Linda’s Countdown to the Royal Wedding–May 14 –Day 3 –There was no Febreeze in Those Days!!

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Linda’s Countdown to the Royal Wedding–May 14 –Day 3 –There was no Febreeze in Those Days!!

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I bought my youngest grandchild Tenley a fancy dress to play in for her birthday. I knew the chances of either of us going to the Royal Wedding were null and void, but what the heck. Every little girl needs a dress to twirl in. I asked her mother Taryn how she was going to clean it and she didn’t even bat an eye. Said her Grandmother, Rena Hastie would know what to do and would take care of it. Now I know– next time I am in trouble with a cleaning matter I am going to call Rena up and ask her what’s what.

 

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Tenley, Me, Julia Guthrie, and Rena Hastie talking history

 

So how did they clean those fancy dresses they used in the 1800s going to fancy dress affairs?  There was no single way to spot clean a Victorian gown. Many lady’s maids had their own special mixtures, perhaps some secret combination of turpentine, benzene, or chalk. Turpentine? Imagine if Febreeze had been invented!

These dresses could be washed, but soap, when applied directly to the fabric, was equally harmful. Instead, the 1856 edition of Godey’s Lady’s Book recommends that a lady’s maid:

“Make a lather by boiling some soap and water together; let it stand until it is sufficiently cool for use, and previously to putting the dress into it, throw in a handful of salt.”

 

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My Granddaughter Tenley  May 5th 2015 in her dress I gave her. Rena Hastie knows how to cleean it.

 

 

It was double rinsed in “clear cold water” and salt. The dress was then carefully wrung out and hung to dry with the folds spread “as open as possible” so that no part of the dress was lying over another part.

The process of cleaning silk dresses was a bit more complicated than simply washing the fabric in soap and water. To remove ordinary stains, a lady’s maid generally employed some variety of spot solution. The 1861 edition of Godey’s Lady’s Book describes one such solution comprised of:

“Quarter of a pound of honey; quarter of a pound of soft soap; two wineglasses of gin; three gills of boiling water.” Gin? Did they drink it after the spot did not come out in fear of losing their job?

 

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The Belladonna Dress I designed and weighed 50 pounds that won first prize in the UK- read Greeting Old Friends and New Friends at Ladies Who Lunch in Carleton Place This cost over $150 to dry clean.

 

These ingredients were mixed well and left to stand until the solution was “blood-warm.” and then be applied to the silk with a small brush. A lady’s maid would next use a sponge to “wet the whole breadth of fabric” and to rub gently over the soiled areas. With the cleaning completed, the silk dress could be rinsed in “cold soft water” and hung up to drain. As for drying, the 1861 edition of Beeton’s Book of Household Management states that:

“Silks, when washed, should be dried in the shade, on a linen-horse, taking care that they are kept smooth and unwrinkled.”

A lady’s maid would then iron the dress while it was still damp. However, if the dress was black or dark blue, Beeton’s advises that, once dry, the dress should be spread out over a table and “sponged with gin, or whiskey, or other white spirits. Vodka sounds good to me, maybe mix it with some tomato juice and make a Bloody Mary while waiting for it to dry.

 

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Granddaughter Sophia previewed Meghan Markle’s dress for the Royal Wedding at our Mother’s Day BBQ yesterday.

 

So what about Queen Victoria’s dress- or the one coming up from the wedding of Meghan and Spencer?  On a Victorian lady’s gown, the collar and cuffs were generally soiled long before the rest of the dress. However, when collar and cuffs were made of lace, the process for washing them was a bit more difficult. For this reason, the 1861 edition of Godey’s Lady’s Book advises that every lady “should know how to wash her own thread lace.” I don’t!

The first step was to remove the lace from the gown. According to Godey’s, a lady must then “roll the lace very smoothly and securely round a clean black bottle” and “tack each end of the lace with a needle and thread to keep it smooth.” Once the lace was on the bottle, it was thoroughly sponged with “sweet oil” and then soaked in a wash kettle containing “clear water and white Castile soap.”

