Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Azure Polkadot OP

My sister made this for me originally as one of the "day dresses" or OPs to be worn at home, to work in and nevermind the dirt or the wrinkling- but ended up so cute I'm scared to use it like that, haha!:-)
It was inspired by the Arcadia Dolls' Twilight Garden series and it's incredibly comfy to wear - but I think I might need to sew an apron to wear over it like Victorian girls did so it wouldn't get injured...:-/ God, I love, love, love it to pieces!

Few pics of the sewing process:

I know, I know, I'll really try better next timeXD

What's brewing: a post about a new bonnet I'm working on (hopefully, if I figure out the base layer) and another of the 'day dresses', this time a jsk! Or more appropriately, about turning a skirt into a jsk. And maybe something about the progress on the dollhouse - so stay tuned, folks!:-)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

LBC: What Changes Will You Make To Your Lolita Wardrobe in 2016?

I think my list is going to be more of a to-sew list rather than a to-buy one:-)

First of all, I'm kind of thinking about making myself a new coat, because the BTSSB one I have just doesn't have much room to accomodate a good petticoat. I'm eyeing a sax blue wool/polyester blend, but I'm a bit torn whether I shouldn't rather try to find some wool blend in pink. The coat would be ideally something similar to this Mary Magdalene one:

 Then, getting more of what I think the Victorians would term the "day dresses" is definitely in the plans - i.e. a bit simplier OPs of easily washable cottons for daily wear around the house, to do the chores in and so on. Something in the vein of this:

Cute, practical, comfy = win!

Some simple white dress a la Picnic at the Hanging Rock would be great, too. Like this, maybe:

I'm also kind of in need of an eyelet lace-trimmed white underskirt to peek underneath my skirts... I have the lace, but the fabric, not yet.

Finally, I'll try to restore the antique parasol I've got as a present; at the moment, it is a bit rusty and stripped of all fabric and it will be a lot of work to make it pretty again - but if I find the money to buy the white silk and the lace I want to use on it, I'll try my best.

Blogs participating:

Pastel Jelly Beans
Gray Velvet
It's Witchcraft!
Vanilla Bear
The Bloody Tea Party
Alice in Lolitaland

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Black Velvet Bonnet Finished! And Sold.

Back in October I mentioned a black bonnet is in the plans - and here it is, finished at last:-) I'm trying to sell it actually, because I'm in need of cash *cough cough, dentist, Christmas, rainy days, cough*, but it's with a bit bleeding heart, because I've grown fond of it during the process of making it... oh well, wish me luck with the sale, I hope it will make someone happy:-) If it doesn't work out with either of the girls who've shown interest, onto the Lacemarket and Egl Comm Sales it goes. It's 16 USD + shipping, if anybody is interested.

14. 12. 2015 Edit: Sold and on its way to its new owner:-)  Thanks a lot and Merry Christmas to Finland!

No progress pics this time, but I'll work on it when I start with the next project. I have a sort of taupe/pinkish fabric that could be turned into a dress... or I could make another bonnet with the black and white striped fabric I have in my stash... or I could start with the brown and white striped Regency dress. Now there is a thought!:-) I'll see what energy allows.

It's mostly handsewn and partially lined, made of polyester velvet, decorated with a velvety rose and a bit asymmetrical leaves + with black cotton lace, with which it also ties. I'll try to take a picture of the inside and lining later *waves sleepily*
Edit: Added!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A late Victorian/early Edwardian inspired Lolita blouse or tentatively back from an unplanned hiatus

I'm sorry for the long silence - my health played tricks on me as usually and there was no energy for blogging:-(
But now, much sewing is in the works and in the plans; I've got a nice brown striped cotton that I'd like to make into a simple Regency day dress, I'm finishing up a period Lolita lingerie blouse inspired by the 1890s and early Edwardian era, fussing with a mock up of an 1890s/antique doll inspired Lolita dress and planning a nice lacy underskirt, plus a new black velvet bonnet and a white/cream winter Lolita jacket.. we shall see how it all goes:-)

For now I'd like to thank ABC Lolita once more for the Liebster Blog Award, that's so sweet of you! *hugs*, welcome all the new followers of this blog - and show you the progress on the Lolita lingerie blouse.

Pattern: drafted by my sister.
Fabric: cotton batiste, cotton insertion laces, vintage silk satin ribbons (which you can't see yet)

The laces on the cut out puffy portion of the sleeve.
Except for the placket (that you can't see), it is entirely handsewn so far and probably the rest will be also:-) That's all for now, but stay tuned for new projects that are coming soon:-)))

A little teaser:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

LBC: Design a coordinate from only handmade or local pieces

   This challenge is a fun one and I enjoyed it a great deal, especially since it gives me an opportunity to show off what my sister has sewn for me as a Christmas present:-)))It was inspired by the ballgowns of the 1860s and the movie Sissi with Romy Schneider and Karlheinz Böhm.

Ready for the ball... I can just hear the Brahms waltz:-)

Blogs participating:

The Bloody Tea Party
Oh Velvetena

Friday, January 9, 2015

Finished embroidering a pillow, a miniature carpet, making mini baby clothes... looks like Project Dump Time!

