Saturday, 28 May 2016

Acquisitions: Shooting Umbrella

This week it rained, so I was able to use my recently repaired umbrella. I bought this 1930s shooting stick umbrella at a local monthly antique show.

A shooting stick umbrella is an umbrella that has a handle that unfolds into a seat. There are also shooting sticks which don't have an umbrella. I'm very lucky to have got one with an umbrella as they're much less common.

It is called a shooting stick because they were used by gentlemen when they went shooting game on the moors. They were also used for hiking and and long walks in the country.

shooting stick umbrella

When I bought the umbrella the canopy was in shreds, so I recovered it in a similar silk. It was quite the learning experience recovering the umbrella as it's very tricky the get the tension right.

To sit on a shooting stick you unscrew the metal disc from the handle and screw it on the spike on the end. You then stick it in the ground and open the handle into a seat.

Open umbrella. 


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Acquisitions: Machines!

This week I got a couple of new machines. The first piece of machinery I got is a 1938 typewriter, from a very kind person I met at the park who thought I looked like someone that needed typewriter.

The typewriter Is a 1938 Remington Noiseless Model 10 manufactured within the british empire.

The other piece of machinery is a 1888 singer sewing machine I bought at an antiques fair. I was lucky enough to fined the manual for it online


I've been thinking I could take it to Brigade Days at Fort Langley, though it might not be appropriate for me to bring it for few reasons. First Fort Langley is 1858 and the sewing machine is 1888, which is a 30 year gap. However, the machine doesn't look entirely out of place for 1858. It is much closer than my 1917 Phaff sewing machine.

The more major thing is whether there were sewing machines in, or near the Fort. I know there were sewing machines in New Westminster and Fort Victoria by 1858. It would be a nice thing to be able to sew a shirt or something during brigade days.


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Drafting Squares

Over the past little while I've started a small collection of drafting squares and rulers. I didn't intend to collect drafting squares. I use them for pattern drafting so I might as well collect them, the more the better.

The first square I got is a tailors square from 1886 made in Rochester New York. I bought the square to use for my pattern drafting from one of the local antique shows.

The next square is another tailors square. This square would have originally been part of a set of drafting tools and books for women's tailoring from the Women Institute of Domestic Art and Sciences.

This square is dated 1919 and is made of metal instead of wood.

The rest of the drafting squares and rulers I found in a rubbish bin at school.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Machine Sewing or Machine Sewing Compared With Hand Sewing

This is a book from a friends collection I photocopied with his permission and made available for others to read.
Machine Sewing, or Machine Sewing Compared With Hand Sewing, and the Suitability of Each for High Class Trade.
Published by The John Williamson Company Limited, 
This book covers the topic of the use of sewing machines in 19th century tailoring. I found this book very interesting to read. The book has some useful information on the construction of mens coats and other garments.
Machine Sewing or Machine Sewing Compared With Hand Sewing

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Acquisitions: 1900s Frock Coat

This frock coat was given to me by a very generous friend. The coat is from 1900s or 1910s its made from black wool with a napped surface. It's a near perfect fit, I also have the matching trousers, although they're two inches too short with no cloth to be letdown. 



Wednesday, 30 March 2016


Over the last few weeks I've made myself some more ties. The first tie was inspired by a style of bow tie Sherlock Holmes wore in the Sidney Paget illustrations, and the Jeremy Brett Granada television series. Looking at period photos, it seems to have been a fairly common style to tuck the bow tie under the collar in the mid to late Victorian period.  The bow tie is made of black cotton satin, it's 35" long and 1" wide.

The next two ties are four in hand ties. From what I read in the Handbook of English Costume, the four in hand was popular from the 1860s to the 1900s. The first tie is electric blue silk taffeta. Electric blue was one of the most popular colours in the mid to late 19th century. The tie measures 45" long, 2" wide at the widest point and 7/8" at the narrowest.

The next of the two four in hand ties is the same black cotton satin I used for the bow tie above. I embroidered the red dots with a satin stitch onto the front of the tie. This tie measures 45" long, 2.5" wide at the widest point and 7/8" at the narrowest. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Neckwear: Three Detachable Collars

Here are three detachable collars I made today. The collars were a quick project taking just over an hour to make the three. I still need to sew button holes on all three collars. When it comes to button holes I generally procrastinate sewing them, so my plan is to sew at least one button hole a day. With the collars and all my other projects I have 18 button holes that need sewing. So I should be done in 18 days.