Monday, April 8, 2013

In which we talk fashion...

Today has been the warmest day so far this year - a welcome change after nothing but cold, cold, cold. Maddy was even able to get her Rogue washed and detailed while Shel was at physical therapy. A human with an injury as severe as he suffered at the hands of his ex would require months of therapy to regain full use of his or her hand and arm, and it's no different for a doll. We're lucky to have our beloved Shel at all.

We also went fabric shopping, but we didn't find what we were looking for. Maddy wanted white fabric with red polka dots to make a dress like the picnic dress Abby makes our ancestor in Jody Provost's wonderful Hitty And Her Next Hundred Years. We found just about everything but, including red with white polka dots. So close and yet so far...

Shel and John-John love the book, too, but Shel says he doesn't want any adventures for a long while, if ever. I don't blame him.

While the boys caught up on their reading, we looked through some of our person's fashion books. You might say Maddy's a little bit obsessed.

Shel also found this book from 1951 about making dolls and clothing. Maddy says it reminds her of an old 1950s-era textbook she found once years ago. She also said the she kept expecting the woman who wrote it to declare that when a little girl uses a (gasp, horror) electric sewing machine, the communists win. She told Shel that some of the advice in there (like breaking the thread rather than cutting it makes it easier to thread a needle) is so off base that she wonders if this woman was trying to secretly make little girls hate sewing. I must remember to ask her later who and/or what communists are...

We discovered an amazing book amid her collection called Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style, published by the Smithsonian. I think we'll be the rest of the evening browsing it.

My sister Valentine loves the Regency period. Her white dress is a semi-Regency style that our person made. She said it took her a couple of tries to get the sleeves to puff correctly. She's promised Val some outfits a little closer to the true Regency style. Interesting, according to something Maddy read, the look was considered quite scandalous when it first appeared. The lovely simple dresses looked so much like the chemises women had traditionally worn under their elaborate costumes that, to the "older generation" of the day, it looked like all these young hussies were traipsing around in their underwear! So there might be some debate over whether or not Madonna invented the "underwear as outerwear" look after all.

With The Great Gatsby due in theaters soon, I was interested in the Jazz Age section. Our person said her grandmother was in her twenties during that period and promised to find some old pictures she has of her. She also said her grandmother was born in the Oklahoma Territory in 1902, five years before it became a state, and later had to pay someone off to get a forged Arkansas birth certificate. She also lied about her age and said she was sixteen - two years older than she really was - to run off and marry Maddy's grandfather, who was twenty-six. They'd only known each other two weeks. She did add that her grandmother probably spent the the next thirty or so years regretting it. 

We thought this one was a billboard, but apparently, it's a dress. Probably not the kind of thing to wear if you're trying to not call attention to your hips.

I would say Val makes a lovely Regency belle, wouldn't you?

Poppy, true to her name, loves classic Hollywood and all its glamour. She'd fit right into a remake of The Women, don't you think? Except she'd probably tell Joan Crawford a thing or two.

I may or may not have time to post tomorrow - it's going to be a busy day. We have several appointments to keep. My person is waiting to hear back from the county about a potential job opening, so she's trying to get a lot of things done in anticipation of starting work in the next month or so. She said she doesn't mind the delay - she'd rather wait until something with longevity and room for advancement comes up than take another job that turns out to be a dead end. Although we'll all miss having her around during weekdays, we hope she will, too.

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