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This seems about right...
Which creature of the night are you?
Your Result: Cthulu Spawn

You are really an alien thing, aren't you? I can't describe you because you are beyond. We say "left field" and you say "Krn Grth Thchrang." You are the wild card of the bunch, the unknown quantity

Which creature of the night are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I went dancing Friday night - just me and Bob, and it was awesome, but a bit cold.  I am going dancing again this Friday night  - Orpheus, 9:30pm, all are welcome.  Wear layers.

My weekend was mercifully quiet - I had a chance to go antique shopping and I took it, driving about 90 minutes for my fix, but it was an awesome one.  I got a wonderful pair of old binoculars, a bunch of stuff for my creche, and best of all, a bunch of late 1890s vintage that someone was selling off cheap (as in $2 for a wool and silk capelet that was in admittedly poor condition, but was worth more than a couple of bucks).  I never regret the things I buy - the bodice I got for $7 has some button detailing on the front and sleeves to die for, and it's silk - but I'm now regretting a couple of things I didn't buy (like the amazing velvet coat) that were a bit more ($30).  Considering I spent quite a bit without them, it's a good thing I didn't, but I hope they go to a loving home that realizes what an amazing bargain they got.

It appeared the dealer was selling off a bunch of stuff they got from a theater company, since several of the items were marked "costume shop".  Probably donated in the 1920s or '30s, I think - the Victorian clothes weren't particularly valued back then (the equivalent of 1970s clothes today - start collecting while they're cheap, people!), and all the pieces I got were real, not costumes (including the awesome red wool officer's dress coat), and in the kind of condition you'd expect from being shoved in a box in the back of an old theater.  Musty, a bit damaged in places, but still cool.

I got an 1890s wool coat for $10!  All it has is a seam separation on the shoulder.  ...And a 16" waist, but never mind.  Man, is it tiny.  I have all sorts of theories about why industrialization created an entire generation (or five) of malnourished people of all classes, but theories aside, some of these people were tiny.  It's not a child's coat - the shoulder width and length are for an adult (I can stretch it across my shoulders, and it's my arm length), but the waist is terrifyingly tiny.  I don't think I could get down to that size even with some pretty severe corseting - my ribcage is just too big (and I am from a generation that actually had some nutritional knowledge).

Yes, the argument is that they only saved stuff that was too tiny to be made over for someone else, but there are a lot of tiny outfits out there, and someone was wearing them.  They had teeny tiny people - my grandmother was one of them.  Born in 1898, she was too late for the really intense corset styles, but she (and her sisters) prided themselves on being really small - she had an 18" waist (without corset) and was only 5'1" tall.  I really wish she'd saved her clothes - I would kill for some of the stuff she must have worn (she was on the low end of the aristocratic class, but they played dress-up with the best of them, apparently).

No wonder no-one ever had sex - you'd break someone that tiny if you rested on them.  Maybe that's why they worshipped a well-fed girl so much (as in, all the advertising shows women with thick, well-formed limbs and large busts); you can lie on a girl like that and she'll be able to take it (and probably the thing you wanted to try with the saddle and the whip, too).

We talk about wanting to be tiny now, but I don't think there's anyone who really wants to be that tiny - I'm not a large person, and since losing weight, I have had to deal with the issues that losing a protective layer over my bones and joints has produced.  I can't sleep unless I have pillows to support me - my knees rub together painfully, and my arms hurt.  I get cold easily.  I bruise more easily (that is also a result of the Ibuprofen I take, though, so not all skinny people bruise a lot, but knocking bare joints against things definitely hurts more), and I can't even sit in a hard chair any more without my butt bones (technical term) complaining.  Sometimes it feels like my bones are cutting through my flesh.

And I'm not that small; according to the height-weight charts (all of which are not about "healthy" weights, just about what weight allows you to live the longest), at 5'3", I should weigh 115lbs.  I weigh 135 on a good day (139 on a Lyrica-fueled diet).  According to those charts, I am overweight.  However, I can honestly say that I am big-boned for my height; a glance at my wrists and ankles will tell you that.  My ideal weight is about 130lbs, and a size 8; with surgery to remove the excess skin on my stomach, I would weigh somewhere between 120-125 and be a size 4.  115 is way too small.

And I have a flat butt already; I don't need to lose any more weight back there.

And with that thought, I will leave you; I will post pictures of my Christmas creche (with new, possibly insulting things this year that assure my place in what Bob calls the "Art Room" of Hell), and the vintage clothes I bought later.


