Welcome, Ms White.

Hello all! I'm back after a long hiatus. I'm not dead, if any of you were wondering. A little has changed since I last posted, I finally got a job! Not an awesome job costuming for some company or organization, but a waitressing job. I'm working 5 days a week, so that plus school, plus everything else has been keeping me busy. But, I am sure glad I got that job.

Because with my first paycheck I bought:
My newest toy

....A Treadle Machine! This particular model is from 1890...edit! After further research I have found that it is actually from 1912. Patented last in 1890. and is the White brand from Cleveland, Ohio.
  The colors on the machine are superb and has very little rust or discoloration.

See the bright green silk???
 I also found while rummaging through the 6 drawers on the original cabinet, 5 extra bobbins and 4 extra needles. Though, the needles are mostly rusted, it's still amazing that it's all together. The bobbins also have silk tread on them. I have no idea when it was last used.

The pedal is deceptively responsive
 Here's the underside, again showing off the brand name.

The tin itself was just cool.
And the coolest part... Another goodie I found inside the drawers of the cabinet... a tin box with:

11 attachments! For what? I have no clue.
 A ton of attachments! And the original packer's slip!

Also, the hardest part to find for this model is the bobbin shuttle. I found 2 inside the tin.

They're weird and evil looking.
 ....and one in the machine itself! with a bobbin inside as well!

 I'm so excited to clean it up and get it working. I need to purchase a new belt, but other than that it seems to work exactly how it's supposed to.

 I bought this lovely piece from an antique dealer here in Athens. He had bought it 30 years ago and had it as furniture in his own home. He told me that when he moved 10 years ago, he put it in his shop to sell. Unfortunately, or more fortunately for me, it ended up being put to the back of his shop and got buried underneath things. I came in a month ago, just wondering if he had any sewing machines and he pointed me to this one.... I fell in love. Just look at the tiger-stripes!

 He then told me he just needed to get it out of his shop and would part with it for $100. It was mine.

Carrying it up my two flights of steps was certainly an adventure. My mom and I aren't built for such things. She now lives in my apartment, almost ready for use.

I'm so excited about getting going. I don't know much about the machines, other than what they go for. If any of you have tips on using them, PLEASE let me know. Any help is welcome!

The Hat

 My absolute ultimate, ultimate-ultimate favorite project for the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop was recreating a hat from a painting. This painting, to be exact:

Lady Edward Bentinck,
Painted by George Romney
The portrait is of Lady Edward Bentinck. The date on the painting, I could not find, although it would have had to have been after 1780 because Miss Elizabeth Cumberland married Lord Edward in 1780, thus taking his name and reference in the painting. The story on the portrait itself is that Lady Bentinck was trying on hats and picked up this "old fashioned one." The painter, George Romney, saw her put it on and had to paint her portrait. Still, I cannot find the exact date.

The hat in the portrait seems to hint that it was a straw hat to begin with (seeing the slight ridges along the brim) and covered tightly with white silk, bunched silk gauze at the crown then finished with a lovely, large blue bow.

Working on the straw
I can't tell you how much fun I had on this project. It always seemed to make me hungry. I always got comments that it looked like a wonderful dessert. It really does look like meringue...

That is a wool cherry ;)

mmmmmm..."Food" Porn.

The hat was lined with a changable blue silk which was also used for the bow at the side as well as the ties. I love it because it's a surprise when you see the underside, the rest of the hat is so very white!

The lovely blue lining, all my stitches too!
Here it is finished, sigh. I'm definitely going to make another very similar. It now belongs to Doris, the Journeywoman Mantua Maker and Milliner, at the shop!

"The Lady Bentinck"
I'll model it for you...

What do you think? I think it turned out pretty well ;)

A visit from the 'rents

While I was in Williamsburg, my parents came to visit me. I was sooooo happy to see them, as any person would be, but especially because they would be able to experience Colonial Williamsburg while I was there.

Daddy and I

First thing in the morning, I met them after getting dressed and gave them the low-down on the key areas to visit.
Mommy and I
They took my advice and really took advantage of the lovely weather we had that weekend. They visited each and every stop. Including the Millinery Shop of course!

Eliza and I working in the window of the Millinery Shop for light
it's me!
Eliza and I in the shop

They really liked the gardens, too.

Mommy under the canopy

Museum Adventures

While I was in Williamsburg, I had the wonderful opportunity to look at their museum exhibits. Here are the pics that I most enjoy:


*swoooon* to see Devin in one of these....
My favorite pics are of lovely embroidered waistcoats, which apparently were very common.  Nevertheless, it's pretty and I would like to make one. The second one, in particular, was so sweet looking. As I captioned the picture....I really want to see my dearest Devin in one of these. le sigh

TAMBOUR!!! While at the shop, Sarah showed me how to do a little bit of Tambour Embroidery, which is basically embroidering with a sharp crochet hook..... and I LOVE IT. I reaaaaaallly reaaaaaalllly reaaaaalllly want to make this men's cap:
Downright purdy.
There were also some wonderful Calash bonnets that I desperately wanted to try on.

soooo muuuucccchhh ffunnnnnn
This one reminds me of an accordion.
 Then there was this gown:

What's so interesting about this gown is that it is black and in superb condition. The black dyes tend to deteriorate the fabric, so to have a gown like this one, that is so well preserved, is an extreme rarity.

 The motif you see on the gown is actually embroidered to the fabric itself. A lot of time went into it.
Sorry for the shakey pics
(museum lighting)
 Another interesting tidbit pertains to the trim. It is done by a series of knots, and to my knowledge, was an entire trade to itself. O.O There's a bajillion yards of this trim on the gown. Can you imagine only tying knots/making this kind of trim for your career?!?

muy impressivo

 The last things I took a peek at were the tools on display on the lower level. My favorite.... The Waffle Iron.... I want it.


