Sunday, September 30, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 8e Cahier, 3e Figure

Bourgeoise walking with her daughter, she is dressed in a silk dotted with little flowers, and her daughter in buras trimmed with ribbons. (1778)

Bourgeoise walking with her daughter; she is wearing an informal gown and petticoat of the same material, pulled up at the sides with cord or gold braid.*  Trimming in two rows of poufs; volant very high, in regular pleats, with a band of double poufs at the top like the trim of the gown.


Mantelet of black taffeta, trimmed with black gauze, scalloped on two sides, not covering the lace manchettes with three rows of ruffles, trimmed with sleeve bows.

Hair in a racine droite, a little raised, with the confident near the ear, and a brush in the opening of the shell.  Medium cap on three oblique curls, with a ribbon placed around the head; a pearl strand below the ribbon-papillon; the lappets hang in the back.

The little girl is dressed in a child's gown** of buras, trimmed with ribbons and a half-apron of striped gauze, and trimmed around the edges, the pocket, and the front/bib; straw hat with ribbons on the back of the head, and cane in hand.

* "écuyers" - the literal meaning is squire or equerry, so I have extrapolated that it might also be used for the gold braid used on an equerry's uniform.
** "un fourreau", not the same thing as a gown en fourreau, but a metaphorical "sheath" for a child.



Saturday, September 29, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 8e Cahier, 2e Figure


Young Lady in a Circassienne trimmed with blonde lace, decorated with a streaked ribbon, wearing a romantic Hat and a loose, braided chignon. (1778)

Of all the beauties which decorate the seraglio of the Grand Seigneur, there are none that rival those who come from Circassia.  One would be tempted to believe that in that happy country, nature takes pleasure in not forming women except in the most agreeable and perfect models; their dress answers to their charms, and if the Graces were not nude, they would not have adopted any other dress.  But its use is not given to all women: only those of a light and almost airy size should aspire to its advantages.

This dress is known under the name "robe à la Circassienne", or simply "Circassienne": it is composed of an undervest with long, very tight sleeves, and a gown or overcoat pulled up behind on the sides and in back; very short sleeves, cut like the mouth of a canon, from which the undervest's sleeves seem to come; a Muslim petticoat,* the waist of which is hidden under the undervest and which reaches below the ankle on two sides, it is the last piece in the composition of the Circassienne.  The most beautiful and precious furs have the exclusive privilege of being used in the trimming.

The Circassienne, in coming to Paris, is made a little Frenchified: the Muslim petticoat or wide-trousers** were never adopted; the privilege of furs was moderated, the underbodice became manchettes; the draperies were only pulled up two times: but despite the changes, it has lost nothing of its graces and lightness.

The Circassienne this figure represents is seen from the back; the material is lilac satin, with a large band of blonde lace with chenille for trimming; this band is striped in the center by a streaked ribbon, solid-colored and encircling the edges of the circassienne, which is pulled up with bows and tassels; the Engraver has pulled it up very low, to better show its shape, but as a rule, it must be pulled up high, and in a manner to let a part of the petticoat show.

The back is picked out with three gold braids, the ones on the sides decorated with tassels at their highest end; the very short sleeves have a border made as a barrier, similar to the trimming; the sleeves of the underjacket, very yellow satin, trimmed with bonshommes or little manchettes with two rows of ruffles.

Satin petticoat that matches the undervest; volante a little raised, cut at two-thirds of its height by a ribbon like that on the trim.

Coiffure may be done at will; that of the figure is composed of a parasol hat, the edges of black blonde lace, wrapped with ruched gauze; a streaked ribbon for a braid, whose ends are escaping on the left side, after having fixed a bunch of flowers, the crown of the hat is shaded by a panache with an aigrette.

Chignon knotted in love-locks, topped with a bow of streaked ribbon, from which come two heart-curls, all surmounted with a toque or large tuft of rolled hair.

* "jupe à la musulmane"
** "vaste-caleçon"; both of these may refer to the same article of clothing, the first being a sort of metaphorical use of "jupe"
 
 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 8e Cahier, 1ere Figure


Young Lady of Quality in full Dress, topped with an elegant pouf cap called "the Victory cap". (1778)

Grande sacque, with closed bodice.  This gown is pleated in the back, like all the other sacques, but has no pleats in the front: it is low-cut and busquée like a scabbard,* and the bodice seems, as it were, isolated in the center of a vast and rich drapery.  It requires an elegant figure from the wearer; it is only suitable for the beautiful young woman.


