Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's Coming...Soon!

Gray Pinstripe Rayon
I'm using for my 1940s dress

For this year I set a goal to sew one historical piece of clothing every month this year. This month I've been working on my 1940s dress. I'll admit - I put it off to last minute. This month has been so crazy with two new teaching commitments on top of our regular homeschooling. My 1940s dress pattern pieces have been languishing in my sewing basket for a few months pinned to the fabric and everything, just needing to be marked and cut out. I determined that this month I would finally get that one out of the way so I can focus on making our late 1700s clothing.

Well, I finally got the pieces cut out, marked, and even all the hard parts of the dress sewn, but I wasn't able to finish it by the end of this month. :-(

Today was really busy. I went on a trip to D.C. to the Museum of American Art with some girlfriends of mine. And then I went with my friend Christina on a crazy trip to IKEA (never go on a Saturday, people!! What was I thinking???) So, now I'm home and exhausted and don't feel like sitting at a sewing machine to make my deadline. But I am comforted in knowing that most of the hard parts of the dress are done, and I am definitely going to finish it this week! I will be posting pictures soon. I'm not going to make it like a tutorial, I'm sad to say. I do love sewing, but it's a lot more complicated than baking!

Anyway, I'll be back soon with pictures of the finished dress!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ration Point Humor

I was delighted when I stumbled by pure accident upon this January 1943 newspaper article in an Indiana newspaper (The Hammond Times) about one man's food rationing "predictions". I skimmed a bit and immediately cracked up laughing until I was teary eyed. No doubt the author, Henry McLemore, wrote the article tongue-in-cheek, and it is such a treasure I had to share it!
Here it is:

Prediction On Rationing of Food - Love, Romance, Music, And Friendship Will Be Affected by Point System

"At the risk of becoming known as Nostradamus McLemore I am going to make a few prophesies on the far reaching affects of the general food rationing plan which goes into operation on Feb. 2.

"It will influence love and romance. It will influence music. It will influence people and lose them friends.

"The effect of the ration plan on love and romance is as obvious as Venus deMilo has never won the national bowling championship. Do you think for a minute that in the future a man with a great big appetite would even consider courting a girl with a great big appetite? No indeed, when there are sparrow-like eaters running alone loose with just as many 'points' in their ration book as the hefty eaters.

Consider Her Appetite

"From now on the real charm of a maid for a man will not lie in blue eyes, or dimples, or skill in needlepoint, bur rather how she tucks away that food when it is placed in front of her.

"Just as heiresses have been warned to guard against someone marrying them for their money, light eating girls will be cautioned: 'Are you sure that its you he loves, my dear, and not all those ration points you have left over each month?'

"Men, of course, face the same danger. The most eligible man in town may be the fellow with stomach ulcers. Girls who like their food are going to think twice before plighting their troth to a man who needs 700 or 800 points a day to keep his 6 feet, 200-pound frame, moving around. When in inquiring into a suitor's background parents will care more about the oats he has eaten than the ones he has sown.

"The ration plan will result in a thousand new songs. Already the 'slap-happy Wagners' of Tin Pan alley are hard at work composing immortal songs to the food shortage.

Some Song Titles
"'I Met a 700-Point Baby in an A. & P-ee Store'
'My Heart Went on a Riot When I Met a Girl on a Diet'
'My Heart is All A-Flutter Over a Gal who Doesn't Like Butter'
'I Can't Ration My Passion for You'.

"Just wait and see, there'll be some even worse than these.

"As for friendship, the food you serve a guest in your home is going to show plainer than any of your other actions how much you think of him. Give him a dinner that cost you more points than Notre Dame gets in a season and he will think of you as a true friend. On the other hand, give him a dinner which his knowing eye will quickly see hasn't cost you  more than a few measly points from your ration book and he will never again shake your hand with the same fervor. 

"For the first time since the founding of this country friendships are going to be made and lost over such items as canned sifted peas, dried apricots, catsup and noodle soup.

