography and Glory Days Magazine

The Daisies & the Devil’s Handiwork, Summer of 1921, this-did-not-take-one-hour dress

I made three new dresses for the Katherine Mansfield Garden Party at Hamilton Gardens, and was very happy with them all, but the one that makes me happiest is definitely this one: This dress started with the parasol.  I found the parasol for $6 (!) at a Dunedin op-shop during my visit.  It is just gorgeous: beautifully made, real silk, hand embroidered.  It’s definitely early-mid 20th century Chinese export-ware, and it’s the oldest and most beautiful parasol I’ve ever found at an op-shop. Knowing that the Mansfield Garden Party was coming up, I immediately thought of making a dress to go with it.  I first tried for fabrics in the aqua-blue, but they were too matchy-matchy, and wouldn’t show up well in the greens of a garden.  My yellow stash yielded this palest yellow muslin gauze (which I’ve seen sold as mull in modern fabric stores in NZ, though it’s not the same as a technical or historical mull), and the wise Nina of SmashTheStash advised that when in doubt, I should always go with yellow. …

Rules of Conduct for Women Teachers, 1915?

My bookshelf holds a copy of ‘Instructions for New Zealanders’: a collection of excerpts from the hundreds of instruction guides that have been issued to Kiwis over the last 150 years, covering everything from the clothing an immigrant should bring, to how to take a bath, to what children may be employed as street vendors. One of the more interesting inclusions is a list of ‘Rules of Conduct for Women Teachers, 1915’.  ‘Instructions for New Zealander’s’ credits the list to the Museum of Transport & Technology, Auckland.  Some things in the list don’t read quite right to me so I did a bit of digging, and found that the National Library has a copy of the ‘original’, apparently located at the Tauranga Historical Village Museum.  It’s also reproduced on the Puke Ariki website. Ok.  Lots of NZ Museums using it.  But…the language isn’t accurate for New Zealand, nor do the rules make any sense for what was going on nationally or globally.  So what’s up? Sure enough, a bit more looking also turns up the list on Snopes, …

A lace 1900s blouse thedreamstress.com

A sewing secrets lace 1900s blouse

This is a the tale of a serendipitous sewing secret… When we’d decided on an ‘Anne of Green Gables’ theme for our Pukekura Park dress ups and photoshoot, I knew costuming ‘Priscilla’ was going to be a bit tricky.  She’s petite, and I’m tall, and most of my outfits are made to fit me. I was super busy the whole week before the our trip, but figured I had plenty of white voile, and could make a simple white voile Wearing History Edwardian blouse in an evening. And then, late Thursday, I popped into an op-shop while waiting on a print job, and got lucky: I found an amazing lace tablecloth that I thought would be perfect for a blouse.  It had flowers, and scallops, and greek key meanders, and was simply marvellous.  However it was stained, and they wanted $3 which I thought was pricey for a small, stained, tablecloth, and it was a cash-only op-shop, and I had only $3 in cash, and they had a couple of sewing patterns I also wanted… But …