The parement is of blonde lace in even pleats, and cut by narrow, gathered blonde lace; the pleats on the flat trim are crossed by two rows of eight bouillons, edges covered with two bands of gathered lace; the ends of the bouillonné ribbons are left to fall diagonally, held up with tassels; the upper edge of the parement is covered with a third bouillonné ribbon, which marks the waistline and shows its lightness; two straight, gathered bands are the only trimmings on the bodice, which is busqué in a point; bunches of flowers are placed between the tassels on the parement, two on the front edge and three on the other.

Volant in regular pleats very high on the petticoat, with two gathered bands across it resembling those on the parement, positioned so as to curve and come up to join at one end in the center of the flounce, under a bunch of flowers which holds a hanging tassel.

The head of the ruffle has a gathered band where a garland of bouillonné ribbon is fastened at the ends and describes a half-oval, passing under the trim on the left and passing over it on the right: a gathered band runs below the trim and forms a frame with the upper band.

Manchettes with three rows of ruffles, trimmed with with bows, protected by the manchettes of the gown, and trimmed at the top with a gathered band.  Around the throat is a collarette or a "medici" of black lace, higher in the back than the front.

Pearl necklace, en riviere,** with two gold tassels, lying on the parfait contentement.

Hair done in the raised phisionomie style and in installments, or with an open and protruding coque, with four separated curls; the confident falling in front of the ear, which bears a pearl earring; the coque or phisionomie is caressed by a row of pearls put in a head-band.

"Victory" cap; this is a very elegant pouf, girded with a double laurel branch, and shaded by a panache of three ostrich plumes in various colors: a large gauze bow with two gathered and hanging ends is on the back of the head; bulging chignon, supported by a solid-colored ribbon.

This dress, no less excellent than it is pretty, agrees perfectly with less expensive material, and acts as the most full dress, the adorned gown of the French Ladies.***

* Or possibly like a gown en fourreau; busqué may mean that it is boned on the opening.
** With individually-set stones.
*** For more on the robe parée, see my post here.  These were worn for evening entertainments at court and eventually became the official presentation costume.  It is here described as the "plus grande robe" because the robe de cour was seen as a different animal, not made along the lines of ordinary formal dress.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 7e Cahier, 6e Figure


Child's governess in the home of People of Quality. (1778)

Another character Drawing, in the dress of a child's Governess in the home of people of quality.  Caraco of Indian taffeta, with matching petticoat, the whole trimmed in box pleats of the same material; sabot-cuffed sleeves, having a head of gauze resembling short manchettes or bonshommes.


Large muslin apron, with a trimmed pocket and a busquée bib* in the shape of a semi-circle, in the style of a maid's clothing.

Coiffure on a racine droite, with four curls; pouf cap à papillon pleated en gouleau;* ribbon wrapped around it,** pinched at the front of the head by a black brush, with two bouillonné bands on top.

The position of this governess prevents one from seeing her fine leg; her breast is lily-white, and a ruffled handkerchief covers it; but it can be found by Lubin.

* Unknown meaning.
** "formante le turban"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 7e Cahier, 5e Figure


Marchande de modes carrying her merchandise in the city. (1778)
 
Drawing of a character, representing the marchande de mode, who carries her merchandise in the city.

A vast therese of black silk with turned-up edges, trimmed with gauze, covers her head and hides a part of her charms from the avid gaze of passersby; but her mantelet is arranged in such a manner to keep the elegance of her shape from escaping the viewer.


She is dressed in a robe unie,* trimmed with the same material in box pleats, as is the volant, and pulled up in the back with a ribbon in the manner of a polonaise.**


Stylish silk mittens, allowing the bracelet to be seen; green paper fan; contentement on the chest: nothing is lacking from the trimming.

* This could refer to the gown and petticoat being of the same fabric, or the gown fabric being unpatterned.
** Note, "en forme de polonaise" is the formulation used here for indicating a non-polonaise gown pulled up like a polonaise.



Curtains, and Patterning Update

I'm strongly considering joining the curtain-along.  I want to make a demi-polonaise, because it fascinates me!  (There are a few more examples of them in the coming plates.)  It will give me a chance to try out the polonaise skirt shape and some trim types before I make an actual polonaise with my Williamsburg fabric.  Also, I'm not quite happy with the shape of my stays, and I'm a bit nervous that if I make something with a bodice it won't fit when I get around to making better ca. 1785 stays.

