Update – YES! An Update!

I did stop working on this over the summer, and, well, up to a couple weeks ago.  I hadn’t intended to be away so long, but after the Exhibition, other priorities took over.  Little things like moving halway across the continent in a Uhaul, trying to get my butt in gear to write my MA thesis (first, crappy draft is now done, yay!), make a wedding dress (not mine….yet), and the last month or so has been dominated by writing funding applications for my PhD (while still working on my MA, go figure).

However, I’ve been snatching little bits of time lately and have finished the stays page, and there was much rejoicing!

I’m going to try to continue with these little snatches of time to steadily get the rest of the pages finishes, and add in the other bits and bobs I want to.

One thing though, I’ve noticed that the stays page is uploading funny.  It looks fine when I write it, but when I go to view the page on the site, about halfway through the photos and text start to get skewy.  Are other people noticing that as well?  Please let me know if you do, and I’ll try to find a solution somewhere in the maze of wordpress help topics.

At least all the info and stuff is there, and hopefully still readable and enjoyable.


  1. Ingrid Mida Said:

    I was hoping you’d come back!! I had no problem viewing the stay page.

  2. Nan Said:

    I only recently found out about this blog, but I’m very interested in reading it (expect a lot of comments on old posts xD). Do not feel pressured but I am definately looking forward to new posts. (^^)
    Also, I tried viewing the stays page (with Firefox), but it seemed alright. The only problem for me was situated at the bottom of the page where one picture seems to cross the line seperating the post from the comments…

  3. Carolyn Said:

    I was taking a class on mid 19th century clothing and sewed a man’s shirt by hand. It took me about 2 weeks but I loved the look.
    Your dedication is amazing.

    • brocadegoddess Said:

      Thanks Carolyn!

      Hey guess what? I’m a Carolyn too! Turns out there are a lot more of us than I even knew there could be! I also fell in love with the look of handsewn clothing while doing this project – even when I was cursing it for what I’d gotten myself into!

  4. Zip Zip Said:

    Dear Brocade Goddess,
    So glad that you are back!
    If you have time, and given thesis plus PhD plans, you may not, might you be willing to answer a few questions about the handsewing process?

    You’ve done countless thousands of stitches. Did you find your body going into muscle memory as you stitched, so that the process became automatic? Did you find that the thread you used twisted or knotted much as you sewed, and how did you deal with this? Waxing the thread, or relieving excess thread twist frequently by stretching out the thread every needleful or few needlefuls?

    I know these seem rather obscure questions, but I hand-sew garments too, and have read period sewing manuals’ treatment of the issue, and now it has come up on a thread (pardon the pun) on the Sense and Sensibility board.

    Any thoughts or comments most welcome,
    Natalie in Kentucky

    • brocadegoddess Said:

      Hi Natalie,

      1. I did at times find myself getting into a rhythm/groove with my handsewing. However, there was not as much muscle memory as I might have expected. I remember there being a lot of that when I took piano lessons in highschool. I wonder if it might be because you are constantly pulling the thread through, so that your arm is involved along with the fingers and the movements are larger – if that makes any sense at all.

      2. The threads did twist up often. The difficulty of dealing with it depended on the type of thread. The silk thread moved through the fabric as smoothly as….well…silk! It was pretty delicious to work with. The linen thread was more difficult, it would bunch up and knot something fierce at times. I tried to limit this by not using very long lengths of thread at a time – of both silk and linen. I probably should have waxed my threads, but I didn’t. I’m still not entirely certain that was practiced a lot, the threads on surviving garments didn’t seem like they had anything on them, but I could be wrong. Instead, when the thread was getting fractious I just let it dangle and untwist itself. Sometimes it behaved better than other, lol.


      • Zip Zip Said:

        Dear Carolyn,

        Thank you so very much for your reply!

        That is most interesting about the muscle memory, or lack of it. Far different than what I expected.

        I shall share it with the folks on Sense and Sensibility and send them the link to your blog again.

        Thank you so kindly again,

        Natalie in Kentucky

  5. ZipZapKap Said:


    I’ve been trying in vain to find an email address for you after reading your comment over at Gertie’s. DEFINITELY write that article – I would absolutely love to read it.

    If you’re interested in swapping sources or just having our own private little pattern nerd geekout, get in touch: katherine@zipzapkap.com

    : )

  6. Farina Said:

    Dear Carolyn,

    I found your website more or less by accident. May I just say that you are an inspiration! I am an anthropologist by profession. My work and research focuses on craftsmanship and skill and I found that there is no better of learning about a particular type of craft than trying it out yourself. Leaving the technical intricacies asside, for me, your most remarkable achievement are the insights you gained and promptly conveyed about your experience (the experiential side of your research) – the way your emotions, the way your body reacted, the tiredness you felt etc. That is first hand experimental anthropology of the kind that should be encouraged in education.
    I hope that you were able to receive funding for your PhD and that you are planning to publish your research.
    Thank you and all the best for the future!

    • brocadegoddess Said:

      Hello Farina,

      Thank you so much for your comment. The aspects you mention are what were most valuable to me throughout the process, and were really the whole point of the excercise. I had hoped others might pick up on this too, I’m so glad at least someone did! I am an avid advocate of experimental archaeology/anthropology! I have started my PhD, with full funding (thank goodness!). I do have a few publishing ideas, but the more hard-core academic stuff will come first. I hope to have an article out somewhere before the end of the year.

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