All posts filed under: Miscellenia

Just Saying No – for fairy tale princesses and ordinary girls

In researching for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #6: Fairytale, I came across all the versions of Donkeyskin/Allerleirauh. It’s an old fairy tale based around the premise that a Queen dies leaving a daughter, and her father the King declares/promises he will only marry a woman who is as beautiful/wise/kind/etc as his first wife.  The daughter grows up and is the spitting image of her mother, so the King decides he will marry her (yes, really.  It’s sometimes called The King Who Wished to Marry His Daughter).  The daughter puts him off by saying that first she needs a dress as golden as the sun (or something equally as un-obtainable), and when this is procured, a dress as silver as the moon (ditto), and when this is managed, one as dazzling as the stars (you get the idea), and finally a coat made from the skins of one of each of all the birds and beasts that exist/the skin of her father’s prized donkey that poops gold (no, I didn’t make that up either!).  When …

Present time!

For some reason, I always seem to know huge amounts of people with birthdays in November.  My life is a whirl of parties for dear friends, and preparation for the holiday season. I have an interesting attitude towards presents.  When I find something that I just know is perfect for a particular person, or when I have an idea of something to make that I know they will love, I buy it and make it and give it. I really try not to buy a thing for the sake of giving a gift: in Western society we all own so much that more stuff, if it’s not the right stuff, is just a burden.  And sewing when I am not sure that the other person will like it is heartbreaking. This birthday season I had an idea for a present that would be perfect for the recipient in every possible way.  She loves vintage, she dances, we geek out together about vintage things and dancing things, and vintage dancing things, like tap pants.  She also …

Rate the Dress: Felipe I, Duke of Parma circa 1760

Last week I showed you a striped 1820s dress with a variety of different trim ideas across the dress, and contrasting sleeves.  As a whole, certain bits of the dress you loved, other bits you hated: problem was there was no consensus as to which bits to admire  and which bits to condemn!  Some of you loved the purple sleeves, others loathed them.  I was among those who adored the bias striped trim at the hem, but many of you found it awful.  It was a very bitsy dress, and the bitsy votes came together at 7.4 out of 10, which impressed me considering all the criticism. Many of you were also quite critical of the display, which I think is a bit harsh.  They are auction-house pictures after all.  It’s very generous of Augusta Auctions to make so many detailed photos available online in the first place, and they have a lot of stuff to photograph and dress: you can hardly hold them to the same standards as the Metropolitan Museum of Art! This …