Godey’s recommended that a lady leave the lace to boil in the sudsy water for “an hour or more” until the lace was “clean and white all through” The suds were then drained off and the lace was left to dry in the sun. Once dry, the lace—depending on its size—could be wrapped around a ribbon-block or placed between two sheets of white paper and pressed flat in a large book.

I don’t know about you but I am tired after reading all of that and wonder if cleaning the Queen’s drawers was a lot easier than that. ( read  Tales of the Queen’s Underwear and all those “Accidents”)

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How much do I love royalty? Let me count the ways. Royalty books used to balance my dryer. Killing two birds with one stone. I can pick one of them up and have a read sometimes to lessen the chore of laundry LOL

 

                         Lanark County

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Not invited to the royal wedding? Well- “Pinky Up” and get your finery and fascinator ready!–You can still celebrate– as you are cordially invited to a High Tea – Royal Wedding style! Saturday, May 19th 3 pm! CrossroadsTea Room from Perth will be serving the best in dainties and Champagne is Included!

Prizes for Best Fascinator & Outfit–

Where? Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn & Spa
Get your tickets fast at The Crossroads Tearoom– You know they will be sold out quickly!

40 Gore Street East, Perth, ON, Canada

613-267-2152
crossroadstearoom@gmail.com

 

 

 

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Join the Hub for the Royal Wedding on May 19 click here

 

You are invited to the Live Screening of the Wedding of
His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales to Ms. Meghan Markle at the Almonte Civitan Hall.
6 AM for light refreshments
7 AM Ceremony start time
Followed by an English Breakfast and a very special Wedding Cake

MORNING WEDDING ATTIRE ENCOURAGED!

Join us for what is expected to be one of the most watched world wide events. A big screen will be set up to watch the Wedding unfold, followed by a delicious breakfast and wedding cake!
We have 20 Golden Tickets for those interested in the baking challenge and are first come first serve. Golden Cake ticket holders are asked to bake and decorate a wedding cake or dessert ( to serve 8 people).
Cakes will be on display and all attendees will have 1 vote for their favorite cake. Bragging rights and prize for the winner!

We invite you to extend your best wishes to the happy couple by bringing a card, which will be passed on to them. In lieu of gifts for the Royal Couple, and to honour their extensive charitable work, we invite you to donate to The Hub Building Fund.

Tickets are $25.00
For more info and to purchase your tickets, please call Julia Thomas at 613-256-2116, or email info@thehubalmonte.com.

OR

Tickets can be bought at Blackbirds and Gilligalou Birds in Almonte.

Proudly sponsored by THE HUB and Prior Engagements, Party & Event Rentals

 

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Get ready for the Royal Wedding and make your own Fascinator! Two workshops coming up – April 25th and May 2nd. You too could look amazing with this addition to your wardrobe! Info under a separate event for The Hub! Book your spot today!

 

 

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Dressed in their finery and enjoying their tea and cupcakes, from left: Carleton Place residents Linda Seccaspina, Laurie Graham and Jennifer Irwin. – Tara Gesner/METROLAND

Queen Elizabeth II honoured with tea party (2015) click here.

 

 

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Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

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1970s Lanark County Beauty Queens

Here She Comes Miss Eastern Ontario –Photos

 

Miss Civitan Club 1976? Who Are These Women?

Have Hat Will Travel — Carleton Place Royal Tea — September 9th (2015)

Electrical Plugs — Hats– and Impressive Men – Putting on the Ritz in Almonte

Tales of the Queen’s Underwear and all those “Accidents”

My Journey to Become the Future Queen Mum of England

A Photo Birthday Message for the Queen-April 21 2016

The Not So Secret Society of Ladies Who Lunch — It’s Always a Good Time

Royal Canadian Mint unveils royal wedding coin created by Westport artist

Doo Wah Diddy Diddy —The 1964 Royalty? Straight Outta Carleton Place High School

FACT – The Queen is Not Affiliated with Freddie Mercury

Taking Sexy Back with Brothel Bertie aka Edward the VII

The Dolls of Queen Victoria 1899

Should we Change the Name of Victoria Day? Another Assault on Dead People?

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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