Tag Archives: Belle Epoque

Retour à une vie normale

Eh non, je n’ai pas oublié ce blog, ce petit bout de l’Internet qui constitue mon refuge créatif. Enfin, mon refuge pour parler de création. Je suis vraiment désolée de l’avoir un peu laissé à l’abandon tous ces mois durant. Ce n’est pas faute pourtant d’avoir eu des choses à raconter et l’envie de partager. Loin de là ! C’est le temps qui a manqué…

Hello there! See, I haven’t forgotten this blog, my tiny crafty place of the Internet. I’m really sorry I haven’t been around for all those months. It’s not that I didn’t have anything creative to talk about, far from it. But time seemed to disappear so fast I didn’t have any left…

Ca n’est pas évident de revenir après une si longue absence. Forcément, on se demande s’il y aura encore quelqu’un pour lire à l’autre bout du câble Ethernet ou des ondes Wifi. Car pour partager, il faut un correspondant de l’autre côté. On ne sait trop que dire, comment le dire. Doit-on redémarrer de but en blanc avec quelques projets, comme si de rien n’était ? J’ai eu envie de reprendre en douceur et de faire un lien avec ce que je racontais cet été. Vous vous rappellerez peut-être la perle que j’avais découverte en brocante, cette compilation d’un magazine de mode datant de la Belle Epoque. C’est un vrai plaisir de parcourir ses pages et je souhaite en partager un extrait avec vous ce soir. Une petite fenêtre sur les usages mondains en 1898, qui vous donnera également un indice sur ce qui m’a occupée ces derniers mois et m’a tenue éloignée de ce blog. J’espère que ce petit texte vous amusera comme moi.

I feel it’s not that easy to come back after being away for such a long time. Of course, you can’t help but wonder if there will be anyone to read those words at the other end of the ethernet cable of Wi-Fi waves. Because sharing supposes a recipient. You’re unsure of what to say or how to say it. Should I explain? Should I start as if nothing happened with my latest project? I’ve decided in favor of going back smoothly, with something that would relate to what I talked about last summer. You might remember this beautiful gem I found at a backyard sale, the collection of a 1898 fashion & beauty magazine. It’s a real pleasure to browse and read and I’d like to share an excerpt with you tonight. Of course the magazine being in French, unless you can read this language you won’t be able to appreciate the original text. You will find an English translation after the scans, that I hope will be understandable. The language is probably a bit too modern, I lack knowledge in English from the end of the 19th century, but I hope it will still be enjoyable. A little glimpse of what they though was proper conduct then, and a clue as to what as occupied me those past months and kept me away from here.

To the english translation

Texte original / Original text :

English translation :

Parisian life


Civil and religious weddings

Without a doubt, everybody is supposed to know, and everyone think they know what is to be done, what we should do when we get married, when we give our son or daughter in marriage, or when we’re simply invited to a wedding. However, how many mistakes are done by those exact persons who think they’re extremely knowledgeable in the worldly usage! It occurred to us that it would be useful and pleasant for our readers to remind them what they, their husbands and their sons must do, because it is usually women who are the guides and advisors in wedding ceremonies.

The civil wedding usually happens the day before the religious wedding. The fiancé go pick his bride at her parents’ home. She gets in the car with her parents, where she has the place of honor. The fiancé follows in a second car with his family. The bride and groom’s four witnesses then take a seat in cars supplied by the bride’s father. Besides, all of a wedding’s expenses are at the charge of the bride’s father. The bride enters the city hall with her father; the groom’s mother enters with him.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds exit together from the city hall and the husband brings the young woman to her car, where her parents are waiting to take her home. The husband goes with his father and mother, as he did on their way in.

Depending on the young couple’s wealth, even if the civil marriage is free, it is customary to give something to the city hall lads; this is the groom’s responsibility.

The religious wedding is the biggest ceremony. It occurs, most of the time, the day after the civil wedding. The guests, either through a letter or through vocal invitation, go to the bride’s parents place. Of course, the groom and his family arrived there first. The bride, who appeared at the last moment with her father and mother, goes into the first car. The groom follows in the second car with his own parents. The witnesses are in the third car. Young girls, even when there are two of them, shouldn’t go alone in the same car as men, except when they’re close family.

In the church, the bride goes with her father; the groom follows with his mother; then come the bridesmaids and best men, the witnesses and the guests. It isn’t necessary, of course, to remind you that ladies take the left arm of their partner. The father of the bride leads her to her place.

After the ceremony is over, the couple, together with their parents, receives their guests in the sacristy. Then the bride’s father usually offers a brunch at his house. The couple gets alone in their car, which should be, if possible, a coupé.

Bridesmaids and best men are chosen among brothers and sisters, cousins and intimate friends of the bride or groom. They are introduced to one another during the contract evening. The day after, the best man is to pay a visit to his bridesmaid family. The day of the religious wedding, the best man will go take his bridesmaid at her house, with a car. The same morning she would have received from him a pink bouquet with lace and white ribbons. In the company of an older man and lady, they will go to the bride’s place. The best men’s duty is to take care of the guests at the church and seat them properly.

The closest relatives of the bride among the bridesmaids and best men take care of the charity. The young man offers his right hand to the young lady, she takes it with her left hand and rests on it. The best man will carry her bouquet in his left hand. In the purse presented to the guest by the bridesmaid, only silver coins should fall.

During the week following the ceremony, the best man will pay a visit to his bridesmaid, in her family.



