a convergence of tea time thoughts for ladies

fashion & dress

Mary Boykin Chesnut

I liked this book because it gave me an idea of what every day life was back in that time period (1860’s) and helped me understand the civil war a little better.  Just like in Sarah Morgan’s book, everyone was hiding their silver from the Yankees.  Mary Chestnut’s diary is  better than Sarah Morgan’s, only because there are  more colorful stories included.  I read it on the computer.  Here’s where I read it online      It took about 2 weeks to get through it,  since I took my time reading it in 30 or 40 minute sittings. 

image She’s another Southern civil war lady who wrote a diary of the civil war like Sarah Morgan did, but Mary Chestnut was 40 when the war broke out in 1860 and Sarah Morgan was  only 20 years old (see July 11th and 12th post on Sarah Morgan).   Her diary is far from boring, with a lot of everyday life happenings that  are often humorous;  there are the sad parts too about the war and how it unraveled  everyone’s life in the South.  She still sees the uplifting side to life since she can read human nature in all situations.

image There’s her husband who was a Senator and after that, an aid to President Davis during the war.  He was not at home much;  busy with the war, but he does come and go throughout the book.

imageHere are some recollections from the book-  the man who rode away with his tobacco  bag that had his life savings in it, 26 thousand dollars!  Yankee’s didn’t get his money.   The women that had to squeeze through the train window (they called trains “cars’) to get on board since they closed the regular loading terminal.  

The sick soldier who pretended to be far worse than he was and kissed the nurse when she wiped his brow.  The kind neighbors that brought food  to Mary Chestnut’s when she was to  entertain President Davis and his men one evening for dinner.  Her servant Molly who had to tell someone off on a train trip.   The slave who ran away to the Yankees and the Yankees took his gold watch that the slave’s master gave him.  The slave came back to the plantation and said: “I’d rather be with the man who gave me the watch than with the men who took it.”

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Why not decent dresses?

I love dresses!

vogue lady I wish I had this outfit and her shape!

black dress at sea shore Love this one, but the neckline so often goes too far down.  Doesn’t work for busty women with not much room from the cleavage to the throat area.  You shouldn’t go to tight, but a fitted look is what you want.  Hard to get it right – it’s a good thing we have full length mirrors.

50steens They had some stiff slips for these dresses, but I like the look.  You don’t have to include the saddle shoes and socks and with a current hair do, it would be  modern, yet still feminine if the material print was modern.

1950_Homecoming_canidates I like these little outfits!  How is it that these girls appear more wholesome in their outward appearance than  the mainstream  church going girls of today?  Their hair isn’t covering their eyes either.  I think that “hair in your eyes” look has gone way overboard today.  Tall ladies can wear a sweater and skirt like this and not look shorter, but short gals need the sweater and skirt to be the same color to lengthen them.

canvas I think this outfit is cute too.  You could update it with modest heel T strap sandals, omit the socks,  and roll up the cuffs of the wool blazer.  OK, throw in a book bag that looks sleek too.

image Love this old dress!  It’s something  I can’t wear.  First of all- my head is small and the puffy sleeves swallow a short person up.   Secondly, where do you wear it?  To Walmart?  We don’t have ball rooms and grand parties in this day and age.   where you find this on their website

image Here is the petticoat slip you make for the bussel.  image This one is so pretty- it’s stretch Satin in a gray polka dot!  81.00  price makes you want to sew one yourself, doesn’t it?image This color is dark chocolate.  I like these dresses! Another 81.00 price from the same place as the Satan  one above it.

imageknit dress are so slimming!  This one is from overstock.com.  It’s hard to find day dresses these days.  Dresses  that show some of your cleavage or breast  and are too short is what’s available.  Not good if you want longer dresses and no cleavage shown, which brings me to this dress form that I’d really like to have. for all my sewing ventures.image This one pictured is a Singer brand, but the price goes up when you want a plus size dress form.  I tried to make my own once on some post from a few years ago, the sticky paper one. but I’d go with the duct tape one if I ever do it again.  It’s so inexpensive and you get your exact shape!  Here’s the link of Mimi Goodwin making her own dress form.   she makes a duct tape dress form so why not wear decent dresses?


Black dresses and knockout perfume

Every women needs both- beautiful dresses and knockout perfume; tastefully done.   How about a black dress and Del Rae’s Amoureuse  perfume     Another Amoureuse review

V necks minimize the bust on the first dress, and on the next one- the ballerina neckline is pretty (from Lands End website).

image Amoureuse perfume by DelRae

This black dress is a little more for getting dressed up because of the side metal thing.


Good Bye to 2009

Here’s Deanna Durbin singing  Goodbye  by Tosti (as only she can sing it!).   When I watch this clip, I think of it as a goodbye to the year 2009.  Her dog was named  Tippy,  her family’s faith was Baptist, and  she’s still alive too.     Goodbye song/clip from Deanna Durbin on U-Tube Good bye 2009!   Pray for good things to come in 2010 and wise decisions to be made in our lives.

