Saturday, February 25, 2012

Getting Ready To Dance!

We have an opportunity to enjoy some mid-19th century dancing coming up and my dance slippers were in need of some attention - I've danced them literally to pieces!

So I restitched the soles and begged my husband to polish them for me - he does a wonderful job, but it's not a task he enjoys.

I decided it was time to add a bit of period "bling" - rosettes with tiny steel buckles. Godey's and Peterson's both have descriptions and illustrations of shoe rosettes, and I've seen original shoes/dancing slippers with them, after all, your feet will be seen when dancing!

Mine are really quite simple, just a bit of velvet ribbon, looped and tacked in place. It's the buckles which add the real interest; I've written about steel trimming previously, they're fairly readily available but can be pricey - these were purchased as part of a box lot at an auction, another one of my $1 deals. 

Here's a few originals, to give you some inspiration:

Not everyone approved of shoe rosettes:

A Bachelor's Protest
June 22, 1861
Chamber's Journal

And why the rosette? Vanity of vanities, it is of no earthly use; it has no more to do with keeping on the shoe, than the ticket inside your hat with keeping that on; it is only another feature of the gigantic scheme. I firmly believe it is symbolical, but fortunately I don't know what a rose may signify in the language of flowers; still I protest against it. Moreover, I protest against stockings, both white and coloured, except black; and I protest against the custom of lifting the dress for the sole purpose of displaying the foot and a few inches of stocking; it can't do the possessor of the foot any good, and it's hard upon a susceptible observer. If the dress is too long, have it shortened, but don't trifle with a man's feelings.

 Are your shoes in need of a little pick-me-up? Consider adding some rosettes, a bit of period correct trimming that can make them feel brand new!

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