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|Dress Making at Hartfield
Written by Robbin
(2/28/2011 4:20 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Robbin has pointed out something that I missed, penned by Kathleen Glancy
I think there is support for some degree of dress making at Hartfield in Ch. 27. A reason Harriet thinks to send her newly purchased ribbon and plain muslin to Hartfield is because that is where her pattern gown presently resides:
He could say no more; and with the hope of Hartfield to reward him, returned with Mrs. Weston to Mrs. Bates's door. Emma watched them in, and then joined Harriet at the interesting counter, trying, with all the force of her own mind, to convince her that if she wanted plain muslin it was of no use to look at figured; and that a blue ribbon, be it ever so beautiful, would still never match her yellow pattern. At last it was all settled, even to the destination of the parcel.
"Should I send it to Mrs. Goddard's, ma'am?" asked Mrs. Ford. "Yes -- no -- yes, to Mrs. Goddard's. Only my pattern gown is at Hartfield. No, you shall send it to Hartfield, if you please. But then, Mrs. Goddard will want to see it. And I could take the pattern gown home any day. But I shall want the ribbon directly-- so it had better go to Hartfield -- at least the ribbon. You could make it into two parcels, Mrs. Ford, could not you?" (27)
Unless Harriet just carries her pattern gown to Hartfield for Emma to merely see and approve then there is some sort of work being done on a gown at Hartfield. How far Emma gets involved I can’t say but in NA Henry Tilney talks of his sister, Eleanor, cutting up muslin but I guess that need not be necessarily for a gown:
“But then you know, madam, muslin always turns to some account or other; Miss Morland will get enough out of it for a handkerchief, or a cap, or a cloak. Muslin can never be said to be wasted. I have heard my sister say so forty times, when she has been extravagant in buying more than she wanted, or careless in cutting it to pieces.” (NA, 3)
I think Emma would consider it necessary, a sort of duty to dress fashionably in keeping with her situation as an heiress and the first lady of Highbury. I think she would keep up with modern styles rather than keeping up with every trend which might contribute to Mrs. Elton’s over trimmed dresses. (:D)
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