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A Market Girl with a Mallard Duck, pastel by John Russell, 1787. (Sold by Christie's)

A Market Girl with a Mallard Duck, pastel by John Russell, 1787. (Sold by Christie’s)

I like Fort Lee: after all, I like big guns, and Fort Lee has a 32 pound gun.

It’s always cold, though, and I could use a day sewing various projects or vacuuming. But it’s also the last event of the season. Of course, in the slack time, I always stand on the NJ shore wondering how feasible it would be to run over to Manhattan for trim, fabric, or a trip to a museum. In kit. Because…. why not?

But Mr S wants me to come, so I’ve stirred myself to cutting and pressing and starting to hem a wool kerchief. This is made from some crossed-barred wool found in Somerville on the shopping expedition with Sew 18th Century.

She kindly sent me the image above, which is a good thing because I get distracted and think, “you know, that image with the duck and the girl and the bonnet,” which will give you 71,000,000 results in Google, but fortunately includes this one.

Three hems: I should be done by now.

It’s an easy project, but sometimes those are the hardest because you’re not learning anything. That, of course, is what Netflix is for: ghastly murders or sophisticated dramas keep you going on repetitive hems.  (I do my best backstitching to BBC crime dramas– go figure.)

So, a November Saturday up on the Palisades means wool, in fact, requires wool, and for the first time I think I have enough wool to stay reasonably comfortable. That’s a cloak, kerchief, gown and two wool petticoats, plus wool stockings and, if they fit, sheepskin insoles for my shoes. We have a wool shift at work, but at about 50 years later than the Fall of Fort Lee, it provides no justification for a wool flannel shift. Still, a wool shift is a tempting thought, and suddenly that kerchief hem gets more interesting, as I start to think about where to look for documentation of wool or flannel shifts.