Getting ready for the new windows and siding interfered with working more on this series. Then the sewing machine was gone for 3 weeks so I haven’t been able to apply the one item I wanted to try out on the new dress pants I had got for a conference yet.
The next section in the book is Special Care garments. This section is a mix bag of being too out-of date for modern times and some really good tips. Some of the special care garments I just don’t have like a corset, rubber apron or ties. As much as I think hats are pretty, I have to admit that I just don’t have the lifestyle that requires a hat so those tips are not as useful.
There is a big section on leather shoes and boots. I don’t own a leather shoes. Most of what I have are most likely vinyl based man- made materials. However, I did find it interesting that the book suggested soaking your feet in cold water after removing your shoes for the day to prevent perspiration the next day.
Other tips in the towel section are outdated like take your towel with you to the hairdresser. I think the health policies would prevent you from being able to do this.
Towel section also recommends hanging towels outside, which I can’t do because of allergies. I really don’t want to be sneezing every time I pick up a towel.
Some of the tips I actually already do! For knitted wool garments, it states to never hang them. I already fold my sweaters and place them on a shelf in my closet (now in a plastic tub since I reorganized my closet).
The one tip that I will definitely be doing is the sewing a piece of material on the inside of trousers/ pants to prevent the fabric from wearing thin from rubbing against your shoes.
Up next in the series is learning to mend. I was able to find a darning mushroom and a darning egg at Fabric Recycle recently.
Plans are underway for 2017 Doll Clothing week. This year, Doll Clothing week will be November 6 to November 10, 2017.
Please check out Doll Clothing Week if you are interested in joining in on the fun.
Here is the follow-up on what I learned last time.
As for closet organization, I took some measurement of the shelves that are in my closet. After looking around, I dragged my dad to IKEA (we were probably the only two there that don’t care much for IKEA). There I was able to pick up six larger plastic boxes and three smaller plastic boxes with lids. I didn’t remember my closet correctly and am short two big tubs and one small tub. I thought I had 3 shelves not 4.
Just something to note, the lids never really clicked or snapped into place. It seems more of a topper instead of an air-tight lid.
Next up on the list to tackle was moth prevention. Everything on the internet stressed the health risk of using mothballs and that it is a danger to pets. I decided to use a combo of cedar and lavender. As for cedar, I went to the laundry care aisle and bought so many cedar disk. For the lavender, I decided to try using reed diffusers since I do have a fairly large- sized closet. However, it seems like reed diffuser are going out of style because I couldn’t find any reasonable priced. I decided to try to make my own. As of right now, I have bamboo skewers for the reeds in a small bottle filled with diffuser oil from Walmart. I am not sure if it was meant for reed type diffuser or a warming pot sort of diffuser. Plus I also am trying out a solid air freshener in lavender too. As of now, with an allergy induced troubles, the solid air freshener seems stronger.
I have seen that you can make your own reed diffuser oil on the internet and will try that out too.
One interesting item to note is the moths that eat clothing don’t like light. So I may consider the option of a touch light later in my closet but I need to get things clean up and organized how I want it before considering lights or not.
So far, the closet is only about half way cleaned. I still need to work on finishing it up but it will probably be put on hold until after the siding/ windows are done. The siding company called yesterday saying they are ready for installing and would start today (like two days before a snowstorm). Fortunately, my dad told them no way, that they need to wait until beginning of April. So I have a little bit of time to move stuff away from windows and doors (and get the bunny packed up for an extended visit to grandma).
I originally started off with another pattern from the Coronet from Coat’s & Clark’s #197 (same book as my grey Brocade doily). I only got to row seven then was stuck. The row really didn’t look like the picture at all.
So abandoning the Coronet, I searched through the other crochet patterns I had and settled on the Spanish Fan (#S-897) from Coat’s & Clark’s #324 Priscilla Doilies to Crochet (circa 1956). The main deciding factor was that the caption above the picture stated “The elegance of simplicity… a charming design that is easy to crochet, even for beginners”. It didn’t hurt that there were also, 5 other doilies listed in Ravelry. At least I knew others had made it.
I used Aunt Lydia’s Classic crochet thread size 10 in coral instead of the size 30 thread requested in the pattern. I also used a B sized crochet hook (2.25mm). In the end, my doily was about 21 inches wide.
This is one time I may have to agree with the pattern book. This was a fairly easy doily to crochet. I had the first 5 rounds completed before Christmas. So when I recently re-picked up this project I did have a little trouble trying to figure out where I left off at. But after that was sorted out, I was able to follow the pattern very easy. I didn’t complete round 34. I did start the round which has picots in the chain between the double crochet stitches. My picots looked so messy that I decided it was best to finish it at round 33.
Upcoming crochet projects include a doily for my mother for Mother’s day and making Emma the bunny from “Edward’s Menagerie”.
Recently, I had to get new siding and windows for my house. That is a much more expensive up-date then I had originally anticipated. Saving money to be able to pay for the siding will become a very important consideration especially in the upcoming months (years?). I know that owning my own home is a very large investment and the siding and windows were very necessary and important investment in my home.
But another significant investment is clothing. With today’s world of fast fashion, clothing is looked at as disposable. Even though I sew, I probably still have that mind set. However, I will have to put forth a more contentious effort of making what I have last longer and reducing cost. Strategic sewing will help reduce cost like sewing bras (there will be a significant savings). But, what I really need to focus on is making what I have last; especially those items I don’t really make right now like sweaters or pants. The only age I know where this was essential is World War 2. There are probably others, but those time periods didn’t advertise it as heavily or put out as much public information.
