Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Poor Hands!

I recently returned from attending the 15th annual Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860's Conference sponsored by the Genteel Arts Academy. The conference was, as always, fabulous. The quality of speakers, presentations and workshops are topnotch, as well as the displays of original clothing and other artifacts.

Each year a needle work competition is a feature of the conference, here's information on this year's:

Many of you are interested in reproducing mid-19th century clothing and accessories. It's time to get out your work basket and create an entry for this year's competition for the best reproduction of a pair of slippers c.1855-1865.
Your slippers may be for a man, woman or child. You may use any period technique or material, including but not limited to embroidery, Berlin work, knitted, crocheted, beadwork, cloth or leather.
Your entry must be an item commonly found and used between 1855 and 1865 and should be made using period construction techniques.
Two prizes will be awarded: one for the best reproduction as judged by the speakers; and one for the entry selected by popular ballot of the conference participants. Judging will be based on total points awarded for:
Overall Appearance, Fabrics and Materials, Trimmings and Embellishments, Construction, Workmanship/quality of detail, Documentation and Judges' Points. Each judge has the option of adding additional points for outstanding effort in any of the categories.

And here's my entry:

The pattern is from the August 1860 edition of Godey's Lady's Magazine.

They are cut in one piece from buttery red leather, with decorative chain stitching. They have a quilted silk lining and are bound with wool braid tape. They close with antique shoe buttons. They were assembled entirely by hand.

This was my first experience working with leather and it's tough! My poor thimble is beat up, literally pierced through and my hands looked like hamburger by the time I finished.

But it was all worth while....I won the judge's award!!!!


  1. they are AMAZING!!! beautiful work!!! and a well deserved award!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  2. Those are fabulous! Well done. :o)

  3. seriously Awesome! & quite handsome!!