Book Notice: Wearable Prints, 1760-1860

It is here! Well, it isn’t here with me…. yet. So, here are KittyCalash’s thoughts on the arrival of Susan Greene’s book we’ve been waiting for Wearable Prints, 1760-1860.
Remember, the Greene collection is now housed at the Genesee Country Village in Mumford, NY.

Hmmm….. Now, I’m picturing a “Greene” Swap for the Fall. Wouldn’t it be fun to find fabrics similar to those Susan talks about?

Kitty Calash

This just in, literally, from the mail carrier: Susan W. Greene’s long-awaited book,Wearable Prints, 1760-1860. It’s discounted (and out of stock) at Amazon, but should be shipping soon, since I have one right here on my desk.

It’s fair to call this book lavishly illustrated (1600 full-color images in almost 600 pages), and while I have access to a copy at work, I am seriously thinking of buying my own copy, based solely on about 10 minutes skimming the book. There are images not just of fabric samples but also of garments, paper dolls and illustrations that help put the fabrics into context. Images of garments from collections I can’t get into? Delicious! Information to help me understand how to use a printed cotton? Even better.

The book is organized in three main sections: Overview, Colors, and Mechanics. Appendices include timelines, prohibitions, price comparisons, print characteristics, and more…

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Information Packed Image

Many of us love Pinterest for daily eye-candy and possible inspiration boost. Well, today this image came rolling onto my screen. It instantly caught my attention because it is so full of information.

This is the “Quilting Frolic” by John Lewis Krimmel (1813)

I just had to share it with you. immediately, before even diving into what I see.

Luckily, there is a very nice blog post already out there Looking at the “Quilting Frolic”

At the Athenaeum, we also see his works: “The Blind Fiddler” (1812), “Blind Man’s Bluff” (1814), “Village Tavern” and “Country Wedding” showing interiors.

Published in: on January 21, 2014 at 4:00 am  Comments (3)  

Progress and Ponderings


I feel as though I am lacking in posts on my progress with pretty photos. I suppose that happens when the projects I am primarily working on are private commissions. With private commissions, the client always gets to see the piece first.


I can say I am quite happy with the shape of the straw piece I am sewing this week. I am eagerly looking forward to the next one with its unique lines. I am going to just love bringing this one to life. Some packages arrived for another commission which resulted in some squealing at both the packaging and the contents. Soooo Lovely!


Once these pieces are done, I must focus on our Netherfield Ball clothing. I have been so neglectful the last few weeks.


Along with the millinery, I’ve had a myriad of ponderings. Among these…. A) Should I list the high brim straw bonnet I initially made for myself since I have a certain fabulous something in mind? (See below) B) Rats. It is time to work on my hair rats. Should I just do the same tried-and-true size and shape pieces? What do others do with theirs’? (btw – utter shortage of said posts out there.) C) Mini-mannequin heads for mini-bonnets. I’m sure you can guess where I am going there. D) Mirrors, mirrors on the wall. Or actually, how to build a mirror I can hang on my chrome shelves. I have a few ideas involving S hooks and eye screws.

To sell or not to sell???



Published in: on April 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Well Now…..

What are your thoughts on these?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Accessory set.

I hadn’t seen these before. As over shoes go, if these were common, I would love to have a pair.

The MET has them listed as an 1825-30 accessory set – “By the 1820s, ankle boots were becoming the favored daytime footwear for ladies in both the United States and Europe, especially for outdoor wear. Like the shoes of the time, however, fashionable boots were often constructed of thin and flimsy materials, which made walking on cobbled or unpaved roads torturous. As a minor concession to utility, this pair of thin-soled boots is paired with a matching set of pattens which provide a heavier sole for walking. Pattens were basically utilitarian, hence it is somewhat unusual for them to survive in good condition, and even rarer to find a pair matching the boots with which they were worn.”


Published in: on April 9, 2013 at 8:35 am  Comments (3)  

Very Inspiring Blogger Award, Thank You!

I’ve been so wrapped up in my current millinery obsession and planning for the Netherfield Ball, I nearly missed Quinn recognizing me for the Very inspiring Blogger Award. I am so very flattered. Thank you, very much Quinn. It is quite nice to know I’ve been inspiring people with my posts.  If you have not yet seen it, head over to Quinn’s blog The Quintessential Clothes Pen.

As with these awards, we have some rules….

Here are the rules: 1- Display the award and link back to the person who nominated you; 2- State seven facts about yourself; 3- Nominate 15 blogs for the award; 4- Notify the winners.

