Historic Craft

I am loving these historic fashion plates [The [new] 19th century Fashion Plate Collection consists of 475 images hosted by Claremont Colleges Digital Library in California] found at Bibliodyssey.

Archery dress: The woman on the left wears a green archery dress with full skirts, a large, pointed, white lace collar and long sleeves with double puffs at the shoulders. A gold and green tassel hangs from one side of the belt, while an ornate gold and green hip quiver holding several white, feather-tipped arrows hangs from the other. The woman on the right wears a blue and white archery dress with a high, lacy collar and a short, sheer apron. The bodice and sleeves are extremely ornate and reminiscent of a doublet.

Carriage dress: A pink bonnet with a large feather plume and bias striped edging.Her large multi-colored shawl is light blue with pink, yellow, and white in the paisley and floral pattern, and has wide fringe edging the hem.

Court dress: The low, square neck is edged in pink ribbon and two rows of white lace. Three columns of pink chevrons decorate the bodice. The skirt is sprigged with pink and has a wide border of puffed, ruched white fabric striped with pink and interspersed with pink rosettes.

Dinner and walking dresses: The woman on the left wears a white dinner dress with a peach bodice and trim. The skirt has three ruffled tiers and the collar is a high, lace ruff. The woman on the right wears an empire waist long, blue walking dress.The hem and vertical seam are edged with blue and white diagonal stripes, and each gold button is set off with a band of blue that matches those of the cuffs. The dress has a small, blue capelet trimmed in darker blue.

Dress with apron: An empire waist dress of black fabric patterned with a small yellow and white design. Her sleeves are tight and end at the elbow. She wears a white apron tied below the bust and a soft pink and white plaid kerchief wrapped around her shoulders and tucked under the apron.

Fashions: The woman on the left faces away and wears a green bonnet, a green and black striped dress, and a black, green and red shawl. The shawl has a black background with wide red edging, and has large red and green plant designs. The woman on the right wears a white lace cap with a red flower and green leaves, and red and green trimming at the hem.



A few cool things to end the week with …

Grosgrain is ending their month of free patterns with something from me – head on over to check it out – and they wrote some really nice things about me too ;) Thank you Kathleen! Be sure to check out the rest of their month of free patterns and meet some very cool bloggers at the same time.

Parent map featured one our guest contributor tutorials (Marcie from mossymossy) on their 15 homemade gifts that kids can make for teachers roundup.

Make sure you check out this Etsy video – a portrait of a village in Cyprus where the women have been practicing a regional tradition of lace-making since the 15th century. It was recently nominated to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Element collection, but the skill is dying out…. and the famous Lefkaritika lace is being replaced by imported machine-made replicas to meet the demand of tourists. Read a bit more about ithere.

Craft supplies giveaway

And finally Design Memory Craft is offering two Whipup.net readers a chance to win some art supplies: Mix & Match Mixed Media Sampler (the set includes a Stamper’s Brush, Gelato Metallic Stick, Pastel Pencil and Watercolor pencil) + Color Gelatos & Clear Stamp kit (creamy sticks infused with color – use for stamping). These kits are super fun I know because they were kind enough to send me some samples to try out! They also have a blog where they show you what you can do with some of their products. Leave a comment here for your chance to win. I will leave this open over the weekend – and choose a winner on Monday.

Update: Thanks everyone for entering – the 2 random winners are: Amy from Crooked little house and Crystal from not so crystalline. I will be contacting you via email.

And look what you have won!


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Today I would like to welcome Erin Gilday from Patchwork Underground – Erin is passionate about sewing and today is going to share a little sewing history with us.

The Secret Life of Sewing Machines: Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Sewing Machine

If you’re like me, you spend lots of time with your sewing machine. You went out, picked it out among millions, brought it home, named it, and loved it. You talk to it (sometimes, maybe…OK, a lot…) and you pamper it like one of your own. Your machine is with you through thick denim and thin calico. You think you know your machine so well, but you don’t know the half of it! Your dear friend, the sewing machine has a long, strange and sordid past.

Riots. Did you know that the first serviceable sewing machine ever made was burned in a hand sewer’s riot? Forget stitch ‘n bitch – this was old school stitch and destroy! In 1830, a french tailor named Barthelemy Thimonnier invented the first functional sewing machine. His invention was met with rage by French tailors, who feared that the machine would put them out of a job. The group organized themselves in protest and burned his garment factory to the ground. Another early sewing machine inventor, Walter Hunt, chose not to patent his creation because he, too, foresaw that it would obviate the tailor trade.

Rock ‘n Roll. Foot powered sewing machines (a.k.a. treadles) were revolutionary because they freed up both hands for sewing. But when treadles were first invented, sales suffered in Britain because all that rocking action going on down below was deemed “unladylike.” In fact, a French woman, Caroline Garcin, and a clock-maker, M. Adam, patented the single-pedal treadle machine in 1872 specifically designed to counteract the sexual arousal women were thought to experience while using the dual pedal machines.

Steampunk. Before settling on electric motors, sewing machine engineers attempted to power their stitches with steam, clockwork and waterwheels. You thought it was a pain to deal with plugging in that power cord? Try firing up ye ol’ waterwheel.

Circus Freaks. Isaac Singer, maker of the Singer sewing machine, also owned an acting company. Singer was fond of advertising his sewing machines at his famous circus sewing shows. Singer insisted on hiring female demonstrators for his circus sewing shows to combat the prevailing notion that women were, on a whole, too “flighty” to deal with such complicated machinery as a sewing machine. It worked! Soon, sewing machines, initially thought of as masculine tools, became synonymous with women’s work.

Mrs. Needles. The first zigzag stitch machine was invented by a pioneering female engineer, Helen Augusta Blanchard. This handy lady – sometimes called “Lady Edison” – was born in 1840 to a wealthy family from Maine. But when her family lost their fortune, she started patenting her inventions (all 28 of them!) to support her kin. Though her sewing machine related patents accounted for 23 of her 28 inventions, Helen also patented surgical needles and a number of other non-sewing related pointy-stick related goods. You can find Helen’s 1873 zigzagger on display at the Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

References: Ptak science books, The Mechanical Chameleon, Photosearch.

Additional references: Image of Barthelemy Thimonnier,


fold some Japanese paper dolls traditional Japanese bookmark doll (shiori ningyo) with or without kimono sleeves. … The dolls are perfect for cardmaking, framing… or simply admiring!


I love this doily hanging in the window – pattern here.

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