Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Smock-frocks and Smock-aprons

When I was a little girl, my mother always wore an apron when she cleaned. It seemed so practical! Well here are a few forgotten practical smock-frocks and smock-aprons!

A smock-frock or smock is an outer garment traditionally worn by rural workers, especially shepherds in parts of England and Wales from the early eighteenth century. Today, the word smock refers to a loose overgarment worn to protect one's clothing, for instance by a painter.

The traditional smock-frock is made of heavy linen or wool and varies from thigh-length to mid-calf length. Characteristic features of the smock-frock are fullness across the back, breast, and sleeves folded into "tubes" (narrow unpressed pleats) held in place and decorated by smocking , a type of surface embroidery in a honeycomb pattern across the pleats that controls the fullness while allowing a degree of stretch. - Wikipedia

Here is a tutorial on how to sew a smock apron.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

How to clean gloves

Image from here.

This is an excerpt from an article from Queens of Vintage, a web magazine I highly recommend. They in turn received the article from Jennifer Knox were you can read the article in full on her blog - Young Jen in Spats

"...Our gloves should be sparkling clean! Cloth gloves (silk, cotton, wool) can be handled exactly as other clothing from this material: washed in lukewarm water, layed out on towels, and dried. When they’re damp they can be ironed under fabric with a warm iron.

Cleaning leather gloves, which are worn most often because their durability, is a little more difficult. Wash leather gloves, as their name implies, are resistant to water and can be washed without a second thought. One prepares a mild soap bath and separated into three bowls. Then one washes the gloves twice and rinses them in the last bath, to which a little pure oil or glycerine has been added. The gloves remain softer when they aren’t rinsed in clean water and the soap stays in the leather. Don’t rub the leather, but press only between the hands. Then blow into the gloves strongly, which gives them the correct form and press them dry. Then they should be hung up, or put them over a glove form. Rub the dry leather lightly with the hands or brush them with a clean brush a few times against and with the grain.

The original article

Suede can be handled exactly like this. With dyed gloves, you should try to prolong putting them in (water) and handle the gloves dry. One rubs dirty, shiny areas with glass paper and brushes them, but not with a hard brush. Also when they are dirty with gasoline or are soaked in stain remover, one must rub them with glass paper again. What is best is to put the gloves on your hands, then you can feel how far you can go with the glass paper.

With suede gloves you see light clouds when they are washed in a soap bath. You can avoid this when you press them dry between two towels and leave them in for a time while kneading and rubbing them with the hands. What’s even better is when you avoid washing them in water totally and wash them in a gasoline bath. Lay them in warm gasoline and press them well in it. You must never bring the gasoline in a room where there is fire: warm it by putting it in an open container,and putting the container in a bowl of hot water.

Glace kid gloves are prone to water damage, as they are tanned with water soluble agents. To clean them put them on your hands and rub them with a damp flannel cloth that has either been soaked in gasoline, or soaked in a soap-bath and wrung out, so that it doesn’t hold any more water. Then rub the gloves dry on the hand with a soft rag. Very dirty gloves can be cleaned in a gasoline bath, just as was recommended for suede. In this way they can also be cleaned inside.

Pig leather gloves must always be treated with gasoline and then rubbed shiny again. However, you can also, just like suede, clean them regularly. You only must be careful when you rub them, and dry them quickly so dark edges and stains don’t soak in."

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The elegance of smoking

When I was a little girl I would hold a pencil between my fingers pretending it was a cigarette. There is something so refined with the image of smoking... That is not to say that I would ever promote smoking. No, smoking is hopefully soon a thing of the past everywhere. Still, these images of yesteryear make me long to hold a long cigarette in one hand and a cocktail glass in the other.

Frances Farmer

Nobody, nobody smokes like Marlene Dietrich!

Rita Hayworth in Gilda.

This feels straight out of Mad Men. And the tag line says it all, no? ;)