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Quote of the Day, Book Recommendation, and Wearing Dresses

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Posted on : 11:58 AM | By : Nic | In : , , , ,

The log at the wood pile, the axe supported by it;

The sylvan hut, the vine over the doorway, the space
cleared for a garden,
The irregular tapping of rain down on the leaves,
after the storm is lulled,
...The sentiment of the huge timbers of old fashion'd houses and barns.
- Walt Whitman

One of my favorite books is Diary of an Early American Boy by Eric Sloane.  I am babysitting and I found it on a pile in my father-in-law's office and I want to steal it.  I used to own it and I have no idea what happened to it.  The book is an actual diary by a boy who lived in the early 1800's, but illustrated and expanded to give a more detailed picture of what it was like.  The illustrations are simply amazing.  They truly make the book.  If you like the Little House books and the charming pictures of pioneer life, then you will really love this in-depth window into the past.  
I'm feeling a great need at the moment to start sewing on my Sense and Sensibility patterns again...I made the Regency gown, pantalettes and an underskirt, and I have the coat and underthings pattern, but I want to try the more practical Elegant Ladies Closet pattern.  The trouble with Regency dresses is that they are made for a corset, and I haven't made that yet.  I fully plan to but it's not on my priority list at the moment.  The drawstring version of the dress makes it a bit more versatile for what's underneath.

More Thoughts:  The picture above is of Tasha Tudor, and it's from her website.  The reason I admire her (besides that she is a great writer and artist and lives very sustainably) is probably mostly because she wears clothes she made herself, that are from the early 1800's.  I love historical clothing, and I am looking for a reason to wear them all the time.  In the past, women wore dresses.  There was no question that women should look very feminine, and as a culture it was universally accepted that women should be modest as well.  It had nothing to do with religion or politics.    What I find troubling is that if I were to wear dresses like that all the time, I am immediately identified as part of a religious group, when really that choice has nothing to do with religion at all for me.  I am simply questioning the assumption that because about 30 years ago women could suddenly wear pants all the time, we should.  That's not very long ago for such a dramatic shift in what women can wear, and probably represents a dramatic shift in women's roles and power.  I'm not convinced that either of the role and power shifts have necessarily been a good thing from the viewpoint of family unity and the welfare of children, and I would have been happy with simply getting the right to vote and leaving it at that.

Comments (3)

Thanks for the info on the book. I will have to find that somewhere.

I agree with the dress thing. It seems like they would be so much more comfortable and utilitarian. But my firends would look at me like I had completely lost my mind!

I certainly get it. I love dresses that come straight out of history books (and occasionally storybooks lol) but if I decided to wear them regularly, people wouldn't understand.

Just found your blog - it's great! Thanks posting the pattern site link... some of the dresses are gorgeous! I would love to wear more dresses - for everyday, not just special occasions. Dresses are definately more comfortable. Guess I better sewing... ;)