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. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22452968

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

17 comments:

  1. Awesome - Hope you had a great time in Dunedin. Did the settlers museum still have a treasure hunt for kids? We dragged the kids along a few self guided walking tours i.e. Street Art and (because I'm a geek) the IPENZ engineering heritage trail.

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    1. I'm excited that there's a new heritage trail to discover in Dunedin! Will put that on our list of things to do next summer.

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    1. Thanks RDQ, that's very sweet of you to say so.

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  3. Yes, I understand the 2nd time round. I was just asked the other day to make my going on 12 year old, more t-shirts like the ones I made last year and he didn't like till this year. Admittedly they fit better this year :) Summer is magical, plenty of time in winter to blog!

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    1. T-shirts are something I still need to master. Stretch sewing is all a bit mysterious but I'm getting there slowly!

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  4. I love Sylvie's dress, apron and bonnet - she looks absolutely gorgeous and I bet you had so much fun making it.

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    1. I really did Mary Nanna, in fact, I think YOU would look very fetching in a bonnet.

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  6. Love love love the pineapple modeling the bonnet!!!
    I will always read your blog--you and your sister have the best sense of humor!!

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    1. Thanks Kyle, it's so lovely of you to "pop in" whenever I get around to posting something. I'm enjoying the saga of the woollen skirt, too.

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  7. Hi, Miss Smith. I was flipping through Pinterest Boards on Calico fabric ( a new addiction) and found you. Thanks for all your blogging of fun things and creative efforts. I am starting to get acquainted with ladies from "down under" and am enjoying the energy and spark of the can-do attitude. I live in West Texas, not very many trees and is hot most of the time. I dabble in sewing, knitting, crocheting and other things when the mood strikes. I've knitted stuff for Christmas gifts and sewed most of my daughters clothes when she was very little. Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself and say a big Texas "Howdy" to all yo'all"! Trisha

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    1. Hi Trisha, thanks for stopping by and for leaving such a sweet comment. It's so nice to meet you. I'd love to hear more about your knitted Christmas pressies and sewing projects.

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  8. I did not realize I posted as Unkown, will attempt to fix that.

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  9. wonderful to come back and find more posts Miss Smith.
    I have moved out West to Mangarakau so if you are out this way let me know prior and drop in. We live at Snake Creek Road, I know you are gonna love that! I get comments every time i give out my address... Back to knitting and i have a new grandson, delight! Michelle

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    1. What a lovely spot to have moved to! I love it over there. (And yes, brilliant road name, that must be a fun address to give out). I would love to drop in for a cup of tea, we are heading over your way in July so I will email you closer to the time to see if there's a convenient time to call by and admire the knitting projects (and photos of grandchildren).

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