October 18, 2010

the nicest place to sew at stan hywet

I'm not sure this space ever really served as a sewing room, I have a feeling it may have been a giant linen closet and the machine has been put there as a prop. No matter. I'd sew here.

This pretty little nook was upstairs at the Stan Hywet House in Akron, Ohio. Stan Hywet is the estate built by F.A. Seiberling, the founder of The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Akron. I'm going to have to make a trip back to take the tour of the domestic and service areas because my guess is any servant treadling away on a Singer would not have had such a nice window with a a pretty view nearby. But I could be wrong. It is a perfect space to sew though and it's inspiring me to move my machine away from the wall it now faces and tuck it in front of a window. I just need to find the right window.

October 8, 2010

jet setting and a new book

Instead of sewing I've been traveling. Again. During my adventures I was able to visit the Victoria & Albert Museum and while there I picked up this book.

Yea! Underwear: Fashion in Detail by Eleri Lynn! I have been anxiously waiting for this book to be released since I learned last year that it was being published. I was at the V&A the day it became available and snapped up a copy. Here is what happened while I was at the counter paying for it.

Me: "Yea! I've been waiting for this book to come out for months."

Clerk: "It's a great book."

Me: "Oh good. I haven't even flipped through it yet. I can't wait to sit down and take a good look. Oh! Would you take my picture with it?"

Clerk: "Of course. Will you be signing them later?"

Me: "What?"

Clerk: "What?"

Me: "Signing?"

Clerk: "Are you the author?"

Me: "No."

Clerk: "Oh."

To his credit the clerk did not loose enthusiasm for picture taking after he realized I was not the author. In fact, he kept retaking pictures because he felt the light wasn't good, or someone walked in the background, or the photo was poorly framed. I admire that kind of dedication. Go V&A.

The book is filled with close up photos, diagrams, and descriptions, of a variety of undergarments from the V&A Fashion, Jewelry, and Accessories collection. There is something for everyone, nightgowns, stockings, Queen Victoria's drawers, men's underwear, bras from all eras, stays, garters, crinolines, and of course, corsets. Like all of the Fashion in Detail series, the items shown are beautifully photographed and the descriptions are clear and informative. The red damask stays that inspired me to tie the shoulder straps on my 1780 stays in the back are there. There's also a plain white satin corset from the Christian Dior autumn/winter 2006-7 collection that is somehow inspiring to me because it reminds me that even the best in the world need multiple fittings and deal with the same with fabric problems we all do. It's still gorgeous even with the imperfections.

I'm going to sit down now with a cup of tea and do some more reading. Then hopefully I'll get around to sewing.