In the end, I may only end up with learning how to mend as the only applicable to my life option from this little excursion to the 1940s. However, there may be other ideas that I can apply to my life to hopefully help me with the care of clothing. Also, I may expand this effort to other areas of my home and blog it here in case anyone is looking for ideas. I will start with Ministry of Information’s 1943 leaflet Make Do and Mend.
This post will only cover the To Make Clothes Last Longer sections: “Tips on Taking Care of Clothes”, “How to Store Clothes”, and “The Moth Menace”. First off, my overall impression from this section is planning and organizing is key. So it may be worth my time and money to invest a little here in organization while I still can so that I have the basics. As of right now, my closet probably falls under the category of being a mess. It would probably give a 1940’s housewife a heart attack. I thought about putting a picture of my closet in the post, but in the end it just felt too personal and unsafe thing to do.
I understand that a typical 1940’s housewife may not have the option as I do to right now of investing in organization, but hopefully it will end up being money well spent.
“Tips on Taking Care of Clothes” is probably the most useful part right now from the three. The one I never really thought about was mend your clothes before washing. I don’t always make time to mend something so I will often throw it in the wash; so it can be clean while it is waiting to be mended. Tip three was don’t throw your clothes in a heap. I will have to try to work on this one. Right now, I will admit I am very guilty of putting clothes in a pile on the dresser and putting them away later when there are more items.
Tip five was removing stains when they occur and tip eight is never let any clothing get really dirty. Usually for my clothing, I just pre-treat then put the item in the hamper. Another helpful hint was using clean white blotting paper and an iron to get out grease stains. Right now, if a stain doesn’t come out after wash (usually grease related), I soak the item in Oxy-clean. An iron and blotting paper may be gentler on the fabric.
The last tip was using dress shields. After a quick look on the internet, it looks like most of the dress shields ready available now are adhesive based. I honestly am not sure if the adhesive would pull fibers out of the fabric and cause wear and tear on the fabric. If that happens then you are looking at having to mend wherever the adhesive is at. This tip may just be obsolete based on our modern convenience society or require more searching.
“How to Store Clothes” stresses that you need to make sure everything is clean before storing it, do not store in a damp place, and tacking down features like pleats, pockets and plackets. The other tips included storing clothes uses newspaper to protect the clothing from creasing when it is folded or hung which don’t make much sense to me. Wouldn’t ink from the paper get onto the clothing and ruin them? I know that there are occasions where ink gets on my hands when I am folding up the newspaper for Lala’s litter pan.
“The Moth Menace” section kind of made me wonder if I really don’t realize that I have moths ruining my clothes or that moths just don’t live in Kansas. I keep envisioning an army of moths waiting for the 1940’s housewife to close the wardrobe door before they invade. As I have severe allergies, I cannot follow the recommendation of airing your clothing out in the sunlight outdoors. It also recommends cleaning out and scrubbing the closet and drawers. Make Do and Mend doesn’t give exact guidelines on how often to scrub down closets/ drawers, but going off the first bullet, is it supposed to be once a month when you air your clothing outdoors in the sunlight? Only the second tip was very useful as it gives a general description of moth grubs and eggs plus how to remove them from clothing. Overall, this section wasn’t as helpful for me and I may look more towards modern methods of moth control.
Before moving on to the next section, I will need to look into some more organization for my closet, modern means of moth prevention, making a laundry folding aid ( I will try to post how I made it), and a general closet clean out.
After finishing up Cecile’s dress, I should have moved on to making me some more t-shirts. However, that didn’t happen; I blame it on the cold weather. I just don’t want to sew something and have to wait till it warms up to wear it. So instead, the dolls got another new dress. This time it was Marie Grace’s turn for the new dress, but all that I knew was that I didn’t want Marie Grace’s dress to look like Cecile’s dress. From that I had 3 pattern options: Addy’s Christmas dress from Pleasant Company, Addy’s school set from Pleasant Company and Simplicity 1391. In the end, I decided that view A from Simplicity 1391 went best with the fabric I bought.
This is actually the second time I have used this pattern. Cecile got a dress B from it back in March 2015 (Cecile’s dress). This time I decided to use view A with the peplum.
So remembering from the first time, I knew that this pattern really needs the trim to elevate the dress from a simple plain dress. As I didn’t really have coordinating trims, I decided that the lace at the hem was more important to the overall look than the lace at the collar. After that I made sure I picked out a thicker white lace to pick up the flowers in the dress.
As a reminder, the back of the dress does have darts and there is bias facing for the neckline.
The instructions are well done. If I had followed them more closely than just for the sleeves, I would have remembered to put in the ties at the side seams. I realized I had forgotten them as I was attaching the skirt to the bodice. At that point I was not seam ripping out serging and stitches to add them in. The peplum dress is probably fine without the ties, but the other dresses will benefit from the added detail.
Like previous dresses made, I decided to use Velcro for the back closure instead of the pattern recommended buttons. Otherwise, there really were not any more changes made from the pattern beside the missing ties and missing lace at the collar.
Marie Grace is able to wear her hoop skirt, and chemise under this. I didn’t go to my doll clothing box to get her out a petticoat, but considering Cecile was able to wear her view B of the dress with one, Marie Grace should be able to also.