Jenny La Fleur
nevermore - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming

The Poe event was Fabulous! Actually the whole weekend was lovely. I had such a good time hanging out with Aubry. On Saturday I spent the morning sewing on my hooks & eyes and then Aubry marked my hem for me. We then we headed downtown for luncheon at the tea room, Pinkadilly. We had a delicious meal of homemade mushroom quiche, tomato soup and a pot of tea. After that we went to the local James Monroe museum, which after living here for 6 years I had never been to. It was small but interesting, including a cockade Monroe brought back from Paris (he was the American ambassador during the French Revolution). So fun!

I took the long way home showing Aubry the historical highlights of F-burg. She let me prattle on about Fredericksburg history most indulgently. We came home and hung out for a while, before going out for a very yummy dinner at our favorite Indian place. *happy butt wiggle* Once we arrived home I broke down and actually worked on my dress. Aubry kept me company while I sewed the hem (by machine, so lazy!) and rag curled my hair.

The day of the Poe event dawned bright and freezing cold. It was so hard to get out of bed especially in the face of the monumental task of ironing my CW ruffled petticoat. Five yards of fabric plus 55 yards of eyelet lace is daunting to say the least. To be honest I really steamed it more then anything, holding the iron right above the ruffled and pulling out the wrinkles with my hand. It still took forever. Then my hair was being fussy. Yes, we were a bit late getting out the door.:P

It turned out to be okay though because we made excellent time getting to Baltimore. We were actually freaking out about being too early. Getting to the tea room proved to be more of a challenge than we thought though. We still aren't entirely sure how we got there but we found the correct street. As we were driving along looking for street numbers we saw cloaked figures crossing the street a few blocks ahead and knew we'd found the right place! :>

We entered the Thir-Tea First Street Cafe & Tea House to find isabelladangelo and padawansguide waiting for us. Soon bauhausfrau, jehanni, Marilee and George joined us and we sat down for tea. The Tea House was really cute, very Victorian with dark period wallpapers and plush chairs. We had the place to ourselves, and were seated in a private dining room with a little sitting area. So fun! The food was good and nicely presented. The tea (I had gingerbread tea) was properly prepared. My only real complaint was that the tea wasn’t really hot so once it sat for a few minutes in my cup it was downright cold. Still it was the perfect way to start our Poe adventure and set the mood for the evening.

It took a little longer to get to the Hall than we thought it would so we were a little late getting to the Poe celebration. They ushered us to our seats, which were right in the front row! It was quite an entrance and I think some of the patrons were a little confused thinking we might be part of the play at first! It was great though. First was a production the Murders of the Rue Morgue, which once it started I realized was a story I knew from a movie I'd gotten out of the library on a whim months ago. No idea that was by Poe! I thoroughly enjoyed it though, the acting was superb.

Next came an intermission where, if modestly will permit, we were pounced on by several people wanting to know who we were and who was our seamstress. It was very satisfying to say we’d all made our own frocks and watch the eyes widen. *wink* Aubry won one of the Poe cakes in the auction and we settled down for a very entertaining monologue from Miss Sarah Helen Whitman recounting her remembrances of Poe. Finally Mr. Poe himself talked about creating his work The Raven before giving a moving and brilliant rendition his famous poem. We then ended the evening with a toast to Mr. Poe.

To be honest I wasn’t that familiar with Poe or his work before I signed up for this event, not being much of a Victorian literature or poetry fan. I meant to read some of his work before the event but never got to it so I got to hear the Raven for the very first time that night. Surely that is the only way to hear it, recited in a true Victorian style. Sitting in the front row, bedecked in my "Nicholas Nickleby clothes" and bauhausfrau's fabulous bonnet (which I so wanted to steal!) it was so easy to lose myself in the moment and feel like I'd gone back in time. At the end it was a little jarring to turn around and find the hall full of people in modern clothes!