Detail of the Cherry Hill gown back
Last Friday I visited Historic Cherry Hill to pattern a ca. 1780 closed-front gown with sleeves en pagode and a matching petticoat; Monday, I went to the Albany Institute and had a marathon all-day session patterning two rather similar gowns (not as pointed in the front, though), one of which has a matching but waistbandless petticoat with self-fabric trim, the other with loops inside to pull up the skirt, as well as a jacket, a stomacher, and a pair of early 18th century sleeves. Interestingly enough, the skirts of the Cherry Hill gown and the AIHA gown with the petticoat were both cut in curves on the front corners and had similar trim down the fronts and around the curves.  I can't wait to get a bit further on in the fashion plates to see when this started, or if it was never a high-fashion thing, maybe just a local style.

Detail of sleeve trim on AIHA gown with petticoat

I have something to add to my usual caveats about trusting museum-given dates. The petticoated gown was en fourreau and in a striped floral fabric: it was marked "1760-1770, remade 1780" because the fabric is early-looking and the general thought is that fourreau gowns are earlier, and so if you have that plus closed front it must have been remade. But there's no indication that any seams have been changed at all. It's patched, but under the arms, where it was worn. So what I'm saying is, don't assume remodeling when a museum's database/catalogue says so and back pleats go later than most people think.


Detail of pleating on AIHA gown with rétroussée loops
Another interesting thing I've learned is that it seems kind of common for sleeves and their linings to be seamed together, the front or back folded under in both layers and lapped around the other, then sewn all the way through - which hides all the seam allowances.





Detail of front of jacket
I'm very, very happy to say that pretty much everything I've worked on for the whole project so far has at least one attribute that makes it worth inclusion. Most have two.  And I have a couple more leads for finding more articles to pattern.

Detail of stomacher

Monday, September 24, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 7e Cahier, 4e Figure


Lady of Quality in Undress, walking in the morning in the Country.  This dress is white, trimmed with bands of painted cloth, and consists of a petticoat and a bodice with a tail pulled up in the back. (1778)

Demi-polonaise, or polonaise à la liberté.  It is a diminutive version of the bottom part of the gowns that Court Ladies, obligated by etiquette to be seen in public in the morning, adopted long ago, which made a rather happy addition to the new fashions.

The demi-polonaise consists of a petticoat, to which is attached the bottom of the polonaise, or simply a polonaise tail pulled up as usual; it is as comfortable as it is pretty, and has the double advantage of making one appear fully dressed when one isn't.

The Print shows a Lady of quality, walking in the country, dressed in a demi-polonaise with a simple tail.  The petticoat and the tail are of white linen, of which the trim and flounce, which are very inconvenient while walking, were replaced with bands of fabric painted with borders; one of the bands is on the bottom of the petticoat; the other, smaller ones, are placed in the middle and appear at the top of the volant;* the tail, which is pulled up with bows, is bordered with a double band like that of the petticoat.

The mantelet is an essential part of this ensemble; it must be ample, entirely enveloping what one would assume to be the bodice, and only allow the sight of the lower part of the body; thereby completing the ensemble, and creating an illusion to fool the curious eye.

Undress coiffure au chien couchant,** with a curl falling on the collar: straw hat, strongly tilted to the front for protection from the sun, pushed up at the back to give more play to the chignon in the free braid: the right side of the hat, indicated with a double bow, holding a flower; for braid, a large, plain ribbon, the extremities of which come to caress the left ear.

A cane, a fan, gloves, a bow around the wrist of the glove of the hand which plays with the fan, pleated and frilled gauze collar, round rosette on the shoes: such are the other attributes of this rural ensemble.

* That is, the area where the volante would be attached if there were one.
** "Lying dog" style.  Further research is required to determined exactly what it consists of, but because it is a returning term I have left it untranslated in the text.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 7e Cahier, 3e Figure


 Little Mistress in a Polonaise Gown of painted linen trimmed with muslin, reading a letter. (1778)

Polonaise, open over the chest and closed in the middle of the waist, with wings that are developed in the front and a tail that blooms in the back.*

As the polonaise allows the sight of the chest in its brilliance, if you desire to excite curiosity you will require a fichu or a gauze handkerchief, folded back on itself and trimmed all around the edges: this gives a negligée appearance an air of decency which seems to add to its beauty.

