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When were "growth tucks" used in children's clothing?

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  • Catharine Decker
    Hi all. I m Catharine and I m entirely new to SCA and to this group. I ve always been interested, but am finally wanting to get involved in SCA. I can t
    Message 1 of 25 , Jul 18 11:56 AM
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      Hi all. I'm Catharine and I'm entirely new to SCA and to this group. I've always been interested, but am finally wanting to get involved in SCA. I can't promise I'll be 100% authentic from the start, but I'm definitely wanting to work towards this. :-)

      My question at the moment is about "growth tucks" in children's clothing. From my (limited) experience with American Civil War reenactments, it was common to sew tucks into the hemlines and sleeves of children, so that as the child grew, the tucks could be taken out, thereby lengthening the sleeves/hemlines so the child could wear the garment longer.

      As I look at medieval and renaissance clothing information, I see mostly that children's garments were constructed similar to adults, just smaller and perhaps simpler. But I don't see any reference to growth tucks, which would be a tremendous practical advantage (seems to me both for the actual historic peoples and for the modern reenactor who doesn't want to replace a wardrobe yearly).

      Does anyone know about this?

      Thanks.

      Catharine
    • Zhara8
      The closest SCA comparison that I know of is the practice in most Arab regions to re-use the embroidered yokes and kameez fronts of garments, thus allowing
      Message 2 of 25 , Jul 18 2:57 PM
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        The closest SCA comparison that I know of is the practice in most Arab regions to re-use the embroidered yokes and kameez fronts of garments, thus allowing repeated wearings of the most ornate (and therefore most valuable) part of the clothing.

        Regards,
        Z.






        ----- Original Message ----
        From: Catharine Decker <cdeckerwi@...>
        To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 1:56:48 PM
        Subject: [Authentic_SCA] When were "growth tucks" used in children's clothing?


        Hi all. I'm Catharine and I'm entirely new to SCA and to this group. I've always been interested, but am finally wanting to get involved in SCA. I can't promise I'll be 100% authentic from the start, but I'm definitely wanting to work towards this. :-)

        My question at the moment is about "growth tucks" in children's clothing. From my (limited) experience with American Civil War reenactments, it was common to sew tucks into the hemlines and sleeves of children, so that as the child grew, the tucks could be taken out, thereby lengthening the sleeves/hemlines so the child could wear the garment longer.

        As I look at medieval and renaissance clothing information, I see mostly that children's garments were constructed similar to adults, just smaller and perhaps simpler. But I don't see any reference to growth tucks, which would be a tremendous practical advantage (seems to me both for the actual historic peoples and for the modern reenactor who doesn't want to replace a wardrobe yearly).

        Does anyone know about this?

        Thanks.

        Catharine






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      • Sarah Natividad
        I don t have any evidence for or against growth tucks, but I have a lot of growing kids to garb (plus ALL their friends) and I ve noticed that if you cut them
        Message 3 of 25 , Jul 19 5:19 AM
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          I don't have any evidence for or against growth tucks, but I have a
          lot of growing kids to garb (plus ALL their friends) and I've noticed
          that if you cut them wide enough, tunics will "fit" for quite a while
          longer than mundanely sized clothing. I put "fit" in scare quotes
          because you kinda have to relax your standards of what fits and what
          doesn't. A tunic that "fits" won't always be perfectly knee length
          (or ankle length). If it's too long you can "bag" it a bit at the waist.

          Example: my 8 year old has a tunic I made him a year ago. Mundanely
          he's been through a two size growth spurt in this one year, but the
          tunic still fits him well enough that I haven't had to replace it.
          (It's just about the only article of his clothing I haven't had to
          replace in the last year.)

          Obrigada,
          Lianor
        • Joan Mielke Yost
          My question at the moment is about growth tucks in children s clothing. From my (limited) experience with American Civil War reenactments, it was common to
          Message 4 of 25 , Jul 19 10:09 AM
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            My question at the moment is about "growth tucks" in children's
            clothing. From my (limited) experience with American Civil War
            reenactments, it was common to sew tucks into the hemlines and
            sleeves of children,

