Monday, November 10, 2014

Welbourne 1864: Friday Breakfast

Above: Gaye and Nancy in their wrappers and day caps.

Friday morning of the event at Welbourne Plantation was started with a formal breakfast in the dining room. Breakfast at Welbourne is always a treat! The food prepared by the kitchen staff is absolutely delicious and conversation with friends is delightful.

Here are a few pictures from Friday morning's breakfast.

Cheyney awoke at 5am to start preparations for the day's meals! Her meals were sooo delicious! She is such a pleasure to reenact with - in character and out her humor makes my sides hurt with laughter.

Lovely ladies waiting for breakfast to be prepared.

Anita wearing her Beth Miller sheer dress. I love this picture of her in the sitting room!

Carol and Cheyney.


Carol's dressmaking skills were needed to fix Anita's dress.

Carol in her beautiful wool wrapper. 

Nancy reading in the library.

Welbourne 1864: Wrapper

Fall is my favorite time of year and participating in a first person immersion event at Welbourne Plantation in Middleburg, VA is an event that I look forward to all year round! I'm always excited to sew a few new items for my living history wardrobe. 

For breakfast, most participants wear wrappers - some fancy, others simple. The breakfasts served at Welbourne are always delightful. I wore the silk wrapper that I made two years ago for the event and wore the new fuchsia velvet ribbon hair adornment that I had made to go with a new dress.

The fuchsia velvet ribbon was pleated and attached to millinery wire wrapped in fuchsia silk. Matching tassels were attached at the side with a velvet ribbon bow.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rock Ford Plantation Event

Several months ago I attended another lovely 'Second Sunday' living history at Rock Ford Plantation in Lancaster, PA. Their next event will be on October 12th and will explore the topic of death and dyeing in Federal America.

For the event I made myself a new sheer dress and silk robe. I wore it with the coral jewelry set that I made for the last event. My mother made herself a new sleeveless spencer to match a bonnet purchased from Jenny D'Onofrio of Mason-Dixon Sewing Co.. We didn't plan to match but I didn't mind that our color palettes were the same.

I draped this pattern to look like the 'Patterns of Fashion' by Janet Arnold c.1795-1803 robe.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Historic Rock Ford Plantation Event

Happy Independence Day! Despite taking a month to post pictures from the last event at Historic Rock Ford Plantation in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this post seems timely because the next event at Rock Ford takes place this Sunday. Sunday, July 6th, 11am - 3pm the historic house invites you to come and "experience Independence Day as it would have been celebrated at the end of the 18th Century with music, games, contests, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and other festivities." For more information on this event and others at Rock Ford Plantation, visit the Special Events section of their website.

I have sewn many dresses from the Empire era for customers, but few for myself, so it was time to make myself a new dress. The pattern for this dress is one of my favorites, draped to look like an original dress from Pennsylvania. The original was made of gold silk. The front bodice and skirt is closed with two drawstrings while the back of the bodice gathering is set to the skirt. The original had a fitted lining, although I left that out in this sheer version. A bodiced petticoat is worn beneath. This fabric is a block printed sheer fabric from India.

I made the coral jewelry set - a necklace, two bracelets, earrings, and a haircomb.

My mother's dress was based off of an original dress. The original had been altered from an earlier dress, the waistline raised to reflect the rising waistline coming into fashion in the late 1790s. Here it is worn with a sheer white petticoat.

Hope you have a lovely holiday weekend!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mourning James Buchanan

Wheatland Plantation in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was the home of the 15th President of the United States, James Buchanan, and his niece and first lady, Harriet Lane. In June, I participated in a special program bringing to life the days following the death of James Buchanan on June 1, 1868.  My mother, Nancy, her friend Audrey, and I portrayed relatives of Buchanan. It is rewarding to participate in living history scenarios, educating visitors about moments in history.

We are pictured here in the parlor of Wheatland. Period accounts describe this room as having several desks in it - basically a second study. Previously the room was styled as a typical Victorian parlor. Behind us is Buchanan's desk with newspapers scattered about it.

Because I have yet to finish a proper mourning dress, I chose to wear my black plaid wool dress.

This beautiful hair net was created by Beverly Lister. She does lovely millinery work! This is the most recent creation that I've commissioned from her.

This darling bonnet was created by the talented Pamela Robles. I have long admired pictures of her bonnets online but this was the first that I saw in person. It is very beautifully made.

Read more about the mourning of James Buchanan in this June 17th blog post by Wheatland Museum Associate, Jennifer Walton.