Stepping Back in Time with Jeannie Watt
Posted by Beth Andrews Dec 21 2012, 4:00 am
Today I’m thrilled to welcome fellow SuperRomance author Jeannie Watt to the lair! Jeannie is one talented lady and I highly recommend you all check out her books including her latest reelease, CROSSING NEVADA! Here’s Jeannie…
I can’t say that I’ve always loved to sew, but my mom made certain that I knew how to sew, which came in very handy when I immersed myself in Gone With the Wind at the age of fifteen and decided that I simply had to have some southern belle gear.
At that time, there were no readily available patterns for such things as corsets and hoop skirts, but there was the library. I checked out many books, studied pictures and made a plan. I would start from the inside and work out, since corsets took less fabric than hoop skirts. My mother is the sensible sort and had I asked her for nine yards of fabric so that I could indulge in a fantasy, I don’t know that she would have been in favor. Not when that same nine yards of fabric could have made me three school outfits.
I found some sturdy floral fabric that I believe was originally intended to upholster something and began working on my corset. I had no idea what whalebone was, but it seemed to me that baling wire should be a suitable substitute. I’m pleased to say that my baling wire/upholstery fabric corset actually turned out pretty well, although I never got the chance to wear it. I couldn’t find enough fabric to make a dress to go over it. My baling wire hoops didn’t work quite so well and before I got the design flaws worked out, I started reading Regency romance and abandoned hoops and corsets. From that point on, I was all about empire waists—which also happened to be in style, so I could indulge.
Fast forward a couple of boring, non-costumed decades to December 2011 to when I found out that a friend of my husband sang at Dicken’s Fair.
Dicken’s Fair…hoop skirts…
The seed was planted. The sewing began—for the entire family. It took about six months but I got everyone outfitted. Do you have idea how much more comfortable actual store-bought boning is compared to baling wire? There is no comparison. I still haven’t got to wear real hoops, though. My daughter and I settled for stiff crinolines, which worked, but next year we’re wearing hoops for sure. I have plans for a new dress and my husband, the non-costume guy, wants a fancier vest.
The most wonderful part of preparing for Dicken’s Fair is that, despite a rather hectic schedule, I had an excuse to sew. I became so involved with sewing that when I wrote my December SuperRomance, Crossing Nevada, it was natural to have my heroine learn to sew as a way to deal with the trauma of being attacked and permanently scarred. She never made a hoop skirt, but she did find confidence learning a new skill.
Have you ever made anything comparable to a baling wire corset? Indulged in a little costume mania? Learned to sew? Tell me your secret costume fantasy or what you love to do in your spare time and I’ll give away copies of Crossing Nevada to three respondents.
It’s been great being here. Thanks for having me!
Thanks for being with us, Jeannie! Don’t forget to check out Jeannie’s website:
These are a wonderful Sunday breakfast muffin. They have a lovely crunch on the outside and are deliciously moist on the inside.
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/4 cup lime juice
Preheat over to 400°F. Grease twelve 2 ½ inch muffin pan cups.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl.
Mix milk, eggs, oil, lime rind and lime juice in a two-cup measure. Add all at once to flour mixture; stir lightly with fork until just moist. (Batter will be lumpy.) Spoon into prepared muffin-pan cups, filling each three quarters full.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove muffins from cups to wire rack. Serve warm with butter.
Note—these muffins are a bit flat on top, but the taste makes it totally worthwhile not to have a mini-mountain muffin.
It’s the 12 Bandita Days of Christmas! From now until December 25th we’re celebrating the holidays with daily recipes and PRIZES! It’s all leading up to a HUGE Prize bundle of books and goodies on Christmas Day so make sure you stop back each day!
Posted in 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, Beth Andrews, history, Jeannie Watt, Sewing