Friday, February 24, 2012

Fancy apron made of "wash goods"

Godey's Magazine 1861
Pg. 8
New Styles of Aprons. [fancy apron in cotton]

The Zephania is suitable for silk or wash goods. It can be made of colored cambric, scalloped with white, and braided with white Marseilles braid.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Calico Balls

History of the Brooklyn and Long Island Fair, February 22, 1864
The Calico Ball pg. 93-94
The Ball was given with great ├ęclat on Friday evening, March 11th. More than half the ladies were in plain calico dresses. The music was furnished by Sanger’s and Dodworth’s Bands…

The Ball netted about two thousand dollars for the worthy object for which it was given. After the Ball, many of the ladies who were present sent their calico dresses to the Academy to be given to the soldiers’ wives and daughters.

My diary in America in the midst of war, Vol. 2, by George Augustus Sala
Pg 194

At one time, I am told, “Calico Balls” were fashionable. Do you know the nature of a calico ball? The ladies who are to attend it agree to wear only calico dresses; the colour, the design, and the trimmings being left to the discretion of the wearer. After a few weeks of the calico movement, it was found that the New York milliners were charging rather more for cotton dresses full trimmed than they had hitherto asked for silks and satins. Then the movement was modified. The ladies came in calico dresses, like so many Molly Moggs, and wore them until twelve o’clock: but at midnight the reverse of the transformation scene in Cinderella took place. The cotton-clad belles tripped into their disrobing power, whisked off their calico frocks, and re-appeared in dresses of the most expensive materials, and blazing with jewels.

History of Lynn 1865
Pg. 455-56

There was a “Calico Ball” at the Sagamore House, on Wednesday evening, January 19. All the ladies appeared in calico dresses, which at that time were the cheapest style of dress. A hundred couples were present. The prize of a gold bracelet was awarded to the lady who in the judgment of a committee was arrayed in the most neat and becoming manner, personal charms also being taken into account—and Miss Nellie Clapp was the fair winner of the prize. It was a very pleasant gathering; and the prevalence of silks and satins could not have added to its attractiveness. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Dress

Off to Olustee with a new wool dress. It was quite plain so I applied some red wool braid and made a red velvet belt. They will look nice with my red and white undersleeves. This is a "nice" ladies dress to be worn with hoops.
I'm going to wear my brand spanking new blue silk bonnet. I bartered a pair of knitted under-sleeves. I supplied the materials. And, I made a veil.

No one is going to recognize me since I usually do a poorer yeoman farmers wife who takes in laundry. I've worn the same dress for years. It has acquired that work worn look. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

“A badge of secesh loyalty”

Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, October 14, 1863
 Abstinence from crinoline it seems is a badge of secesh loyalty in the Southwest. A correspondent of a morning paper who has been at Memphis lately says that though hoops are plentiful there, the ladies have agreed among themselves not to wear them. It is their secret sign—their badge—their rebel flag. No longer allowed to flaunt past our gallant fellow with their badges and flags pinned to their dresses and bonnets, they have hit upon this plan. They will wear no more hoops. That is their rebel mark now; and one, the other day, when asked if that was the reason, tossed up her head and said: “Yes, it is and you Yankees can’t make us wear hoops, neither.”

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Historic Knitting - Under-sleeves

I started these under-sleeves on a trip to Texas last Christmas.  Finally finished them and are quite pleased how they turned out. They are from Godey's and are labeled "For Sleeves".

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Addictions

As a volunteer for the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library, I have been working at the warehouse sorting books for the Warehouse Sale the first weekend in March.  For every hour a volunteer works you are allowed to take a book. Many I bring home, read and return to the sale. But lately I've come across a number of craft/knitting books from the 1940's -50's.  The other day a large donation came in and I found The Wise Handbook of Kitting and Crocheting by Miriam Morrison Peake 1949. I just love the graphic's ! Some really cool tops and a interesting section on socks. Plus, a Woman's Day Kitting Annual 1948, 87 exclusive designs with directions (twenty cents) Its kind of beat up and was being tossed...I just had to rescue it. :o)
Last was a 1957 Woman's Day Gift Book: Complete instructions for making 125 gifts. My son is interested in mid-century modern so this will come in handy...I'll have to make him something out of it for next Christmas.