Monday, December 8, 2008

Various things pertaining to historical living

This is Katie's "transition dress" which she wore to Christmas in ---, it is called a transition dress because she's beginning to cross the divide from girlhood to womanhood. In the 1860's that transition was delayed until the mid to late teens, very unlike today where the littlest of girls are routinely dressed like street walkers. It has features of both children's and adult's dresses and still is not the floor length of an adult gown. For the event she wore her hair in a single braid down the back tied with a silk ribbon, the pinner apron is a wonderfully useful garment for keeping one's dress from becoming mussed up and is handy for carrying and wiping any number of things!

Courtesy of Gramma, the 6 youngest children had presents to open at ---. Tabitha and Rebekah received the penny wooden dolls on the left and Katie made the rolled cloth dolls on the right for Elisabethe and Abigail. We brought along blocks and cloth scraps and the girls made their dolls a house with beds and put a pine branch in an empty wooden spool for a Christmas tree in miniature. Levi and Micah enjoyed entertaining us with the flapjack on the bottom left and quickly learned how to use the top on the bottom right and competed with who could spin it the longest which eventually became "see who can knock the top over as it spins so your brother doesn't win". Pretty much everybody tried their hand (er, mouth) at the Jew's harp in the center. We also got a book about making paper dolls since the girls are forever-and-a-day wanting me to cut dolls for them. All these toys were purchased from the Ragged Soldier, a wonderful on-line store run by the Mescher's, selling all kinds of nifty old-fashioned toys for reenacting children!

We went today to try on the coat that I ordered for Aleks. A pair of Amish sisters sew coats for a living so I'm having wool coats made for the three boys. Aleks' coat fit great and the woman did an excellent job, which is a relief to me. I have several people who have helped me with sewing at various times and some are certainly more skilled than others. The shirt to the right is one of nine shirts that my friend Anna made for the boys. It is a "squares and rectangles" shirt, excellently sewn complete with beautiful handmade buttonholes. Truly, a well made shirt is a thing of beauty!

The picture below is called "Watchers in the Night", I used to have a very small version of it hanging up when we lived in North Carolina, but it apparently got mislaid in the many moves since then. I absolutely love the angel depicted in it, so manly and protective! Did you know that every Biblical angel whose gender is known is male? I think it's just another example of every good thing being corrupted into something different than the Lord intended, I can't think of too many pictures I've ever seen with manly angels. Either they are completely effeminate (which is an abomination) or they're female (which I suppose would also be an abomination since God didn't create them thus). Every child has an angel who always beholds the face of the Father, I take comfort in that. But, supper is almost ready, we're having ham steaks, mashed potatoes with cream and cream cheese, and peas! Good night.


  1. Katie is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I love her dress.

  2. Mrs. G,

    What a wonderful post. :) I LOVE the old fashion toys. I agree with you on how young children are dressed inappropriately today. I think the old days where they had girl’s dresses and women’s dresses were much more appropriate. The same went with the hair styles. It was an honor to become a woman.

  3. I love the bias sleeves on the dress! I have that same print of the angel watching over the boy on my refrigerator!

  4. What a beautiful dress! The toys and coat are so nice as well. I have long admired many of the toys on the Ragged Soldier site. I love the dolls!!