The Efficient Kitchen: Streamlining My Kitchen

The Efficient Kitchen: Streamlining My Kitchen

The home-maker will then have time to devote to the other side of life, to the things that bring inspiration and joy and peace into this little circle of love which we are proud to call “our home.”

Georgie Boynton Child on the science of homemaking in “The Efficient Kitchen”

As a stay-at-home mom and a homemaker, I find that a good portion of my time is spent in the kitchen, be it cooking, cleaning, or planning. It is not lost on me how important it is to have a warm and welcoming kitchen as well as one that is well managed. Several months ago I was introduced to the book The Efficient Kitchen by Georgie Boynton Child (1914) after watching this video from Paige at the Farmhouse Vernacular YouTube channel. This manual was intended “as a book of practical directions showing how to so build new kitchens or transform old ones that the work of the home may be accomplished with a sense of master, instead of remaining the hopeless problem it has become” in the early 20th century.

Georgie Boynton Child, from a publication 1914

Georgie Boynton Child was an American efficiency expert who took great care in assisting the homemaker, be it a man or a woman, to run an efficient and economical home , no matter what their household income level may be, so they could spend time away from the “villain kitchen vassalage,” and devote their time to the things that bring inspiration and joy to them and their family. It amazes me that the domestic issues we face today were very much in the forefront of the issues homemakers well over a century ago.

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Sewing A 1908 Ladies House Dress

Sewing A 1908 Ladies House Dress

Over the past few months I have taken up the mantle of a passion project I began several years back, to sew my own clothing and to have a nearly complete me-made wardrobe. My style preferences have changed considerably since 2016, however I believe I have found the style and era that I feel completely at home in: late Victorian to early Edwardian (roughly 1890-1910).

At this point I have already made a handful of underpinnings and several walking skirts (with more to come, of course). Now I wish to turn my attentions towards the House Dress.

As a mom to a very active toddler, its very important to me that I am able to keep up with her while still feeling comfortable and put together. At the beginning of motherhood I fell into the trap of wearing yoga pants for everything, a modern mom uniform, and I greatly wished to break free no matter how alluring those stretchy polyester pants are. In addition to my motherly duties, I spend my days as a house wife running the home, cooking homemade meals, and completing day-to-day chores, so I need these clothes to be practical and functional.

One evening I was up late scrolling through pages of sewing patterns on Etsy, as one does, when I came across this pattern for a 1908 House Dress. At once I knew this was the solution to my dilemma! This fantastic dress was the perfect marriage of form and function to clad myself in as a worked around my home and played with my daughter.

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