Remind you of a song? Well, with the witching hour approaching and being a bit tired, I’m putting aside my planned costume-specific post to take up today’s CoBloWriMo prompt: 5 things that make you happy. So here’s a few quick thoughts on some of my favorite things!
Handsewn eyelets… yep, you read that right! There’s something therapeutic about creating those little circles in a layer (or four) of fabric without breaking any of the woven threads. This example is from an 18th century stays tutorial. Seeing it again almost makes me want to start a new pair of stays. Almost…
Antique & Vintage Costume Books… oh, the hours I can spend poring over their contents and drooling over the illustrations! This yummy example is in my private collection and is a Ladies’ Tailoring sample & sales book from 1909-1910. The fabric swatches are amazing and the designs are super details. Fabulous for eyeing and touching! I’ve been fortunate to come across a few books and magazines from as early as the 1890s to add to my shelves and also have many more digital or repro copies, thanks to Google Books & Ebay. One of my go-to e-books is a 1911 dressmaking guide by Carrie Crane Ingalls. Yes, the first name caught my attention at first but after making many petticoats, underclothes and skirts from her instructions, she won me over with her attention to detail and thorough explanations.
Costume Lovin’ Friends… because of course pretty clothing is best enjoyed in company! Yes, researching, planning, stitching, and wearing a new costume is a wonderful journey and one that I love to be part of but it’s always more fun to grab some friends for an afternoon of shenanigans in costume. Better yet if there’s a road trip and a great meal involved. And while photos always help capture the moment (and would add some extra imagery here) many of my favorite memories were created without a camera in sight and I’m so thankful to have a great group of costuming friends to play with! (Although to be fair, this particular photo is helpful in reminding me to shorten my petticoat 😜)
Sterling silver thimbles… and other old-fashioned sewing tools – I just can’t get enough! They just make me happy to see them on my finger, on a shelf in an antique shop, in my work basket, and yes, even pretty photos on Pinterest. I truly enjoy hand sewing and while costuming full-time several years ago I was often stitching 8+ hours each day. I mastered the art of using a thimble (or at least remembering to use one) and have been partial to sterling thimbles since then. The soft metal warms and better molds to my finger with each wearing… so much so that I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve found myself walking around the house (or out running errands!) with a thimble still stuck on my finger hours after I’ve stopped sewing!
And last but not least:
A cup of Earl Grey tea… yum! Need I say more?
So while raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens are also wonderful, these are a few of MY favorite things!