doing things the victorian way

Tag Archives: historical clothing


White cotton voile, hand sewn handkerchief measuring 13″ by 13″.


Embroidered with DMC Coton a Broder #30 in white.


Not the neatest embroidery I’ve ever done, as I’d never worked with the fabric nor the thread before & I really just wanted to test out the process. The next will be much better, I’m sure.


I was really hoping to have my corset finished by the 3rd Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge deadline today but, alas, it’s been a bitch. The problem, I believe, is that my measurements don’t necessarily reflect my body shape and, thus, lots of wrinkles. I’m going to rip all of the good bits out, redraft it and start fresh with only a single layer and external boning. Hopefully, that will work a lot better and be a bit easier on my sewing machine.

I’m saving that for another  day, however, when I’ve got a bit of patience back. For now, I’m working on the next challenge, which is “Embellish.” I prefer Victorian garb but I’ve  become a bit enamored with 18th century pockets. I just hate carrying around a bag and since pockets in the 18th century were external accoutrement tied onto the clothing as opposed to carried, it works well for me. Plus, I needed a new sit-in-front-of-the-television project.

I’ve designed everything myself so I couldn’t say exactly how historically accurate it will end up being but the Danish Flower  Thread is beautiful so it will have that going for it. The pencil lines throughout the drawing are just a way to keep track of what needs to be done each day to finish by deadline. It’s going to be a tight race.

I received a pleasant surprise for Christmas this year. Though my grandmother died several years ago, sorting out her affairs has been a nightmare for her children. Her house, while semi-organized, was a hoarder’s paradise. Food that expired before I was even born. More Christmas decorations than a dozen families would need in a lifetime. Pots and pans, books, clothes, toiletries. I believe my mother said she hauled away fifty-seven bags of items to Goodwill and it’s still full of “junk.”

For Christmas, though, while my parents were up to visit, they took me to her home to look around and pick up anything I might want or need. Besides more cookbooks and gauzy scarves than I could shake a stick at, I came home with four large containers of fabric and trim. Serious jackpot but it has taken me forever, obviously, to work through. I’m not even close to having sorted it all out. I did discover some surprising finds, however. Buried in a container full of old crochet trim and lace were these items.

I’m not sure if these are family items or not, what with my grandmother having been born in 1922. They’re in surprisingly good shape, though, with only a few stains here and there.  I could actually use them with confidence if I were so inclined. At the moment, though, I’m more interested in preserving them. The structure of crochet is such that it can’t be reproduced by machine, which means these were hand-created for wear and I can almost feel the history when I hold them. That’s something, I think, that should be honored and treasured for as long as I can keep them around.