Tag Archives: vintage

name that flower

If anybody knows what these things are, please let me know. It will ease my curiosity. 😉

Have only seen them in this one protected corner that doesn’t get full sun. There’s even a little furled bud down sort of in the bottom right corner.

It’s still cool enough to get a bit of baking done before the heat and humidity starts. Am chomping down the latest – Wacky Cake, or Chocolate Depression Cake. A cake with chocolate must be tried, don’cha think?

This recipe has quite a history, but here’s the version I used. (My modifications are in parentheses.)

Wacky Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift these ingredients into an 8 inch ungreased pan.

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar (used less than 1/2 cup dark brown sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa (used heaping tablespoons!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Put each of these into a separate dent in the dry mix.

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I never add vanilla to anything chocolate!)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter or marge
  • (there is not supposed to be a dot here, just a blank space… 😠)
    • Add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup coffee to the pan and mix everything together in the pan.

    Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

    Ice or dust with powdered sugar or eat without icing!

    Still slow sewing up these flannel trousers. One of the seams is going to have an interesting design detail… the side where a swatch got cut out. 🥰 Lol!


    a bit o’ vintage

    (Written Thursday & scheduled to post Sunday, just in case 😉)

    Took time a week ago to visit some antique shops in a nearby town, and spied a few interesting items… presenting them in keeping with Wild Daffodil’s photo challenge.

    (click any pic to go to captions)

    principles of clothing selection

    67-Diff Shoulders-contd
    click to enlarge

    Well, I’ve done it again, and finally posted. . .

    Got stuck into another old book about fitting, and came up with a long post you might not want to read. But just in case you do . . .

    The book is from Cornell’s HEARTH project:  Principles of clothing selection, Helen Goodrich Buttrick, New York: Macmillan, 1923

    Much as I hate typing, I typed out the sections I needed. My apologies, but you Lovely Readers must go on-line to find your own sections.

    You’ll want Chapter Five: The Human Figure and Clothing Design, pp. 64-71.

    You might also want to review the bit about how to measure a standard figure, from my post over here.

    And now, here are my details, quoting from the book  . . . Remember, it’s nearly 100 years old, so terminology is not what we’re used to. Unless you’re into reading vintage patterns and books, like me.

    Thanks in advance for your patience, and here’s a taste of what high school women were learning in the 1920’s ~

    Designs for the short, stout figure. The short, heavy woman has the hardest task of all in planning her wardrobe. There are two general suggestions which should be of value to her. She should always emphasize vertical lines and she should concentrate attention on the head and face, so as to keep the body inconspicuous.

    • Vertical lines can be emphasized best by the construction lines of the clothes.
    • Properly fitted gowns, having long, vertical, structural parts, panels or drapery, give the best proportion …
    • Trimming outlining vertical panels and stressing their direction is of further help.
    • The skirts … should be long and not flared at the bottom. Skirts for indoor use may be made with trains if she leads a sufficiently formal life to make this type of garment appropriate. [I’d love occasions to wear a train!]
    • Waists [bodice] for the short, heavy, figure must be very carefully cut and fitted, and be loose enough not to bind the individual wearer.
    • Because of the great difference in the distribution of her weight standing and sitting, the waists [bodices] of her gowns must be fitted while she sits as well as while she stands.
    • The sleeves in … a bodice should be set fairly high in the armhole so as to prevent giving an appearance of undue width across the shoulders, and so that the shoulder seam may not be too long or hang off the shoulder tip.
    • Long, straight, simply cut sleeves that make the arms as inconspicuous as possible do not call attention to the boundaries of the silhouette. They make the arm seen longer than fancy sleeves.
    • Vests and collars designed to produce a flat narrow line will add to the apparent length of the waist.
    • The neck opening should be as long and narrow as it can be without calling attention to the bust.
    • A vertical line of trimming carried down the front of the waist [bodice] from the neck opening will make the waist [bodice] seem longer.
    • Trimming should be flat and smooth, no fluffy ruffles, no puffs nor ruches.

    In order to concentrate attention upon her head and face, the heavy woman may resort to a number of devices.

    • Her head and face should be made as charming as possible by a becoming and well-groomed coiffure.
    • Hats should be designed with great care, and should add height by their construction and trimming.
    • Trimming should have an upward movement.
    • In general, all decorative features of the costume should be concentrated around the neck and down the front of the garments, to keep the face and head the center of interest for the whole body.

    Designs for short- …waisted figures. One of the commonest minor variations with which we have to deal is the type called “short-waisted.” For this type of figure two methods of treatment may be used:

    • the waistline may be ignored, or
    • disguised by the use of the loose garment hiding the natural waistline, or,
    • if the high waistline is fashionable, it may be emphasized.
    • Any type of waist with tails, peplum, or panels that bring the waist down on the skirt will serve to make the waist seem longer.

    Designs for sloping … shoulders.  . . . . .

    • Collars, capes, and yokes of opposite cut correct the appearance of sloping shoulders.
    • Since this type of shoulder is usually seen with the long, thin neck, one of the easiest solutions to the problem is to wear fluffy boas and shoulder capes out of doors, and frilled fichus and collars indoors.
    • When sanctioned by fashion, puffed sleeves are excellent for this type of person if set sufficiently high on the shoulder to break the sloping line.

    Designs for the full bust …

    • For the woman with the large bust, great care should be taken in the fitting and construction of the waist [bodice].
    • It may be broken vertically by a panel, or vest which gives an especially good effect if made of more interesting material than the rest of the garment.
    • The neck line of the dress must be cut and fitted with great care lest it bulge, or tend to spread at the shoulder.
    • Waists [bodices] having the fronts cut in several pieces often solve the problem for this woman. . . . .

