I’m back!

Once again my planned short break from blogging turned into a long hiatus. I feel like I missed so much of import for fans of this era of every stripe – the bicentennial  of Waterloo! Aidan Turner’s abs! Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell! I’ve been distracted by non-historical things, like sewing to update my (modern) wardrobe and breaking in a new (to me) computer. The latter has involved reorganizing my research bookmarks and learning a new (to me) graphics-editing program- activities which tend to make me spew very un-ladylike profanity and then ragequit.  I did manage to squeeze in another letter-writing project that I’ll share with you soon.  I have been working on some more posts on the little things that add up to major accomplishments in Jane Austen’s era.  My topic this week will be a very little one that I’ve mentioned in passing: sealing wafers!

Please bear with me while I do some blog-housekeeping this week as well, like answering long-neglected comments and messages, reading through some of the blog-posts I’ve missed from other bloggers, and updating my theme. Thanks to all of you for bearing with my long absence.  I do love to hear from you!

I especially want to thank Nessa of the lovely “Sewing Empire” blog for nominating me for my first ever blog award! More after the cut!

Since I’m coming to it so late and I’m so out of the loop, I’m going to break some rules: I won’t nominate any other blogs, but I will answer Nessa’s thoughtful questions!

  1. How long have you been blogging?  By the calendar I’ve been blogging for a little over a year, since June 2014. But since I’ve taken so many breaks, long and short, it doesn’t feel that long!
  2. What is / are your favorite topics to blog about? Whatever I’m researching and writing at the time! Basically every post is born from a feverish need to find out more about some little detail of Regency customs and practices.  I find it hard to write without being a little bit obsessed about the topic.
  3. Do you have a favorite book and or author? And what do you love the most about them? Jane Austen, of course! Describing what I love most about her books would take pages- which is another reason my blog focuses on the period of her life. In a few words, I love how her novels are so intricately constructed that every detail is meaningful. I love that her characters have faults and foibles that are very naturalistic.  Many novels of the same period struggle to describe how awesomely perfect their heroines are, and they end up just boring!
  4. Which is / are your favorite historical (sewing) periods? I haven’t done historical sewing of any period for a very long time. But I do hope to work on a Regency outfit in the near future.
  5. Do you have a piece of clothing in your wardrobe that you really love?  No historical pieces (yet!), but I do really love a drapey wrap I made this summer out of blue cotton eyelet. Perfect for hot weather!
  6. Which sewing / crafting technique would you love to learn? I have a long list!  One accomplishment I’m looking forward to learning is netting, a craft popular in the Regency for making purses.
  7. If a time traveler offered to take you anywhere in time and space, where would you go?  Right now, I’d have to say Bath c. 1801 (when Jane Austen lived there!) or possibly Geneva during the cold wet summer of 1816 so I could spy on Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron while they have the conversations that would lead to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I have a fascination with that circle, even though I get the sense they weren’t very pleasant people!
  8. Describe your ideal dress fabric.  I like rich colors, natural fibers, and woven patterns.  I fantasize a lot about what I want my first Regency gown to look like, and my ideal right now is a deep blue ikat like this one from the Met:

    c. 1820 British Silk/Cotton dinner dress, Met Accession Number 2009.300.3370
  9. Which is your most important sewing or crafting tool?  At the moment my most important tool is my quill knife. I use it every time I practice English Roundhand to keep my quill nibs in good condition.  All of the elegant turns and fine hair strokes depend upon well-cut pens!
  10. Are you more of a lace or a ruffle person? Ruffles!  I don’t wear much of either, to be quite honest, but I think lace can look too busy. I like how ruffles add some texture while still letting the fabric speak for itself.

Thanks again, Nessa!


5 thoughts on “I’m back!

  1. You are very welcome. Thank you so much for your answers! I am much looking forward to seeing you delve into making a Regency outfit. And the fabric in the picture is absolutely delicious. I would wear it right away. 🙂
    By the by: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell had quite an impact on me as well. Now I sort of ache to compare Mr. Poldark’s abs to those of the, equally handsome, Mr. Childermass. But too much information… 😉


    1. I was really surprised by how . . . interesting . . . I found Childermass in the JS&MN TV series! I just didn’t imagine him that way when I was reading the book, but now I will for ever after! I think it has a lot to do with Enzo Cilenti’s voice. BTW, this blog stays pretty historical, but my tumblr at ladysmatter.tumblr.com is another story- I share lots of posts about adaptations and historical fiction there!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Lady Smatter,
    such a delight to see you back at your writing table (and hopefully at the sewing table). Thanks again for your amazing support to our letter project in June, your mail was very much appreciated and we’ve all been in awe of the impeccable work.
    Looking forward to new articles about period letter-writing…and especially the wafers, which I had the pleasure to see on your letters. I tried to find out more about them in German, but so far haven’t much of research material about it.


    1. Dear Sabine, Thank you! Working on the letter project was my pleasure. I just love all the posts you made about the day at Madame Bettingers’- reading them is almost as good as being there. Thanks for sharing the letter project and the event!
      I found a German translation for “wafer” in a German-English phrasebook for 1813: die Oblaten. Not very helpful, I’m afraid! “Wafer” meant a number of different things in English at the time, and means even more different things now. It seems that sealing wafers were just so common and ordinary that no one felt they needed a distinctive name. I hope you enjoy the posts I have coming up!


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