The Print represents a young lady reading a letter.  Her gown is of linen painted with floral sprigs and narrow stripes; linen trimming in box pleats, sabot cuffs of the same and a little flared; very high volant, plain at the top* with box pleats.

Coiffure in racine droite, topped with a gauze pouf with a curved heron aigrette fitted to her head; four curls on each side, one of which is stylishly falling.

Watch cord of hair, equipped with sequins, key, seal, and a perfume bottle made of ostrich egg.

Shoes with high heels: buckles à la d'Artois, with the latchet of a different color than the rest of the shoe.

*  I.e., rather than the wings being in the back with the tail, they're mostly in the front and the tail is rather full.
** Compare to previous plates, which had colored fabric over the top of the flounce.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Galerie des Modes: Vocabulary

The hardest thing about translating these fashion plates is that there are a number of words that have different meanings in 18th century and 21st century French.  It did finally (finally) occur to me that I could find older French dictionaries on Google Books, which is very helpful, but there are still terms that are difficult for me to understand.  While many of them clear up after looking at them with fresh eyes or seeing them in a new context, busqué is continuing to stymie me.  The literal meaning of busquer in the 18th century dictionary is "to seek", related to the Spanish buscar; there is also busque, meaning "busk" (so therefore possibly "busked") - and Google Translate is telling me it can mean "hooked", as in a nose's shape.  But in the fashion text, the term is used to describe an apron bib that is "busqué in a half-circle, like a maid's", and a pointed, closed-front bodice that is "décolleté and busqué like a scabbard" and "busqué en pointe".  (So Marion and Heileen, if this is obvious to you, please help!)

I should probably explain how I'm dealing with the terminology in my translation.  There are some French terms that I'm leaving untranslated for the most part, because they're frequent enough, complicated enough, and/or handy enough that it makes more sense to define them elsewhere (in my glossary page, linked in the right-hand column) and use them.  For the most part, anything that is given in italics without an asterisk and definition at the bottom can be found in there.

Galerie des Modes, 7e Cahier, 2e Figure


Polonaise Gown, hooded, of unpatterned material. (1778)

Polonaise with pockets and hood,* or winter Polonaise.  These gowns are very narrow in front, and leave free the little vest** trimmed down the center with and surrounded by a large ribbon.

The wings and the rounded tail are pulled up very high, as in the preceding print, with ribbons or with cords and tassels.

Large ruffle, covered at the top with a bouilloné band of the same stuff as the rest of the clothing.  Narrow cuffs, with bons-hommes.

Chignon hair is falling, cut by two diagonal curls which touch at one end.

Hat à la Biscayenne, composed of a row of pleated gauze, tilted on the head, forming brims; a large ribbon, in box pleats, surrounding the hat crown and supported by a second plain ribbon, ending in the back with a double bow: the crown of the hat, in a gauze pouf, is half-covered by a panache of three ostrich plumes, a little raised, of which the root is hidden in the double bow.

Shoes are similar to the rest of the ensemble in their assortment of colors, with a round rosette.  Watch cord trimmed with tufts of hair and gold, with hanging charms.

* "à coqueluchon"

** There is a stomacher or waistcoat worn under the polonaise, not visible in the plate.



Friday, September 21, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 7e Cahier, 1ere Figure


Woman in a Polonaise Gown of striped taffeta, trimmed with gauze, retying her garter 
and allowing the sight of her lovely leg. (1778)


Current Polonaise, or frock-coat Polonaise, very comfortable for the morning and the country.  This stylish, sprightly, and informal Dress is fastened with a ribbon*; it should be pulled up very high, and is made only of light stuff.  The wings, or sides of the Polonaise, must be short and the tail very long.

The Print represents one of these gowns, in Indian taffeta with little stripes of equal width; trimmed with plain gauze; the volant is also of gauze, bouillonée at the top; the sleeves are hidden under the ruched cuffs, which match the top of the flounce; very large ribbon on the chest, matching the bows that hold up the polonaise.

Tambourine hat (it has been called, since this Print, the "beautiful leg" hat**); the edges folded up, of plain gauze like the gown trim; the crown or toque of material that matches the polonaise or the ribbon, pleated and held by three double rows of pearls, which are held up with sequined buttons; three straight curls with the favori touching the ears, leaving the earlobes uncovered; under the toque, a panache of four floating plumes of assorted colors, from which springs an aigrette of three curved pheasant feathers.

