Friday, September 19, 2014

Fabric Scraps

They're doing wonderful things with fabric scraps these days. Not me, but some people. I can't seem to get a handle on my scraps so I sure could use some ideas.

My scrap basket is actually made from scraps . . . . It's probably trying to tell me something. I often think of throwing them all out but can't do it. Maybe I need to find more ways to use them up.

For instance, I love this necklace from Anthropologie -

                                                         DIY Anthropologie Inspired Scarf Necklace. I'm thinking it might be interesting to do as a bracelet too.

Wonder if this would work with my Civil War repro scraps??  I guess you would just need to connect long strips, tie a few knots and voila! Fabric scraps necklace/scarf. 

                                                                Cute! The Life of a Cheap Chickadee: Fabric Scraps Necklace

Here are some colorful braided strips strung together and accented with a fabric flower. 

I'm guessing it would never look this good on me, however. I'd probably just look like someone dumped my basket of scraps on my head in a fabric bucket challenge . . . .

Burgundy upcycled multi-strand jersey fabric necklace

                        Etsy TheOffBeatArtisans YoYo Blossom neckpiece fabric necklace made from recycled fibers ADJUSTABLE - Stylehive

               Yoyo  necklace anyone?
                                        Coral pink multi-strand upcycled elastic jersey fabric necklace with removable brooch

                                                        African Fabric Knotted Bib Necklace by by paintedthreads2 on Etsy, $ SOLD

                                          Teething necklace for mom to wear and baby to chew on. Made out of vintage sheets

Apparently, this one is a baby teething necklace for mommy to wear. Glad I'm out of that phase . . . . Girl, make sure that doesn't bleed onto your white shirt when it gets wet. 

                                         Fall Fabric Necklace Project

             This one is even kind of cute. 

Upcycled infinity NECKLACE

Let me know if you've ever tried doing something like this with fabric strips and if it worked -  then maybe I'll try it too.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Civil War Dresses - Part 2

Here are the rest of the dresses from the recent Civil War women's clothing exhibit at the Lakes Region Historical Museum in Antioch, Illinois. Several people e-mailed me to ask if these were reproduction dresses. They were NOT. All were authentic period pieces dating from the 1850s - 1870s. 

The dresses were in remarkably good condition, although some were patched in places.   Still . . . . incredibly preserved.

A brilliant purple maternity gown. Love it. 

Purple, along with green, was often considered a "fugitive" color and faded to a soft brown over time, which explains the drab colors you see so often in antique quilts from this era. Do any of you with knowledge of fabric know why this dress would have retained  its color instead of fading as others did? (see below) I think I remember that it was made from wool instead of cotton or silk and I wondered if that had something to do with it, or - perhaps it was because it was so well preserved and kept away from light? I haven't a clue. 

Purple silk fabric faded to a brownish mauve.  

You can see the original brilliant purple color underneath the sleeve.

Another faded purple dress -

Here you can see the original color preserved under the layers of trim.

This one below was probably my favorite dress, made from a lovely gauzy material with several additional layers underneath the dress. What amazed me were the details  - tiny, tiny stitches all by hand; gathered stitches attaching the bodice to the skirt. Delicate, lace-trimmed removable sleeves. What an awful lot of work went into making these gowns.

Notice the tiny blue acorn buttons on the front of the bodice - how sweet.

Ladies boots. Such tiny feet!

Dress shoes

Those removable sleeves again.

Painted glass buttons on this dress front.

You can't see it very well in the photo but the mannequin and the lady in the photo are wearing the same "Medici" belt. 

Was this where Wonder Woman got the idea??

8 by 10 Civil War Photo Print Woman Lovely Dress, Cloak. Medici belt, nice hat

A display case showing a "huswife" needle case carried to war by a Civil War soldier. The note next to it read: 

 "Miss Amy Ingalls of Menominee, Mich, made this needle book just before I left for the war in Aug 1862. Was carried most 3 years. [signed] Homer Stevens"

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Civil War Dresses, Part 1

Last weekend I attended one of the best local museum exhibits I've seen in a long time. The Lakes Region Historical  Society in Antioch, Illinois, had an exhibit on Civil War era dresses ranging from the 1850s through the 1870s. They were all absolutely stunning.

From fancy silk gowns  . . . 

. . . to cotton day dresses.

It was so much fun to see these up close and take notice of all of the hand stitching on the various garments. I took so many photos that this topic will be continued in part two, which I'll post in a couple of days. 

Civil War wrapper, worn exclusively at home, in the mornings.

Wrapper over a dressing gown

Love the strip cut on the bias for a little contrast. Today, we turn fabric under to hem a skirt. In those days, hems were bound by a long strip of fabric that could be removed and replaced if the hem wore out. 

I learned that some aprons were decorative and  also fashion accessories, instead of simple work aprons.

A young woman's fancy dance dress. It was inappropriate for a woman to show her arms before evening.

A wonderful display of an amazing collection.

I found out about the exhibit by chance, only one day before it ended. What luck. After I talked to the curator, she said the response had been great and they may extend it through this coming weekend, until Sept 7, 2014.  If you live in the northern Illinois or even southern Wisconsin area and love this time period, I urge you to go see it. Call first to make sure it's still open. Then grab a friend and make the drive (it took us an hour to get there). It is so worth it and you won't be disappointed. Make sure you take the informative "tour" given by curator Ainsley Brook Wonderling. The dresses are all a part of her extensive and beautiful collection of 19th century artifacts. 



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