Background Noise and Inspiration

The background noise

Just sitting around and waiting for the grommets and the cotton organdy to arrive feels like a waste of time. Then it occurred to me that although I don’t have the proper hardware, I do have an awl and there is nothing to prevent me from making all of the eyelet holes now. The not-so-good eyelets can hold the circle open until the good stuff arrives. So, why not? (I’m sure I’ll find out, but what the heck.)

I also need to make another chemise, since the first one’s neckline is too high for at least one of the dresses I want to make. Have the fabric and the pattern so, once again, not lacking in projects.

One of the promises I made to myself was to use the money gained from selling my vintage clothing (left over from the vintage clothing shop on Etsy) for my historical sewing. The shop owner pays out four times a year, and yesterday was one of those days. So I ended up with a very nice check. More than enough for a hand press grommet setter. *happy dance*

While loitering in the consignment store, I “accidentally” found two pair of very nice gloves at an even better price. I am lucky in that I have small hands and thin fingers – finding vintage gloves that fit is not too difficult. One pair is cocoa brown, three-quarter length and decorated with perfectly sewn dark brown beads up the center back of the hand and the front of the cuff. No stains, no tears, no sign of wear.

The second pair is black lace and not exactly kosher. There are times when lace gloves are necessary to complete and correct. The problem I have with cotton lace is after my hand has moved around a bit the cotton loosens up and the gloves begin to sag as they stretch out. It drives me to distraction. This pair is made of something that keeps its shape and doesn’t sag. It’s not Lycra, because the texture is a bit rough. But they fit and will do fine – at least for now – with long sleeves, which is what I wanted anyway.

I tried to take photos, but it’s really overcast and grey today – they look awful. Will try again tomorrow.

The Inspiration

Every creative person has the potential to grow in their craft. I know I certainly do. And I know that progress is easier for me if I can visualize a goal, no matter how far down the road it may be.

Well, I found mine.

Her name is Merja. She’s a Finnish woman, a self-taught amateur (only in the purest sense of the word) seamstress, and has nailed the two most important basics – fit and silhouette. Every bit of period-correct detail is there, from hair to accessories. She provides step-by-step photos and explanations of her process. And her work is awesome…I mean that is the true sense of the word. I am in awe. And if I ever gain half the ability she has I’ll be thrilled to death.

You can find her blog at

She’s also at

These are a few of her photographs, as posted on her blogs. Read ’em and weep…


If this doesn’t inspire me, nothing will.



2 thoughts on “Background Noise and Inspiration

    • I’m so glad to hear that – thank you. I am determined to go to Costume College next year if I have to walk! I would love to meet her and thank her for the inspiration. Which means I’d better ratchet up my dressmaking skills. 🙂

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