( 22 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Dec. 8th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
Cold is always a problem for me as well... and don't you get tired of people who INSIST that the thermostat be set at 65 degrees constantly? And when you say something about it, get told that if you'd just fatten up, you'd be fine?
Uh... no thanks.
And I got BOOKS this weekend, despite the cold! :-)
And some mustard gold velvet. Can't wait to find something obnoxious to make out of THAT. :-)
Dec. 8th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
I am always so thrilled to hear about your antiquing finds. I love vintage clothing, myself (not that I'd ever have a hope in hell of actually wearing any of it -- waay too small!). I never seem to find the things you do when I go out, though, which I am sure is a result of a.) not looking in the right places, and b.) not knowing what the heck I am looking at, anyway. :)
Dec. 8th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
I'd add:

3. You probably don't go as often as I do. I hit all the antique stores I know on a regular rotation, so I end up going regularly to one or the other. I went to this one because I was looking for presents fro a friend who does various time periods, and found what I was looking for, and then ended up going up to the desk with a huge armful of clothing. :)
Dec. 8th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Yes. Antiquing with three children, two of them under age four, is not exactly what I'd call "a good time". Heh.

Nice profile pic, btw. I love it!
Dec. 8th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
My gran was born in 1890 or so. She was tiny -- about 5'1" before she "grew down".

My mum was a full-term baby, born November 24 1922, and weighed 3 pounds. They kept her in a shoebox on a stack of blankets on the kitchen range. She was tall -- 5'2" (!) and fairly petite.

I've got my father's raw-boned Saxon build combined with my Cornish maternal famiy's lack of height (all the better to fit down the mines). So I'm short and sturdy and even if I wasn't carrying a few extra pounds, I'd never make it to the height/weight table ideal for my height.
Dec. 8th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
"No wonder no-one ever had sex - you'd break someone that tiny if you rested on them."

ROFL! That whole paragraph is made of win!
Dec. 8th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Crohn's disease has made me a skinny gal now and I have the same problems - not being as comfortable sleeping or sitting. Butt Bones and hip bones are always digging into stuff. :P

I find it hard to believe that what survives is not a reasonable sampling... though maybe there's a 'fat clothes/ skinny clothes' slant. I mean, you know, we all get rid of our 'fat clothes' faster than our skinny clothes, right? (Or is that just me? I still have a size 8 dress from when I was very sick that I can't bear to part with.) Still, since all the clothes represent real people who wanted them, I wouldn't think the skinny-bias would be all-encompassing. More of a nudge than a shove?

I /did/ find a Victorian dress on eBay that would fit me... but, you know, for a gajillion dollars so I didn't get it. *pout* I'm sure the gal must have been considered quite stout.
Dec. 8th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
Might not the owner have been an older woman, a "mature" woman?
Somewhere I have a newspaper clipping with a photo of my dad's aunt (you have noooo idea how long generations are in that family!!!) in her 'mature' years, and no way could she be described as "tiny," or even slender, although you wouldn't look at that picture and judge her gross, fat, or obese (at least by today's standards.)
I also wonder how many "larger" clothes got cut down to accommodate slimmer ladies. Like the way surviving suits of medieval armor are the exceptional sizes, either very big or very small, because the 'average' got claimed, re-used, re-cycled, until it was gone--with the exception of the ceremonial stuff, of course.
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC)
I can't even find recently-used clothes in a size 8, much less vintage!

One the subject of "People used to be tiny" my mother saved the bathing suit she wore the summer before she got married and started making kids. She was 19 then . . . and her bathing suit fit me perfectly when I was 15. But the time I was 16, I had outgrown it, and I'm one of those people that other people called "tiny."

Dec. 9th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
Forgive me if my pointing this out distresses you in any way, but on the subject of "People used to be tiny" your statement is remarkably vague.
Please: what is your point?
Dec. 8th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
My mother had a bunch of gowns from dances she went to in college in the 1950s that my sisters and I used for dress up. The waists were incredibly tiny. She swears it was because they ate more veggies and didn't do fast food, especially hamburgers and pizza. Well, that and girdles. But she insists it was mainly the food and that they didn't exercise much at all in the 50s. She was in a sorority, so I'm pretty sure she had an incredibly mainstream view of life at the time.
Dec. 8th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
I was a little surprised when working with the antique clothing collection (most of the garments were from 1860-1890) of a small Bay Area museum to discover that the majority of the gowns were actually really big. The average waist size of the gowns I examined (probably about a 100 in all over the 6 months I interned there) was about 26". Height, just judging from the front hem length, was at least around 5'4-5'6, which is very much the modern average for females in this day and age. Sure there were some garments that fell on the teeny end of the spectrum and a few that were actually very much for plus sized ladies, but the rest were pretty darn normal sized. Of course, that could have been the result of the fact that the collection was originally formed by the owners for resale to the vintage clothing wearing Bay Area artisans. There may have been a bias towards clothing that could be worn without corsets by modern women, hence the larger waists and shoulder measurements.

Still, does't beat the time that myladyswardrobe and I went to this little museum in Bury St. Edmunds to view an extant 16th c. polychrome embroidered night cap... The curator brought out the cap, which probably had a diameter of about 20", and said in that smug, self-assured way, "Well, people were much smaller back then." It couldn't be because the cap was meant for a child, or a sampler... No, it was because people were 4'2" tall 400 years ago.

