Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Closing of the Clothing Shed

The weekend was a whirl with work, guests, grandparents, a wedding, work, guests, church, and more guests. Saturday was my last day at the Clothing Shed, so I'm currently jobless and should be looking for a new job much more seriously than I am. 

For lack of any other pictures to post, here's the coat again. It's coming along.

Speaking of jobs, I've applied at a nearby clothing store, code name "Plato," don't ask me why because it's already too obvious. Plato is very similar to Clothing Shed, and my manager knows that manager, and put in a good word for me. My interview is this week and I'm foolishly pinning my hopes on getting that job, because I'm lazy and don't want to fill out any more applications. Plato is, amazingly, even closer to home than Clothing Shed.

You will all be glad to know that I am feeling much better about my closets this week. I got bags full of pants-hangers from the closing of Clothing Shed, so I categorized all my skirts; which made me realize all my church skirts are black, and linen is a very large part of my wardrobe(no surprise there, linen is the best). And I even sold more costumes last week!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


The other night I was good and went to bed on time. But somehow my mind got on the topic of my closets, and how they needed to be cleaned out, and what specifically needed to be got rid of where, and on and on. It took me forever to get to sleep. So when I got up the next morning I immediately began cleaning out my closets. Besides normal things that go in closets like clothes, I have a costume closet full of totally random things which I had already decided needed to go. Random vintage kimono? I have that. Korean War greatcoat? I have that. Victorian bustle skirt? I have that. They don't get enough use, so they need to be sold, but it's very time consuming to find buyers for home-made, used costumes. I've sold some to the local historical Fort, and some to the local Costume shop; some on Etsy, and a few to friends.

So in the course of my cleaning out, I posted two used costume items in a Yahoo group. Within a half hour I had sold them both. Within six hours a dozen other people had responded. My blog and Etsy spiked. The internet wasn't working. I panicked. In the end the original buyer purchased four items, and I gained potential future customers.

This is my last week working at the Clothing Shed. My manager was giving away some of the display mannikins to a local church, so I asked if I could have one too. Dress forms are great, but expensive, so I've never bought one; mannikins aren't adjustable, but still work for lots of things. Yesterday my manager gave me two mannikins, for free!

 Meet Florence and Petunia. They're shaped like Barbies and they like historical costumes.
And they were freeeeeeeeee!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Treadling Along

I finally got around to using my Great-Grandmother's treadle machine. Which she bought, used, back in 1911.

"I declare," said Ma, "I don't know how we ever got along without that sewing machine. It does the work so easily; tucking is no trouble at all. And such beautiful stitching. The best of seamstresses could not possibly equal it by hand."
-These Happy Golden Years, Laura Ingalls Wilder

It probably took me about an hour to finally get to sewing an actual straight seam. One thing that threw me off was that I had to crank the wheel away from me to stitch forwards, which somehow just went against my instincts. To get an even tread I had to put one foot forward and one foot on the back of the treadle plate, and there was a bit of a trick to it. And wow, it is slow compared to motorized sewing machines. But when I was done, I reached over to turn the machine off..... and there was nothing there. And that's cool.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Presbytery Post-Partum

It's always nice to see cross-country friends at Presbytery. This was our family's fifth year to attend, so we know a lot more people now. Though in the family-camp setting I'm beginning to feel like the eighth wonder of the world: The Unmarried Woman. I'm sure I was easily the oldest unmarried woman there, as I am at church, and it's a rather dubious distinction.

We returned home just in time for the second serious storm of the season.
Anyway, we're home, I love my bed, and thank you Lord we don't have mice. I'm back to work, though my job is still up in the air. I may or may not be transferred. With only two weeks left before the store closes, I hope to find out soon one way or the other. My car is also up in the air. Poor thing is fifteen years old this year, feeling it's age, and demanding some financial attention.
In part due to the cost of car repairs and also because I really wanted to get it done last month, I'm determined to finish the redcoat in June. At first this process meant looking at the fabric, looking at pictures. Looking at the fabric, looking at pictures. With no pattern and only a few photographs to work from, it's been a challenge. 
That lace. Wool lace is murder. I think, taxes aside, the decorative lace on Regimental uniforms would be enough to provoke the colonies to rebellion against the crown. Last night I realized that I put the buttons on the second sleeve cuff upside down, so I had to take it out and flip them. Then I realized that the wool tape on the first cuff was less than a quarter inch too low, so I had to move all of those. Sigh. But it's coming along.

There aren't a whole lot of resources online(that I've found) on how to actually make a Rev War military coat, but here are some pages that helped me:
Some basic descriptions of standard measurements for this style of coat.
Wool lace. Press, cry, press, and cry again.
 A coat from a different era, but some of the steps are similar and the pictures here are great.
Again, a different coat but great pictures.
Here's a very similar redcoat; a different regiment, still, but similar.