Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mrs. Emery's Elephant...

I've been digging.  You know how some blogs post about the wonderful things that they've found thrifting?  Well look what I found digging in my own piles of junk!

It is a neat little book called "Singer Sewing Skills Reference Book", published in 1954.  On each page there are actual examples of the stitches on real fabric.

I would like three yards of this for a nice summer dress, please.

 On the back inner cover is the book owner's measurements.  Florence's measurements:
  • Waist 31
  • Bust 37
  • Hips 41
  • Length from neck to waist back 14 1/2 + 28 shirt 42 1/2
  • Height 55
  • Hem 14 inches from floor
37-31-41  Wow, Florence was a BRICK-HOUSE.  MIGHTY-MIGHTY.

It's funny the things you find in books.  This letter was stuck between the pages.

May 2, 1959
Sat nite

Dear Florence,
Have been going to write to you since you came down but I had a bad cold and was sick in bed.

It has been dark, rainy and gloomy for the last 3 or 4 days, but today it is warm and beautiful out.

Was glad to see you, and wish you would try to get down more often.

How is Robert?  Bet he is doing very good in school.  Tell him to write to me if he finds time.

Why don't you write to me when you can?

I got two letters and stamps from my mother this morning and I wrote back to her.  She is cleaning house, papering, and painting the kitchen.

Well I hope mother will understand everything, because I don't.  I am sorry for a lot of the things that I did, and said, but some things mother said I did I never done, and it hurts and don't help me get better any faster.

She is a very nervous person, and so am I, and two nervous people can't get along together can they?

Well guess I'll close for now.

Good-bye Dear
With Love,

PS:  If you come down to see me don't come Thursday after noon unless after 4 P.M.

Say hello to Bob for me.

Poor Gloria.  I wonder if she ever confronted her mother about those things she never did do but her mother said she'd done?  If she did, I wonder if she got better faster?  And why did Florence keep this letter?  Maybe Gloria actually did do all those things she said she never done but her mother said she did do and Florence knew it.  I guess we'll never know.

There was also a check stuck in the book.  I KNOW!  It is from the Treasurer of the United States, written on December 1, 1939.  I may be RICH.  Well it is for 19 cents but with interest, maybe??? Yeah, probably not.  I wonder why it was never cashed?  It is made out to Maurice Spearin and Wallace Emery.  Probably Wallace received the check and didn't want to share with Maurice and squirelled it away in his wife's sewing book.  Damn it Wallace, poor Maurice probably waited and waited his whole life to get his 9 1/2 cents from the "Gubment" and here it is after all that time.

Florence was called to jury duty on the first Tuesday of September 1961.  On the back of the envelope she noted that she needed:

  • 1 kitchen curtain
  • 1 dining room curtain
  • 2 bedroom curtains
These were to be gray and blue.  She also needed 2 living room curtains and she reminded herself to turn on the lights.  Wait, why did she have to remind herself to turn on the lights?  That's weird.  Besides, she also noted that rent was $55.00 this month and the lights were $3.00.  I'd be careful with just turning on the lights willy-nilly with those rates, Florence.  She also needed some kaopectate-in cursive and print, FOR CAT.  Was she really giving her cat Kaopectate?  Oh, that Florence.

In the back of the book were a few loose pages of hand-copied patterns.  There is an elephant, penguin, kangaroo, bunny, horse and a boy and a girl.  I made up the elephant with some vintage fabric I had on hand.

After doing a little research on the patterns, I found that Florence had neglected to copy the head/trunk grommet which messed up my elephant's face.  Also there were no any directions, so the ears are attached wrong.  This is the way he should have looked...I'll try to recreate the missing piece and try again.  

Have a great day!



  1. Well, hey there! I have missed you and your blog posts so much. When I didn't see anything here for so long, I stopped looking. Then today, I come here and there are SO many! I love the gym you made Liam. So creative you are. And your prom post is great. Borrowed her boyfriend's mascara! Too funny! And I still say you need to write a book. I am so glad you are posting again so I can come visit more.


    1. Thanks Kris! I actually took my a book! I know! I am finishing up the final draft right now before passing it on to my editor. Hopefully we will be ready to go by the middle of June. I will keep you posted!

  2. Well, see? I knew it. I am excited for you! So please keep us posted on your progress. Can't wait!

  3. Oh, that Florence! She must've been an Alpine. Way to go on the book! :)