Friday, May 25, 2007

It's An Original

Conversation this afternoon at a school program on westward expansion.

Volunteer #1: So, you're an eighteenth-century belle? That's B-E-L-L-E, not B-E-L-L.
Me: Actually, it's a nineteenth-century dress.


Volunteer #1: I called this lady an eighteenth-century belle, and she corrected me. She's a nineteenth-century belle.
Volunteer #2: Oh. That's a pretty dress.
Me: Thank you. I copied an original.
Volunteer #2: That's okay. It's still a pretty dress.
Me: No, that's what we do. We copy originals.
Volunteer #2: Well, at least it's original to you.
Me: No, we try to copy actual dresses instead of movie stuff like Gone with the Wind.
Volunteer #2: So did you go to a pattern book?

Me aloud: No, I looked at a photgraph of an actual dress.


Annie said...

"Teaching" would be a generous description...

I, for one, love the dress. And that you can look at a photo and make it from scratch. Way cool.

Cindy said...

I agree with Annie, but I have a dumb question. Didn't they copy dresses that they had seen either in person or in pictures before patterns were widely used? My Grandma did that when she was a young woman to save money.

7-letter Deborah, never a Deb said...

"There are no dumb questions, blah, blah, blah," seyz the teacher.

Anway, the short answer to your question is yes. Fashion magazines had color plates of the latest styles. The magazines also contained mini-patterns which a seamstress could scale up and alter to fit.

Lynda said...

And people wonder why I home school. I remember living in National Parks when I was growing up and my dad worked for the park's amazing some of the really dumb, and there are some dumb, questions that people could ask.

My favorite for being in 19th century clothes is the same that everyone get: Are you hot in those clothes?

You do a good job on your blog. I enjoy reading it.

7-letter Deborah, never a Deb said...

Thanks Lynda! I don't even bother to mention when I get asked about being hot. I did. And I gave my usual answer: "It's pretty hot to wear shorts and a t-shirt too. I'd rather be wearing a hoop skirt than blue jeans."