January 20, 2016

An Update in Three Parts

After a full day's work - chopping 2x4s with the carpentry shop's miter saw, searching for the perfect fabrics in the stash room, and writing an entire argumentative paper - I think it is time for a quick update!  Let's go...

Part I:  A past project!  Three weeks ago, I completed a patchwork pocket to go with my good friend Rhonda's new 1830s short gown ensemble.  Since it was her Christmas gift, I couldn't reveal it on the blog until now:

Made from reproduction fabrics, fully lined and backed with a sturdy linen.  The dressmaker, I heard, approved :)  

Part Two:  A present project!  I'm making a Berlin work pocketbook!  In the down time between classes, homework and the costume shop apprenticeship, I've been relaxing with a row or two of stitches...

The progress thus far...

A couple of weeks before the move, I had picked up a copy of Elsa S. William's Bargello: Florentine Canvas Work for less than a dollar at a thrift store.  Though the book itself was in poor shape, I spent hours pouring over the gorgeous designs within before choosing "Domes and Spires" (page 31) for my pocketbook.  Apparently, the pattern may have been inspired by the dome of the Florentine Baptistery.  

"Magic Lantern" - one of my favorite patterns from the book, and was originally
my choice.  However, I quickly found out that it is not beginner friendly!
Also note that the pictures are the only patterns and directions...

I drove my poor friend Mary insane with my insistence on finding the perfect shades of DMC floss at JoAnns.  However, she worked her magic, and I definitely owe her one!  Several hours (yes, hours) later, we walked out with this rainbow of primary colors that could have been available during the late-18th and early-19th centuries:

DMC floss & 14 count Aida cloth. 

Pink family.

Gold family.

Blue family.

And, hopefully, by the end of the semester, I will end up with a finished pocketbook, like this extant example:  

William Cushings Pocketbook, c.1779.
Museum of Fine Arts
(Image source)

(Make sure to check out my Needlepoint Pinterest Board!)  

Part III:  A future project!  (Or several...called updates to the blog.)  I'm falling behind on blog posts!  For instance, there's a sewing box that has been completed (and photographed) for over two months:

19th century sewing box preview.

Not to mention the 1820s Mad for Plaid photo shoot previously promised:  All of the photographs have been uploaded, and are now awaiting some sorting as well as the written work.

And, best of all, I've been honored with a Liebster Award nomination by the super talented Hannah of Fabric & Fiction fame!  If you don't already follow her blog, make sure to stop by and prepare to be amazed by her Regency wardrobe.  (That striped silk pelisse that she just completed - and blogged about here - simply splendid!)  

Stay tuned for these posts and more to come...thanks for reading!


  1. Oh, oh, please blog about the sewing box! I've got one to fill, and it looks like yours is wonderfully and cleverly organized. I need some ideas!

    1. Wonderful! I can't wait to see yours, Allison!! :)