Saturday, November 1, 2014

Accommodating the weather, 1860's style.

Well today was fun. It's the first chance I've gotten, in months, to cinch up the corset and engage in a little time traveling.

It's usually sunny and hot for the reenactment here in town, so I planned a new sheer dress, based on this pretty thing at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. Do forgive the hem. The grass is quite high and messy, but on level ground, it hangs nicely all around. 

I used a white semi-sheer cotton, dotted with lilac. I'm usually not a huge fan of purple, but this fabric, I just had such a thing for.

Eventually it will have three ruffles on the skirt, but I ran out of time. The last one is still on my sewing table waiting to be applied. One of my favorite details of the dress is the ruching on the sleeves, that match the skirt, which can be seen on the top photo. Another detail I like, is that the hem that one sees is actually a large ruffle. This is nice, because the skirt remains frothy and light after the hem tape is added to the foundation skirt. I noticed this with special thanks to the zoom feature on the website.

Little did I know, when I laid out my summery sheer, the night before, that the weather was going to go crazy. Apparently it poured rain through the night. By the time I went to park, it was windy like crazy, mixed with bouts of blazing sun. The sontag and shawl went on and off and on and off. Thank you, easy layers.

Actually I was very comfortable all day. I'm always so surprised how accommodating to the weather historical clothing is. Even the under sleeves help with wind and sun and cold. I was never too cold, and the only part of me that was bothered was my face, which got nicely wind-burned. By the time I got home I was pink!

I made the sontag last year, from a mix of patterns on Ravelry. I'm not sure which ones. I asked for help on it at a knitting class and the teacher wrote me up something easy to follow. It's all garter stitch, so it was super beginner friendly.

It was so nice to have with me today. Very, very warm and cozy, and such a nice accessory, as well.

Ooo ominous clouds...

I love this one! Some guests asked for us to pose for a photo, so my mom (who was lovely and surprised me with much needed coffee), snapped one, too. Can I be a little jazzed I got to take a picture with Mr. Lincoln? His hat. So awesome!

This little nugget was an eBay find. I think it's 1850's. The wind took a little bite out of my hair, but I was pretty proud of it, just the same. No hairpieces! Woot!

And a very special guest came to visit me today! My darling little puppy surprised me, bringing my husband along, too ;)

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween yesterday, too!


  1. Gee! Those are great pics, including all the ones of all the details. Really show how much work goes into an outfit like this! And, by the way, I think ole Mary Todd would be especially depressed (haha) if she could see the charming belle standing next to her Abe! :)

  2. Pretty dress, lovely sontag, and such beautiful scenery! The colors in the landscape are such an interesting mix. The white dress stands out against them nicely!


    1. Thanks! It is gorgeous out there. Especially pretty when the sun actually shines...

  3. Wow, these photos are so beautiful! Such a gorgeous place. And can't believe those are your real hair :O