            Catherine,

            There really aren't that many images of children to go on. Sarah
            Thursfeld makes that point using a rare illustration with a group of
            children. (Passover scene, c. 1320, northern Spain, from the Golden
            Haggadah in the British Library, in the Medieval Tailor's Assistant,
            p. 179) The children are waring T-tunics caught up at the waist, but
            which hang to only knee length. There is trim at the necklines, hems
            and the ends of sleeves. Some of thie children's sleeves are rolled
            up and some of them are obviously what we would consider "too
            short." They are all wearing black "tights"

            http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/results.asp?
            image=011929&imagex=22&searchnum=12

            If that link doesn't work, try this one, and type a search for
            haggadah. http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/index.asp

            Jehanne
          • kittencat3@aol.com
            There s evidence of growth tucks in children s clothing as far back as the Copts (there was a terrific presentation that mentioned this at Kalamazoo this
            Message 5 of 25 , Jul 19 6:13 PM
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              There's evidence of growth tucks in children's clothing as far back as the
              Copts (there was a terrific presentation that mentioned this at Kalamazoo this
              year). There's also some evidence of adult clothing being cut down for
              children's wear.

              Sarah Davies



              **************Get fantasy football with free live scoring. Sign up for
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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • quokkaqueen
              There s a 16th century book bag that might be helpful to look at (it s Coptic, not English though.)
              Message 6 of 25 , Jul 20 5:00 AM
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                There's a 16th century book bag that might be helpful to look at (it's
                Coptic, not English though.)
                http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/hb/cases/earlycodex/index.html

                Although earlier (this article claims pre 13th century), book satchels
                in Ireland are at least geographically closer:
                http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/adsdata/arch-769-1/ahds/dissemination/pdf/vol12/12_070_082.pdf

                As for images of women wearing satchels, page 14 of this google book
                has a photo of a painting, with a women in the top right-hand corner.
                http://books.google.com.au/books?id=FNhYbgeRKLwC
                On page 15, there is a drawing by Lucas van Leyden which also shows a
                pilgrim-woman with a scrip.

                It isn't exactly what you were looking for, but hopefully it's better
                than nothing.
                ~Asfridhr

                --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "oisswafford" <oisswafford@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > I would like to make a shoulder bag for events but I haven't been able
                > to find any images or other evidence that a women of my time period
                > (1530-1550)would have carried one. Can anyone point me towards
                > references?
                >
                > Thank you,
                > Gwenlliana
                >
              • Karen
                That style seems to be fairly consistent with illustrations of grown men s clothing in the Golden Haggadah, though:
                Message 7 of 25 , Jul 20 11:36 AM
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                  That style seems to be fairly consistent with illustrations of grown men's clothing in the Golden Haggadah, though:
                  http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/results.asp?image=011765
                  http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/results.asp?image=012179
                  So I'm not sure we can really say for sure that the fullness above the belt is specifically meant to allow for children's growth, since those men seem fairly grown-up to me. ;-) It seems fairly consistent with what we see on children in the early 14th century in general.

                  I've been collecting images of children's clothing at http://larsdatter.com/children.htm in case that's of use, but I don't remember any specific examples there that show distinct evidence of what you're looking for.

                  Karen
                • Joan Mielke
                  Thanks Karen for posting such a wonderful resource. What I was thinking about the length of children s tunics was not so much that they were belted, but simply
                  Message 8 of 25 , Jul 21 2:32 PM
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                    Thanks Karen for posting such a wonderful resource.

                    What I was thinking about the length of children's tunics was not so much
                    that they were belted, but simply that they were not full length.

                    Jehanne
                  • mary_m_haselbauer
                    I hadn t thought of it this way. I ve tried different ways of making my daughter s clothing growable but this hasn t always been graceful. I think in period
                    Message 9 of 25 , Jul 25 7:52 AM
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                      I hadn't thought of it this way. I've tried different ways of making
                      my daughter's clothing growable but this hasn't always been graceful.
                      I think in period for day to day clothing a family might not think in
                      terms of each child having their own clothes. They'd have a box of
                      tunics and which ever kid they fit would get to wear them. Maybe for
                      a special occasion new clothing would be made for individual kids but
                      it would fit them then. I have no evidence for this as I'm just
                      trying to think in terms of people living closer together and having
                      larger families.

                      The surviving children's clothing that I know about do not have any
                      growth allowances built in. However, they are almost exclusively
                      burial items which biases the information.

                      Karen thank you for all the work you've done in assembing images.
                      Just last night I directed people to your site when I did a class
                      about period toys.

