The Harvester



Laurie Telgen, Tracey Telgen


Outline the story …

My entry is an outfit made for the character Ruth Langston from Gene Stratton-Porter's The Harvester, set in 1910, and published in 1911. Ruth is the wife of "The Harvester", David Langston, who harvests herbs and other plants, to sell to the pharmaceutical market. He also compounds tonics in hopes of helping others. Ruth comes from a financially poor background. David buys her "anything a woman would need" to prepare a welcoming home for her. She doesn't know what to do with half of it. Later, Ruth has a severe health crisis, in which doctors give up hope for her survival. David injects a special formulation he's been working on, as a desperate, last resort, and saves her life. David's well off financially, but not extremely wealthy, so I've made the items: a pair of combinations, a princess petticoat and a 1910 day dress with that in mind. The cloak was made, considering David forgot to buy wraps and such, but allows Ruth to appropriate his deceased mother's belongings. It may be from an earlier period and perhaps homemade. The Harvester references natures abundance of harmonious colour- the cloak, reversible with a tartan lining, has multicoloured stitching. Pink is referenced as healthful, and Ruth seems partial to it. Reddish purple is a favourite of David's. Tracey has designed the pendant based on the description of it being visually similar to arrowhead lillies. Also with Art Nouveau and naturalness in mind.

Outline the construction…

From Tracey, regarding the necklace: Laurie asked me to collaborate on this costume by creating a wirewrapped pendant that was inspired by a description from a book called "The Harvester". I collected the stone at Red Pine Bay near Braeside, Ontario. It is an arrowhead shape and simply wrapped in bronze copper wire with freshwater pearl beads to make the white flowers. The center of the flowers are garnet stone beads and the buds are copper beads. The delicate chain is gold plated and the stone is almost too heavy for it, which makes a great match with the description. The colors complement the red and pink tones of the costume and the piece is earthy and all natural materials.

For the clothing, materials used were: bedsheets (cotton for combinations and petticoat, and cotton blend for day dress); a blanket (cloak lining); a thrifted pillowcase (petticoat top), thrifted laces. I made the day dress applique with crochet cotton, and soutache from silk ribbon. The buttons were thrifted. Crochet cotton was used for all stitching. Challenges overcome include: drafting patterns (waist, sleeves, and skirt), draping shoulders for the cloak. Making soutache was a challenge as resources feature mainly soutache braid only, and I haven't worked with silk before. The ribbon was frayed, causing irritating tangles initially. Resources that helped me: ; Keystone Jacket and Dress Cutter. 1895. Hecklinger; The Standart Work on Cutting Ladies Tailor Made Garments 1908.Gordon. ; Foundations Revealed Sleeve Workshop; Juul Thissen YouTube stitch tutorial.




  1. Avatar Susanna Antonsson on March 12, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    I like that you have reused so much materials.

  2. Avatar Rebecca on March 13, 2021 at 7:10 am

    i finally found your entry! i think you’ve created a real person with real clothes. i love your color palette and the textual reasoning for your choices. there’s something steady and melancholic about this project. good luck! (from craftyroo/icarus)

    • Avatar Laurie on March 13, 2021 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you for finding me and sharing your thoughts. Appreciated!

  3. Avatar Manon L'Hostis on March 15, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Love the lace insert! Looks very delicate♡

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