Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sense and Sensibility 1995

I love this movie! Kate Winslet was perfect for the part of Marianne Dashwood.
It is the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, my favorite novel by Jane Austen. In case you aren't familiar with the story line, here's a summery from IMDb (here's the link):
"When Mr. Dashwood dies, he must leave the bulk of his estate to the son by his first marriage, which leaves his second wife and three daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) in straitened circumstances. They are taken in by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects the marriageability of both practical Elinor and romantic Marianne. When Elinor forms an attachment for the wealthy Edward Ferrars, his family disapproves and separates them. And though Mrs. Jennings tries to match the worthy (and rich) Colonel Brandon to her, Marianne finds the dashing and fiery Willoughby more to her taste. Both relationships are sorely tried. But this is a romance, and through the hardships and heartbreak, true love and a happy ending will find their way for both the sister who is all sense and the one who is all sensibility." 

Here's my favorite scene:

Marianne is quoting Shakespere, Sonnet 116. Here is the full sonnet:

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. "

Have a nice Saturday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Emma: my thoughts on Epsiode One

Well, I finished Emma, episode one, last night; I had previously thought that the mannerisms were much to modern, and that she was just a 21st century woman in a 19th century dress.... however, after the first half hour or so, she improved, and so did the story.
Emma in this adaptation is in 3D. Not literally, but it is true: she has her faults more clearly portrayed than in Emma with Gwyneth whats-her-name. The Miramax Emma (previously mentioned) was more funny, while this adaptation has more depth. We see the flaws in all of the characters, and we also see the strengths. For instance, although Emma doesn't think before she speaks, she is wonderful and covering up what hurtful things she says. For instance:

(fast forward teh first two minutes or so.)

Also, you see in this one how she lead Mr. Elton on. Her brother-in-law even told her she was, and she thought it ridiculous. (fast forward the first three minutes or so.)

And the friendship that she and Harriet have: (fast forward through the first bit.) Harriet is portrayed perfectly! She is very sweet. And Emma bitterly regrets meddling, as Mr Knightley said she would.

Well, though I could talk for hours and hours on this subject, I do not have the time. Next week I will talk about episode two.

Monday, January 25, 2010


"Emma Woodhouse was born with the sun shining...."
That's right, Emma BBC 2009 debuted last night. I was not allowed to stay up late enough on a school night to watch it, but I watched the first bit, and we made sure we recorded it. Here is how it begins.

I think it was a good beginning. They seemed to think through the story through. It is chronologically correct that Frank Churchill and Miss Fairfax left about the same time. I also think it was genius that teenage Emma might have matched her sister and Knightley's brother.....

But there are also some sad notes, ones that I never thought of really.

I realize now that Emma very well could be Miss Bates in 20 years. Tending to her father, talking all of the time though he can't hear her. Living in a very small cottage, with almost no money. I think it is very important to take care of your parents when they're old; but she was sad, because she would be very much alone. She remembered laughing and playing with Isabella when she was younger....

Anyway, I thought they did a good job on that. It really made me think about her life.

Did you miss the first episode last night? You can watch it here, on PBS's website. If you missed Return to Cranford, you can watch it here until February 16th.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Weeeeellllllllllll.......... I went to Wal-mart yesterday. Actually, we went shopping all day at various stores. It was awful. I almost fell asleep a few times, I was so tired. But, I'm glad we have the money to buy new things, and a car to get us where we need to go... and I am so glad we don't have to shop very often. That would be torture.
I am very happy that I came along though. I got my most needed sewing supplies. I bought a yard of off-white cotton for $1.50 a yard (for a petticoat), and then I bought a yard of this fabric, also for $1.50(shown left). It's really nice... reminds me of wedding dress fabric.

Then I bought 3 yards of 1/2" boning for $3. I didn't think that Wal-mart would carry boning, but it did!

I also priced out a few projects I want to do when I have the money. I was going to buy some green cotton, but they really didn't have the color or texture I wanted. :( I found out that they carry the costume pattern I want, though. :)


Friday, January 22, 2010


I found this video embedded on Rapunzel's Resource ( and found it very informative. I really like curly hair, and I've been wondering for awhile what the differences are between different rollers.

