Tags: z:archive:18th:anglaise:redstripe


Gunston & a new hat

I managed to finish my frock, petticoat and hat for the outing to Gunston Hall on Saturday – yay! I’m very pleased with how my hat came out. It’s quite fetching if I do say so myself. :> I broke down and used the lovely lace I bought at Liberty of London’s two years ago on it too. I'll just have to go back and get some more now. *wink*

The day at Gunston was lovely. There is something almost magical about that property. The people there are so nice and because it’s off by itself on acreage with few modern things laying round (no signs or plaques) it’s easy to forget there is a world outside. The Gunston events are definitely my favorites!

The day started out rainy but it turned out to be a gorgeous spring day, if rather windy. We all had a hard time keeping our hats and caps on! It was a little chilly at times so my wool frock turned out to be perfect.

We wondered around both the American and Highlanders camps, watched the battle reenactment and did some demo dancing. Once the park closed we ate picnic lunches and then danced with the soldiers and sailors. It was very strange to be outnumbered by guys, usually it’s mostly girls in our group! It was one of our esteemed musician’s birthday so we had cake and the lady who portrays Martha Washington (at Mount Vernon) and Gen Cornwallis (among other things in Williamsburg) came up for the occasion too. I wish I could have stayed for the candlelight tour of the house but I had to sing at church the next morning and stay awake on the drive home (I drove home). It was a truly delightful, if long, day though. :>

I was very inspired by one of the Gunstonian’s frocks. I was a total ditz and didn’t take any pics of her outfit but it was an almost exact replica of a jacket/petticoat from the Williamsburg collection. It will be perfect for the Under the Redcoat weekend in June. Out of the leftover cream linen from my petticoat, trimmed in black and with a big black hat, perfect I say!! *rubs hands together*

I couldn’t sleep last night so I started on a toile for the jacket. I took my robe a l'Anglaise lining pattern and used that as my base. I cut the front just the same but split the back into two slightly curved seams, like the original. I also lengthened the sleeves.

This evening, while I had all the toile making stuff out, I corrected and recut the second toile for the butterfly gown. So that is all ready for a second try.

a new life for the red stripe

Now don’t faint – I’m actually sewing today!! I can’t believe I how long it’s been since I’ve had a chance to work on my projects. Not that I’m working on any of my CC projects or anything. I’m taking some time to sort out my 18th century wardrobe a bit instead. I have an event the first weekend in April and need something to wear. So here is the plan:

  • make new petticoat
  • trim new hat
  • make new neckerchief?
  • fix green wool:
  • redo hem (shorten & hand stitch)
  • shorten sleeves
  • make new ruffle?
  • sew on hooks and eyes

I have such a cunning little plan for the petticoat I started with that first. :> Inspired by this lovely ensemble from tailordrews’s recent soirée weekend, I’m taking my red stripe apart to make a new petticoat.

I’ve been in a quandary about what to do with my red stripe for a while now. It has two issues, the first is that it’s too big – partly from mis-fitting and partly my losing weight. The second, and perhaps more important issue, is that the fabric itself is beginning to break down. It was a cheap, old cotton when I finally got around to using it and it is literally starting to dry-rot. I had thought about taking it apart and refitting it (as I love the gown) but I honestly don’t think it would survive.

I will get much more wear out of it this way and it should last longer too (less tension and wear spots on a petticoat). I probably wouldn’t have thought of it but for that picture in Bjarne’s album. When I saw it I fell in love. I adore the bold stripe as a petticoat – it’s so different. The young lady wears the petticoat with another outfit that I think is charming as well.

I have some more very cunning ideas for summer ensembles to go with the petticoat too. Good thing since I am literally starting from scratch on my wardrobe with no money to spend on fabric. *sigh* I’m spending all my money on events this year (CC & Under the Redcoat) instead. This is a year I will just have to make do with what I have. Luckily I have just about everything I need for my CC costumes and a deep fabric stash to be creative with.

If there is one thing I’m good at, it’s budget costuming. :>

red cloak at Gunston

Here are some pics from the Gunston Hall event today. I had a really great time. The weather was perfect, the autumn leaves were at their peak, Gunston was gorgeous as usual and the event was a lot of fun. The day was a good reminder of way I bother with this reenacting thing. :>

We set up on the front lawn and demonstrated period dances throughout the day. Attendance was low but the people who came by were genuinely interested and we had lots of volunteers for our mini dance classes. After the grounds closed to the public, we were treated to a candlelight dinner that had been cooked in the period kitchens. The food was wonderful and it was great fun to have the place to ourselves. Gunston Hall is one of my favorite old spots in Northern Virginia. It was such a treat to be there in costume and eat in the courtyard - under the stars no less. Towards the end of the day I took a solitary ramble through the gardens and just enjoyed the beauty around me. I feel like my batteries have been recharged a bit and that is a nice feeling.

I got my cloak made in time - yay! A miracle considering that I didn’t really work on it until yesterday! I just couldn’t get myself to work on it this week for some reason. Luckily the construction couldn’t have been simpler and I was able to put it together in a very short amount time, handwork inculded. I used the pattern from Costume Close-Up as my guide. I ended up shaping the front of the cloak and deepening the curve in the center back – all to avoid gaping at the neck. I’ll be drawing up a diagram with all my finial measurements and such soon. You'll notice some pics show ribbons on the cloak and some don't... I added them on during the event. :> Actually they are just for show, the cloak is really fastened by two large hook & eyes. :>

A couple of websites I found helpful along the way:
New England Life
Southcoast Associates

To save time, I did forgo lining the hood. I plan on adding a lining at some point though. I have another event with RCHS next weekend so maybe I’ll try for that. There is a length of pretty baby pink silk in the stash that I think will work. If there is enough fabric I may try eeking out a muff for next weekend as well - another simple project. A muff, mitts and some decent shoes are definitely the next things on my 18th century accessory list!

RCHS fall tea pics

Here are some pics from the recent RCHS fall tea. It was a lot of fun, despite my annoying cough. I really enjoyed getting all dressed up in my corset and petticoats – something I haven’t done since July. Mom and Bridget came too and were at my table. I “mothered” a table, serving tea, helping guide the conversation and such. I did have fun but I think I preferred being a servant (carrying food to the table, re-filling tea pots etc.). You are on your feet the whole time but you get a chance to nibble a lot in the kitchen. *hee hee*

a few piccies

I was able to snag some pics of myself at the July 3rd RCHS event so here they are for your viewing enjoyment – a few of me embroidering and talking to fellow RCHSer Allison (isn’t she cute?! :>) and one pic of what I was working on. *wink to Elizabeth*

I have a few more pics from the Williamsburg trip in June as well. I’ll try to get those up this weekend if not today.

Under the Redcoat report

Yesterday was fun. I made it through “Under the Redcoat”, despite being “taken into custody” once and hassled by soldiers all day. :> I don’t think I’ve actually explained this event to y’all, have I? Well I had no idea of what I’d volunteered for until last week and really had no idea what to expect until I got there!

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I think that next year I’d like to go as a member of the public, to see what it’s like from the other side. The experience did get me thinking about what it would be like to live in an hostilely occupied city though. I watched a movie set in Nazi occupied Rome earlier this week and thought as I watched how horrible that must have been. Having had a little taste of it yesterday was an interesting experience. It brought home a bit how precious freedom really is and how grateful I am to those who had the will and courage to fight for it and those who are still willing to continue the fight today.

To those men and women, past and present, I lift my glass and offer a most humble thank you.