All posts filed under: Miscellenia

The death of big sleeves

While no-one has mentioned the large sleeves of yesterday’s Rate the Dress as a problem yet, large sleeves have been almost universally unpopular among my readership.  With that in mind, I thought you might find this fashion column from 1900 amusing: Anne Shirley would mourn.  Young Emily would love the use of words though! And, for your edification, some tea gowns with suitably brobdingnagian sleeves from a few years earlier:  

Five for Friday: my least favourite ‘historical’ phrases

1. ‘Vintage‘ for anything pre-21st century. I’m sorry, I don’t care what etsy says, 1993 is NOT ‘vintage’.  I sewed clothes that I can still wear in 1993.  I’m pretty sure I’m not old enough to be vintage.  Even if it’s 1960s it’s NOT vintage, it’s retro.  Equally, nothing post 1920 is ‘antique‘, it’s just vintage.  And you know what, there is a really good reason to have these classifications.  They make life easier.  It really sucks to be searching for vintage 1930s patterns and having to slog through pages and pages of 1980s blouses and 1960s mod dresses.  There is nothing wrong with retro items – retro is a wonderful classification.  Some of my favourite things are retro.  But they aren’t vintage!  So do the world a favour and don’t call anything made after 1920 ‘antique, anything made after 1959 ‘vintage’ (personally, I think it should be ’55), and don’t call anything made after 1990 ‘retro’. 2. Back in the day.’  Back in what day? Back in the day… 3. In olden times‘  Which olden …

The Joy of Sewing – and Teaching

I’ve been teaching sewing at Made on Marion for the last 3 months – a quarter of a year. Teaching historical sewing is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’ve also ended up teaching something that I didn’t expect to teach: beginners sewing. I taught beginners sewing years ago, and I loved it at the time.  I’m loving it now. I sometimes get funny reactions when I mention that I teach basic sewing classes.  The reaction is basically “Isn’t that a little beneath you?”  It’s phrased differently, depending on whether the person means it as a compliment or a snark. The answer is “No, absolutely not!” for many different reasons. First, everybody has to start somewhere as a seamstress.  When I teach advanced classes like corsetmaking and coats one of the worst parts is when I have to untrain and correct bad habits that advanced seamstresses have picked up over the years.  Teach a beginner correctly, and they will have a good foundation for all future sewing. Second, it’s a great …