You'll also notice that I figured out how to put text on my pictures... therefore, my header is fixed, and I have a blog button.


aren't these costumes gorgeous?

a lovely dress from the Chronicles of Narnia. It has been duplicated sooo many times.... I want to replicate it someday.

from The Duchess.(it's too bad the movie has objectionable content... the costumes are amazing!)

A lovely dress from the Princess Bride.

My fave gown from Pride and Prejudice, 2005.

 a dress from the Phantom of the Opera. (I like the dress, but not the movie, even though I haven't seen it.)

a gown from Cold Mountain. (that movie has major flaws in it too!)

Looking at costumes makes me wish that Hollywood had much higher standards of morality.... fortunately, there are costume studies. All of these pics are from


Julia talks about the different types of chickens....

So funny! My mom and I love this video... we love Julia too! (and, I might note, my Dad greatly enjoys eating what my Mom makes.... last time it was a very good French Onion soup. I prefer Boeuf Bourguignon, though.)Watching her show just makes you want to cook!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

last dress updates until actual event!

This is my last Little Women dress update until the actual event... otherwise it wouldn't be any fun if you saw the dress a month before hand!

I intend to sew lace on to the rest of the neck line... don't worry. I think the waist will be taken up a bit... the bodice seems to long.

The skirt hangs rather limply without anything underneath it. I don't have a hoopskirt, as would be period appropriate, but all of the dresses (except for two Meg wears) the March girls wear in Little Women 1994 don't have hoopskirts... because they were poor, I guess. Hence, petticoats would be appropriate. I'm going to sew some.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tutorial: buttons

I always have sooooo many buttons... ones without purpose, as they aren't pretty.

Then I added up all of my money and estimated how much I would need for my next projects.....button forms were an extra expense and I was almost going to skip the buttons on the Little Women dress.... which would be awful, as they're one of my fave features.

Then I realized I could use all of my extra buttons like button forms and save money in the process! Here's how I did it:

I cut several squares of fabric, about this size compared to the buttons:

Then I cut off the sides and made the squares into circles:

I folded two sides of the circle over the button, overlapped them and sewed them together.

Like this. and then folded the other sides over that, like this.

And tie the thread off. They will look like this in the back

Leave a bit of fabric on the back to sew the button to your project with.

I'm sewing these on to the front of the bodice of my Little Women dress.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I must confess. I must.
I'm cheating on my two current projects. I've been looking at Simplicity's Early Spring 2010 pattern line.......... and planning another project. There, I said it!

Simplicity 2444 has caught my eye. The green dress, on the left. Of course, I would make it in cotton; taffeta is too expensive for me right now, as this pattern calls only for fabric, not fabric and lining. That would be six yards of taffeta, at $10 a yard at least... too much! And I also would only wear it to one place if it was a fancy fabric. Cotton will be perfect.

However, it came to my attention that I have a pattern quite similar to this one; the pattern that is the base for almost all of my projects. (for instance, this green dress I've been meaning to show you):

The one flaw of this pattern: the square neckline is too low. I cut it several inches higher than it was, and it's still borderline too low. That problem is solved, though; there is a round neckline similar to 2444 in the pattern I used. I'll just stay away from the square.

This is the pattern. It isn't quite as fitted as the other pattern, but that is easily solved. The patterns are almost identical; except that New Look 6824 is $5 and suggested retail for Simplicity 2444 is $17. I bought New Look 6824 at Wal-mart for about $4.

Hence, I have decided that I'll make a dress exactly like 2444 using 6824 and save $17. I'm glad I thought of it!



