Thursday, November 8, 2012


Way back, when bathing was not the fashion, ladies would stick cloves into fruit and hold them to their noses when a person of rank odor was nearby. Eventually, the tradition of pomanders evolved into fashion statements and kissing games. Nowadays, showers keep our noses from being offended and pomanders are delightfully old-fashioned reminders of the season.

Here's how to make one: Wrap a ribbon around an apple or orange. Modern times call for sticky tape to be used and replaced with ribbon after drying. Then use a nail to poke holes in the fruit and stick cloves into the nail holes. You can see that I've outlined the sections before filling in completely with spices.

I hung the finished pomander by a nail in my seasonally dry kitchen. It should dry completely in 6-8 weeks, just in time to be packed away with the Christmas decorations and loved every year for many years. The spice preserves the fruit. I've wanted one of these for a while and now I have one, but I have to tell you; if you chose to make one, do it in several sessions throughout a day or two. Cloves are sharp! My fingers ache as a type, but I'll get over it. My new pomander smells heavenly.

In other news, I ran my sewing machine for a while today.

I decided that I needed a new purse. So I whipped out my favorite sewing tome, third edition published in 1960.

I found this book over a decade ago - it was lounging in a box at a garage sale somewhere in the lower mainland. I've read it through cover to cover many times. Inside I find patterns, ideas, instruction, and inspiration. Today this book provided half a pattern, some inspiration, and a laugh.

It says this about the purse pattern:

"Over-the-shoulder bag - This type of bag used to be considered a novelty, but it is now accepted as a proper bag style. However, the 'over-the-shoulder' bag is not a good style for dressier occasions and should still be regarded for casual or sports clothes, for school, and of course business suits. For town or city wear this type of bag is not suited to the rounded or very short figure." (page 333)

So, I shouldn't wear this purse. But I will. I'll just modify the pattern and wing it on the details.
The instructions call for felt shell and no lining, but who wears felt as fashion unless they are a peacoat fan? I'm sewing together crumbs units and quilting this purse! Instead of over-the-shoulder this will be a straight up hippy style cross-body bag. I'm going to use pom-pom fringe as trim. And I have to figure out how to put it all together because the instructions don't cover lining!

I think I can! I think I can!

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