EXCUSE? “IT WAS THE ’70S”

I found a box of stuff I’ve?been carting around forever. (At least it seems like forever). In it were mouldering reminders of decades past. Including this little doodle sampler I did to hang on my dorm wall:

From the stitching standpoint, I can say it’s unremarkable – cross stitch and crewel type stitches, done on muslin ground in standard-issue DMC floss. There’s a bit of couched silk ribbon, too. The turquoise ribbon has faded, leaving only the little turquoise fastening stitches, and the bits of matching color cotton down below. It’s signed "KEB ’74."

As to the sentiment. Like the title says. It was the ’70s.

I?stitched it up?over a weekend and had it on the wall by Monday. I think I did it mostly to annoy my first roommate: a gal who managed to arrive at college with calcified attitudes, white kid gloves, and a life-long desire to take two years of college at the most to?find a husband and then drop out. She did manage to do just that and start a family, although not necessarily in the order she would have preferred. I guess she never quite took the sampler seriously…

More on Sontags

My friend Kathryn the costume doyenne, tells me that?the original?sontag isn’t really exactly like a poncho. Sort of, but not quite. It’s more like a scarf or fichu meant to cover the front of the upper torso that fastened behind the neck. They were usually buttoned or tied in the back. The idea was to avoid shawl points or dangling ends that could pose a danger in the era of open fires. Think of "Gone with the Wind" costumes, with the long shawl-like thing criss-crossed over the front of the body, with the ends tied behind the waist.

That makes sense. Looking at the item in the page from the NYPL it may be pictured from the back. The wearer would be facing away from the viewer, and the spot where the two sides meet would be at the lower back. It still looks like?a capelet/shawl hybrid to me, but worn backwards from the way that seems logical today.

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