Seven things about me. Lets see. 1. I love spicy food, at time ridiculously spicy. Just this past Sunday, Dan had to open the kitchen windows because the three dozen jalapenos I was cleaning and cutting for salsa were filling the apartment with capsaicin. 2.  Similarly, I use sriracha chili sauce like most people use ketchup. 3. I lack a cat. My dear feline friend has been living with a dear human friend since we still can’t have pets. Sadness. 4. I love tea, but hate coffee. Icky. 5. I have a teeny temperature comfort window anymore. Below 60, too cold; above 70, too hot. 6. I love the smell of jasmine and lavendar and mints and rose and orange blossom.  7. I enjoy listening to thunderstorms.

There are several blogs and bloggers I find inspiring. I nominate….

  • First I would like to re-recognize Quinn’s blog. I always enjoy her detailed progress posts with all the great photos.
  • Anna in Technicolor is by another Anna, who looks at historic, vintage and modern clothing. Her posts are always a sprout of life.
  • The Pragmatic Costumer is sorta my escape into eras I will likely never do, but love to drool over.  
  • Mixing historic costuming and cosplay, In the Long Run always has an interesting project going.
  •  In my opinion, Bygone Glamour is all about depth of though and research each time she picks up a topic.
  • When the header photo itself inspires with the thought “I don’t have that one”, you know you’ve got something. Such is the case with Women, Words, and Wisdom.
Published in: on April 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm  Comments (2)  

Patriotic Embroidery Patterns

I know several groups are looking at depicting displays of patriotism this season be it individually or an organized festivity. This trio of images comes from Godey’s 1863.

g63c g63a


Published in: on March 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Old Sewing Machine

For those who have not yet seen it, I rather like this image:

Godey's 1863

(Godey’s 1863)

Published in: on March 28, 2013 at 5:00 am  Comments (1)  

Maple in the Kitchen

Okay, this post is less about what I’m up to and more about what Mom and Lily are up to. This week their kitchen will be filled with maple cooking as they get their entries ready for the “Cooking With Maple” Contest at the Genesee Country Village.  

Some of last year’s Maple baked goods recipies

This contest is part of their Maple Fest taking place last weekend and this weekend. Guest can walk through the woods to see the tapped maple tree, visit maple camp where they will learn about boiling down  turning the maple trees’ sap into syrup and sugar as well as visit with village craftsman to see how the tools, buckets, troughs are made.  There will be tastings too.

I know mom has something interesting she’ll be entering as she bought a most interesting ingredient yesterday. Of course, both mom’s and Lily’s entries are a secret  until after the contest.

EDIT : Lily won first place! Check out GCV’s Blog for photos and the winners.

Published in: on March 18, 2013 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Valentines Day!!!

These antique Valentines have been lucky a few times over. First the recipient saved them. Then, they survived a flood in Dad’s basement. While everything else in the box they were in was sadly soaked and ruined, these were tucked safely in a water-tight plastic bag. I’ve been wanting to share these pretties for a while. They’ve spent the last few years packed away, just waiting to be seen. Here is a small sampling (and, yes, I took photos instead of scanning for a reason)…..

Vintage Valentines ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

Interested in more information on Victorian Valentines? May I suggest: The Secret Life of Victorian Cards   and Valentines; the Language of Love.

Published in: on February 14, 2013 at 1:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Lovely Blog Award

As with Quinn, I too am fond of the word “Lovely.” I am quite flattered Quinn of The Quintessential Clothes Pen has nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you , Quinn!!! (If you haven’t had a chance to read her blog, hop over to see her stunning projects as well as their inspiration.)

This award is a way of recognizing fellow blogs and blogger. There’s a list of things to do:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Add the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ image to your post.
3. Share seven things about you. 
4. Pass the award on to seven nominees. 
5. Include this set of rules.  
6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.
The easier part first. My nominees are….
The Sewing Academy An excellent resource for mid-19th century clothing. 
 Anna In Technicolor – A fun blog looking at historical and vintage clothing.
The Pragmatic Costumer – An eye-catching blog that connects pieces of costuming and culture brilliantly.
 CW Civilian Living History – An informative blog looking at LH in Texas.
 Romantic History – A beautiful blog exploring many eras.
Miss MacRae’s Blog – Tid-bits of history.
A Graceful Lady – An all around beautiful look at the world.
The harder part, seven things about me. Um??? How about seven things I love?

 1 – My husband, Dan. (WordPress seems to think we should be sideways.)

2 – My family

2a - My familyb3

3. My favorite feline. (Fluffy, long-haired ginger cats are fabulous!)My favorite feline.

4. Relaxing lakeside. Whether it is Plattsburg or Canandaigua, there is something about the beauty and tranquility of these lakes.

5. Shady days with friends.

6. Spicy Asian Food. The veggie kind.

 7 – Chocolate, no, silk, no, chocolate, no, silk, no, chocolate, no, silk……… um……

Published in: on January 16, 2013 at 11:02 am  Comments (1)