Wednesday, October 6, 2021

On Celebrating Hatter Day in This Style!

For those unaware, today in places where the date is written month first, 10/6, is considered Hatter day (for others, it is June 10). This unofficial holiday is based on the price tag on the hat of the Hatter in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which rather than the date actually stands for 10 shillings and six pence, but provides an excellent excuse to acknowledge, contemplate, and celebrate "Chapter 7: A Mad Tea-Party".   

Over the past few months, I've been very slowly working to finish the Mad Tea Party set from the November 1965 Woman's Day magazine (Alice and Dormouse both finished in 2012) and a Cheshire Cat from a 1960's issue of Woman's Day that contained a set of cat patterns, and thought it a fitting way to celebrate the day by sharing my finally completed set!

Rather than just sharing them like I normally would, for fun I decided to stage them in scenes from both Chapter 6 and 7!

Some sewing details for those interested in how I almost went mad in finishing up the set and started wondering if I was offending Time in how long I was taking in doing so.   

The Cheshire Cat 

"Did you say 'pig' or 'fig'?"

The Cheshire Cat had the least amount of adjustments primarily due to its simplicity, so I'm going to start with it. I downsized the pattern from the original, so that it would fit in with the other dolls. This made the seam allowance on the inner portion of the legs a bit tricky, which is why my Cheshire Cat doesn't exactly sit flat. This, however, I think it makes him a bit more whimsical, so I don't mind a bit. 
Additionally, I opted to leave the tail bare rather than put yarn loops and along similar lines decided I really liked it without stripes. I also tried what I'm thinking of as under-sewing the felt on its eyes and nose (meaning I stitched through the middle of the felt instead of coming all the way up through it) and am happy with how secure they seem to be. For some sparkle, since he might disappear at any moment, I used metallic embroidery thread for the whiskers! 

 The Hatter

The Hatter was a small scale lesson in lining, as both his vest and jacket are lined. I decided to try my own thing on the first sleeve of the jacket; let's just say doing the second sleeve according to the actual instructions went better. 

Next, his hat! Against my better judgement, primarily because I just wanted to be done and it was in my stash, I used poly-poplin. It does not crease or hold in place where you want it to and is certainly one of the most uncooperative fabrics to have chosen. On top of that, I had just barely enough stabilizer, which in the case of the primary piece had to be hand sewn on to the outer layer to make sure the hat didn't fold in on itself. As can be seen, the support for the top of the hat is made up of scraps shoved in there, so that will need to be replaced when I get more. Once again, though, despite spending over 6 hours on the silly thing, I was pleased with how it turned out.

The March Hare

I adjusted quite a bit when it came to the March Hare. The instructions called for the shirt opening to be at the back and the collar piece to be directly tacked to the March Hare's neck, but I didn't like that the Hatter's shirt actually buttoned in front, while the March Hare's didn't. Based on this, I ended up cutting the front of the shirt open, adding a placket, and hand sewing the collar piece onto the shirt (a truly maddening task that was made worse by not cutting the collar piece base at enough of a curve). The shirt was to be closed with hooks and eyes, which I did end up doing except at the front with the buttons covering the stitching from them.

Other minor changes I made were giving him a bow tie instead of ribbon, swapping out the pom pom tail for a gathered circle piece of fabric and not finding any fake wheat shoots that I liked and not wanting to buy an actual wheat bundle, I ended up using raffia on his head, which I think denotes his madness quite nicely.

Now, there is actually one more Wonderland pattern for the White Rabbit included in this particular magazine. I didn't really feel compelled to make it because the White Rabbit does not attend the mad tea party in the book. Additionally, one of my first stuffed animal projects that I drafted and sewed completely by hand was the White Rabbit and being ever so fond of it, I'm willing put this last pattern on hold for a much later date. 

Wishing everyone a happy Hatter day filled with muchness of tea, contemplation on ravens and writing desks, the singing of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat", any other mad tea party activities you should chose to engage in, and, of course, the wearing of a hat!  


Saturday, October 2, 2021

On Cabbages

As promised, a short post randomly rambling on about cabbages. 

Cabbages are a rather versatile vegetable. They can be boiled, steamed, pickled, fermented, chopped, eaten raw, creamed, or prepared using any number of other methods, and they come in a variety of colors, shapes, textures for those picky enough to take notice. 

Babies, of course, can be found in cabbage patches or under their leaves, making them a serviceable vegetable beyond the table. Additionally, in parts of Europe they were believed to have the power of showing one or helping one determine who one's sweetheart was, which in turn allows for the perpetuation of the legend of babies being found in cabbage patches. Should one partake in eating cabbage, however, this may keep a potential sweetheart away making it advisable to avoid consuming them while seeking out one's sweetheart.

And least we forget, there is always the option of using a cabbage as a substitution for a table top Christmas tree decoration because no party could be considered complete without one!

From Garnishing: A Feast for Your Eyes, 1987. (source:

 ♥ ♥ ♥

Thursday, September 30, 2021

On "Letters from Hollywood": A Book Review

Title: Letters from Hollywood: Inside the Private World of Classic American Moviemaking
Editors: Barbara Hall & Rocky Lang
Genre: Non-Fiction 

About the book...
A collection of letters, notes, and telegrams ranging from the 1920s to the 1970s written by and to legends of classic Hollywood.

What I think...
I loved this book! While it's always fun to read old Hollywood correspondence, this book goes a step further and has included images of the actual items rather than just transcribing them, so you can see the actual document. Part of the fun of this was getting to see who had the messiest writing, preferred typing, and what type of stationary was used, so I was delighted they went this route.

Each item is accompanied by a short write up providing background context pertaining to the writers, recipients, and subject matter, which I appreciated for films and stars I was less familiar with and in some cases built up a greater understanding of a few of the topics being addressed.


In terms of presentation, the layouts were great and they did a nice job including photos that corresponded with the writers of the letters or the subject matters. For a coffee table sized book with glossy pages, I also thought it was really nicely bound.  

I also really enjoyed getting to read some of the "behind the scene" process that occurred during the making of some of the golden era movies and just . My favorites included a very sweet 1957 letter from Ingrid Bergman to Cary Grant thanking him for accepting her Oscar for her and a letter about how problematic adapting Double Indemnity was in terms of the Hays Code.

To sum it all up...
A treasure trove of correspondence that will delight any classic film fan! ♥ 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

On Ten Years of Blogging!

Having sneaked up on me as stealthily as a Boojum, today marks the 10 year anniversary of this blog!

This blog has come a long way since it came into being, starting out with creative writing posts, moving into the area of sewing and vintage (I was insistent when I began, I was not going to venture there-clearly when one primarily follow vintage blogs and loves old things, one eventually ventures there) book reviews, and bits of non-sewing crafting. 

While I have not always been the most consistent in posting, in the past usually due to various time constraints due to coursework and more recently health issues, and I've considered giving it up a couple of times (primarily due to the former), I'm happy and proud to have been at it this long. I have made some very dear friends along the way, have a lovely log of how I've grown in my sewing skills, and, while it's waned over time, enjoyed being part of the vintage blogging community.

With my blog's name stemming from the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" my blogging journey started with a few posts addressing several of the topics the Walrus says it's time to talk about, specifically shoes, ships, and sealing-wax. With a decade of posts, I think it's about time to get around to writing on cabbages and kings this month. As to why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings, I shall leave to your own personal speculation for the time being. 

A drawing depicting the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" including Walrus, Carpenter, and Oysters on a beach

Thanks for reading and here's a glass of "treacle and ink and anything else that is pleasant to drink" raised to more posts to come!