The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 1, 2014

Aristocrats for a day

Businesses cater to Downton Abbey fans

People who stopped by Threads of Time and Needleworks on Friday might have thought they were in a time warp: employees dressed in 1920s-era clothing, soft jazz music playing, a maid in a white apron serving pastries.

It was Downton Abbey Day at the two businesses at 207 S. Buchanan St.

Visitors familiar with the British period drama almost expected to see Lord Grantham ring for Carson the butler or Lady Mary glide by with a well-dressed suitor. Or hear the Dowager Countess of Grantham murmur some witty comments.

“Are you Anna?” one customer jokingly asked Diane Sanders of Catlin, dressed as a maid for the day. Sanders laughed and said she was not Anna, who is a lady’s maid in the show.

Nor did Mrs. Patmore bake the delicacies, which customers could enjoy with their choice of tea. Instead, the muffins came from Charlotte’s.

Missi Gouty, who owns Threads of Time with her husband Bill, said the business often has special themed events, but this was the first time for Downton Abbey. The popular television series follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era.

The event introduced the official Downton Abbey fabric line, which features patterns from the post World War I era. The fabrics are named after the Crawley daughters in the series — Mary, Edith and Sybil — and the family’s matriarch, played by Maggie Smith.

Also featured that day were special prizes, bonus buys on the fabric line and patterns and kits from that time period, including quilts, tea cozies, and a “one-hour dress.” Needleworks, which has a room in the Threads of Time building, featured shawls, scarves, purses, gloves, and hats that define the style of the series, as well as special yarns and Downton Abbey deals.

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