And thus we learned that 16th century England was overrun by a race of fabulously dressed pygmies.
Dec. 8th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Ooh! Is that a new default come hither icon? Love it.

I know somebody who is pretty small (though not that tiny) and so she likes to do WWI reenacting because she can fit into the original clothes. *jealous*
Dec. 8th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Quick, off-topic question for you.

Could you suggest some good sources for Colonial women's costuming that might provide a breakdown of the clothing pieces, who would have worn what, maybe some basic patterns... I guess I'm looking for a good overview to get me started. I have a very, very basic kit as I have just recently started tagging along to St Augustine for Colonial reenactment with my better half... and he's not much of a help with women's clothing.

Thanks for any direction you can provide!

Dec. 8th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
Uh... hmmm. I actually don't know any Colonial sources - we do ours so early that pretty much all of the Elizabethan stuff still applies.

If any of my readers know, can they help?
Dec. 8th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
If anyone can assist with sources I'm especially looking for around 1763-1783 (British period of St Augustine) and for clothing appropriate to working women.


Edited at 2008-12-08 06:37 pm (UTC)
Dec. 8th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
is this the sort of thing you're looking for?
I don't know what the British period of st augustine is, or even what Colonial means in this context, but I think this would be useful...
There's reviews on Amazon there to give you an idea of what's in there, but it is essentially a discussion of 21 pieces in the Colonial Williamsburg collection (hmmm, there's that word - colonial so I guess I'm on the right track) like quilted petticoats, gowns, smock, stays, men's wear, etc with a basic pattern and some cultural info on the pieces, such as who wore it in what situation, and brief discussion on the extant garment.
It's a good book.
Dec. 8th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
actually, 25 pieces, not 21. I can give you a list of what's in there if you want more info.
Dec. 8th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
WORD to the awesome of curvy ladies. And yes, being thin is detrimental to being comfy. I know the feeling. I have the knee problems as well as the hard-chair problems. But I can't gain weight. I mean, I just recovered from weighing as much as you do at 5'9"! I have a little bit of tummy now, which is vastly helpful in keeping warm.

Your entry has basically supported my theory that the BMI indices are a load of potentially very harmful BS. When I was underweight and couldn't walk, I entered in my numbers and it told me that I was only on the low end of 'healthy'. WTF??? That's really frightening to think about.

I'm lucky in that my ladywife is fluffy and insists that I need cuddling when she feels how icy my hands/feet/face/etc are. Human warmth is the best kind.
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
I hate that part about never being comfortable. When I travel, my pillows take up more space in the luggage than my clothes, shoes, and toiletries combined. There's the pillow I need to hold between my knees, the pillow that goes under my arm . . .

I used to joke with my friends that I could never date a man as thin as me, because our hip-bones would knock together and bruise us.

And yes, I am cold all the time. I carry a coat with me everywhere because normal air conditioning is too cold for me.

When some curvy and voluptuous woman tells me she is jealous of my thin-ness, I just want to bitch-slap someone.
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)
I'm 5'4" with a small frame. Right now, I feel like I'm carrying around 15-20 extra pounds; my personal ideal would be around 130-135, and I'd wear a modern 6 or 8. But I've been sedentary.

In my 20s, I was a steady 125, no matter what I did.

Teens? I pretty much never broke 120. I was 105 on my wedding day when I was 21. I wore my paternal grandmother's gown from 1930, and it was loose on me.

However, when I was 13, and 95 pounds soaking wet, I tried on my maternal grandmother's slim lace sheath wedding gown from 1935, and it barely went over my hips. I know where my small frame comes from.

I do think that a lot of smaller garments have survived BECAUSE subsequent generations who were some-to-a-lot-larger couldn't get into them and wear them out, just like it's easiest to find smaller sizes at thrift stores NOW because people regretfully ditch their clothes as they gain weight.

One thing, though, is that SHOE sizes have most definitely been creeping up over the generations. Thirty years ago, the "sample" size for women's shoes was a 5. Now it's a 7, which is my size, and the range extends further upwards -- used to be there was trouble getting anything over a 9, now 10 is pretty commonly stocked. The women with size 4 feet are stuck shopping in the children's section.

Both my grandmothers wore size 7 shoes, while my mom wore an 8. I raided their closets a LOT when I was a teen. Didn't hurt that the fifties and sixties stilettos looked perfectly plausible in the eighties.

I *always* get cold, even now carrying my extra weight, and I always bruise easily. I didn't really ascribe the bruising to thinness.
Dec. 9th, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
There's only one way you'd get your waist down to 16" - years of uber-restrictive tight-lacing. A friend has a funky book on corsetry through the ages, and there are pics of tightlacers, including xrays. The results are really ugly, and quite disturbing. The xray showed that all of the internal organs were displaced (why would a person do that to themselves? Why?!?) as there just wasn't room for them to be where they were supposed to be.

Proper girl-shaped. That's the way we girls should be!
( 22 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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