Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Welbourne 1864: Sunday Morning

Sunday mornings at Welbourne always start out with breakfast followed by a church service. This Sunday was no different. Afterwards we took scenic carriage rides to view the beautiful fall leaves in the country. More pictures from Sunday to come.

Jess's dress trim is made from the Civilian Symposium (1860s Conference in Harrisburg) fabric. Each year the speakers make dresses out of the same fabric. It is a fabulous exercise to see the different styles of dresses that can be made from one fabric. Jess's dress is based off of an original from a CDV.

My mother in a wool dress with silk rosettes with silk covered button centers. Inspired by an original dress. Her skirt is knife pleated.

Here you can better see the new net made by Beverly Lister. I asked her to make it more elaborate than the standard net styles that she makes. I think that it turned out really beautifully.

I made myself two new wool dresses for this event. This fabric I had purchased on my first fabric shopping trip to Philadelphia - back in high school! It was nice to finally make this dress. I had originally planned a simple dress with no trim but once I started making it I couldn't help but want to add contrasting cording to set it off. I have seen contrasting cording on a few originals - it is very rare.

I made myself a pleated hair ribbon to wear with this dress. It was an easy project to do. I formed millinery wire in a circle and wrapped it with strips of fuchsia silk fabric. I then pleated velvet ribbon and stitched it to the base. I added a bow at the center back and a bow at the side with tails and matching tassels.

I love all of these hairnets! Dannielle is wearing a new style of hairnet that she is offering at Timely Tresses - I want one!

Dannielle's apron was made by Kara Bartels of Corner Clothiers. It matched her dress perfectly! There are rosettes down the front of her dress and also on the apron.

It's always so lovely to reenact with ladies who put so much effort into the authenticity of their impressions.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Welbourne 1864: Saturday Evening

The Saturday evening entertainment during our weekend at Welbourne was parlor theatrics called Tableaux Vivants or 'Living Pictures'. These were a popular form of entertainment during the Victorian era. The scenes often depicted famous paintings or Bible stories. The players pose motionless while the narrator describes the scene. There were many period publications describing how to perform Tableaux. The more elaborate the costumes and props, the better. I collaborated with Carol to put together the costumes and props for the tableaux and Carol wrote the script. For several years in high school and college I put on Tableaux at living history events - making all of the costumes and props myself. Many of those costumes were used in the tableaux at Welbourne.

Tableaux Vivants are a lot of work to plan and costume but are fun to participate in and even more enjoyable to watch! Diaries from Middleburg, Virginia (where Welbourne is situated) in the 1860s mention Tableaux Vivants being performed at parties.

Above, a scene depicting Hebe, the Greek goddess of Youth.

Keri acted as narrator.

Colleen in the lovely costume that she made based off of a painting of Morgan Le Fey, the half sister of King Arthur.

The Bath. A slave comforts the Sultana in the harem.

The Gypsy Fortune Teller.

Apollo and Three Graces.

Macbeth's Witches.

Venus Rising from the Sea based on Boticelli's painting.

Titania's Bower.

My mother dressed for the evening in her red silk evening gown. The dress has long sleeves and a pelerine that can be added to convert it into a dress appropriate for day wear. She wear with it a pair of original earrings and an original locket. It looked stunning with the black Chantilly lace shawl.

Welbourne 1864: Saturday Morning

A typical Saturday morning at Welbourne in the 1860s was surely not as exciting as the Saturdays that I've spent at Welbourne the past few Octobers. After a delicious breakfast we hurry upstairs to change for the day. Our favorite photographer, Jim Pfeiffer usually visits to make our images as a group and as individuals. This year I had two images made - one with my mother and one by myself. It's always a treat to work with Jim and his images are very artistically composed and absolutely stunning.

Lori wore a beautiful red wrapper and looked adorable with her little girl (above).

Gaye and Anita have a discussion in the entryway.

This year we spent much time on the back porch sewing. It was peaceful and serene.

Gaye had her image struck by the photographer.

The trim on my mother's dress, above right, was inspired by an original period image in the book "Who Wore What?" by Juanita Leisch. Her earrings and brooch are original coral grape clusters.

Gaye's bonnet, above left, was made by Beverly Lister.

Both of these ladies do a fantastic job with their impressions! It is always such a pleasure to reenact with them - it feels like I am stepping back in time!

During the day I wore this royal blue wool dress with black velvet greek key trim. I will post more pictures of it soon!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Welbourne 1864: Friday Dinner

Friday's dinner at Welbourne was fantastic! Our cook, Cheyney, woke up very early and worked all day preparing the food. She did an amazing job - the food was very delicious.

Prior to dinner we waited in the sitting room, enjoying the fire and good company.

This dress is one of my favorites that my mother has made. The trim style is based off of an original dress.

For this year's event I focused on using fabrics from my stash. This red-blue shot silk has been in my collection for awhile. I chose to make a skirt to coordinate with my swiss waist and sheer silk organza bodice. I made a pair of wristlets and a matching headdress to wear with it. I wish that I had better pictures of the details to share! The headdress has antique jet bead tassels on it and the wristlets are black piped with the red-blue shot silk and have a jet bead center. I will make a matching bodice for this skirt sometime.