Because I started a blog! I know, get with the times. Everyone and their mother has a blog. Whatever. This one’s mine.
So I started trying to get into historical reenactment about a year ago. I think I did it ass-backwards and just started sewing a hundred things before even figuring out where I’d be wearing them or what I would be doing in them, but hey, things come together.
Originally I decided I’d start by volunteering with Claude Moore Colonial Farm (Have you been there? It’s amazing. Go.) Which is a working 18th century farm set in 1771. To that effect I began following some blogs and some Facebook pages, made a couple silly purchases I didn’t really need, then settled down to the real work: research.
Now, I’m no scholar, as will become evident as this blog evolves; most of the work was done for me by studious and devoted bloggers and professionals. But I paid attention and am pretty proud of my first “impression”. Mid 1770’s fashion was different in a lot of ways from later in the century. I chose to do an English gown, which is an open-fronted deal with a “stomacher” using this pattern. I could have used wool, I decided on linen for historical accuracy and affordability and passed on prints, as I was still uncomfortable choosing a period-correct design. I did a linen chemise using the instructions on Mara Riley’s site and two petticoats from another fave blog. Oh, and a lappet cap! I love lappet caps. Everything was hand sewn using period techniques.
I submitted a pic of the final product for critique in an 18th c. sewing group and received great feedback. It was agreed that my overall look matched that of a middle class 1770’s lady in the Piedmont area. It was suggested that I shorten my sleeve length, my petticoat, and shape up my straw hat a little:
I have issues with my sleeves, which I’ll cover later, but I took the other advice. More adventures to come!