Friday, October 31, 2014

NWMP Mock-up and Birthday Pics

Jen and I went down to Pacific Grove for our birthdays for several days and I slipped the mock up for the NorthWest Mounted Police mock-up for Robert.  She will have Robert do a fitting tomorrow.

In the mean time, Jen and I and my grand-dog, Isis, had lots of fun in a great place.  We spent lots of time at the ocean and finding interesting places to eat.

We also had fun just relaxing with Isis on the lawn, watching monarch butterflies flit by.  They overwinter in the San Francisco Bay Area (Ardenwood and Pacific Grove, as well as other places.)  It was nice and warm and they were very active.  I kept trying to take pictures of them but by the time my digital camera clicked they would be gone!

 Isis has a knee problem and has to wear a brace so her knee doesn't pop out with each step.  I learned how to take off and put on the brace.  I will be spending some time next week with her while her mom and dad do a short cruise.  She is such a sweetie.  Her worse vice is flirting with those long eyelashes of hers for treats.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Birthday Time!

Our youngest and I have birthdays 3 days apart, so what an excuse to celebrate together!  Guess where!  Pacific Grove, of course!

I forgot my camera cord so can't download pictures, but as usual, we hit another gorgeous day! No fog, tons of sunshine and warm!  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Birthday to my baby girl!

Wow!  Another birthday!  So glad we are going to have a couple of days to celebrate together!

You have become such a beautiful woman, physically and in spirit, and we love you and are so proud of you.  Life would be so dull without you!

New Project!! Northwest Royal Mounted Police ~1880's

Robert, our son-in-law, will be wearing a new Mountie uniform, if all goes well on my end!  He plans to wear it in December to the High Tea we will be attending!

I will be using the Reconstructing History pattern:

RH954 - Victorian Era Army Dress Tunic

The Northwest Mounted Police uniforms have quite a history, basically ending up with this jacket within the 1800's.

I bought some wool serge from and I had some muslin for a mockup.
 Meanwhile, Jen had made a duct tape dress form on Robert because I didn't have Robert available easily for frequent fittings.

The first step was to trace the pattern.  Actually, I bought the pattern on-line so that meant I printed off lots of pages of pattern and then taped them together (while on a large window to make it easier to see).  Then I choose the size we needed and traced the pattern pieces for those sizes.  Then those pieces were cut out of the muslin.  Using the basting stitch, I basted the pieces pieces together and put it on the dress form.

 Then I started to adjust it to Robert's body form.

 Now I need to have Robert try it on and see if my alterations are right, so far.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weeper Cuffs

 Last night was the last evening candlelight tour covering "Victorian Funeral Practices".  We had lots of fun doing it and our guests expressed how much they learned and enjoyed it.  A lot of them had come on the tour,  in lieu of, the "haunted train" ride that had sold out on the first night, and then returned to do the tour again on the 2nd night.

I had tried to find pictures of "Weeper Cuffs" which I had come across mention of in my research.  Not a photo on the internet could I find.  I did come across a description:  9" white muslin that wrapped around the sleeves and were joined by 2 buttons with loops.

I did want to make up a pair to show that part of the early mourning period.  So I just came up with my own version from the description.

I cut out the basic shape, 2 for each Weeper Cuff.

I stiched ttogether the two sides for each cuff, leaving a couple inches unstitched to turn them inside out..
The cuffs are ironed after turning and the loops and buttons locations are determined.

Loops and buttons are added

So this is what I ended up with!

Note:  Look at how lighting affects the mood...

It was just the difference between the flash on or off on my camera!  It actually was pretty dim lighting, but that must have been the normal for those years with all those gas lamps.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Victorian Funeral Practices at Ardenwood!

Tonight will be the last open house tours of Ardenwood's Victorian Funeral Practices.  Last night was so enlightening and even though we recreated a version of George Patterson's 1895 Funeral/Wake.  In the candlelight and kerosene lamps the mood was really set.

The Guest Parlor was set up for the funeral.

An after paying their respects, our guests went past the crepe-covered mirror and up the stairs where they learned about Victorian fashions and the funeral businesses that grew up around death.

Then they were introduced to a wonderful collection of Victorian Mourning Jewelry.

Many of the condolence letters to the Patterson Family on the death of George W. Patterson's young granddaughter, Georgia, are displayed in the nursery.

Time has stopped at the moment of George's Death.

 The funeral dinner was prepared.

And funeral "favors" handed out.

 Tonight will be your last chance to pay your respects!  Tours start around 6:30.  Hope to see you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jen's hat - Finished!

Today I put in the lining and 2 loops to hook bobby pins to inside the hat.

Then I added a bit of a pale green ribbon with a touch of gold on the brim.  It just needed that something.

I may get enough energy to make a couple of Weeper Cuffs for the Candlelight tours Friday and Saturday.  I have looked for some photos of them but no luck.  It seems once they were out of fashion, they were out of mind.  It is a wonder anyone remembered they ever existed.  Oh, well, I may just have to do my own design.  I did read that they wrapped around the sleeve and the sides were hooked to each other by buttons and loops.

Victorian Funeral Practices - Just in time for Halloween!

The Patterson House at Ardenwood  in Fremont, CA will be putting on Candlelight Tours Friday and Saturday, October 24 and 25th.  These tours will start at 7pm and will be flow-through tours which means you go through the house at your own pace.

As you arrive at Ardenwood you will see the pumpkin patch field is very busy at this time of the year!  Watch out for kids in the parking lot!  Also, the Haunted Train will be operating too  so come early.  The Haunted Train is appropriate for little kids, I am told.  The Pumpkin Patch has cutout figures for taking pictures and a pyramid of hay that the kids love climbing!

The Candlelight Tours will feature the 1895 funeral of George Patterson as a backdrop for exploring the many aspects of the Victorian funeral practices of the time.  This will not be a "haunted house", no spooks jumping out, but it will be very interesting I guarantee you! It may be kind of creepy for some children with a funeral scene though, but flow-through tours allow you to go as fast or slow as your group's needs.

Just bring your Victorian etiquette and you will be fine!  If you would like to dress up for the times, feel free also.  We sometimes have those that really get into it!

I will be wearing my new Mourning Dress that I showed back in August as I was making it.  I will be in 2nd mourning, looking forward to 1/2 mourning.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jen's Bustle Bodice - Final Fitting

Jen came down today and we had a chance to mark the button holes and the sleeve lengths.  She also tried on the hat, balancing it on her head.

Jen also brought down Robert's body......Remember she made a duct tape form of Robert for me to use to start to make his Royal Canadian Mountie uniform.

This afternoon I stuffed him and pulled him together in the back.

 I made a mock up that I have started to alter.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jen's Hat

I decided to work on the hat that goes with Jen's Bustle Dress.  After looking at tons of pictures the hats were to give a tall look.  I decided I would do a "feather" look of fabric which I saw was a popular application.

I started with a paper pattern of what I wanted to do with the fabric.

Then I cut out the fabric, added a couple layers of netting to hold the fabric upright and basted in the folds.

 I attached the "feather" to the hat.

 Then I did a search though the old jewelry boxes to put a spark on the hat!

I make a rosette to go around the pendant I found.  I think it may be polished petrified wood in a gold setting.  This was one of my Aunt Edna's pieces, probably bought on one of her many trips.

I added some netting around the brim to soften it a bit.  I may fuss a bit on this some more.