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Gatsby Lawn Party Day 2

Gatsby Lawn Party Day 2

The lovely grounds of Spadina House Museum

Day 2 was another beautiful day of hot sunny weather and cool breezes. I wore what turned out to be my favorite  dress of the summer so far. It was another Pinterest image turned into a pattern from a 1 Hour Dress Book published in the 1920s. I didn’t take any construction pictures as time was getting short. I used a yarn dyed cotton in a rust plaid and a solid rust coloured cotton for the ties.

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I almost made a critical error when translating the measurements from imperial to metric. (On a side note, the US has been officially metric for more than 2 decades. Start using it please)

This is a very comfortable dress and Sara wants to make one for herself before the summer ends.

 

Her dress started out as one pattern and was modified a great deal. We also made it out of a knit since we didn’t have time to be picky about the fabric.

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It turned out great and just in time. I think she wants to  make it again in a silk and make a few more adjustments.

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1928 Reproduction Turban , Le Petit Chapeau

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Maybe next year we will have the right shoes to fit our needs of standing all day and new specs that are more in keeping with the 20’s.

Cheers

Meaghan & Sara

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A Gatsby Weekend Day 1

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Spadina House Museum

Recently Sara and I were sponsors of Spadina House Museum Gatsby Lawn Party. We donated several prizes for the costume party and set up a mini shop loaded with flapper era hats for Ladies and Gents.

It was a beautiful and rather hot weekend but the grounds are so lovely and the lawn party goers were dedicated to their costumes that it made the heat bearable.

We decided we need to have 1920s dresses and hats (of course) which wasn’t required but encouraged and I’m glad we did. All the volunteers and the musicians were costumed in wool! (Brave souls) This ment we needed to hunt Pinterest for ideas or patterns of which we found and needed to draw from the photos as well as alter to fit our measurements. Originally I wanted to use a pattern I had for about 20 years. It was an early 20s design that was designed with a 1990s fit. That will work, I thought. No. What a mess. The fitting that I did before inserting the zipper showed that there was no saving it and the fit and the printed measurements were essentially a lie. Oh well.

I also had a 1980s dropped waist dress pattern that I cut out of a lovely pumpkin coloured cotton gauze. I cut it to a smaller fit than the 80s look which was a 10 inch ease! I also moved the gathers of the waist to the side front and side back to be more in keeping with the 1920s. I then added a fabric rose and ribbons both up and down the side of the dress at the hip. this was copied from a photo of a 1920s day dress I found.

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I was also wearing a reproduction cotton slip underneath which had panniers on the hips made of gathers to puff the hip out farther. It is in keeping with he style but not seen as often. It was an unusual silhouette which I’m still not accustomed to. The hat is a new design made for the show which we are going to start making for customers soon.

Sara’s dress was much more work and made from a polyester chiffon in a green and white print with a touch of black. I wasn’t sure about it but she knew it would be wonderful.

Her drawing of the photo was very neat and made from a hebrew language page from a 1920s ladies magazine. The pattern was large pieces so the floor was the only place to lay it out. She cut it into a front and back to fit the fabric and then very carefully cut out the fabric. Chiffon is very shifty so it was hard to keep it on grain. The hems were all rolled and hand sewed which took her many hours. The end result was beautiful. I think I want to make one!

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The hat was another one of the new Garden Party Hats and we found shoes were a problem. It was hot and we were on grass so slender heels were impractical so we wore what was best for working instead of the shoes which looked most appropriate.

The first day was great and we really enjoyed the gardens and music.

Day 2 clothing coming soon.

Cheers

Meaghan and Sara

 

Quest Gallery is Now a Stockist!

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Quest Gallery Shop in Midland Ontario is now  Le Petit Chapeau stockist. The Quest gallery is a lovely space on the main street of Midland.

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A modern and well thought building, this gallery has changing contemporary art and an education programme and of course a shop. It shares space with the Midland Cultural Centre which has a lecture series, a performance series and both share a lovely cafe. The shop features Ontario fine crafts people in a range of mediums as well as a small but well thought out section of art supplies.

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The gallery shop has kindly agreed to accept my work and as long as it sells, I get to stay! The selection will be small due to space but I am offering my most popular mens cap, The Poor Boy Hat in a lovely fine black wool with a white fine chalk stripe. When these sell I will add others in a different material so get to them quickly.

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I have also taken 2 weekenders.

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For the ladies I am offering The Bycyclette in a grey check

 

and The Jockey Hat in a heavy and warm pink and green fabric.

