Happy new week, everyone! Do you ever just feel like you blink and the weekend disappeared into thin air? That is how I felt as I awoke yesterday morning and realized just how quickly Monday came. I think that is a probably a common feeling, but sometimes the weekend just seems to fly a bit faster than usual. But in many cases, that is due to the fact that it was well spent and full of fun moments, as this one was. And it is such a blessing to awaken on a new week and have a weekend of memories so delightful to think upon.
I do hope yours was happily spent. Some of my favorite moments of the past two weekends have included the calm and quiet of a joyful Sunday of reading. Especially in the golden hour of the evenings, when the sun began to descend and my thoughts and inspirations in the sewing room grew as I read...
This book cheers an old soul like mine (and I know many of yours☺) to look through and soak in... it is so old-fashioned and vintage and wonderful, showcasing and providing detailed historical points on sewing and ladies' fashions from the 1800s, 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond.
The early origins of sewing machines and pattern companies, as well as the formation of early sewing societies & sewing as a social activity among ladies seeking to benefit and clothe their families and others, begin this informative and nostalgic book, and it is inspiring to us as girls and ladies who sew in modern day.
The impact of various types of needlework, but especially sewing, on the world wars and economy of the first half of the 20th century are also interestingly shared through the pages. Those I found especially engaging as a lover of history were the importance of sewing in America during WWII and the role it played in both morale and war efforts, not to mention to the Women's Army Corps and other elements of the war, including the issue back home of rationing and re-purposing.
Another era, both generally and in fashion, that has interested me since U.S. History class in high school is the Depression. The elegant simplicity and lines of the 1930s dress styles was so lovely and poised. I am loving reading more behind the history of sewing in the Depression era. You'll notice on the footer of the pages, there are timelines that give a deeper look into the chronology of how progressions in the pattern and sewing world intertwined with major historical events and influences. The fact that economic downfall in some of the less bright periods of our history played into how people dressed and how much ladies sewed at that particular time is something that doesn't always come to mind when we think of sewing, so this definitely educated me on just how much that is true.
Probably my favorite section, with such quintessential 1950's charm and beauty is this one: Midcentury Modern. Oh how cheerful and classic and polished, yet fun, I find the fifties styles to be, and this is probably also the era for which I have the most sewing aspirations in projects I dream of creating. Every time I watch I Love Lucy, I seem to be thinking about whether or not I may have a pattern in the sewing room for the style that Lucy or Ethel has on, especially many of Lucy's simply pretty day-dresses and her evening wear. It is inspiring to me to see these styles, as well, because the cut and lines of many of the garments the ladies sewed then were what I would consider to be a bit more of a challenge to sew. And I am looking forward to being more challenged by my sewing projects choices so that I can grow ☺ ...On a side note, I was just reminded by bring up I Love Lucy in this post about sewing of the episode where Lucy is on a budget so she tries to sew her own dress (and do an at-home version of her red Henna rinse)! I love that one, it is hilarious!
There are some books you find that contain pages that are just so aesthetically pleasing! This one definitely qualifies. I am always falling in love with new pages like these to gaze upon, especially those that contain so much wonder in their vintage inspiration and old-world charm.
Within the book are also vintage sewing ads that are such a delight to take in, as well as needle booklet covers... I love this because it is such a beautiful thing to see the way everything, even down to a booklet for sewing needles, was so artfully made with effort put into making it lovely.
Lastly, this book is not only a vintage and sewing enthusiast's dream for the illustrated history of the sewing revolution through the eras, but it even includes several simple sewing projects, an added cherry on top. The cute apron above is one of them- I love the fabric choice and eyelet trim. This is one of many projects. To be perfectly honest, not all of them are pieces I'd try making, but there are definitely a good few that I would and that look like they would be fun to take on.
Perhaps one of the sweetest parts of reading the pages of this treasure is connecting by way of history and the olden days to the ladies before us, to realize that the beauty of feeling the thrill and joys of sewing and creating is the same that coursed through the girls and ladies generations before us. I love turning the pages of this book and thinking of how, during this or that era that I'm reading about, women sat around the fire in winter sewing new church dresses for their daughters or a new suit for their husband, much like the images conveyed in the cozy description by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her books of her mother shopping for fabrics at the mercantile and sewing.... Or in later decades how they went to the new fabric stores and picked out patterns as they were inspired by the mid-century fashions coming out.
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In the solitude and enjoyment of my new sewing book, when I first got into it last weekend, I remember sitting at my desk with something else on my mind as I read... my heart and prayers were with the people of Florida, Georgia, and the islands and areas that took the brunt of Hurricane Irma... thinking of the impact of the storm on the lives of people and animals, hoping and praying for their safety, and knowing that they would be dealing with exactly what Texas just did. May they all be lifted up in prayer and given strength!
While I am on the topic, I would also like to express gratefulness for the kind comments and messages of your shared sentiment and prayers after my earlier post about Harvey. All those impacted here in Texas are so blessed to be lifted up by prayer, and as someone who knows two family friends who had their homes flattened and has seen the damage, I am personally thankful for your heart and thoughts being here.
It seems this is the summer of hurricanes, and so many will surely need prayer in these catastrophic and trying times.
I hope you are having a great start to the new week! Can you believe fall is officially upon us here in the U.S. in just a few days, friends? I am eagerly awaiting the changing season as the crisp leaves begin to fall- it will be so heavenly to feel that first chilly air roll in. I hope the South gets the autumn weather memo early this year ☺
Are you excited for a new season?
What is a book that is inspiring you lately?
Are you interested in sewing history?
Blessings in Christ,