                      Cheers,
                      Slaine
                      B3R, Calontir
                    • oisswafford
                      ... wrote: Thank you all for your help on this. Gwenlliana.
                      Message 10 of 25 , Jul 30 12:25 PM
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                        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "quokkaqueen"
                        <quokkaqueen@...> wrote:
                        Thank you all for your help on this.

                        Gwenlliana.
                      • Joan Mielke Yost
                        ... clothing... it was common to sew tucks into the hemlines and sleeves of children, so that as the child grew, the tucks could be taken out, thereby
                        Message 11 of 25 , Aug 3, 2008
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                          > My question at the moment is about "growth tucks" in children's
                          clothing... it was common to sew tucks into the hemlines and
                          sleeves of children, so that as the child grew, the tucks could be
                          taken out, thereby lengthening the sleeves/hemlines so the child
                          could wear the garment longer.

                          Catherine,
                          It took me a while to find this image on-line...This image shows a
                          mid-15th century Spanish overgown with a tuck in it that certainly
                          looks like a growth tuck. This feature is found in other Spanish
                          women's gowns around the same time, but I have never seen it
                          elsewhere. It seems to show up around the same time as the pre-
                          farthingale skirt with the bones sewn into the outer fabric.
                          However, in this dress, the purpose is clearly not to hold the skirt
                          out...

                          http://www.all-art.org/gothic_era/page14/martorell8.jpg

                          The woman in this altarpiece is a "foreigner," but the only variances
                          in her dress (i.e., differences from how normal women dressed) are
                          the vee neckline and possibly the way her head covering is wrapped.
                          Otherwise, the characteristics of her dress are found elsewhere in
                          Spanish art of the same time period.

                          Jehanne
                        • Catharine Decker
                          Thank you! This is very interesting. Would it be safe to conclude then that the use of such a tuck would be appropriate on gowns at least from this era on?
                          Message 12 of 25 , Aug 3, 2008
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                            Thank you! This is very interesting. Would it be safe to conclude then that the use of such a tuck would be appropriate on gowns at least from this era on? It seems to me that even if they weren't used for growth tucks per se, if they were used for decoration, then it would still be acceptable. No?

                            Catharine
                          • Rebecca Klingbeil
                            ... I suppose it also depends not only on time period but also on the age of the child. As I have been gathering and sorting images from SCA period (business
                            Message 13 of 25 , Aug 3, 2008
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                              --- Catharine Decker <cdeckerwi@...> wrote:

                              > Thank you! This is very interesting. Would it be
                              > safe to conclude then that the use of such a tuck
                              > would be appropriate on gowns at least from this era
                              > on? It seems to me that even if they weren't used
                              > for growth tucks per se, if they were used for
                              > decoration, then it would still be acceptable. No?
                              >
                              > Catharine

                              I suppose it also depends not only on time period but
                              also on the age of the child. As I have been gathering
                              and sorting images from SCA period (business project),
                              I have noticed quite a number of images of children.
                              Not just the Child in Madonnas, though you can see a
                              variety of ways that very young children were dressed
                              that way. Usually they are on the edges of crowd
                              scenes and such, and they are more common then one
                              would think. Portraits are another matter - the
                              children in those seem dressed up in their best
                              finery.

                              At least for the early to middle of period, most
                              children seem to be dressed in unstructured
                              lose-fitting garments like t-tunics. Even when the
                              adults around them are wearing close fitting
                              coathardies and kirtles and such, children are wearing
                              loose tunics with simple belts, often with a slit in
                              front for freedom of movement. Even older children
                              seem to wear simpler versions of grown up clothing.
                              It's as if parents were practical and said 'We're not
                              going to put anything on you with a lot of labor
                              involved until you've stopped growing.' There are
                              exceptions, of course, but even when the clothes are
                              closefitting like adults, they seem simpler in nearly
                              all cases.

