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Felicity the sewing cat thedreamstress.com

The Rules According to Felicity

#1 Thou Shalt Not Touch the Tummy

I will show it off all I want, but your fingers and my tums better not make contact. The Leimomi-Person is allowed to kiss it, but no-one else is.

Felicity the Sewing Cat thedreamstress.com

#2 Thou Wilt Be Slept With

If you take a nap in the house, I take a nap with you. At least for a little bit. No matter how exciting the other things going on are. That’s the rule.

#3 If Multiple Beds are Occupied I Sleep With the Leimomi-Person

Sometimes when the Leimomi-Person or the Man-Person is nice and warm and makes lots of annoying cough-y bark-y sounds the other one sleeps in the guest bedroom. The Leimomi-Person must be slept with, so I sleep with her no matter what bed she’s in.

Felicity the cat thedreamstress.com

#4 Guests Must Be Greeted

If you knock and stand outside the front door talking to the People you are not a guest. You are an Interloper and should be viewed with caution and suspicion from behind the safety of the Person. If you stand in the entry and talk with the Person you are a Visitor and should be inspected carefully, but not greeted. If you are asked into the lounge you are a Guest, and will be greeted with meeps and a demand to sniff you hand – preferably from a vantage point as near to your height as possible, like a couch arm or the coffee table.

One of her favourite people

#5 Thou Shalt Not Say ‘No’

The Leimomi-Person is very bad and is always breaking this rule. Particularly when I’ve found an especially nice pattern or bit of fabric to practice my scratching on.

Grumpy Felicity, thedreamstress.com

#6 If it’s on the Floor, it’s Mine to Scratch

The Leimomi-Person does not understand this rule, and is always breaking Rule #5 in regards to it, particularly when a lovely Guest who I have properly greeted has set their lovely expensive leather handbag on the floor as an offering to The Claws.

#7 If Thou has been out of the House for more than Four Hours Thou Must Immediately Present The Lap

I have missed The Lap. I must make sure it is still there, and as good as I remember it.

Felicity on my lap

#8 Thou Shalt Not Offer Me Any Fish but The Tuna

It doesn’t matter if it is fresh, tinned, or dried and flaked, I eats The Tuna. The Leimomi-Person has stopped eating all the fish, and while I don’t care about The Salmon or The Warehou or The Gurnard, I miss The Tuna.

#9 Thou Shalt Let Me Sniff-Inspect Thine Food

I don’t want to eat it, I just want to know what it is. Don’t make me have to climb up to where you are eating and pull your hand over in front of my nose with my paw, but I will if I have to.

#10 Food-Only Places are Forbidden. Sewing Places are Allowed

Sewing never goes on the kitchen benchtops, so I never go on the kitchen benchtops. Sometimes the Leimomi-Person puts sewing on the dining room table and the coffee table, so I go on the dining room table and the coffee table. The Leimomi-Person tried to break Rule #5 about this, but she’s given up.

#11 Thou Shalt Not Wear a Fluro Vest

Fluro safety vests are an abomination unto Felicity, and if I see a person in one I’ll hiss and spit at them. I’ve never told the Leimomi-Person why, but I have my reasons…

#12 Thou Shalt Not Play Animal Sounds from Thy Tappy Lap-Warming Machine

I know those meows and birdsongs aren’t real, and I’ll only give you my most withering look.

Felicity the cat the dreamstress.com

#13 The Bed Must be Entered from the Man-Person’s bedside table

It is the right and proper way. If you dump me off the bed on the Leimomi-Person’s side I’ll walk around, hop back up to the MP’s bedside table, back on to the bed from there.

#14 Bedtime is 10pm

Why do you naughty people keep staying up later, making me hang out in the hallway, reminding you with meeps, and herding you to bed? Just go to bed at the proper time!

And since it’s bedtime, I’ll end this here…

Felicity the Sewing Cat thedreamstress.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

Rate the Dress: Second Decade Devoré

Everybody knows that the 1910s are my favourite decade, and it’s been a while since I featured one on Rate the Dress, so that’s this week’s theme.

But of course, while I might like the decade, I don’t love every example… Is this week’s pick one you’ll like? 

Last Week: an 1860s day dress in raspberry pink

Well, when it comes to last week’s dress, you all agree with Maggie Prescott – it’s time to #thinkpink!

The Total: 9.4 out of 10

Pink perfection!

This week: A 1910s dress in devoré velvet and metallic lace

Last week’s dress was big, with bold design flourishes. This week I’ve gone for the slim, sleek lines of the 1910s, with an evening dress in devoré velvet and metallic lace.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

The layers of different fabric, with contrasting textures of stiff lace, plush velvet, silky underlayers and glass beads, is typical of the aesthetics of the era.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

Also typical is the mix of symmetry and asymmetry.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

The front bodice is balanced: a shallow scoop of neck, and swooping winged sleeves of gold lace, all held with an oversized beaded embellishment.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

The front beading is balanced by a large clip holding the back wrap, and more embellishment anchoring twin sashes of metallic gold.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

It’s unclear if the back bodice is purposefully unbalanced, or simply mounted badly, with the back wrap off kilter.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

What do you think? Is this example the epitome of late Edwardian elegance?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting.  It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste. 

(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment

The NZSEHR 2019 in 1360s Medieval gowns thedreamstress.com

Medieval Madness

My local historical sewing group has been setting a loose theme for every year, so that we all end up with a costume from a period, to wear to events together. In 2018 we did Regency, and wore it at our first Sew & Eat Historical Retreat.

Our 2019 theme was Medieval, and boy did we have fun!

The NZSEHR 2019 in 1360s Medieval gowns thedreamstress.com

I already had the 1360s dress that I made back in 2015 (was it really that long ago!), so I got to be a lady of leisure and not sew anything Medieval (instead I made Augusta Stays all year long!)

The NZSEHR 2019 in 1360s Medieval gowns thedreamstress.com

But I still helped. Nina & Priscilla used the same wool for their dresses, a heathered brown which we dyed yellow, using slightly different dyes for each of them to achieve different hues.

The NZSEHR 2019 in 1360s Medieval gowns thedreamstress.com

(side note: look at Nina’s beautiful buttons!)

The NZSEHR 2019 in 1360s Medieval gowns thedreamstress.com

We draped the frocks in our sewing meet ups, and they sewed the gowns all year long, working on sleeve fit and gore placement, and making accessories.

The NZSEHR 2019 in 1360s Medieval gowns thedreamstress.com

Hvitr made her beautiful black & white twill gown based on the Herjolfsnes finds.

We wore our dresses on Sunday, for our big Medieval Gala dinner. It was the right choice: Saturday was very warm, but Sunday was nice and chill, perfect for wool dresses (too chilly for Priscilla actually!).

We wandered around in the woods before dinner, taking photographs and trying to think of Medieval-esque poses.

The NZSEHR 2019 in 1360s Medieval gowns thedreamstress.com

We found a big tree with lots of fallen branches, so began collecting armfuls (while admitting that our frocks were a bit fancy for your average Medieval wood-gatherer).

The NZSEHR 2019 in 1360s Medieval gowns thedreamstress.com

The thing is, when your arms are full of wood and you’re in a Medieval frock, there is a very obvious, very terrible, joke you have to make.

It may have included us chanting ‘Burn the Witch’ at the photographer…

Luckily we didn’t burn her, and she wasn’t mad at us, and we all got to go in out of the cold and have delicious food!

Fun times!

My historical costuming people thedreamstress.com