"In the future, ration points will determine the great hosts and hostesses of the country. Those who are willing to sacrifice all week to really give a bang-up dinner on Saturday night and not necessarily the wealthy, will be the famed entertainers.

Those Big Dinners

"Already old Nostradamus McLemore can see the society columns. A big dinner will be written up like this:
'The highest point dinner of the season was given last evening by Mr. and Mrs. Gus Riboflavin. Mr. and Mrs. Riboflavin, who has existed on plentiful cereals for a fortnight in order to give the 2,700-point dinner, were so weak that they had to be helped from the table at an early hour. The dinner started with a 60-point appetizer, was followed by a 200-point clear soup, a 500-point entree and they shot the rest of the points on the salad and dessert.'

"Maybe this all sounds far-fetched, but wait and see. Nostradamus McLemore has never made a wrong prediction on general food rationing in the United States." 

Hahahahahahaha!!!!! This is the most hilarious thing I have read in a long time! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Clearly, this man is a bit miffed with the whole idea of ration points, but as he couldn't do anything about it, he chose to poke fun at it. What a wonderful gem from history! I'm so glad I dug it up! :-D

Sunday, January 18, 2015


It's been pretty quiet around here lately, especially compared with last year's fun ration recipe project. It's been a needed break as the beginning of this year is proving to be quite busy! I've got three different teaching commitments and I've been working hard on writing my book. Yes, it's felt a little crazy!

I have been thinking about my sewing goal, though. I'm hoping I'll get something made this week. So, stay tuned!

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Little Modern Archaeology


I've been doing some research for a book I'm writing set in WWII. (Go figure. Ha!) :-) The other day I stumbled on this fascinating article about Freeman Field, a military airfield, in southern Indiana where during WWII, they sent captured Nazi aircraft and sent them to Freeman Field to be reverse-engineered. After the war they buried the planes and plane parts on the outskirts of the Field.

I'm from Indiana myself, so the idea of Nazi fighter planes being buried in some Hoosier field in the country is so funny and bizarre! I love that they're making the effort to find and dig them all up.

My family and I are planning a trip to Indiana this coming summer and I'm hoping to stop by the Freeman Field to see their museum and the things they've dug up so far. So cool!

Check the article out HERE.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Studies in Rationing

It feels like it's been ages since I've posted on here, and I am still catching up in things around the house from the holidays. I can already tell I miss posting about ration recipes, but I got something thrilling in the mail today that cheered me right up!

Studies In Rationing
United States & Great Britain!
These books have been on my list to get for a long time. They are the only copies I've seen for sale anywhere, so I am super excited to finally have them to look through! You won't be surprised if I tell you that they are very DRY to read. They are basically reports on rationing in the U.S. and Great Britain. The 2nd volume's title reads: An Analysis of Selected Rationing Programs in the United States During World War II by Carolyn Shaw Solo. This set was published in 1950-51 and was undertaken by Harvard University. Bravo for them!

It is, of course, the best thing to read original recipe documents and even women's first hand accounts, but to be able to see behind the machinery of how the government ran things and why they ran things in the way that they did adds a whole different dimension to the story of rationing! Very exciting stuff. :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

What's Next?

So, what's next for my blog? I had a couple ideas I was hashing over. I thought about further exploring the 1940s, but from an entertainment angle - films, books, magazines, games, etc. I think that idea would be a lot of fun! But in the end, my desperate need to start working on our Revolutionary War reenacting outfits won out. It's sad, but I simply don't have time to do it all! (Why does this come as a surprise to me??) haha!

So, for my next project for 2015, I'm going to have a goal of sewing at least one historical garment every month and posting about it. Of course, I'm at liberty to do more, but I'm only holding myself to one per month. I have to remember that I have a lot of responsibilities like homeschooling and a service calling in my church as well as the good ol' 3 C's - cooking and cleaning and child raising. :-)

I'll post soon about the first sewing project of the year - as soon as I figure out what that is! I hope you'll join me.

Happy New Year!