So the pillow intended as a gift for a friend I mentioned in the article LBC Week 10: DIY Gift Ideas is finally done!

A Chinese miniature carpet, which I had to start from scratch some 4 or 5 times before I got it rightXD

A while ago I actually made this miniset of baby clothes, but never got around to post it yet... so here it is, in the to-be-finished-one-day wicker cradle:

A bjd Regency dress + white fake leather shoes + a hat (which wasn't meant to be Regency - put there just because I like it together with the dress):

A set of accessories for one of my Barbies: a chatelaine inspired by one I saw in Godey's Lady's Book, a parasol, a necklace, handkerchief and a lace fan. The fan is foldable, yay!

Buns from salt dough:

An openable miniature photo album, two stacks of letters, lavender mini scented sachet, a perfume bottle:

What are you ladies and gentlemen working on recently? Share links, I'm curious:-)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Talking Money: how much would Queen Victoria pay for a parure and how much did Jane Eyres earn?

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hello all, it's been a long time, hasn't it? I hope it's going to get better now:-) Happy New Year to all my dear readers, I hope it treats you all generously!

This is the first part of a series of articles on prices and incomes in the 19th century and I hope at least some of you will find the information useful; it will be periodically updated as I find out more.

This article specifically deals with Victorian period prices as I found them in various publications, websites, 19th century advertisements, women's magazines, household guides, travelling guides and even Old Bailey court proceedings; mostly the prices and incomes apply to a period from 1850s onwards. I will try to mark the years where I remember them.
Various goods including bread, kitchen utensils or clothes were produced in various quality categories; where I know what category it is, I will try to indicate it.
I hope you enjoy:-)



Bread, 4lbs (1856): 7 1/4 d.
Butter, fresh, in London, per lb (1856): 1s. 6d.
Milk, in London, per quart (1856): 4d.

Coffee, per lb: 2s.
Brown sugar, per lb: 4d.
Eggs, bought in London during winter, per 8-10: 1s.
Eggs, bought at a farm during spring and summer, per piece: 1/2 d.
Cheddar cheese, per lb (1856), best quality: 11d.
Beef sirloin, per lb (1856): 8d.

Mutton leg, per lb (1856): 7d.
Veal leg, per lb (1856): 6d.
Sardines, large box: 1s.
Ham: 8s. 6d.
Tongue: 3s. 6d.
Hare, per lb (1874): 8d.-9d.
Rabbit, per lb (1874): 8d.
Pheasant, per brace (1856): 7s.

Baking powder: 1d. per packet; 6d. per box

Claret, per dozen bottles: 12s.-30s.
Champagne, per dozen bottles: 30s.-42s.

Rough ice, per lb: 1-2d.

Housing - rent

Renting a house in Bloomsbury, per annum: £120
A semi-detached house near New Cross-road (1881), per annum: £40-£60
A house in Granville Park (1881), per annum: £60-£65
A large and handsome house in South Hackney (1881), per annum: £75-£100
An old mansion with garden by the Clapton-road [sic] (1881), per annum: £75-£150
An unfurnished house in Kensington, Argyll Road (1881), per annum: £130-£140
A house in Holland Park (1881), per annum: £340 +
Ditto in Brunswick Gardens (1881), per annum: £100-£150
Ditto near Regent's Park (1881), per annum: £70-£90    (Source: The Suburban Homes of London, 1881)

Utility bills

Telephone subscription, per annum:  £20

Household items

Porcelain dinner service: 1-100 guineas
Dessert and tea service: 8/6 - 50 guineas
Toilet set: 3/6 - 20 guineas
12 cut wine glasses: 3/- - 3 guineas
2nd hand silver tea set: £15+

Japanese curtains, per pair: 5s.+
Palmitine ornamental candles, per 1 lb. box: 1s. 6d.
Note paper and envelopes, per box: 2s.+
Mourning note paper and envelopes: 6s.
Pens, per box: 1s.
Carpet sweeper: 12s. 6d.
Washing machine: £6 6s.
6ft kitchen range: £35
Gas cooking stove: £5 5s.

Suite of drawing room furniture: 12-20 guineas

Sewing machine: £3 3s.+
Billiard dining table: £28+
Harmonium: £6+
Pianoforte: 25-85 guineas
Cornet: 30s.+

A good quality doll: 1s. 6d.-2s.

Clothing, shoes, accessories and fabrics

6 pairs of drawers: 12s. 6d.+
6 chemises: 12s. 6d.+
3 nightgowns: 12s. 6d.+
Woolen dressing gown: 12s. 6d.
Flannel dressing gown: 1 guinea
Corset: 7s. 6d.+

Dress shirt: 2s.- 2 guineas

Quilted silk slippers: 3s. 6d.+
Male walking boots: 28s.
Umbrella: 10s. 6d.+
Spectacles: 3s. 6d. - 10s. 6d.
Lady's hat: 5s. 6d.
Lady's boots: 10s. 6d.