A gauze collar, trimmed with frills, with a bow on the front, giving relief and finishing off the trimming of this elegant ensemble.

* "le parfait contentement"
* "le chapeau à belle jambe"



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Galerie des Modes, 1ere Volume, Introduction

I recently discovered that the Galerie des Modes plates with their short captions also had longer descriptions that went with them, and decided it would be a great idea to go through them all and translate them. There are nine issues, each with several plates, and I'll post each separately.  Below, you will find the introduction to the first volume, as well as the plates and descriptions from the first issue.  Critiques of my translation are welcomed.


Explanation of the Allegorical Frontispiece placed in the first Volume of the Collection of French Styles.   Folly and Love choose the changes to fashion.  Taste, marked by a Crown of flowers, holding a torch in one hand and a rod in the other, having Butterfly wings to show its lightness, illuminates their choice.  On one side, one sees a dressed Toilette; under its skirt Love hides, shooting arrows.  On top of the curtain at the back of the Picture is a little Mercury, who holds it up and who will announce with his trumpet the fame of the FRENCH FASHIONS.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

1912 Project - Blouse #0219

This is my second garment for the VPLL 1912 Project, and my first done in normal scale and without any instructions.  For fabric, I used a large piece of $2/yd green checked cotton I'd bought for making a muslin a while back, which happened to match up with what the pattern recommended.  The reasons I picked this pattern are that I want to be more comfortable with blouse sewing, I'd like a 1912 blouse, and I find the emphasis on the shoulders which was very common from about 1906 on, which is present in the blouse, to be very interesting.


Portrait: Euphemia White Van Rensselaer

My next portrait costume analysis is of Euphemia White Van Rensselaer, by George P. A. Healy.


Euphemia was the third daughter and eighth child of Stephen Van Rensselaer III and his second wife, Cornelia Paterson Van Rensselaer (the daughter of a former governor of New Jersey).  The Van Rensselaers were the premier landowners of upstate New York: Kiliaen Van Rensselaer (1586-1643), one of the original Dutch patroons, founded Rensselaerwyck in the Albany area.  Stephen is supposed to be the tenth richest American in history, according to Fortune magazine, inheriting the largest estate in New York at the time of his father's death.  (Read more about him and the family here and here.)  Euphemia was related to the Schuylers, the Westerlos, the Livingstons, the Ten Broecks - other families of wealth, prestige, and long standing.  It is a sure bet that anyone named "Van Rensselaer" is as up-to-the-minute fashionably dressed as possible.  She was painted in Paris, with the background possibly intended to depict Italy.

On May 2, the year after the portrait was painted, Euphemia married John Chruch Cruger, who was himself related to Cuylers and Ten Broecks, and whose ancestors were as deeply connected to New York City as hers were to Albany.  In 1835, he had bought an island in the Hudson River, near Tivoli.  The two had three children, Stephen Van Rensselaer, Cornelia (who donated the painting to the Metropolitan Museum of Art), and Catharine. The same year the portrait was painted, one of Euphemia's brothers had a child that was named for her, who later became a nun.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chapeau à la Spa, or à la Devonshire

Back when I started this blog, I did quite a few posts on different types of eighteenth century gowns, illustrated with fashion plates and paintings.  At that time, my priority was in posting, and I didn't really adhere to my citation standards (or download/upload each picture, rather than hotlinking - not only is hotlinking bad *slaps wrist*, it means that when a museum like the Met goes through and changes its links all your pictures disappear), so I try to go back and redo the pictures, add links to their museum pages, and give their accession numbers for identification purposes.  I was fixing up the page on levites when I kept noticing the recurrence of the term "Spa hat".



The earliest mention of the chapeau à la Spa explains that the hat was created in Spa and moved from there to the French court. It was worn by the Duchess of Devonshire, a repeated visitor, and was also called the chapeau à la Devonshire.  In 1779, though married, she stayed at Spa with her mother and younger sister; the Duke was preparing soldiers for the war against America and France, but at Spa aristocracy from all countries could mingle on neutral ground.  Georgiana was specifically noted as having a "particular admirer" in Mme de Polignac, who is presumably the one who brought the style to court.  (See: Amanda Foreman, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Project Update: Scheduling



Short update on my patterning!  As I'm working on getting eighteenth century patterns first (so that I could, theoretically, finish writing one book and have it started on the road to publication while I work on taking patterns for the next), I have to work hard to find extant garments - there are very few left in the area. 

