Delia got the newest American Girl, Caroline for her birthday a bit back, and that prompted us to learn about the war of 1812, which I don't think I ever learned about in school. We may have, but The Oregon Trail is what loomed very large in my schooling memory, especially before high school.
A Caroline-style dress was requested and made, right after the holidays and before the barfing virus took hold of our family. I finished stitching on the trim last weekend. I used a lovely rayon/cotton light lavender fabric I found at Mill Ends. Delia requested puffy long sleeves, like a dress shown on one of the books, but was flexible with the color, which was great.
I used McCalls M6141, the same pattern I used for Sadie's Dress when she was 8, which is medieval, but the lines were right and allowed me to sew the whole project without leaving the house, except for the trim selection, which warranted a special trip the the The Button Emporium and Ribbonery. Delia spotted the perfect embroidered ribbon for the bodice.
Caroline does some clever stitching in the first book, marking on a needlework map where enemies are and showing it to her Dad, who is a prisoner planning to escape. Needlework and intrigue has been coming up for us lately, there was needlework Morse code on a crinoline in a book we read when we were studying Florence Nightengale, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline, which is a great series whose main character is a brilliant runaway, inconitgio, and is the younger sister of Shelock Holmes. (We really like this series, but have had to skim ahead and/or be quick to edit out some more intense topics that come up in these books when reading aloud to all 3 girls.)
This is Delia's cross-stitch she has been working on for about 9 months, off and on. It's her initials, which we will frame when she finishes her "M". The girls' work in cross-stitch runs hot and cold, almost identical to my cross-stitch work. When I pick mine up, they want to work on theirs, and then need help, which means that I can't really work on mine. Now I expect this, so it makes me much more patient. I know now I just need to try and work mine about double the amount, realizing I will only get about half done as I think. Or, I need to work on mine when I actually don't want to really work on it. A double fake-out.