After the show we got to take lots of pics, some with Mr. Poe and talk to the curator. They were so delighted we were there in costume and it was thrilling to be welcomed so warmly and invited back (begged really!). There are some seriously cool events coming up in 2009, to celebrate Poe’s 200th birthday, so looks like I'll get good wear out of my stripey dress - yay!

Ahh yes, my dress. I felt like quite the super star in it. I couldn't be more pleased with the way it came out. I have a few tweaks I need to see to (like those slipping shoulders *grrr*) but really I'm in shock it came out so well, what with being sick and out of my element and all. Dude it was cold though! Thank goodness for Mom's old cape and muff. My hands were still frozen though. Before the next event I totally need a bonnet, a flannel petticoat, a muff and some long warm gloves or mitts.

After the show we went to Poe's grave and saw the roses and cognac (next year we should really bring some roses to place too I think) before venturing a few blocks to an Irish Pub for a spot of dinner. We talked and giggled some more before calling it a day and heading back home. We stopped at bauhausfrau's car to help her thin out her fabric stash by taking fabric off her hands. It was hard but someone had to do it! :P

Aubry and I got home a little after 11pm. We were wired though so we stayed up divvying up the fabric, vintage flowers and crepe paper from bauhausfrau's trunk. We stayed up way too late but I was having so much fun I didn't want to go to bed. Aubry left this morning and is still on her way home as I type. I miss her charming company already. *sniff* We never did stop talking the whole time she was here, a sure sign that she must come back for another visit. :>

Links to more talk and pics from the day:
the rest of my pics (and a few sneek peeks of Aubrys, who gave me copies before she left)
Loren's entry
Maggie's entry

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51 comments | comment?
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chloeandrudy From: chloeandrudy Date: January 22nd, 2008 01:34 am (UTC) (link)
Your striped dress came out really pretty! It's always nice when it's better than you expected.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 22nd, 2008 01:57 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks so much! *nods head* Yep, it sure is!
suededsilk From: suededsilk Date: January 22nd, 2008 01:51 am (UTC) (link)
You both look beautiful as usual! :) Sounds like you had tons of fun!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 22nd, 2008 01:57 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks! It was a blast. Hopefully we'll get to do it again soon.
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: January 22nd, 2008 01:52 am (UTC) (link)
It was so fun! Next year we should definitely bring roses!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 22nd, 2008 01:58 am (UTC) (link)
It was great, wasen't it? Yes, red roses...
olde_fashioned From: olde_fashioned Date: January 22nd, 2008 02:28 am (UTC) (link)
*stares and stares and stares and stares* Oooohhh Jenny! You look like a period painting! (except you're way prettier) I'm itching to make an icon out of you, and I adore those sleeves and the neckline. ;-) Now I want a stripey dress, not that I didn't before, lol. There is something about stripes...

I lovelovelove your hair! I hope you plan on making more 1840s and even 1850s creations because I love looking at your work. Thank you a gazillion times for letting us drool look!! :-D
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC) (link)
*blushes* Thanks! My hair didn't quite come out the way I wanted but it worked, especially with the bonnet I thought. It looked much better with the dress on than jeans anyway! I'm not really planning on making more 1840s & 1850s at the moment. I enjoyed this project and wearing this gown but it's still not my favorite era. I do plan on tweaking this gown a bit. It needs a chemisette and some ruffles along with some cold weather accessories. I'll definitely be wearing it at Costume College I'm decided, although I'm not looking forward to packing that ruffled petticoat - it will need it's own suitcase!
From: misslemmon Date: January 22nd, 2008 02:36 am (UTC) (link)
Oh so very lovely!

I love Poe and teach him as much as possible. He is part of the American Romantic Movement and created as we know it the first detective story, he attended the U of V and though from Boston lived in Richmond for a time.

Growing up I lived only a few blocks from Poe Park and his portrait hung in my moms dining room. She would read at least one of his poems to me before bedtime. I was fascinated with Poe Movies with Vincent Price. Now I have my own Vincent LOL He reminds me so much of my childhood, guess that is why I love Poe so much.