    Phew! Still with me? Thank you!

    Thought you might get a chuckle from the Preface, which sounds as if it were written today instead of 1923.

    shirt hacks & wish lists

    yoke pleat & matching sleeve top

    cuff are offThe shirt renovation continues.   Slo-o-o-wly.

    Took a page or two from Diane Ericson’s YouTube video, and removed cuffs, then pinned in pleats on the yoke, just atop the sleeves.

    Am still thinking about them, and trying on from time to time to see if anything else comes to thought. Meanwhile . . .

    D’you ever make a list of very important stuff, file it, and forget about it for months?

    I do.

    Clearing out files last weekend, I found another.

    Saw a book that looked fascinating, researched it a bit, and discovered my library had a copy. Whee!

    Just Pockets by Patricia Moye, [🇬🇧 Amazon UK & 🇺🇸 Amazon US] published by Taunton (a good U.S. crafts publishing house).

    After looking through it, I decided to put a clean, used copy on my Wish List.

    Then I got a wee bit sidetracked . . . into Colette’s blog. She’s got more reference books.

    Categories include Beginners, General Reference, Fabric & Textiles, Fitting, Home Pattern-making, Details & Embellishments, Menswear, Lingerie, Other Specialty Techniques

    There’s another list just for beginners.

    Just had to share ~ hope everyone enjoys!

    painting happy places (aka, a fabric store)

    Nothing better for obsessed sewaholics than a fabric store.

    Here’s a visit to one from a while ago.

    Let’s check out the buttons first . . . . .

    Pardon me whilst I drool over

    the rest of these gorgeous closures . . .

    Not forgetting the 3 rooms of fabrics & patterns. . .

    Vogue Fabrics Evanston (Illinois)
    Vogue Fabrics
    Evanston (Illinois)

    And here’s a mural painted decades ago on what used to be New York Fabrics’ Mountain View (California) store.

    The building has no windows, so all this is faux. Great mural, no?

    Submitted for WordPress Photo Challenge & Ailsa’s Travel Challenge.


    Blackberries on sale last weekend . . .

    Fan tucks (darts). Use as a decorative feature on the outside or inside of the garment. Mark where tucks are to be and run them by hand or machine.”  The Simplicity Sewing Book for Beginners and Experts, 1945; page 33.   (from my personal library)

    Witness to Fashion blog ~ This post (see last 4 pics) really inspired me to give neckline darts (al.k.a. fan tucks, above) a try soon, maybe with embroidery thread. . .

    She also has a great post about reality vs. fashion illustrations’ illusions. See how models disguised wide hips, and learn design details to draw the eye away from problem areas. Suggestions I can certainly use.  😍

    Time for a catch-up . . . click any piccie to go into slide show & comment areas


    happy mother’s day!

    Exhibit number one (A). Crépe silk rayé
    Exhibit number one (A). Crépe silk rayé

    The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections have revamped their web site, and made it easier to search.

    Exhibit number one (B). Crépe nouveauté
    Exhibit number one (B). Crépe nouveauté

    After seeing this lovely exhibit from 1904, I knew it had to get used, and what better time than today.

    Click either to go to the NYPL source, and scroll down for details.

    At my best guess, Exhibit B (left) relates to the girl’s blue dress fabric, with texture of woven fabric at the top, and colour on the bottom.

    Having looked all thru the Collection, the dress fabric on the left in each Exhibit A is at the top of the Exhibit B page; the dress on the right (Ex. A) refers to the sample at  the bottom (Ex. B). As for why the colours are so different: fading? not concerned with matching? Anybody know?

    If you move on down the page, you’ll see a clickable reference to “wash dress fabrics.”

    That takes you to all the exhibits in this Collection, which appears to be of washable fabrics. I wonder if this one was actually a very early rayon….

    If anyone has time, and discovers more, please share!

    Hope you enjoy 💝

    mental motions

    Mo”tion, n. [F., fr. L. motio, fr. movere, motum, to move…] 5. Movement of the mind, desires, or passions; mental act, or impulse to any action; internal activity.

    screen photos from dvd, Ancient Lives: unlocking the mysteries of daily life in ancient Egypt, 1984 telly
    click for amazon’s listing, or check a local library

    Imagine, if you will, the motions of turning flax into linen fabric, weaving the fabric, the motions of designing and printing a pattern on that linen fabric, designing a garment and making it with that linen.

    Now imagine that being done in ancient Egypt for a tunic to be placed in a pyramid, or painted on a pyramid wall. That’s where these items were found.

    Look at the design of the dress fabric, and the colours. They could be in worn today. Look at the neatness and detail of that small cording around the neck of an ‘everyday’ tunic, the care taken for the ‘fancy dress’ tunic.

    These people, and we’re talking about the scribes & tomb-builders, not pharaohs, appreciated care and detail in every aspect of their lives, and spent the time and made all the motions necessary to create it.

    Their skill and love of beauty has lasted for thousands of years, giving us vital clues about their lives.

    What arts will our civilization leave behind for far distant peoples to discover and appreciate?

    What will it tell them about our skills? Our concepts of art and beauty?


    WordPress weekly photo challenge

    more details & scale for valentine’s day

    click any photo to go to slide show

    Wanted to sneak this hankie in before we’ve another topic to consider.

    In my humble opinion, its an example of some details not quite to scale: it was ages before I realized all those flowers were words.

    What do you think?


    Other posties on details to-scale here & here.