Spis Castle, Slovakia

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A teen girl's day book, week II... and project updates

Date... Jan. 14, 2010
Starting time...7:57 am
Outside my window...dead branches. the skies are dark, and I'm hoping it might rain. Anything is better than so-so weather.
I'm thinking...that I'm gonna run out of time before school starts
I'm reading... The Midnight Dancers by Regina Doman
I'm listening to... The Secret Life of Daydreams from the movie Pride and Prejuduce
I'm wearing... my pjs and a bathrobe. I'll change before school, I promise!
Yesterday, I...went to "school", drama club, then to the library
I'm excited for... Friday and Saturday!
I'm sad because... I'm not sad
I'm hungry for... nothing. I just ate.
The song stuck inside my head is... Wuthering heights, by Hayley Westernera (?)
I want... fabric! five yards of green cotton, and 3 yards white cotton. I also need 1 yard of 1/4" wide featherweight boning (badly now. I can't go much farther without it)
I love... the new Simplicity pattern for Early Spring 2010, 2444
I loathe... my new schedule and commitments (a few of them, anyway)
This week, my goal is... to finish my dresses (Valentine's and Little Women) and to mend the table cloth
Did I meet last week's goal?... yes
Ending time...8:05 am

Well, here are my updates. This is "Project Valentine's Day":

It doesn't look quite right in these pics, but don't worry...
Then I took a pic of the inside of the bodice... the lining.
The bodice back is assembled as well, and the skirt is gathered and sewn... but I can's sew them together, as I need the boning!

This is the skirt I made out of the fabric my great-grandparents gave me for Christmas. I'm thinking about doing the waistband differently though... the gathered waistband with elastic seems to add bulk; but I won't fix it for a while. Spring isn't that close I'm also not going to do pockets or use the buttons on this skirt... I think I'll make an apron.

And here is the fabric and trim I'm using for the Little Women costume replica... sorry for the shadows.

Here is the bodice to date:
I think I'm not going to do the white ruffle sleeves underneath:
I also think I should have cut the plaid fabric with the bars going vertical rather than horizontal, like Jo's stripes, but I thought I was going to run out of fabric... I'm going to have 2 yards extra, actually!

This dress has a black sash at the waist only seen in the movie, not the stills... I think I won't do that either. The dress will fasten in the back.

I hope to buy a small gold locket and put it on black ribbon like Jo's... but I might not find one, who knows?

Well, that's all for today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Lady of Shalott

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,

That clothe the wold and meet the sky;

And thro' the field the road runs by

To many-tower'd Camelot;

And up and down the people go,

Gazing where the lilies blow

Round an island there below,

The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,

Little breezes dusk and shiver

Through the wave that runs for ever

By the island in the river

Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers

The Lady of Shalott. "

Just a snippet of "the Lady of Shallot" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. You can read the rest here.

The castle ruins are Tintagel Castle's ruins, by the way. Quite a few folks believe the real King Arthur lived in Tintagel.

The painting is of the Lady of Shallot, the subject of the poem. This painting inspired the costume and row boat in the movie version of "The Lady of Shallot'. The website for the movie is here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Project : Valentine's Day

Well, I have to admit I've been working on my Little Women costume rather than another project I started before that; and I need the dress before I need the costume.

I'm doing this pattern, It's So Easy Simplicity 2884, veiw B, with the exception of the closure in the back; I'm doing A's ties rather than the buttons that close B. I'm sewing it out of red fabric, and, since it is rather low, and it's still winter, I'm going to wear a white three quarter length sleeve shirt underneath.

Here's a pic of the fabric.... it isn't exactly what it looks like in real life, but close.

I still need to purchase boning; 2 yards of 1/4" wide featherweight boning, to be precise. I only need 3/4 of a yard for this pattern, but I decided the bodice of my Little Women costume needs to be stiffer.... so I'll get two yards.

Another one of the reasons I'm not working on it so much is I can only do so much with out the lining; I'm still waiting for Mom to wash the cotton I'm using for lining, but she's had a lot to do lately.

So, the pleats in the upper bodice are done, the pieces of fabric are cut out, and the neck straps are sewn, pressed, and sewn to the bodice, the bodice back is sewn together, the skirt is assembled and gathered........ but that's almost as far as I can sew before I need the lining.

So I sewed a skirt out of the yard of pink flowered cotton I got for Christmas from my great-grandparents:

The heart-shaped buttons will adorn a pocket or two on the skirt. I've sewn the skirt, but I don't have pics of it yet, and I haven't sewn the pockets either.

