Category Archives: Events

Things we plan to do

Come play with us!

Come play with us!

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Just a quick update to let you know we will be setting up at the Vista, CA event this weekend – March 8/9. The event takes place at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, 2040 N. Santa Fe Ave, Vista, CA. Call for directions 760/941-1791, or go to Gold Coast Festivals for more information! That link will take you directly to the Vista page. We are very excited to visit our friends, immerse ourselves in history, and teach doll making and home making to all visitors who stop by. Hopefully we will see you, too!

Mid Century Child’s Chemise


Mrs Marvel:

Here’s a little project I have taken on to create a period accurate suit of clothing for my 7 year old daughter. Check back for more as the project proceeds!

Originally posted on Notes from the Melody Maker:

I have finished the first installation of practice on the Mid Century Sewing Project as I referenced a couple posts back! The first item I decided to try was the child’s chemise from the Elizabeth Stewart Clark’s Historic Moments Girls Linens 1840-1865 pattern. While the pattern comes with a 30 page booklet, do not let this intimidate you, as it did me at first. It is packed full of helpful tips on making your garment as period correct as you want or can, plus complete instructions for three garments with a variety of options.

I am glad I made this as a practice run because I made a few mistakes and some decisions on construction about half way through the project. First off, I learned how to make the run and fell seam, an historic technique that encases raw edges inside a seam and adds greater strength to seams…

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Prado success, on to Costa Mesa

What makes an award look even better? Two cute little girls holding it!

What makes an award look even better? Two cute little girls holding it!

We introduced a new “room” to our household at Prado – a wall tent as our bedroom – so our full household now features a kitchen, parlour, children’s play room and bedroom. It was a lot to set up, but the hard work paid off and we took 1st Place as the Most Authentic Civilian Camp for the second time. Squeee!

When we set up at Costa Mesa we will be just a diminutive version of our household, with a fly and small tent, but we will have our bookshop, and will be teaching handcrafts. Hope you will come out and join us!

2013 Season


The 2013 Season for us is beginning this weekend at the Prado Park Civil War Encampment, Prado Regional Park, Chino, CA! We are excited to expand our household a little bit with the addition of a tent/bedroom, and we plan to camp over the weekend. We will have displays of children’s games and activities, the household, and our little bookshop with all original work available for a small donation.

This event is a fundraiser to support a Boy Scout Eagle program and people in scout uniforms get into the event for $2 – this includes Girl Scouts and leaders. So if you are a Daisy or an Eagle, wear your uniform and enjoy the day! Admission to the park is $10 per car and helps the park continue to provide space for great historical events like this one, camping, park and fishing facilities for the general public, and much more for the enhancement of the area.

Click over to the Southern California Civil War Association (SCCWA) website for more details. See you there!

Poppets (traditional handkerchief dolls)


The word poppet is an older spelling of puppet, from the Middle English popet, meaning a small child or doll. Also commonly known as pew dolls or church dolls, poppets were popular toys for young girls (and boys) to take to church. During the American Colonial period, church lasted all day and children became restless while trying to be quiet for such a long period of time. A poppet could entertain them, but if it was dropped it would not make any disruptive noise.

In its most rustic form, a poppet consists of a fabric square simply knotted at three corners, forming a head and two arms. More commonly, however, a small bit of stuffing is used in the head and then bound by thread, ribbon, or yarn. Any type and color of fabric can be used, but you may best recognize a poppet made from a handkerchief. 

The handkerchief could have evolved from a “fichu” – a decorative piece of fabric women wore around their necks for modesty or warmth. More likely it evolved from a kerchief, which is a triangular piece of fabric worn around the head for warmth, protection, or decoration. At some point in history, a kerchief was designed to be held in the hand and the handkerchief was born. Early handkerchiefs were larger and not of the uniform square sizes we are familiar with today. In the 18th century, King Louis XVI of France decreed that the length and width of a handkerchief would be equal. The square handkerchief has dominated ever since.

How to make one: Lay the handkerchief upside-down on a flat surface. Fold in half so it forms a triangle (putting opposite corners together). Center a cotton ball inside the fold. Gather the handkerchief around the cotton ball and tie a thread around the bottom of the cotton ball, forming a head. Tie a small knot in two corners to make arms. Carefully draw eyes on the head to make a face.

Click here for our free pdf of the instructions!