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There is also one Collette.

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I have also taken several fascinators but space allows me 3 so I choose wisely. Grey, purple and ivory crins.

All of the hats offered are under $100 and lots under $80. I only live 50 kms away so I will be able to restock fairly quickly if Midlandiands shop!

My commision from the sales goes directly to their art education programming so support us all and shop local and handmade.

Quest Sign

 

If you are from the area and would like to see a hat pop-up shop at the gallery space please let me know!

Quest School + Gallery

333 King Street

Midland, ON

L4R 3M7

705 527 2787

http://www.questart.ca

 

Cheers!

Meaghan

 

Vintage Purse Restoration

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Recently I had the great privilege to repair this lovely 1920’s glass handled purse. The owner of this lovely object knew it was from China, most likely Shanghai from the 1920’s. I was honored that she entrusted me to bring it back to a useable state. I am not and don’t claim to be a textile restoration expert but I do know a little and some further research gave me the knowledge I needed to restore this purse.

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These photos show the metal trim holding the glass handles has come loose and had been tied together.

silk purse restoration 8The lining was silk and as you can see, it is in tatters.

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The tassel had these small decorated corks with the silk threads of which it had become undone. The second side which is much like the first side shown, has lovely golden metallic threads and satin stitch low profile stump work. I was afraid the metal threads were fragile and prone to breaking so I was very careful of bending the purse more than I needed to.

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I carefully took apart the lining which moistly disintegrated in my hand, and kept the metal trim attached to the handles. Next I needed to repair the loose threads in the design with as close of a match as I could using silk thread. I didn’t want to use a better match using polyester thread as maintaining the original essence of the purse was important.

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There was three lines of couching with whipping in orange as a frame around the design which had at some point come undone and I wanted to restore this. The left hand picture is the inside of the purse and the vibrancy of the colours was astonishing. It was faded on the outside. this must have been spectacular when it was first made.

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I needed to repair broken seams in the bottom of the purse as well. Shown here, it was all originally hand stitched.

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 I set Sara on the task of detangling the tassel. She has a knack for detangling things. When she managed this we reattached it to the cork and then reattached the cork to the bag. We needed to use a new metal ball bead which we got from a friend since the original was lost. The only problem was the complex frog. There was one still on the other tassel and it was beyond my ability to create so we made a lovely alternative which complimented the master frog makers skill.

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After many enjoyable hours of sleuthing and hand sewing the bag, with it’s new deep blue silk lining and fully restored metal trim attachments to the handles was restored to it’s happy and grateful owner. This purse was a treasure to work with and a joy to study. I am happy to be part of it’s journey and I hope the owners love of this will be carried through to future generations. I only hope that repairs done in the future will not be hindered by my contribution!

Meaghan

An Accidental Walk to History

An Accidental Walk to History

IMG_20150517_193135Earlier this week Sara and I decided to spend the Sunday of the holiday weekend antique hunting in a new area. About an hours drive from the homestead is an area called Midland/Penetanguishene. Lots of great hunting is in the area as well as lovely towns and scenery. We had a picnic, which since we didn’t get out-of-town with any speed, ended up happening in the car. After some hunting in Midland we took a wrong turn and ended up going the wrong way. I pulled into a road which led me to a park to check the map. Right on the Wye River and since it was a lovely hot day we decided to go for a walk.

IMG_20150517_193813Under the highway bridge on a bike/walking path opened up to this old train bridge which is now a trail which was not part of our walk but Sara and I decided this was a good place to bring our bikes for a bike picnic. It led us to the living history museum called Saint Maire among the Hurons. It is a fabulous museum which I have visited before and I highly recommend.

For more information on this museum click http://www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca

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The view from the path at the museum of the Wye River.

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The path along the outer palisade and the river.

The path will take you to the grave site of the sainted Jesuit priests which is located on the grounds of the museum.

You enter a small gate and into a building. There are no electrical lights so the light was not enough for my tablet camera. The grave site is free and open during regular museum hours. Often there is an interpreter to give you the history of the grave. In the first photo you can see a cathedral behind Sara which is the other direction of the path which will take you to the final resting place of these saints.

I am not a catholic and even though I visited all of this as a primary school trip I didn’t know you could take this pleasant walk to the graves and to the church. I love museums and I enjoyed this surprised and the drifting wood smoke and glimpses of the museum through the palisade logs. Sara wants to visit the museum soon so I will take lots of photos and report here for all of you.

Please fell free to tell me of a surprise walk you went on in the comments below.

