Garment of the Week

I have been a little behind in updating, but here is this week’s Garment of the Week.


The picture is very small, but it is a dress from 1906, with dark blue and black fabrics. It’s interesting because it has a butterfly feature at the very front.

What do you think? Does the butterfly add to the dress, or is it a bit garish?


Garment of the Week

In an attempt to motivate me to update this blog more regularly and get down to some serious sewing, I will be going a ‘Garment of the Week’. It’s pretty self-explanatory really; each week I will post a picture/pictures of historical garments which I think are interesting, or pretty.

This doesn’t just extend to dresses, so undergarments such as corsets, skirt supports or chemises are also included. Feel free to comment what your thoughts are.

So, for this week I’m starting with something reasonably tame: a late 1850-1860s summer dress, made of sheer, lightweight fabrics with a small floral pattern,


Do do you think the lady wearing it would be kept cool during summer?

Infuriating Internet 

I won’t debate; the Internet is a great and wonderful thing full of information and ideas. But it’s also a massively destructive place; the number of teenager admitted to hospital since 2011 for eating disorders has gone up from 1,000 to 1,800, and these are only the cases that make it to hospital. The reason for this increase? Social media. Sites such as Instagram and Pinterest idealise having a perfect, sleek and toned body, complete with thigh gaps and bikini bridges. Never heard of these things? I don’t blame you. They are just two things which teenage girls are under the pressure to have in order to have the perfect ‘desirable’ body. A thigh gap is pretty self explanatory, but a bikini bridge?   Look it up, it’s an odd ideal. 

All of these isn’t actually what I’ve come to rant about, I just thought that it is an incredibly important issue. I can speak from experience as to the destructive power of the eating disorders created by social media and the Internet. My best friend was admitted to hospital just under two years ago, came out of hospital, went back in and had to be force fed through a tube up her nose. Every lunchtime when I sit down at school, there are always a few girls who have little more than cucumber and lettuce on their plates. It’s sad really, as these are the girls who are at an already perfectly healthy weight, if not under. 

Okay, so I really will get to the main issue of my post. It’s actually not how the Internet can destroy people physically, but mentally. 

I’m talking about those step by step tutorials, such as hair tutorials or how to make something ‘easily’. I’m actually now overwhelmed with a sense of hypocrisy, because I am guilty of writing tutorials, but they’re very different to what I mean. 

I’m talking about this sort of thing: 


We’ve all seen them. We’ve all tried them. We’ve all been reduced to a pathetic, angry mass of loathing and self pity on the floor after trying one. 

I recently attempted the top tutorial for ‘heatless halo curls’. It actually turned out more of a birds nest with hair pins thrown in for amusement. I finished with considerably less hair than I started with. 

And I was filled with an undeniable hatred for the perfect, smiling model who was doing the tutorial. It was then that I thought: ‘why does the Internet always make me feel stupid and bad about myself?’ 

I pondered the question while picking out hair pins and brushing my hair back to its original haven’t-just-been-dragged-through-a-bush look. The internet is supposed to make our lives easier, not harder. You would think that, with a wealth of information available at the click of a button or touch of a screen, mankind would be settled and peaceful, content in having knowledge for every possible situation. But this information is often just a false sense of security. We all know people who think they are clever, just because they can access whatever they need to know very quickly. 

The Internet has changed our way of thinking dramatically. We no longer have to worry about not knowing a fact for an essay, or how to mend that broken shoe, or even how to find love; it’s all presented on a plate for us. 

Things that we should be able to do, we are now reliant on the Internet for, and I am a culprit of this myself. Having grown up in an age where the Internet has really come into force majorly, I know that I often Googled how to make pancakes, even though I could probably do it if I gave it some thought, or even, heaven forbid, asked someone.. But it’s nice to know that I have some back up – something to guide me every step of the way. 

The interesting thing is, the Internet is such a huge part of our lives now, that when we have no WiFi, we feel useless, moaning about our lack of entertainment: ‘What am I going to do without WIfi?’ ‘I haven’t got any WiFi here, have you got WiFi here? What is the connection like?’ 

Would I go so far as to say that the rapid advancement of technology has changed humans, changed our brains perhaps? Maybe, maybe not, but it is clear that even small children have grasped the concept of modern life far quicker than their parents, who still use brick phones which need to be wound up before use, or something! Many children these days ridicule their parents’ lack of understanding of the modern world, seeing them as outdated and stuck in the past, but the fact is, nobody likes change, and when change happens within a generation, it is hard to catch up when all the values and ways of life you grew up with are rapidly being lost. 

So back to my original question: why does the Internet always make me feel so stupid? 