                              Examples:
                              A young child in a simple tunic with a slit, 13thc.:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=16490

                              An older boy [far right of painting] in a loose tunic
                              with belt and pouch and hood, 1312-1317:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=26880

                              Three boys of what we'd call 'grade school' age
                              perhaps, bottom left of picture, 1328-1330:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=23133

                              Boys climbing trees [back of painting], 1365-1368:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21226

                              Man leading a toddler/preschooler away from the crowd
                              [bottom left], 1380 with an older child behind:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21226


                              A woman holding a toddler who dressed for easy
                              clean-up, 1426-1427:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=24791

                              Child - perhaps girl but given the period and age
                              might be a boy - in the front of the crowd [center],
                              1426-1427:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=24793

                              Older boy/youth [far right of this detail of a
                              painting] 1437:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21198

                              A whole group of children of different ages [bottom
                              right] 1447:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=24952

                              Child with his mother [left of painting] 1464-1467:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21840

                              A number of young children, the oldest wearing
                              something that he certainly has a lot of growing room
                              in [center front, striped clothing] 1509:
                              http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=19681

                              I haven't gotten much into the 16th c. though. Perhaps
                              as clothes became more complicated and more, I don't
                              know, structured? - things changed. We'll see as I
                              progress through the artwork.

                              Leofwynn Marchaunt
                            • Joan Mielke Yost
                              Would it be safe to conclude then that the use of such a tuck would be appropriate on gowns at least from this era on? Actually, no. As far as I have been
                              Message 14 of 25 , Aug 4, 2008
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                                Would it be safe to conclude then that the use of such a tuck would be
                                appropriate on gowns at least from this era on?

                                Actually, no. As far as I have been able to learn, this particular
                                feature of women's dress is specific to 15th c. Spain. I does show up
                                again later, but not until after the 17th century.

                                Jehanne
                              • Catharine Decker
                                Ah, OK. Thanks. What are your thoughts on a wide hem, to be let out to lengthen the sleeves and bottom hem? Catharine
                                Message 15 of 25 , Aug 4, 2008
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                                  Ah, OK. Thanks.

                                  What are your thoughts on a wide hem, to be let out to lengthen the sleeves
                                  and bottom hem?

                                  Catharine
                                • Carrie
                                  ... sleeves ... I personally do this after the time I made my daughter 4 new dresses and then she hit a growth spurt and they were no longer wearable and she
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Aug 5, 2008
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                                    > What are your thoughts on a wide hem, to be let out to lengthen the
                                    sleeves
                                    > and bottom hem?
                                    >
                                    > Catharine
                                    >
                                    I personally do this after the time I made my daughter 4 new dresses
                                    and then she hit a growth spurt and they were no longer wearable and
                                    she had only worn them once. Now I add extra length in the hem to be
                                    let down. I don't worry too much about the sleeves because most of
                                    what we wear here in Trimaris is short sleeved anyway so I just make
                                    them a little long the first time. I have found that the dresses last
                                    a little longer this way.

                                    Grainne mhic Neill
                                  • sue_clemenger
                                    ... then that the use of such a tuck would be appropriate on gowns at least from this era on? It seems to me that even if they weren t used for growth tucks
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Aug 10, 2008
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                                      --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Catharine Decker <cdeckerwi@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Thank you! This is very interesting. Would it be safe to conclude
                                      then that the use of such a tuck would be appropriate on gowns at least
                                      from this era on? It seems to me that even if they weren't used for
                                      growth tucks per se, if they were used for decoration, then it would
                                      still be acceptable. No?
                                      >
                                      > Catharine
                                      >
                                      Hi, Catharine!
                                      I've got several images in a book on Sofonisba Anguissola (late
                                      16th/early 17th c. painter), in which she's depicting children, and
                                      IIRC, the skirts of the little girls distinctly show growth tucks. And
                                      these are princesses of the Spanish court, in fancy clothing, so we're
                                      definitely talking upper class.
                                      --Maire
                                    • sue_clemenger
                                      ... be ... up ... Jehanne, I ve got pictures of substantial tucks in children s skirts in late 16th century Spain. So it s not just skipping from the 15th to
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Aug 10, 2008
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                                        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Joan Mielke Yost"
                                        <joan.mielke.yost@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Would it be safe to conclude then that the use of such a tuck would
                                        be
                                        > appropriate on gowns at least from this era on?
                                        >
                                        > Actually, no. As far as I have been able to learn, this particular
                                        > feature of women's dress is specific to 15th c. Spain. I does show
                                        up
                                        > again later, but not until after the 17th century.
                                        >
                                        > Jehanne
                                        >

