Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Second chances

Hello again, if you are still out there that is. I'm amazed if anyone still visits here.
What a lovely summer it's been. I've been far too busy enjoying life to be mucking around on my blog, I'll tell you that for free.
I've had all sorts of adventures of the making-stuff kind, preserving lots of fruit and making pasta sauce and sewing dresses for myself. But lets talk about all of that later. Right now I'd rather talk about dress ups.
My children are too old for dress ups, in fact, they are teen/pre-teen sophisticated city kids that now find homemade stuff a little embarrassing and their parents even more so. BUT, does it ever happen to you that just when you think a phase is finished with, it re-enters your life and you get a second chance at it? It seems to happen to me all the time. We were in Dunedin in the holidays, the most wonderful city if ever you get the chance to visit, and we went to Toitu, the brilliant early settlers museum down by the train station. Toitu has many interactive displays (including a working Atari 64, does that make you feel old?), one of which is a set of Victorian dress-ups.
Well, we had a great time. The 10-year-old tried on all the little dresses and hats and aprons. It was a blast.

I promised her that I'd make a set of Victorian dress ups the minute we got home. And I did. I made a dress with a fitted bodice, a high neckline, and a hem at ankle length. I just made up a regular girl's dress pattern and lengthened the skirt. Easy. I made a funny wee apron to go over it.
Instead of choosing a drab brown floral as the dress fabric we chose a beautiful modern Cloud 9 fabric, designed by Gininne. We just couldn't resist it.
Finally, I made a bonnet (American frontier style, from this free pattern) because I just couldn't help myself. Please forgive the bonnet being modeled by a stuffed pineapple. My human model has stopped collaborating.

The clothes I made are hilariously inaccurate, but see if I care. Here's what Victorian children were wearing in New Zealand; mainly mid-calf dresses with lots of neck ruffles and not a bonnet in sight.
 Girls in standard four, Terrace School, Wellington

Girls in standard four, Terrace School, Wellington. France, T : Photographs of Wellington Schools. Ref: 1/2-080045-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Anyway, that's what we've been up to. What about you?