Let's see, would you be Elinor Dashwood? Jo March? Anne Shirley? or even Nancy Drew (don't forget she had a tasteful wardrobe, a slim, athletic figure, a handsome boyfriend, and a baby-blue convertible!)? Oh what about one of the young ladies of Downton Abbey?
I don't have any one historical era that I love most. I'm susceptible to any author who can describe beauty and romance. I'm fascinated by fashion of almost any era, lifestyles and cooking, household management, and especially any kind of needlework skills, from fancy embroidery to clever skilled mending techniques.
A while back, I determined to learn how to darn socks. I bought spools of darning thread and a darning egg on ebay and at yard sales. Now, everyone in this family has worn darned socks. (Those darned socks!)
I love to read old ladies' magazine articles about home management, and all accounts of the domestic work world. I found the book below on ebay. It's a text book for high school level Home Economonics, copyrighted 1935, and I believe it was reprinted and updated for a couple of decades. Sometimes, I see ebay auctions for the accompanying workbook. For all the charm of the quaint text, I originally got interested in the book because of the sweet illustrations of Eulalie Banks.
This one is featured on the frontispiece. I want to awake in that bed, well-rested with warm summer breezes lilting in my crisp curtains. I just know the sheets were hung on the line, and carefully pressed, and they smell like a Spring evening, when the peepers are chirping. And that quilt....I wonder just how many of my calico school dresses ended up in those 9-patch blocks?
I was going to save further illustrations for future posts, but I can't help it -- this one is in the introductory chapter on sewing your own clothes. Can you read the text underneath?
We learned that the clever girl realizes that to be well-dressed
she must study clothes as she would any subject in school."
Sigh...such a burden to be a clever girl.....