Glenna’s ShawlShawl Back

Knitted shawl. My first completed knitting project.  Glenna Hoff (modelling the shawl above) taught me how to knit.  The pattern is a period pattern from a reprinted book of Civil War era handwork patterns.  Pretty much just a plain knit stitch, with an increase for the first half and a decrease for the second.  I also made some homemade tassels with fancy heads based on, I think, a pattern from an old Victoria magazine article.  During the three (yes, I’m that slow) years it took me to complete the project, I learned that there was a Hopi (or maybe Zuni) tradition that the first project you complete using a traditional skill should be given back to the person who shared the skill with you.  I thought this was a lovely idea and gave Glenna the shawl when it was completed.  Glenna kindly ignored my uneven stitches and wears the shawl at living history events at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona.  She even told the story and modelled the shawl for Parade magazine’s article about surprise gifts.  My work is now in print!

1860-girls-dress.jpg1860s Girl’s Dress

Girl’s 1860s Dress. My first wholly self-drafted outfit, designed by studying another reproduction garment. Very basic design of mostly rectangular pieces, which is appropriate for the era and the fact that a fast-growing child would be wearing it so simplicity and speed would be key. The second girl’s dress (dark blue) was made by MaryKaye, the woman in on the right, and one of my wonderful mentors when I first started making period garments.

Movie extras, interior Movie extras, group

My day as an extra for a Disney movie. The film can be seen in Californialand while you wait in line for the rides. My segment is the part telling the story of the trans-continental railroad. Why Durango’s narrow-guage train was the best choice to demonstrate the trans-continental, I don’t know. But the whole film thing was great fun. I was in the same train car as the assistant director (who lay on the floor whenever the film was rolling), so I got to hear his cell phone conversations with the director who was in the helicopter. There were some great views of the front of the train heading around a mountain curve with the helicopter hovering in front. Some of the clothing was mine. The mantle and hat were from a California costume house–and were real period pieces–which made my curator’s heart shudder, but were divine to study. It took me an hour to comb out my hair after the hair and make-up ladies teased it into a sort of high puffed roll–and then promptly hid it all under the hat. I’ve never seen the finished film, but since we were meant to be only faces in the train window, filmed from afar, I doubt I’m even recognizable, if there at all. Sorry, I don’t remember the cute guy’s name, we were just paired because of our similar ages.
1910 Embroidered Blouse

1914 Shirtwaist

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