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The Caroline years

51WVK1PNJCL._SL110_   index   index   index  

These are the first four books in the Caroline series  written by Maria Wilkes and the next 4 (not on this post) are written by someone else.  My Dad was born in Milwaukee- 1914 which would have been when Caroline was 75 yrs old.  It is neat  to figure how your parents and relatives fit into the history timeline isn’t it?   I enjoyed these books, but  I am partial to  the way Mellissa Wiley writes; the author of the Martha Years and Charlotte years.

Caroline’s father died which was an even a more burdensome trial than it would be now days.   Her father was allowed to build the house and live on the land although he didn’t own it.  They ate way too much succotash because that is all there was at times. 

I enjoy the true history of the frontier like the Maple Frolic for instance, I think it was the 3rd book.  I never saw maple syrup being extracted from a tree.  All children should have some kind of class trip or family outing to see how that’s done.  I grew up in Wisconsin and never saw it being done.  Never heard of a Maple Frolic, which makes me wonder what maple dessert  would I bring if I lived back then.

How would you like to move to a cabin where you have to put down a plank floor on the dirt/mud “floor” before you move in?  Look at the bright side- no rock and roll, more family togetherness…more morals… I think  there was a very good side to living in that era!  I like the way Joseph and Henry are portrayed as responsible, respectful sons.  That’s how it should be not matter what decade of history it is.

On Top of Concord Hill (the last book) was especially interesting because a lot was happening in the book and it  all seemed so real even though it’s fiction, yet so much is historically accurate that it seems like it all happened.

Don’t you wish you could read a book of your generations of long ago in reading form like these books?  Maybe it’s up to us to start one!


The Charlotte Years

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Little House by Boston Bay, On Tide Mill Lane, The road from Roxbury, On Puddingstone Dam

I loved this next series too although I didn’t get to read the 3rd book “The Road to Roxbury” since the library didn’t have it.  I think I just plain like Mellissa Wiley’s writings.   The  Martha series was more interesting of the two series, simply because Scotland  in that time period  seemed fascinating; especially the way the land was run by the lairds.

It’s neat the way the mom’s childhood is brought up again about her doll…. don’t want to spoil the book for you if you intend on reading it.  I feel bad about how the abridged series doesn’t include all of the author’s writings and how the first illustrator was replaced.  Just doesn’t seem fair does it?  If you notice above- the first two books have the new cover, while the 3rd and 4th book have the original illustrator’s cover.  Can’t wait to read the novel that Melissa Wiley is writing.  Wonder what it’s about?


another slip

white slip This one is a double bodice and works great for tank dresses, some of my longer ones.  I love this slip.  It’s made from a dress pattern.  These slips are nice enough to wear for sleeping in.

pattern slip Here’s the pattern I used- a Simplicity 2 Hour dress or jumper.


camisole slips to sew

lacy camisole made into a slip lovely lace Using camisoles you already have can be turned into wearable slips.  I took my favorite camisole and put this skirt on it from some leftover material bin.  The skirt is a kind of heavy  cotton which normally would be too heavy for this lightweight camisole top, but it works because the skirt is short.  If it was longer, it’d be too heavy for the camisole and would pull it out of shape.  I have one dress where this slip is perfect for.

pink slip side view Here’s what I did with this  (had forever) pink camisole/ undershirt.  The $1.50 a yd pink cotton starch material is perfect for dresses where I want a stiffer skirt.   It’s almost the feel of bed sheet material- stiff cotton.  I did a post on slips a year ago… if you go in the search box to the right, just type in “ slips” and it’ll pull up.

Hope I gave some ideas for all the camisoles tucked away in your drawer that you are not using.


same dress, different look

Look at these dresses on the models- same dress on each model but they both look so different.  The model in the red dress has much longer legs than the blue dress model which gives the dress a whole different look .

Here’s another example of the same dress looking so original on three different  models.

image image image It always gets my attention when I see the same dress looking so distinct  on others.  We all wear our clothes so unique because of our shape, personality and the way we carry ourselves.

Last example:         image imageAbout the necklines- some can wear a more scoop neck than others without showing cleavage while other ladies can’t get away with it.   Things to think about when you try on the next new dress!


Graciousness and Sweet Reasonableness

Don’t you want to be more gracious and reasonable in a sweet way?  It comes from  this verse in Philippians:

Let your moderation  be made known unto all men.  The Lord is at hand.

Philippians 4:5  KJV

Moderation means graciousness and sweet reasonableness from what the note in my bible says.  It makes sense when you read the passage( verse 1-7)  all together.   This verse isn’t just for  women.  A gracious husband  who is reasonable can make a wife’s life beautiful.  Gracious and  reasonable children (older ones especially)  lessen your burden and are a joy.    This is a blog for ladies but   this verse  is not just for ladies; it applies to all believers in Jesus Christ, male and female.

Philippians is a great book to read in one week since it has only 4 chapters and you can read  one chapter a day from Monday to Thursday or Monday through Friday with missing one day (things always come up).

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