A really old wedding gown...

 The video has expired and I cannot find it anywhere on the interwebs. This is the article  where I found the video... Sorry to disappoint!
edited Sep 2011

This morning I was perusing the internet and came across a video that I found interesting. So, I've brought it to you.

This young woman is the 4th generation to wear this wedding gown. I'm not sure if I would choose to wear it for my wedding; but if I did I would surely wear the proper undergarments! By watching the video, it seemed they didn't wear them. I don't mean to dog them about their decision to wear the gown, but if it were me, I'd pull out ALL the stops for it.

What do you all think? Would you wear this gown for your wedding?

Bedgowns and Petticoats

I am so happy to be able to blog again! I am able to use Devin's old computer until mine gets fixed, so I can show you some of what I did this summer in Williamsburg!

For those of you who are not familiar, I spent my summer in Williamsburg,Virginia, interning at the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop. The shop is still a thriving trade shop; preserving the art of Mantua Making, Millinery and Tailoring of the 18th century. Every stitch is handsewn, every method is period. I was lucky enough to get a change to taste for the first two. It's pretty intense.

Upon arrival, we were thrust into work. The first projects were small; a pin pillow and work-bag; mainly to practice stitching. I whipped them up a day a piece then was on to bigger projects. The first big project being a petticoat to wear.
That is a bumroll making me so very "pronounced"
I chose a lovely reddish brown linen for the petticoat (in the 18th century, most skirts were called petticoats) It was a heavier linen, so hand-sewing on that thing was a bit of a bother, especially since my handsewing experience is not very extensive. Luckily for me it was mainly backstitches so I got in the groove pretty quickly. The project took 3 days to complete and fit wonderfully.

Since it's almost like a kimono???
 Next on the agenda was a bedgown. Now, a bedgown of the 18th century is not a garment that is worn to bed or in the bedroom. It is merely a woman's more informal garment. They are extremely easy to cut out; as we were not using patterns and had to cut completely by eye; relatively simple to make, though I got my first taste of hand felled seams. Phew. This one was finished in 4 or 5 days and I was very happy with the result.
Finished salmon colored bedgown and brown petticoat!

Bad News Bears.

Hello all! Again, I am so sorry about not getting around to blogging. Things are busy here in Williamsburg and it seems I could never get the chance. And now, there's a new wrinkle in the fabric...

My computer CRASHED. That's right. It crashed. Last weekend I had managed to accidentally unplug it from its power source and it went haywire from there. I'm writing this post using a friend's computer, so unfortunately I most likely won't be able to blog about the things I've made until I get back to Athens; when I either can get my computer fixed or get a new one.

To give you all a taste of what I will be blogging about; While interning here I've made a ton of items including a cap, petticoat, kerchief, mitts, and various parts of gowns and am currently working on a hat. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D  It's a really pretty hat too. :)

Well, I hope you all are having a glorious summer! I'm having a blast here in Williamsburg and can't wait to fill you in on my wonderful summer!


I have to say I'm extremely sorry about my lack of posting this summer during my internship. Even though I'm not posting regularly, I am making many things on a daily basis. I'm simply finding it hard to fit blogging into my busy schedule. It seems every evening there is something new to do and also I have been receiving visitors every weekend.

Soon I will post more in depth on some of the things the employees at the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop have  been so gracious to teach me. If you simply cannot wait to hear of the things we are doing at the shop you can follow our projects on Facebook.

Under the Redcoat 2011

I have a confession to make..... I have never been to an 18th century reenactment before. D:

Fortunately, my living in Williamsburg has changed that. My debut was Under the Redcoat at Colonial Williamsburg, just last weekend. It was wonderful.

Photo Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg
  For those of you who don't know what UtR is, I'll give you a quick overview. British. Invade. Williamsburg. And let me tell you, there was a LOT of red.

The redcoats leave town.
I spent my weekend walking about with Eliza and befriending quite a few redcoats and fellow costume bloggers. They were very pleasant and great fun; teaching us some new dice and card games, as well as letting us try some of their homemade meade, which was very delicious.

Eliza and I with some members of the 40th
That was the only picture taken of me (that I know of) at the event. I hope to trim the new hat I bought (it's the one I'm wearing) once I get hold of some nice stuff to work with.

I had a great time and hope to attend it next year too :)

Internship Beginnings

Saturday marked the end of my first week interning at the Margaret Hunter Shop in Colonial Williamsburg. So far I have had a blast!
Our work area, Right to Left;
Eliza (fellow intern), Doris (Journeywoman) Tori (fellow intern)
and me! At the Margaret Hunter Shop

The staff is extremely friendly, and every day proves to be more enjoyable than the last.

My typical outfit for the day time.
So far we've worked on perfecting our stitches and I patched and mended a cute blue jacket that I love to wear.

Such lovely patchwork, wouldn't you say?
Then on Saturday we got all "gussied up" in beautiful silk gowns and wonderful hats. We walked about town, letting millions of little girls take pictures with us.

Us ladies of the Millinery Shop (I'm first on the left)
Don't we look lovely?!

Me in a Coral gown (I do not normally
wear this color)

Eliza in a peach, ivory and green cross-stripe gown
I got to wear a coral Polonaise gown with silk gauze and a bum roll; feeling wonderful. The other intern, my new friend Eliza, got to wear a Saque-Back gown and AWESOME HAT. I was jealous.

All in all, we've had a wonderful time so far. Things keep getting better, and we're getting into some more "serious sewing"; which we're very excited about. More to come!