Susan wrote:

Hi all,
I'm still here. I get fed up with facebook, and rarely with email lists, so happy to see people.

I've refused to join Facebook. (That said, I am on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.)

Since you're all here ... I've just gotten interested in english smocks (18th - 19th c ones) and was debating making one.

Cool! It was something that surprised me years ago, when I purchased a second-hand book I expected to be mostly smocking patterns. (_Smocks and Smocking_, by Beverley Marshall, 1981 Van Nostrand Reinhold: New York, ISBN 0-442-28269-9 — paperback edition of Alphabooks UK 1980 hardcover).

Marshall tries to disambiguate body-garment smocks from protective-overgarment smocks, decorative smocks, and smocking (needlework technique), showing examples of all of the above (with a number of the garments exhibiting variations of the needlework technique).

RE: Mouse-Proof: On page 14 of _Smocks and Smocking_, Marshall describes the attire of Victorian smock-wearing laborers: "Trousers were made of fustian' or 'moleskin': a strong twilled cotton with a smooth matt surface favoured by the labourer for its resemblance to their earlier leather breeches. THey were hitched up under the knee by a leather strap or simply a piee of string, good for preventing field mice and insects from running up the wearer's legs." From which one might surmise that Miss Browning's knickers might have been made of a smooth, sturdy fabric and bound tightly to the leg at the lower edges.

Brenda F. Bell

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