Thursday, 31 December 2015

Acquisitions: Collecton of Books

This year I've managed to collect three small shelves of old books. I just got Nicholas Nickleby, Our Mutual Friend and The Poetical Works of Milton as Christmas gifts. I try to collect the oldest books I can find.

Left to right. Nicholas Nickleby 1904, Our Mutual Friend 1904, Oliver Twist1959, Scouting for Boys 1936,
A Christmas Carol 1942, Dombey and Son, The Mystery of Edwin Drood 1949,
Martin Chuzzlewit, Three Men in a Boat 1897.

Left to right. The Hobbit 20th printing, German hymn book 1907, The Canadian People 1919, Colonel
Thorndyke's Secret 1901, Bleak House 1867, Everyday Heroes During the Queen's Reign 1889, Kidnapped 1960,
The Detective and Mr Dickens 1990,

Left to rightThe Poetical Works of Milton 1914, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 2010,
Punch Magazine 1875, 1877, 1880, 1881, 1882,

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Acquisitions: Brownie Camera

Today I went to a shop that sells vintage items as props to the film industry here in Vancouver. I hadn't been to the shop for a year, and I had forgotten how many wonderful things can be found there. They're selling to the film industry so many of the prices are a bit high, but some are quite reasonable.

I managed to find a Brownie box camera In working condition. From the bit of research I did, I found out that it's a  No.2A Brownie from between 1917 to 1920. I will look for some film to fit so I can try using the camera soon.

I also got a pair of gold plated spectacles. I think they're mid to late 19th century, though they could be early 20th century.  I hope to get my prescription in these.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Iron Repair

A couple months back my iron stopped working. With a nonfunctional iron, I have not been able to press any of my sewing projects properly. So over the holidays I re-wired the iron with the help of my grandfather.

The problem was pretty easy to find once we opened the iron up. The short bit of cord inside the handle had frayed entirely and become disconnected.

Frayed cord

Disconnected wires

I cut the frayed end of the cord of and stripped about an inch of the cloth insulation to expose the two wires.

After stripping the wires, I reconnected them to the iron and put everything back together.

Here's the iron after being repaired.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Great War Uniform

Since the beginning of this year I've been thinking of doing a WWI impression. So, in November I decided that I will go ahead. I'm going to do an officer impression, as I have patterns for an officers uniform, as well as an original officers shirt I can use. I hope to have the impression done by late summer 2016, though I really have no idea how long this will take.

I have a couple other items I can use for WWI, like a 1910s walking stick, and I just ordered a Sam Browne belt and a khaki tie. I would also like to find my great-great uncle's swagger stick from the war.

The major pieces I need are an officers SD (service dress) jacket, riding breeches, puttees, shoes or boots, and a officers SD cap.

The patter draft below if from The Tailor and Cutter Academy SYSTEMS OF CUTTING All Kinds of Tailor Made Garments 1910 by W.D.F. Vincent. available for download in Books and References.

Service dress jacket pattern.
This is the look I'm going for - I'm not sure whether I will do British or Canadian. I believe British and Canadian uniforms were almost the same, the most major difference being the insignia, so I will decide British or Canadian later on.

WWI British officer.

Saturday, 26 December 2015


Here I am enjoying a christmas stroll with family on Vancouver Island. It was a very clear and bright day with heavy frost. I have a sprig of pine branch in my top hat, and am wearing a red and green plaid waistcoat for a holiday theme. I'm also wearing a new scarf I received a week ago, that I asked my great-grandmother to make me. It's modelled after scarves seen in illustrations of Dickens' stories and the scarf Jeremy Brett wears, when he plays Sherlock Holmes, though his scarf is charcoal grey.

Photo taken by my aunt.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Acquisitions: Pfaff Sewing Machine

Recently I was given a sewing machine by a very generous lady. The machine is a Pfaff hand crank, I believe it's from somewhere between 1900 and 1930.

I love the old treadle and hand crank sewing machine, I think they're quite elegant. I find it really fascinating to look at all the pieces and figure out how they work.

When I got the machine it wasn't working. It took a day of cleaning and fiddling with the tension to get it stitching. Then right away I had to make something so I made the collar box from my last post.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Collar Box

Every gentleman needs a collar box to keep his fashionable collars from being damaged. I had been trying to find one for myself with no success. So I decided to make myself one.

Assorted collars 

I made the style of collar box that has a drawstring instead of a lid. I've seen this style made from leather, velvet and linen. I covered my box in green velvet and lined it with white cotton. I still need to find a better drawstring, currently I'm just using white thread.

A week after I finished my box I found this leather collar box at the monthly antique show in my area.