Tea Time in My Town Part two

Last we I took you on a brief tour of Campbells British Food and Tea Room and this week I will be giving you a peek into English & Miller Gift Shop, Gallery & Tea Room.

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English & Miller is at the end of the street my studio is on in downtown Barrie and we have been there many times for lunch and tea. I have also purchased many birthday gifts there too. This won’t make me bias though. Campbells is a different place with a different purpose and because of that I will keep my observations to the tea and snacks to keep it as fair as possible. That said, here we go.

This tea room is a more modern and casual approach on the concept of tea room and git shop. Located in a former bank office building on Dunlop Street, the slightly unusual location was chosen for its view of Heritage Park and Kempenfelt Bay. Large windows surround the tea room area with a spectacular view. A long bench serves seating for several smaller tables, a few stand alone tables with interesting comfortable chairs and a long table which seats 8 people. There is a fireplace with a union jack flag sofa and two deep modern easy chairs to lounge and chat. There is also a separate room for parties or meetings which seats about 14 to 16 people.

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The gift shop is stocked with lovely things from Britain in a large price range for everyone in your family. A nice selection of cards and kitchen items are available too.

The staff if friendly and quick to say hello and let us choose our seats. An extensive tea menu and British lunches is available all day. Soups, sandwiches and baked potatoes are all avialble for take out as well.

The scones are baked in shop as well as most of their other treats and all of the lunch items.Sara and I chose Lady Grey Tea for two. She had a  rhubarb pie and I had cream tea scone. This is a scone, butter, jam and Devonshire cream.

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Tea often comes in vintage pots and always in vintage tea cups and treats are also often served on vintage plates. Lady Grey is one of my favorite teas and these scones are dry and crumbly in the right way. Different than Campbells scones in the way I always knew there to be two kinds of scones. Both treats were very good.

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This is a nice place to have lunch or tea with friends and is often busy but quiet afternoons here do happen. I really like this place for different reasons than Campbells and I see them as two complimentary places to have a cuppa in town. English & Miller also has an afternoon tea or high tea available.

I think if you are in my town you should visit both places as well as us!

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Tell us about your favorite tea place or what you thought of these places in the comments below.

English & Miller Gift Shop, Gallery & Tea Room

89 Dunlop St E. #201

Barrie, Ontario L4M 1A4

705 503 4030

http://www.englishandmiller.com

Tea Time in My Town.

As some of you know I live in central Ontario Canada in a small city called Barrie. It’s about an hours drive north of Toronto. (On a side note it is a very Canadian thing to tell a person how far you live or have to drive based on time and not kilometers. I think it’s  because we are just such a big country!)
My business partner and bestie and I are great imbibers of tea and it’s accompanying treats.  There are two places in town that are a more traditional English style tea rooms and we went to both and tried them  out.

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The first place was Campbells British Food. This is a restaurant and grocery store combination. The grocery component is of course, British food items most of which are non perishable.  There is a freezer with what I  understand to be locally made British specialties such as pasties and haggis.  I didn’t spend lots of time shopping since we were concentrating on tea and snacks.

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The tea room area is nicely appointed with comfy chairs, a fireplace  and big windows. The view is of the parking lot of the plaza and the road but it is situated on a small hill and the long view is across the street into some woods.
It was quiet when we arrived for afternoon tea and the staff was smiling and prompt to seat us. An extensive menu of loose teas and a large selection of sandwiches and other lunch items tempted but the scones and turnovers were catching our eyes.

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I ordered a pot of tea. (I made a digital note of my tea selection and it was not saved. It was a version of Earl Grey) I also ordered a shop made scone with butter and jam.  Sara ordered an apple turnover, also shop made and a pot of tea called Blarney Blend.

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The tea came in individual pots which poured well and vintage tea cups. Both of our teas were lovely and Sara very much enjoyed her turnover. The scone was a teabisk type and was warmed and very delicious.  The jam was raspberry and I’m assuming a British product. (I forgot to ask)

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I really enjoyed our tea and scone. It was a quiet place on the other side of town for a lovely cuppa. We want to go for a Scottish brekkie one day! They also have an afternoon tea or a high tea which looked quite tempting.

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We enjoyed our tea and snack and will surely return.
Join me next week when I  tell you all about  English & Miller Tea Room and Gifts.

Campbells British Food
274 Burton Ave #18 Barrie, ON L4N 2P9
705 722 6446  http://www.campbellsbritishfood.com

Tell me about your favorite tea room in the comments below.

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