Then I cut out the bodice peices for a dress I'm going to make out of a old set of sheets my grandma from Canada gave me. It's a pretty wild print; don't worry, it's a dress I'll wear when I'm sitting behind the lavender bushes reading a novel during the summer months, or if I'm sewing or cooking or something. I love wearing colorful dresses at home!
Well, that's that. more soon.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

What women wore in the early 1910s

well........... this post, I must say, is long overdo. I was going to post it as soon as I got back from the holidays, on the 4th, but somehow I kept on putting it off. There were quite a few things I needed to tend to first, before I could resume blogging. And then the Little Women fashion event was "announced" and I started thinking in terms of Civil War fashion. But, better late than never!

First I must kill a typical assumption. Everyone--including me, six months ago-- seems to think that 1900-1915 or so were what is called the "Victorian" era. Well, wipe that thought out of your mind for good. The Victorian era was from about 1835 (Princess Victoria became queen, in 1829. The Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of a new era) to 1900 or so. Queen Victoria, you must remember, died 1901. (If you want to see what women actually wore, here's a link to the costume study for The Young Victoria. )

After Victoria died, her son, Edward VII, became king; hence, the word which no one (save those who love historical costumes) ever uses when naming off various eras: Edwardian. (the pic on the left is Edwardian, by the way)

The Edwardian era was short-lived.... some say it ended in 1910 with Edwards reign, but I believe it ended in 1918, after World War I ended.

Edwardian fashion was very different from Victorian fashion. Here are two pics: the first Victorian style-dress, the second Edwardian.

I must note: this is one of the many styles that was during the Victorian era. Remember, the Victorian era lasted for 65 years.... there were also bustles, bloomers (yes, bloomers. Young women in the Suffragette movement ran around in bloomers, which was basically their underwear; usually for athletic reasons, though. It was hard to run in bustles.) The figure women desired drastically changed.

This is Edwardian, circa 1912. Skirts got shorter, corsets got looser, and and the hobble skirt was "invented". (Here's a link to a article with pictures of it.)

One of the funniest Edwardian fads was the hobble skirt, I must say. Honestly, loosen up the restriction of your corset, and what do you do? You bind a different body part.

The skirt was so tight, it would rip during a normal stride. Therefore, they tied their legs together with rope to prevent that. Grandmothers believed the hobble skirt would make ladies out of the young women of the day, since they had to shorten their stride so much.

A good example of the Edwardian era costumes are the costumes in the movie "Titanic". Of course, the movie has quite a bit of objectionable content, so instead of watching the movie to see the costumes, I just look at the costume study. Here's a link. Also, here's a link to an article containing several drawings of Edwardian clothing from the original magazines and whatnot.

Did you know that the zipper was invented about 1915? So much has happened over the past 100 years....

Friday, January 8, 2010

Here's the link to the jack pot of stills from Little Women, 1994.... just thought someone might want it, for reference for the Little Women fashion event this February. Here 'tis!


Little Women fashion event....decided on a project!

Hi! Well, I have decided what I'll do for the Little Women Event. I have a good five yards of red and green plaid (very Civil War-ish, if you ask me... but I specialize in the late 18th and 19th century, all except the hoop skirted era.)

Here's a link to a video of the dress: (the red one, with the lace on the neckline; the one Jo, the girl curling and burning her sister's hair) is wearing. The dress is in the video until 8 min. and 30 seconds about, so stop watching there.

At first, it seemed almost impossible to find anything but this picture. The movie is from 1994, back before people started using the computer to look at pics of their favorite movie's dresses; back before (gasp!) costume studies. (by the way, if you are interested in costumes at all, I know you'll love It has almost everything from every period, sci-fi, or fantasy movie... except Little Women!)

However, I finally hit the jack pot at at least 60 stills from the movie ! If you are having the same problem, (after all, in order to enter challenge #4, you need a pic of your inspiration, according to Rebecca at, the "host" of this event. Here's the exact link to the page with all of the stills. Click to enlarge them.

Unfortunately, even the stills don't give you a good look at the complete dress; in the movie there is a ruffle a foot from the hem that we never see in the pics.... but, it's better than nothing.

well, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else does!



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