Lady's trousseau: from £50

Mourning dress by Jay, plain: 10s. 6d.
Mourning dress by Jay, fancy trimmings: 14s. 6d.+
Garibaldi blouse: 6s.
Harrod's silk tea gown (all the Harrods prices are from 1895): 4.5 guineas
Harrod's silk blouse trimmed with lace: 25s. 9d.
Harrod's silk skirt: 5.5 guineas
Harrod's lady's hat: 2 guineas
Harrod's little girl's sailor frock: 12s. 11d.
Harrod's little girl's lacy hat: 25s.
Worth gown (the simpliest one, 1868): about £64 (1600 francs)

Wolfskin pelisse: £7 10s.-£9 10s.
Sable fur, per skin (this and the following fur prices are taken from a 1911-ish article, I included them here just to give a general idea): £70-100
Sable coat, of esp. fine skins: £3000
Ditto, average skins: £1500
Sable coat collar: £200-£250
Large sable muff of 8 skins: £560
Ermine coat, best quality: £250-£300
Ditto long stole: £100
Ditto short tie: £8-£14
Ditto big muff: £15-£25
Chinchilla coat, best quality: £2000
Ditto three-quarter coat, best quality: £1000
Ditto muff, best quality: £500-£650

Black silk, per yard at 24 inches (61 cm) of width: 2s. 11d.-12s. 6d.
Irish poplin, per yard: 5s. 6d.-5s. 9d.

Beauty products

A bottle of Irish perfume: 2s. 6d.
Kalydor (toilet) soap: 4-6d. per tablet
Hair cream: 1s. 6d.+
Beetham's extract from glycerine and cucumber (to make skin white and soft), per bottle: 1s.-4s. 6d.
Atkinson's Essence of White Rose perfume, a small bottle, per dozen: 16s.
Ditto, a large bottle, per dozen: 28s.


Man's silver pocket watch:  £3 3s.+
Lady's silver watch: £2 2s.+
Man's gold watch: 12-20 guineas
Lady's gold watch: 10-20 guineas
Queen Victoria's emerald parure:  £20 000
Ditto, but made of diamonds: £15 000

Imitation gold jewellery:
                                    wedding ring: 1s.
                                    brooch: 3s.
                                    earrings: 3s.
                                    cross: 1s. 8d.
                                    locket: 1s. 6d.
                                    shirt studs: 1s. 3d.


Music lessons by a fashionable master: 1 guinea per lesson
Photo portrait: 2s. 6d.
Portrait by Millais: 2000 guineas +
Opera ticket during the Season: 1 guinea for the stalls, 2-12 guineas for the boxes
Book of Millais's Illustrations: 16s.
A copy of The Times: 3d.
Flowers (a bouquet?): 2s.
A bouquet of violets: 1d.

1st class funeral: £28 10s.
Turkish baths ticket: 2d. 6d.

A drachm and a half of laudanum: 2d. (2d. worth is a large quantity, even for a person who is constantly using it, according to a chemist in 1877)


Matchbox maker, per 100 boxes: 2d.
A doll dresser working at home, per dozen doll outfits of cheap quality: 1 1/2 d. - 8d.
A doll dresser working in a company, per week: 10-14s.
West End shopgirl, per annum (1895): £25 + £3-£6 commissions monthly; however, this is the higher figure and less than £15 a year is more likely
A male shop assistant (apprentice) in a grocery shop, per annum: £26
Junior clerk at solicitor's office, per annum: £52
A certified teacher in village school (1840s): £30-£40
A teacher in a London board school (1890s), woman: £85, a yearly rise of £3
Ditto, man: £95, a yerly rise of £5
Butler (in a family with £1000 a year, 1856): £30-£45
Housemaid (1856):10 to 16 guineas
Cook (1856):10 to 24 guineas
Lady's maid (1856): 18 to 25 guineas
Young lady's maid (1856): 12 to 18 guineas
Maid-of-all-work (1856): 4 to 10 guineas.
Lady clerk in the Assurance Company, per annum: starting salary of £32, increases yearly to final £100
Lady accountant, per week: 15s. in her first position, then 18-25s.

Clergymen: That rather depends. The father of the famous Brönte sisters earned £200 a year; in 1881, the Greenwich parish church gave living of £700 and in the same year, the church of St. John in Blackheath yielded £600 a year, while St. Paul's in Hamstead yielded £1026.

A word on governesses

   According to Angeline Goreau, the most a governess could hope for was £100 a year; the usual upper limit however seems to be some £30-£45 pounds. The lower is as little as £12 - for comparison, that is how much a kitchenmaid would make. The fictional Jane Eyre earned £30 per annum; as Goreau states, Charlotte Brönte in her last governess post earned £20.

   How about the expenses though? Agnes Grey, the eponymous heroine of Anne Brönte's novel estimates she might need £20 to cover them if she is very frugal; the Fraser's Magazine estimated £27 of expenses to be the bare minimum.
   The breakdown in the magazine is thus:

£16 for clothes
£6 for washing
£3 for postage and stationery
£2 for casualties

Medical and traveling expenses were not put into account in this estimate. (Source: Agnes Grey, Introduction by Angeline Goreau)


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