Two-thousand-eighteen was a rough and un-productive year for me, for various emotional reasons. However, I have learned a bunch, and my resolutions for 2019 are informed by those lessons. Here are my sewing-resolutions:
One day I told my mom, in passing, that I was a feminist. "You are?!" she asked in bewilderment, and I wondered what feminism meant to her. As I see it, I am a feminist because of the things my mother taught me: I believe in educating myself, paying my own way, embracing my inherent strengths, appreciating how I'm different from men, being strong and gentle, standing up to people who would use or devalue me, voting, et cetera. Why would the word "feminist" put her off when she knows and approves all those things about me?
But when I read something like this, I understand where the confusion comes from:
I should be able to dress how I want and act how I want. That's what feminism is about, not about making others feel comfortable.
Meanwhile, finding in my stash a bit of printed cotton with wise men on it (a Christmas print I actually like), I decide to make my own re-usable Christmas wrapping!
In which I make a Victorian-inspired plastron or dickie... and end up looking like I work at Grace Brothers!
(Sometimes when I title my posts I amuse myself wondering what Google searches will yield these confusing word combos, and what the searchers will think...)
A "plastron" is a chest covering. If you're a turtle, it's your shell. If you're a fencer, it's your padded vest. If you're a Victorian era lady, it's a lacy faux-front that you tie around your neck to change up the look of your dress. And if you're me... well. Read on to see what I came up with!
Stuff is never just stuff. Stuff is, as my brother put it, ideas. Every item I own is an idea I've had, about who I am or want to be, what I want to do, what I value, fear, or need. No wonder I've found that getting rid of items clears my head marvelously! My room is slowly but surely becoming an oasis of Karen in a world of not-Karen, which is a relief. My true desires and priorities are coming into focus, and my to-do list is shorter and more imperative. I hope to have this process done by the end of the year so I can start 2019 with a clean slate!
Today I'll post about two harder, sewing-related purges: my pattern collection and my historical costumes.
Today, let's have some more 1920's ephemera! Catherine DeVore collected ads if she liked the pictures.
Advertising is so ubiquitous in our world that we're generally blind to its tropes and skewed priorities, because we aren't consciously processing it. But several times in my life I've taken long breaks from media (lived without a TV, moved to a wilderness area with only one radio station and no internet, traveled abroad), and when I came back, even my "own" culture felt foreign and the ads obnoxiously stupid. I noticed all kinds of implied messages beyond the simple message to buy.
When we look at the ads of a former time, those implied messages are screams rather than whispers. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I don't live in the twenties, and here are a few reasons why. For each ad, try to bear in mind that the people who made it and the people who saw it each thought it was normal, and its messages unobjectionable.
In September of 1666, the Great Fire of London burned for five days, reaching temperatures hot enough to melt pottery and completely cremate victims, destroying thousands of buildings, and leaving seven eighths of Londoners homeless. In addition to devastating the city, the disaster ignited religious and ethnic hatreds, stirring mobs to violence and politicians to a blame game, and threatening the newly restored monarchy. London had been a medieval town, outgrowing its own streets and buildings, but after the fire it was rebuilt, with much the same street plan, but wider streets, better sewage disposal, and fire lanes to the Thames.
In 2014, PBS released a four-part miniseries dramatizing the Great Fire, which is compelling as history, drama, and costume-feast-for-the-eyes. And I... I love those things!
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