Archive for the ‘Survival; Primitive Living’ Category

Making Simple Garments

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Cat's Lined Turkish Panel Coat

by Catherine Haug, February 10, 2012

(garment and photo of Turkish Coat, by C. Haug)

For truly simple living, we need to be able to make our own clothing, perhaps even from fabric we create ourselves. People did this for centuries, making not only simple garments for everyday, but also more elaborate garments for special occasions such as feasts, festivals, weddings and funerals.

In general, the steps in garment creation are (not always in this order):

  • Garment design
  • Selecting or drafting the garment pattern
  • Making/obtaining fabric and thread
  • Cutting the fabric to the pattern
  • Sewing the garment seams, etc.

This is the first article in a series:

Read on for Working Without a Pattern, which uses two examples, the Japanese Hippari (jacket) and Monpei (pant) to show how this is done – without wasting any fabric. I want to express my gratitude to Folkwear Patterns for intruducing me to this concept.


The Amish on PBS: An example of sustainable living in community, Airing Feb 28, 2012

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, February 5, 2012

Setting aside their religious views, the Amish set an example to explore, for those of us who aspire to live sustainably and in community. A 2-hour episode of American Experience on Montana PBS, to be aired at 7 PM on Tuesday, February 28, explores this unique society that many of us didn’t know much about until the film Witness captured our attention in 1985.

The Amish movement began over 500 years ago in Switzerland as a branch of the Mennonite movement. Many emigrated to the US in the 1800s, settling primarily in Pennsylvania, then expanding into the midwestern states. Their lifestyle varies from community to community, but in general, they are known for  “simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology.” (2)

For more about this program, or on the Amish lifestyle, read on. (more…)

The Diet of Traditional Peoples: the Work of Weston Price & Frances Pottenger

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

by Catherine Haug, May 21, 2009

Dr. Price was a dentist who traveled the world in the 1930s to study the dental health of traditional peoples. What he discovered impacts not only dental health, but health of the whole being.  Indeed, he concluded that your teeth are the canary in the mine. If you have problems with your teeth or jaws, you have problems with your overall health including skeletal, circulatory, endocrine (hormone), and digestive systems, and these problems are most likely caused by processed foods in your diet.

Dr. Pottenger is famous for his 1930s studies with cats.  He fed some a raw food diet, and the others a cooked and processed food diet, then studied their health through the generations, for 10 years. He found that by the third generation, the cats on the cooked diet were so changed they were no longer fertile, and had similar problems with their skeletal and other systems, as observed in humans by Dr. Price.  On the other hand, the cats on the raw diet were healthy and fertile in all generations. (more detail on this, below).  Of course, human dietary needs are different from that of cats, but certain parallels are still valid.

The research of both these men is not without critics.  But after 3 or more generations of humans regularly consuming highly processed foods, the truth of their theories is becoming evident. See my articles:  Pottenger’s Cats and The Third Generation & Health for more about this. (more…)