I think that, although I am from the generation which claims to own the Internet and be able to harness its ful, potential, good and bad, my brain hasn’t had the time to adapt to this yet, and things which look simple in pictures are in fact really hard for me to understand. The Internet doesn’t make me feel stupid, I make me feel stupid. Before the Internet, things were done through trial and error, and no one expected to get it right first time. But now, we are constantly bombarded with perfection and these tutorials which make us so irritated are a good example. The smiling girl in the tutorial created that tutorial by trial and error, trying out different methods before getting the right one, but all we see is the final product, and we expect it to be simple enough for us to be able to do first time. But it never is, and that goes for life too. 

We see people who seem to be living the high life effortlessly, having the latest car, most beautiful lover and the biggest houses, but in fact, most of these people worked to get there, even if it doesn’t look like it. Of course, some of these people did very little to earn their position, and as a result, we have less respect for them. We have even more respect for the people who constantly work, yet are never rewarded, and these are the people who make up the majority of the population, but most notable is (of course) Leonardo di Caprio, who churns out brilliant film after brilliant film, is nominated for every award under the sun, and yet never gets what he most wants: that Oscar. Could this be why his plight has touched the hearts of so many? Is it because, in him, we see a part of ourselves which always works for the prize but never gets it, and it is given to those whom we see as less worthy? 

I am aware that this post was a long, rambling and deep one, but I feel I put across some important issues  and gave you a small insight into my head. 

What do you think? How does the Internet make you feel? Has its rapid advancement taken you by surprise? Or are you sorted and Sussex with it? Comment your thoughts and ideas. 

February Challenge pretty much done!

So I have been meaning to post photos of my pockets for Colour Challenge Blue, but haven’t really found time to, and my camera broke.
Now on my new toy, aka an iPad mini, I can post and upload photos much more regularly. Yay!!
Today I decided to unstuff Jeanette and take out all the fabric and scraps which made up her insides. Odd thing to write.
I ended up ironing all of her fabricy entrails…




And then I had some fun pinning and experimenting with bustle-like polonaise style gathers on my dress skirt.

In doing so I completely forgot about my initial reason for stepping into my sewing room – to start my bum roll aka March Challenge. Oops, there’s my project for tomorrow!

I promise

Okay, so now that the school holidays have started I’m going to make a few promises.

Firstly, I promise to update my blog more on what I am doing.

Secondly, which probably should have come before the firstly one but oh well, I promise to do more sewing. As it is, I’m working on a new pair of pocket hoops, and photos will follow I PROMISE!!

At this present time, when I would be continuing with my pocket hoops, I am being sprawled upon by a certain cat. She shows no sign or intention of getting off my apparantley very comfy lap any time soon. Which is a shame because I’d like to go and take some photos of my progress. But the cat rules in this house, and who could shove her off when she looks so adorable and cute and is purring so loudly? I would have to have a heart of stone, wich I do not possess, you’ll be glad to hear.

I also have to promise to keep revising these holdiays, with exams coming up in the first week of term back…… I hate revision with a strong passion and would prefer to do nothing all day because I’m lazy that way and really can’t be bothered to write out endless notes.

Aha! The cat had jumped off which I see as my cue to leave my desk and get cracking with the next stage of my paniers!


Updated to-do list

I am very aware that I haven’t posted for AGES and AGES, but I have been so incredibly busy with schoolwork, trying to get good grades.

However, I wanted to just update my ever-increasing to-do list.

1. New panniers. I actually have the perfect material waiting for me, and am as I type drafting a new pattern. Whether I’ll actually get round to making them this year, well, who knows?

2. Finish my lace cap. I decided that for my 18th century gown I’ll need an 18th century head covering, lest I be thought of as immoral (gasp). So I am in the process of making one, and it is actually very easy. I had to sew two strands of my thinner lace together to get wider lappets, but other than that, there is very little thinking power involved.  I am using some of my left-over linen from the doomed shift. This website is my life support during this project, with useful pictures and tutorials.

 The cap I am basing mine on.

3. Oh deary, but yes, a new shift is on this list too. This one will most likely be a long-term project, and I’ll put it off until I have a suitable dress dummy (it’s on my Christmas wish list!)  because Jeanette is not co-operating and has been banished to the cupboard under the stairs, which is why I am also putting off doing…

4. My gown. I need to line the skirt, and sew in the V-strips as well as figure out a way to pin the front closed without impaling myself. Oh, and sleeves. Dear Lord, sleeves must also be made….. HELP!

5. Silk petticoat. This one is a must to go under my gown, but I am putting it off until my panniers are done and I have a dress dummy. So again, after Christmas.

6. A coif or other head covering. This website is a godsend to any costumer, I would really recommend that you take a moment to look at it. I am taking inspiration for my lace cap from here as well as for a different cap or head covering.

 Something like this….

7. A straw hat. I am in love with the wide-brimmed straw hats of the 18th century, and as soon as I find some suitable materials I am going to make one for myself.

 What’s not to love about these?  

Anyway, I’m going to be busy!