gwendolyngrey: (Dreaming)
I figure I should probably write something about the 1812 reenactment I was at last weekend, the Siege at Old Fort Erie, before life rattles on and I become distracted by something new and fresh.

I planned on taking things easy in terms of prep work, and had decided not to worry about making anything new for the event... except for a straw bonnet.  Oh god, that bonnet.  I blithely imagined it would take a day, perhaps two days tops, to stitch the straw once it had been pinned and formed.  Instead, I was at it during every spare moment of the week leading up to the event, and spent the majority of the six+ hour car ride  sewing like mad.  As it was, I finished the bonnet form in the car, and added the basic trimming Saturday morning sitting outside our tent while the guys were off doing drill and other militaristic things.

It ended up looking a little wonky though, as I had dampened the straw so as to sew it more easily, and it dried not-very-flatly overnight in the tent.  The trimming around the edge has wire in it though, which helped the bonnet retain some sort of decent shape.  Still, I think it turned out all right in the end, and after all the hours I put into it, I'm determined to enjoy this bonnet... at least until I make a couple more.  ;)


   

All that aside, I did have a very good weekend.  I've always had a soft spot for the 1812 period, probably a result of watching and reading too much Sharpe and Jane Austen during my impressionable teenage years, and it was somehow intensely satisfying to look around and see all the men in their dashing regimentals (most of them, anyway...) and the women in empire fashions.  We were with a very good group of people, the 1st Regiment of Volunteers, most of whom I'm very much looking forward to seeing again at future events. 

I'm too tired at the moment to go into much detail, so I'll just put up a couple pictures.
    See?  Doesn't the 1st Reg look fabulous?
 

The thing that seems the most strange about the weekend, when I stop and think about it, is that is was actually in a foreign country.   I'd driven through bits of Canada before, but had never spent any time there, and I couldn't help but be struck how very much like home it was.  It shouldn't have been a surprise, Michigan and Canada are near neighbors after all and share a lot of history, but as someone who's never traveled down south or out west, I imagine that many parts of the US would feel far more foreign to me than Canada does.

Now, however, I have to concentrate on THIS century, as I have a black denim jacket to finish for my brother before I can go on to anything else more fun.  There are lots and lots of plans though... mostly 18th century and regency... I need more fabric.  ;)

gwendolyngrey: (Lady of Fashion)
Like all new endeavors, this bonnet-making thing is taking far longer than I had anticipated.  I'm using a fairly fine straw braid from The Dressmakers Shop, and while it looks really nice, it's taking forEVER to sew together.  I have the crown part completed, but the brim is still only half sewn together and I need to have it done my tomorrow... I do realize that I have brought all this work upon myself for wanting an all-straw bonnet instead of one with a cloth crown, and then insisting on sewing it by hand.  I'm not normally a slow stitcher, but this bonnet is going so slowly.

On the bright side, I think it'll be terribly cute when it's finished.

On the dark side, it's already 2:30am, and tomorrow I need to make a chemise, paper the insides of my trunk, finish the bonnet, put my hair up in pin-curls, pack, and then drive six hours to Canada.

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