A grab bag of items today:
1. Firstly I have figured out that people couldn't post comments unless they were on Blogger. I have changed the settings - I hope I have fixed this. I do try and reply to comments where I think it is needed - so remember to check back.
2. Takahe is a literary magazine for which I do administration - their website is up and running here.
3. I spent part of yesterday afternoon at the museum ogling historical costumes. I've been thinking about going to Oamaru, a small town about three hours from here where my greatgrandparents first settled. Every November they have a Victorian Heritage Festival with lots of dressing up in period costume. I thought it might be fun. However, the pattern catalogues - Butterick, Simplicity etc - being American, have costumes from American history with particular emphasis on the Civil War period. I wasn't quite sure if New Zealand pioneer women wore similar fashions or not. I suspect the patterns for Civl War costumes place heavy emphasis on what the gracious ladies of the deep South war - the ones with households full of servants. Did New Zealand women really scrub floors, haul laundry and do other heavy chores in dresses with hoops, bustles and all the parephernalia? My greatgrandfather went bankrupt twice (once in Scotland and once in New Zealand) and there were eight children to bring up with, I suspect,no money for servants.
The costumes are gorgeous - I should have taken photos, and will go back to do so. There is one from 1872 which has a sleeve that looks very like what my greatgrandmother wore in a photo I have of her before she left Scotland, and before the bankruptcies. I don't think my sewing skills are up to the massive bustle in the rear, though - and I hate to think of the cost of all the fabric. I think if I do decide to sew a costume, it will be from a later period - around 1900 when a fairly simple skirt, a blouse with leg of mutton sleeves, and a straw boater dressed up with flowers will do the trick. Or I could just hire a costume - but that may need an extra trip to try it on and reserve it, and I don't want to do that.
I'll post photos if I can get some good ones at the museum. If anyone has good ideas or sources for historical costumes, let me know.