Saturday, I met up with my friend who is launching her Civil War seamstress venture, and I introduced her to Upcycle Exchange. Mainly, I wanted to give her a crash course in how to recognize period appropriate fabrics and trims, an area fraught with peril.
In the upholstery fabric bins, she found literally dozens of nice silk samples (nice, crisp, unslubby plaids) and we also found a bolt of striped silk she may make into a mantle. We found a bit of florist wire, cotton laces, velvet ribbons, buckram frames from wedding headpieces, and more.
Given the vastness of my own stash, I didn't feel any need to take it all for myself. But then I spotted what looked like a wad of string wrapped around some pasteboard.
Spotting period-appropriate trims take practice and years of both making mistakes and handling the right stuff. At a certain point, you just know. It's the same ability that lets a gal walk into Goodwill and immediately put her hands right on the one Calvin Klein in the entire place. I call it "magic eyes."
That wad of string, with a spritz or two of lavender water and a hot iron became this:
There are three pieces: 1 7/8, 2 7/8, and 7 2/3 yards.
What to make?