                                        Jehanne, I've got pictures of substantial tucks in children's skirts in
                                        late 16th century Spain. So it's not just skipping from the 15th to
                                        the 18th centuries and in adult clothing....
                                        --Maire
                                      • Hera Davidson
                                        Hi I wouldn t necessarily say that the tucks on the infantas dresses are growth tucks, as these tucks also appear on the dresses of adult women, such as their
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Aug 10, 2008
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                                          Hi
                                          I wouldn't necessarily say that the tucks on the infantas dresses are growth tucks, as these tucks also appear on the dresses of adult women, such as their stepmother's.
                                          Cheers
                                          Hera
                                        • Rebecca Klingbeil
                                          ... For those who may be somewhat confused: Sofonisba Anguissola was one of 6 sisters, all painters, from Italy. Their father was extremely forward thinking
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Aug 10, 2008
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                                            --- sue_clemenger <sue_clemenger@...> wrote:

                                            > --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Catharine
                                            > Decker <cdeckerwi@...>
                                            > wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > > Thank you! This is very interesting. Would it be
                                            > safe to conclude
                                            > then that the use of such a tuck would be
                                            > appropriate on gowns at least
                                            > from this era on? It seems to me that even if they
                                            > weren't used for
                                            > growth tucks per se, if they were used for
                                            > decoration, then it would
                                            > still be acceptable. No?
                                            > >
                                            > > Catharine
                                            > >
                                            > Hi, Catharine!
                                            > I've got several images in a book on Sofonisba
                                            > Anguissola (late
                                            > 16th/early 17th c. painter), in which she's
                                            > depicting children, and
                                            > IIRC, the skirts of the little girls distinctly show
                                            > growth tucks. And
                                            > these are princesses of the Spanish court, in fancy
                                            > clothing, so we're
                                            > definitely talking upper class.
                                            > --Maire
                                            >
                                            >

                                            For those who may be somewhat confused: Sofonisba
                                            Anguissola was one of 6 sisters, all painters, from
                                            Italy. Their father was extremely forward thinking for
                                            his time and gave them education and training not
                                            normally available to women, even of their class. She
                                            spent time as a lady-in-waiting in the Spanish court,
                                            and is best known for her portraiture, especially of
                                            her sisters and family. She was limited in her ability
                                            to take on commissions of religious paintings, etc.,
                                            because she was unable to freely study anatomy or the
                                            drawing of nudes. She eventually married an Italian
                                            (and later as a widow another Italian).

                                            So, if you look her up, you must look under Italian
                                            artists - even though she did a number of portraits of
                                            the ladies of the Spanish court.

                                            Leofwynn Marchaunt
                                          • Joan Mielke Yost
                                            ... in late 16th century Spain. So it s not just skipping from the 15th to ... Thank you for the information. I haven t had access to later Spanish images.
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Aug 11, 2008
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                                              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "sue_clemenger"
                                              <sue_clemenger@...> wrote:
                                              > Jehanne, I've got pictures of substantial tucks in children's skirts
                                              in late 16th century Spain. So it's not just skipping from the 15th to
                                              > the 18th centuries and in adult clothing....
                                              > --Maire
                                              >
                                              Thank you for the information. I haven't had access to later Spanish
                                              images.

                                              Fashion was ever fickle, as it is today. I wonder though, why this
                                              design detail does not show up in art from other regions as did other
                                              Spanish fashions.

                                              Jehanne
                                            • Ann Catelli
                                              Because the Spanish dressed funny. I.e., there was a distinct Spanish style for as far back as I ve seen Spanish clothing, not exactly like the core
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Aug 11, 2008
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                                                Because the Spanish dressed funny. I.e., there was a distinct Spanish style for as far back as I've seen Spanish clothing, not exactly like the core England/France/Lowlands areas that are fairly easy for an English-speaker to research.

                                                I'm sure those Spanish people who cared thought all through all the years that foreigners dressed funny, of course.

                                                Copying a style, as the English were so fond of during Elizabeth's reign, rarely means actually wearing the whole outfit as the source would.

                                                Ann in CT

                                                > Fashion was ever fickle, as it is today. I wonder though, why this
                                                > design detail does not show up in art from other regions as did other
                                                > Spanish fashions.
                                                >
                                                > Jehanne
                                              • Joan Mielke Yost
                                                ... Yes, they really did. Jehanne
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Aug 11, 2008
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                                                  --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Ann Catelli <elvestoorder@...>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Because the Spanish dressed funny.

                                                  <Grin!>
                                                  Yes, they really did.

                                                  Jehanne
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