Elizabeth Stewart Clark & Company

Settling In All Cozy

If I could share a sound clip of the wind wuthering through my front porch, you’d be transported to whatever lonely moor or peak you care to name… it’s a blustery start to November for us here in the Rockies! We’ve had two minor snow storms so far (both melted fairly quickly), but the season is definitely turning, and I’m reading to snuggle into it and get to work!

Here in our cottage, the start of November signals a busy window of time. We perform Christmas shows (bagpipes, drums, dancing, vocals, guitar, mandolin, upright bass, and the like) around the area all through November and well into December, and we’re preparing for our annual Burns’ Night at the end of January.

There are Christmas gifts to prepare (more on that in a moment), and this year, the arrival of our first grandchild (courtesy of our “young curmudgeon” eldest daughter and her husband) sometime near the beginning of December. Hatchlings have very little consideration for Gran’s sewing schedule. (Yes, I’m grown-up enough to be a Gran. No, I didn’t have babies in my teens. Yes, my Eldest is old enough to hatch a baby. No, I don’t yet own proper Gran Wrinkles, or any lovely silver hairs. I’m assured I still get to “level up” to Gran.)

And of course, I’m prepping workshops and classes for 2018! Hit the Workshops page to see where you’ll find me in the first quarter of the year, and get your registrations in (we’re quite limited on seats, and I don’t want you to miss yours!). (Download the PDF2018 Sewing Academy Planner and email me to select dates for a weekend in your own area!)

I promised just above to give you more on the topic of Christmas Gifts… and I could go on about this for quite some time, so perhaps we’ll break this up into a few posts?

I wanted to link everyone over to the author of Fanciful Utility, Anna Worden Bauersmith–even if you don’t have history people to make gifts for, you can use your historic skills to make some pretty keen things. For instance:

If gift cards are the thing in your circle, what about a spiffing gift card receptacle that can see second life as a spot to tuck ID or other necessities for a night out? Pocket-sized, charming, multi-use! Check out the free templates that work with your copy of Fanciful Utility to make a sweet little card case!

You’ll also find some additional free templates to use with Fanciful Utility in the Compendium; use these good historic techniques with modern fabrics for personal niceties to delight your favorite quilter or needleworker.

While it might seem a bit utilitarian to give a loved one new drawers, chemises, petticoats, or aprons for Christmas, you might find yourself on the Permanent Nice List for just such giving! (And don’t forget to make yourself a fresh set or two for the New Year.)

If you need a portable, no-sewing-required gift, what about fringing a large square of soft wool to make a cozy shawl? (You’ll find helps for all of these in the Compendium, or in our Dressmaker’s Guide and children’s patterns.

Definitely time to settle in and start to work…

Perhaps the most classic Christmas gift is a new doll, made by loving hands and dressed in the small scraps left over from the new Doll-Mother’s own wardrobe. We’ve just released the sweet new downloadable pattern for a little cloth girl, and from the responses so far, there are going to be some very happy doll-makers and Doll-Mothers this holiday season!

To round out this week of gusts and breezes, I’m working on a kilt, a wedding veil for a dear young friend, and converting the original Great Auntie Maude’s Favorite Cloth Doll pattern for PDF download, as well… it’s a proven fact I am never, ever bored!

What’s on your list to start this season?




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About The Sewing Academy
With a focus on the 1840-1865 era, The Sewing Academy is your home on the (internet) range for resources to help you meet your living history goals!

Elizabeth Stewart Clark has been absorbed by the mid-19th century for over 20 years. She makes her home in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, four children (from wee to not-so-wee), far too many musical instruments, and five amusing hens.

Email Elizabeth Or call 208-523-3673 (10am to 8pm Mountain time zone, Monday through Saturday)
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