gwendolyngrey: (Dreaming)
Am home again from a long weekend at Greenfield Village and have spent the day in a sort of weary daze.

The event was great though!  [livejournal.com profile] reine_de_coudre (Samantha) had came out from California to spend a week and a half here in Michigan, and camped with [livejournal.com profile] dandytailor (Mike), [livejournal.com profile] rvqavalon (Katie), and myself.  I'm too tired to go into depth right now, but in spite of very hot, humid weather we had loads of fun.  Did a lot of sitting in the shade, but also got to see and meet a lot of people, did a bunch of touristy Greenfield Village things (including riding the carousel twice), took part in the fashion show, and danced nearly every dance at the ball.

Due to the awful cold I had a week before the event, I barely got the windowpane dress done in time, and was in fact stitching the trim onto the neck during the drive there.  I didn't manage to sew the trim to the sleeves as well, but the dress was wearable and, I thought, rather cute anyway.

New dress!





Wore the windowpane dress on Sat, and the Not-Cold-Mountain dress on Sun.  The new apron came in very handy as I actually did a fair amount of the cooking.  The weather on Monday turned a bit nasty... hot and rainy with scorching sun and pouring rain by turns, and the hem of my dress (cotton Not-Cold-Mountain) got quite wet and muddy.

I was quite excited to find this picture of myself on flickr that someone must have taken at some point on Sunday.  I rarely like how my face looks in photos, but I feel as though this is what I see when I look in the mirror...


I'll let some of my favorite pics from the event speak for themselves... )I'll let some of my favorite pics from the event speak for themselves... )

There are a whole lot more of pictures on my flickr page here.

And yes, both of my 1860s day dresses are made of fabrics with white backgrounds and blue patterns.  It's clear where my tastes lie, but I think I'm going to have to change things up a bit for the next dress... although the steel blue wool dress I'm planning still falls into the same color family....
gwendolyngrey: (Anne- kindred spirits)
This past weekend was a kind of eclectic mix of reenact-y fun of different sorts plus some straight up non-historical good times.

I left home fairly late on Friday night and drove down to Mike's place where we both stayed up too late finishing our new Civil War outfits.

We were up early Saturday morning, and headed out to a timeline event at Ft. Meigs in Ohio where we met up with Tyler.  Since it was a timeline, we could wear whatever we wanted, and decided to go with the 18th century for the majority of the day.  Mike and Tyler hooked up with Daniel O'Connell from the King's 8th Reg and borrowed various pieces to complete their kits, although Tyler later on joined up with some other friends for an Australian WW2 impression. 


(In order: Tyler, me, Mike)

I wore my basic 18th cen ensemble, and finally got decent pictures of it. )

We met, and talked to, a lot of people at the fort.  It seemed we could hardly walk a couple of yards before someone else that Tyler knew came up and engaged us in conversation.  I quickly discovered that while hanging out with Mike and Tyler is great fun, spending time with a group of guys is very, very different from hanging out with a girlfriend or two.  The biggest difference was the style of shop talk.  All of Tyler's aquiantences are very knowledgeable, and care deeply about their specific time periods and crafts, and can wax poetic on the most mundane of topics.  The latest Big Thing within this particular group of people is the recent forming of an 1812 group, the 1st Regiment of Volunteers, which Mike, Tyler, and I are all planning on being involved with.  This resulted in what seemed like hours upon hours of talk about haversacks and cartridge boxes and buttons and coatees vs. jackets and hats and shakos and cockades etc. etc.

All of the uniform talk made me very grateful to finally get a chance to meet Ericka Osen, who I'd exchanged an email or two with, but had never spoken to before.  She was incredibly friendly and welcoming, and basicly offered to set me up with anything I might need at a reenactment with the 1st reg.  I felt fairly privilaged to spend time chatting and shopping with her, as she really, really knows her stuff having been head of clothing at Conner Prairie and Greenfield Village for quite a few years.

All the talking aside, we pretty much just mosey-ed about the fort all day. )

We ended the afternoon just relaxing with the WW2 guys, before heading back to Mike's home. 

Katie joined us there that evening, as did a couple girls which Mike had met at Greenfield village, and we tromped through the woods behind his house to the place where we had planned on camping.  It was incredibly soggy out from the torrential rain the night before, and it was a fairly unanimous decision to NOT camp and just have fun anyway.  We rounded out the evening with a swim in his neighbor's pool before the other girls left, and Katie, Mike, Tyler, and I crashed in the basement where we watched most of Zoolander before falling asleep.

Sunday the 21st was Mike's 21st birthday.

We went antiquing in the morning, and even though I hadn't planned on spending money, I found a really nice fashion plate from 1828, which was priced ridiculously low, that I had to buy.  I think Tyler got a print of a Remington painting, but the others came away empty-handed.

We got back to the house shortly before lunch, where we were joined by a couple others, and all got dressed in our finery for an afternoon of shooting flintlocks.

I wore my brand new Civil War day dress, which ended up not really resembling the dress from Cold Mountain at all.

True to form, it wasn't entirely finished (though I suppose I can cut myself a little slack this time as I had less than a week to make it in).  I didn't have time to make a collar and cuffs, which it desperately needs, and I'd like to add some more trim on the sleeves.

Katie ([livejournal.com profile] rvqavalon ) already posted pictures from the day, and I have a bunch of photos from the afternoon (and more from Ft. Meigs) on my flickr page as well.

We shot for an hour or two, and were completely dripping with sweat by the end of it.  The weather was hot... sunny and humid, and we were all grateful to strip off our many layers of clothing and jump in the pool again.  Swimming, brandy, chocolate cheesecake, and pipes filled the end of the day nicely before Tyler headed back to Ohio.  Katie and I left for home the following day, and that was that.
gwendolyngrey: (W&D Cynthia and Molly bright)

I started a new Civil War dress last night.  I'm not making anything terribly fancy, just a decent, cotton print day dress, but I want to have it to wear next weekend at Mike's 21st birthday reenacting camping party thing.

When I first talked about a CW cotton print dress, I mentioned one of the dresses that Nicole Kidman wore in Cold Mountain which I absolutely loved.  Now, after a bit more research, I have come to the (sad) realization that while it is a pretty dress, it is a pretty 1850s dress, and not at ALL fashionable for the Civil War period.  Even assuming that the character left Charleston shortly before the war started, and that her dresses might be a couple years old, that would put her clothing at 1859/60, and this dress would have certainly looked old-fashioned even then.  The narrow sleeves, the bodice pleating, the low, pointed waistline, and the v-neckline are all very indicative of the 50s.


However, in spite of not being able to use something like this as inspiration for accurate Civil War clothing, I still can't deny that the fabric is lovely.

I wasn't able to find a cotton exactly like it, but I found something even better.  I found something on clearence.

I was straightening the sale cottons at work the other day, and found a nearly full bolt of a great reproduction print.  It's from the Nancy Kirk Civil War II collection by Benartex, and has been recently discontinued (hence the sale table). 



 I bought eight yards last night, and threw it in the wash as soon as I got home.  I spent the rest of the evening sketching out ideas for a dress (since the Cold Mountain one obviously wouldn't work), pulling out bits and pieces of patterns, and cutting out a muslin.  Happily, I don't have to go to work today, in fact, I don't HAVE to go anywhere, and will hopefully be able to get a really good start on the dress.

The plan is simple: tucked bodice, coat sleeves with little sleeve caps and ruffles, knife pleated skirt,  narrow black velvet ribbon trimming, and a black velvet belt.

I just need to have it done by next Friday!

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