Fashion illustration from Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1850
Jan 19th Monday Susan washed the dishes and after doing
my usual mornings work commenced sewing some pieces
of fur that was taken off my cloak for Susan a muff
to carry to school. Finished it before dark and in
the evening made over her best muff and it looks
as well if not better than when new. feel very well
satisfied with my days work Very cold.
The snow continued today. According to Old Oliver Ames, “it snowd all last night + more than half the day to day and it was a verry cold storm – it did not snow fast any part of the time and all that has come now will not measure more than 6 inches on a level. it drifted considerable and is dry + light.”*
Susan Ames probably would appreciate the muff that her mother was making for her to keep her hands warm. She already had one for “best” to wear to church, but this one would be for everyday. Made from recycled pieces of fur off her mother’s cloak, Susie would be making quite a fashion statement for a nine-year-old school child, most of whose classmates would likely have worn mittens. Even Meg and Jo March had to walk to their jobs without muffs, holding instead warm popovers fresh from the oven to keep their fingers from numbing up.
At day’s end, Evelina was “very well satisfied” with the muffs she had reworked. The household today appears to have been running well which would have amplified Evelina’s happy mood. Jane McHanna must have worked some magic to get the laundry done despite the snow storm.
*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Arnold Tofias Collection