Friday, June 10, 2016

Welbourne 1865


It's been a long time since I last wrote and I still have photos from the Welbourne Plantation Civil War era immersion event last fall to share with you!

After a delicious dinner prepared by the talented Cheyney McKnight we retired to the sitting room to discuss local events, read and prepare for an evening of parlor theatrics. 


Above: Nancy and Keri talk to a dinner guest in the parlor.


My mother, Nancy, looked lovely in her red silk dinner dress. The dress has a matching red silk fichu to cover the neckline for daytime, and pagoda sleeves that attach beneath the double puffed short sleeves for day wear.


Gaye wore her original pearl grape cluster brooch and earrings, a gold watch chain and hair work bracelets.


Lori, Anne and Annette pour over books searching for poetry worthy of reading aloud.


Lisa and Nancy contemplate poetry.


Above: Jen D'Onofrio, The Needleworker, in her brown sheer dress.




Amateur players rehearse a parlor theatrical. Jess Craig, the event's coordinator, wore a lovely pale pink silk dress.


Jen and Annette watch the theatrics.




Lori's blue silk dress with black silk trim was one of the prettiest reproduction dresses I've ever seen! It was based off of a fashion plate. The black dots are all silk covered buttons.



It was a lovely evening with lots of camaraderie and laughs.

My outfit - pictured at the top of the page - was a green-red shot silk taffeta skirt worn with my usual sheer silk organza bodice and an olive silk satin Swiss waist with gold polka dot. The top of the Swiss waist is trimmed in pleated red-green shot ribbon from M&J Trim in NYC. A fancy box pleated silk taffeta trim was created and applied over top of it. The outfit was worn with an original blonde Chantilly lace shawl and original gold Etruscan style jewelry.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Welbourne 1865


One workshop followed another on Saturday afternoon at Welbourne. Our second workshop was a parasol recovering tutorial led by Jenny D'Onofrio of The Needleworkers. Here are a few more pictures from Saturday afternoon at Welbourne.


I love all of the period details sitting about the house. Here a stereoviewer - used to see images in 3-D - sits by a stack of stereoview cards while period fashion magazines and poetry books sit scattered about.


Jenny operates her original sewing machine during the parasol workshop.


Notice the beautiful soutache braid on the sleeves of Jenny's Garibaldi bodice.


Lori helped me to dismantle some large tassels to remake into smaller tassels as we listened to Jenny's talk.


Jenny explains how to string the spokes of the parasol together to create the desired tension on the spokes and shape of the parasol before creating a pattern.


I couldn't miss out on capturing another image of Gaye's details. It's all in the details.



My mother, Nancy, poses outside in her red silk dress and newly retrimmed Marie Stewart bonnet.


Gaye poses in front of the house so that I can capture some images of the dress that she will wear for the evening - a velvet basque bodice and silk skirt made by Beth Miller Hall of Gettysburg.


Gaye wears an original gold hair comb with pearl accents in her hair and an original collar on her bodice.



A gold watch chain hangs about her neck attached to a pocket watch tucked into the waistband of her skirt. Often dresses had tiny pockets at the waist specifically to hold the pocket watch.



Sunday, January 24, 2016

Welbourne 1865


Once again I wore this black wool dress with fuchsia windowpane plaid to Welbourne. I had this fabric in my stash for over 10 years before I finally got around to making a dress from it! It was so nice to finally get this dress finished. I'm sure that my additional years of experience sewing helped to make this dress even prettier now than it would have been 10 years ago.

I chose to pipe the pointed bodice, armscye, and sleeve hems with fuchsia silk since I have seen a few originals that used contrasting piping. The front of the bodice fastens with hooks and eyes and has fuchsia silk fabric covered decorative buttons. I wore an original collar and original Etruscan style brooch and matching bracelets with reproduction Etruscan earrings. I made the fuchsia velvet pleated hair ribbon headdress to be worn with my wrapper but it also goes perfectly with this dress. I based it on original CDV images showing pleated hair ribbons with no net.





Outdoors I accessorized with a silk bonnet that I made and an original Chantilly lace and bone parasol. The nice thing about this event is that originals can be used delicately. If I were at a huge outdoor reenactment I would never wear this many originals for fear that they might get lost or damaged.

I always wear my 108" Cage Crinoline with slightly elliptical shape but it's so hard to control how it looks under dresses because it has everything to do with the weight of the dress skirts. In the picture above the cage shape appears so small to me, but other times when worn under a silk skirt it's the perfect size. I always wear two heavily starched cotton petticoats over the cage crinoline. Perhaps I need a larger cage for under wool dresses to accommodate their weight? I plan to make two new cage crinolines in size 110" and 120" in the future so I can experiment more with size and shape.