Nightcaps or sleeping caps were worn while sleeping to keep the hair tangle-free and – especially silk nightcaps – to make the hair glossy. Nightcaps have a long history and even today silk caps are recommended for long or curly hair. Read on to find out why and how Edwardian and WW1 women wore nightcaps and how to make a vintage silk sleeping cap for yourself!
In the Victorian era, hay was made by hand with a scythe. But even today, a scythe is often used to cut grass and make hay. I love making hay with a scythe – it’s the best full body workout! Every summer, I make hay for our rabbits by hand with a scythe. Besides haymaking, the scythe is also perfect to cut grass on a hill in our garden that is too steep for a lawn mower.
‘Now, whilst the mowers are whetting their scythes, and the fragrant smell of the hay fills the summer air, let us sit on the haycock, and glance at the flowers around us.’ (English Wild Flowers, 1868)
Edwardian walking dresses: What Edwardian women wore in cold and rainy winter weather and for summer hiking vacations.
‘The very best form of exercise, all doctors agree, is walking. It brings into action every muscle of the body, stimulates the organs and circulation, and provides an interesting amusement, because it is enjoyable. It induces health because it does not overstrain any part of the body, and it brings beauty of form because it gets rid of superfluous tissue, and, at the same time, develops the muscles, thus filling out the hollows and thin places.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2a)
Edwardians were fond of walking. Even rain didn’t stop them: They believed a walk through rain was an excellent skin toner! But the clothing had to be light and warm so as not to catch cold. Edwardian walking dresses usually consisted of a short leather-lined wool skirt, a wool jacket or sweater, walking boots and a soft felt cap or hat. Continue reading Edwardian Walking Dresses→
Indoor and outdoor ice skating was a popular pastime in the Edwardian era. Edwardian women wore specially made skating costumes. Edwardian skating costumes were made out of wool or velvet with short skirts and matching jackets. ‘The correct skating costume is of a rough material, with skirt shorter than the ordinary and a half fitted jacket of three-quarter length, while the hat should be small and should fit snugly on the head.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 3 January 1909)
‘The Winter Girl is seen at her best muffled in her velvets and furs, gliding like a true queen over the ice.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1907)
‘With laughter and delighted greetings and in the highest of high spirits San Francisco’s young people met on Monday night for the first of the season’s skating parties. They were unfeignedly glad to be together again […] From 8:30 o’clock until nearly midnight the enthusiasm lasted without an instant’s break, and perfect music and a perfect floor did their share to make the evening pleasant. It was a large meeting, more than 200 persons were there’ (San Francisco Call, 1907). Continue reading Edwardian Skating Costumes→
Knit and crochet sweaters were an everyday garment for active Edwardian girls and women. Edwardian sweaters are still in style today. So knit, crochet or sew your own Edwardian sweater this winter following one of the 25 free antique Edwardian sweater patterns. Winter is coming! 😉
Noyaux, marzipan, amaretto, kirschwasser, cherry jam – there are a lot of recipes that are made with apricot kernels, peach kernels or cherry pits!
Just recently I found out that apricot kernels, cherry pits, peach kernels and peach leaves can be used as natural bitter almond flavoring. ‘Families should always save their peach-kernels, as they can be used in cakes, puddings and custards.’ (Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, 1836, p. 56) And even if the kernels contain amygdalin, which turns into cyanide in the body, it’s safe to consume food prepared with kernels if it’s cooked or baked before eating (more about it here).