Category Archive: Historic Clothing

Playing Dress-up

These are the ladies I aspired to be. I always looked forward to growing up and getting to wear hats and gloves and crystal beads and big shiny brooches, big full skirts with… Continue reading

Child’s Flour Sack Dress

I got this little dress at an antique shop about 15 years ago, and I’ve always loved it for the creative use of flour sacks.  The seamstress didn’t have as much of the… Continue reading

Spinsters Gone Wild

Craftswomen are well known for working in groups – quilting bees, spinning retreats, knitting societies… the list goes on.  For summer fun, you may be thinking of planning such a Girls’ Night Out,… Continue reading

Family Textiles: A Tale of Two Shawls

It was the best of textiles, it was the worst of textiles, it was the age of silk, it was the age of wool, it was the epoch of respectibility, it was the epoch… Continue reading

Bittersweet

In 1879 the American federal government began forcing many Native American children to attend boarding school.  Upon arrival, their hair was cut, their familiar clothing was taken away, and they were forbidden to… Continue reading

April Fools

Here are a couple of pictures from my historic photo collection, that seem appropriate for April Fools’ Day.  I love old photos where the people’s personalities shine through.

Properly Attired Servants, 1907-style

Now that we have sprung forward, I’m sure spring cleaning is on your mind.  Which inevitably brings up questions, “How many servants should I have?” “How shall I occupy myself while they are working?” and… Continue reading

Happy Feet

I’d always assumed these stockings were hand knit, just because they were made of cotton and had fancy stitches.  But since reading the 1914 book Textiles by William H. Dooley, I think they may… Continue reading

Textile Tangents

I love looking at the people and clothing trends in historic photos.  Somehow I have built up quite a collection – family members know I’m interested and pass on all those ancestor photos,… Continue reading

Dresses to Dream of

I used to pass by all the old photos in antique stores, but then I saw the book Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840 – 1900 by Joan L. Severa.  … Continue reading