My 1860's wardrobe was in dire need of updating, so this summer I spent much of my free time creating some new clothing and accessories for reenacting. One of these creations was this blue wool dress. The wool is a very nice suiting weight wool. The bodice has points at the front and back. The bodice fit very well in all of the fittings, but the skirt wasn't attached to the bodice until the event, so when I wore it I noticed that the bodice was a bit too long, causing it to ride up and create creases at the upper bust. This will be corrected by shortening the bodice before it is worn next. This is a rather simple alteration. The skirt was knife pleated and attached to a waistband.
I wore a period paisley shawl and carried an original chantilly lace, silk, and bone parasol with the outfit.
Because I have owned only one silk bonnet for ages, and it is pink and black, I desperately wanted to make myself a new bonnet for the event that I was attending. I created a buckram bonnet form and covered it in orange silk fabric. I looked at a lot of period bonnets for trim inspiration and went with something that I felt was tasteful and not too overdone. Period bonnets seem to achieve a very full trim style inside the bonnet. I wanted to create that full look with loops of ombre plum and peach ribbon - just like original ribbon that I had seen on various pieces, and used the white stamens pulled from cheap Michael's flowers to create my own 'flower' clusters. Using the stamens in clusters always seems to add nice texture. I then added a few berries to the mix. The lace inside is original and was gathered and then tacked in place.
The coral grape cluster earrings (and matching brooch) are originals.
Rows of silk were pinked, gathered and attached near the brim, and ombre ribbon and paper flowers were used to lightly trim the exterior of the bonnet. Because I made this orange bonnet to go with the blue wool dress and period paisley shawl I selected a simpler trim style that didn't outshine the beautiful paisley shawl.