So far, I have sourced and am making appointments to pattern:

  • Fitted jacket, French, in a pinkish brocaded silk - ca. 1740?
  • Mantua of mustard-gold damasked silk, ca. 1750, possibly slightly altered
  • Embroidered stomacher, date uncertain
  • Damasked silk dressing gown, early to mid-century
  • Gold silk petticoat, heavily quilted with all-over pattern, no longer on waistband
  • Silk petticoat, quilted with overlapping scale pattern in body, border of something else, 1750-1775?
  • White silk taffeta sacque and petticoat, brocaded with polychrome floral bunches, trimmed with self-fabric and fly-fringe, 1760-1773 (previously patterned)
  • Gowns (anglaises):
    • Blue and white striped lustring (I think), pleated en fourreau, with loops to wear rétroussée
    • With petticoat; remade in the 1780s, but unsure of original date
    • With petticoat, both of mulberry colored damasked silk (probably early or mid-century); remade in 1780s, has loops to wear rétroussée
    • With petticoat, both of pink silk taffeta; pleated en fourreau toward center back, trimmed with scalloped self-fabric edgings, 1775-1780
    • Striped silk, altered in nineteenth century, some self-fabric trim
  • Jacket of pink silk lustring, early 1790s
  • Two transitional muslin gowns of the late 1790s with similar constructions and backs pleated to fit; one has fitted, curved sleeves, and the other fuller and unshaped(one patterned)
  • Possibly a pair of aprons

Now, I do have some gaps.  I'd love to find a really early mantua (good luck, there appear to be only two even in the Met), another sacque, a few more jackets, a jacket or gown with winged cuffs, a non-muslin 1790s gown ... there is certainly space to add more garments, should I come across them, but of course it is difficult to come across them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

A million thanks to KittyCalash for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award.  It is a wonderful birthday present. :D

The rules of the award are that you must:
  1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you
  2. Paste the award to your blog
  3. Tell 7 thing about yourself 
  4. Nominate 15 other blogs
Seven things about me ...

I love starting to write fiction, but I usually don't finish anything because I start working on some other endeavor (usually sewing) and lose the creative impulse. 

Most of the time, when I start to write something it's because I've read some non-fiction and I want to explore a situation or historical person.  When it's relating closely to royalty (which is often), I write in some other universe so I can control all the history and plot.

Most of the time periods I'm the most interested in are not very popular, and I'm not sure sometimes if it's part of the reason I like them or if there's some common thread that makes me like them but turns off other people.  Bonus: sometimes I'm a little put out that the 1910s are popular because they used to feel like my thing!

I can read Middle Egyptian hieroglyphs.  Well, theoretically - I haven't done it in ages and I need to basically reteach myself all of the grammar, but with my grammar book and dictionary and enough time I could translate a lot of things.  (This is a great one for when you do the ice-breaker game, Two Truths and a Lie, because nobody thinks it's true.)

I love singing and listening to popular songs from the very early twentieth century.  It makes me a bit sad that so many of them are forgotten unless they happened to be recorded out of nostalgia by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, etc. in the 1950s.  I wish someone would do a new biopic of Jerome Kern, because Til the Clouds Roll By was not a very good film.

I can hand-sew a seam exactly 5/8" away from the edges of the fabric.  I'm not normally very good at spatial awareness, but this is one of the things I can judge.  (Of course, that's not a very period seam allowance, so you can judge for yourselves how useful a skill that is.)

I believe that everyone should watch Parks & Recreation and allow it to heal the dark spots of their souls.

And my nominations (trying to pick people who haven't already been nominated and who focus on a variety of areas):
1. Green Martha
2. L'Eventail, la Rose, et l'Edelweiss
3. The Dreamstress
4. Historical Personality Disorder
5. A Frolic Through Time
6. Jane of All Trades
7. My Vintage Visions
8. A Most Peculiar Mademoiselle
9. The Fashion Historian
10. Bella Miss Ella
11. Re: Living History
12. The Pragmatic Costumer
13. Thread-Headed Snippet
14. Time Traveling in Costume
15. Katie Jacobs

I owe it to all of the little people!