Anyway, your dress is beautiful and everyone looks so lovely :)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! I definitely thought of you that night, knowing you were there in spirit. I hope you can come down for one of the events in 2009 - as a Poe fan you will totally enjoy them.

Yes I knew there was a Poe house in Richmond (I saw signs for it at some point visiting Bridget), now I want to go check it out. :>
bauhausfrau From: bauhausfrau Date: January 22nd, 2008 03:00 am (UTC) (link)
Your dress was lovely, the stripes were perfect for 1840s simplicity. I really think we may have to have an 1840s presence at costume college...

And I so wanted to bring flowers for his grave, I thought of it several times but just didn't get my act together to do it. Next year!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC) (link)
Yes, I've already decided I'm taking my gown to CC - it was too much fun to wear not to! I was thinking Friday might be a good day, did you have any thoughts on that?

Yes red roses next year and getting there a bit early to place them before the program, absolutely!
trystbat From: trystbat Date: January 22nd, 2008 03:02 am (UTC) (link)
I love your dress (ok, stripey rules! but it also looks really good & I dig the flattering neckline & bell sleeves). And that event sounds soooooooo like my very favourite kind! I'm a huge Victorian literature nut, & any excuse to wear costume *and* read/talk about that = JOY. I'm so jealous! I wonder if there's any way I could make it out there for the 200th...
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks so much! It's hard not to like the stripey dress I know! *hee hee* Oh you really should try for some of the 2009 events - you'll love them! We'll be posting more details as we hear (and have permission to do so) more but you'll love them.
dancinseamstres From: dancinseamstres Date: January 22nd, 2008 03:08 am (UTC) (link)
i am green with envy. if only my eye surgery hadn't brought my sewing to a screeching halt, i maybe could have had and outfit and thought about going to this.

jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 22nd, 2008 06:18 am (UTC) (link)
There is always next year... *wink* I mean it when I say some seriously cool Poe events are in the works for 2009! :>
anielmom From: anielmom Date: January 22nd, 2008 05:52 am (UTC) (link)
Absolutely gorgeous! You all look beautiful and It sounds like you guys had a blast.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! We were a very good looking group if I do say so myself! :>
justawench From: justawench Date: January 22nd, 2008 06:22 am (UTC) (link)
Fun! Your dress turned out great. I love the pic of you sitting on the stairs!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! I'm really pleased with the pics sitting on the stairs - it was fun to pose for. :>
koshka_the_cat From: koshka_the_cat Date: January 22nd, 2008 06:27 am (UTC) (link)
It looks like so much fun! And as always, you look wonderful! Such a pretty dress :)
joysdaughter From: joysdaughter Date: January 22nd, 2008 08:11 am (UTC) (link)
The dress turned out brilliantly - but I'd love to see diagonal frills if you decide to use them - I love that look too. Can help with the shoulder problem if you want?
mlsdesigns From: mlsdesigns Date: January 22nd, 2008 11:22 am (UTC) (link)
it looks like you had a fabulous time! and your dress is so lovely, so simple and elegant, and next time you wear it it'll be like you're wearing a whole new dress because of having frills and things :)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! Yes it was great fun, if slightly surreal to be decked out in that period. Yes new trimmings make for a new dress aye? :>
mala_14 From: mala_14 Date: January 22nd, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC) (link)
That event looks completely fabulous and fun! Glad to hear you had such a good time. And your dress turned out beautifully.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks so much!
marcine From: marcine Date: January 22nd, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC) (link)
You all look nice. Your grey stripes turned out just lovely.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC) (link)
Thank you!
quincy134 From: quincy134 Date: January 22nd, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC) (link)
You look fabulous!!! I'm so glad everyone had fun.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 25th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks so much - I can't wait to do it again!
51 comments | comment?
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