Filed under books

Trouvailles de brocantes n°1 / Lucky founds n°1

Ces derniers mois je me suis mise à faire des brocantes. Ca faisait un moment que ça me tentait, et j’ai eu la chance qu’il y en ait près de là où je passais mes week-ends. Vu que j’y cherche notamment de vieux patrons ou de vieux magazine et autres livres de couture, j’ai envie de partager mes découvertes ici. Ma première expérience “shopping de vieilleries” a eu lieu le jour de la fête des mères. Nous étions allés déjeuner chez ma mère, et voilà-t-y pas qu’en arrivant dans sa ville je vois un gros panneau “Brocante – dimanche 29 mai”. Nous sommes donc allés y faire un tour en famille après le repas en abandonnant le chéri, pas branché vadrouille au milieu des étals, au canapé et aux bras de Morphée. Ce qui fut une excellente idée car j’ai eu la chance de tomber sur ces deux merveilles.

The past couple of months I’ve been doing a few garage sales. I’m not a regular visitor of yard sales and flea markets, but I’ve been thinking about it more and more lately. Seeing all the gems people find at such sales (especially in the US it seems) has motivated me to go and look for old sewing related things. I was lucky to have several of such sales organized where I was spending time during the week-ends. My first “hunt” was on French Mother’s day, on May 29th. We went to have lunch with my mother, and just as we arrived in her town we saw a big sign for a yard sale happening just that day. We did a little family trip there after eating, and I have to say it was an excellent idea, as I came back with two wonderful items!

Merveille n°1 / Wonder n°1

Une gravure tirée de la Mode Illustrée, avec son cadre. Le cadre n’est pas en état neuf mais il fait son office de protection pour le moment. Je vais voir si j’arrive à le nettoyer un peu ou si je le change. Je la vois bien accrochée au mur dans mon coin atelier. ^_^

This engraving (which I got with the frame) is from the old French magazine “La Mode Illustrée”. The frame isn’t in the best shape but it’s useful as a protection for the plate. I’ll see if I keep it or not. I think this would be lovely hung on the wall of my sewing corner. ^_^

Merveille n°2 / Wonder n°2


Une compilation du magazine “Le journal de la beauté” allant du 28 novembre 1897 au 1er novembre 1898. Il n’est pas au mieux de sa forme car la reliure est abimée et certaines pages sont pliées ou déchirée, mais ça reste un véritable trésor !

This is a collection of magazines called “Le journal de la beauté” (“Beauty magazine”) going from November 28, 1897 to November 1st, 1898. The binding is a little damaged and some pages are folded or have small rips, but it’s a real gem!

Lorsque j’ai vu ce grand livre au format inhabituel gravé d’un “1898” sur la tranche, j’ai tout de suite pensé aux volumes reliés des magazines de mode. Et oui, c’était bel et bien ça ! J’étais ravie.

When I saw this big book with its unusual size and the year engraved on the edge, I instantly thought of the old fashion magazines collections I had seen at antique bookshops. And I was right! I was so happy when I opened it.

J’ai été conquise au premier regard. Toutes ces illustrations, ce texte désuet, c’est génial ! Je compte le découvrir petit à petit et le savourer un moment, en me régalant de belles toilettes et d’un aperçu de la société de l’époque.

It was love at first sight. All those drawings, the old-fashioned texts and pieces of advice, it’s just perfect! I intend to take my time and fully enjoy this book, picking little bits of texts here and there, savoring the insights of what life was at that time and the wonderful outfits.

Il y avait même un cadeau bonus caché à la fin du livre : une double page tirée du Petit Echo de la Mode, datant vraisemblablement des années 30 d’après le style vestimentaire (ceci dit je peux me tromper, je ne suis pas une spécialiste de cette époque). Je n’ai pas de photo, je l’ai découvert après coup. Ce sera pour une prochaine fois !

And as if this wasn’t enough, I found a small bonus hidden at the end of the book: a piece of paper taken from “Le Petit Echo de la mode”, which seems to be from the 30s (although I’m no specialist of this time period, so I could be wrong). I don’t have any picture of it yet, I found it afterwards. I’ll show it later.

Et cela m’a coûté en tout et pour tout, tenez-vous bien… 3 euros ! Habituée aux prix d’Ebay ou à ceux des quais, je n’en suis pas revenue. Je suis bien contente de ces trouvailles. Le seul problème c’est de trouver où ranger ce livre superbe mais très grand et un peu fragile. ^^; Et le deuxième effet kiss-cool c’est que ça m’a motivée pour faire le tour des brocantes, au grand dam de mon chéri. Même si je me suis dis que c’était peut-être la chance de la débutante, et que je ne trouverai pas forcément des trucs chouettes à chaque fois (pour le moment j’ai toujours trouvé quelque chose, même si ça n’a pas été aussi spectaculaire).

The best part of this is that the whole lot cost me… 3 euros! Since I’m used to prices on Ebay or specialized shops in Paris I just couldn’t believe it. I’ve been so lucky!! I’m really happy I found those items. The only problem is to find where to put this wonderful but huge and fragile book. ^^; Of course this got me totally hooked on yard sales and I after that I wanted to go to more, even though I knew I probably wouldn’t get that lucky each time. We have an expression for this in French that says it’s beginner’s luck. I’ve done other sales since this first one and for now I’ve always found something interesting, although I have to admit not as impressive and uncommon as this book. But this will be the subject of a future post.


Filed under books