Monday, October 12, 2015

• 1812 Reenactment •

Hurrah! I'm back, with a refreshed eagerness for blogging, and in a much better mood! :) Thanks for all your well wishes and prayers!!

This past Friday I went to my very first historical reenactment! It was an amazing time!

The reenactment was held on a huge site along a pretty little river, with tents set up everywhere. There were enough tents set up to make your head spin!! There were something like 140 merchants, plus a whole village of Indians, soldiers, and all the reenactors.

Unfortunately for me, the battle took place while I was wandering around in the wilderness looking for my car. It was scheduled to be at 1:00, but they ended up doing it at 12:00, unannounced, so I got back just in time for them to walk off the battlefield. Very exciting. :|

It was still a lot of fun though! There were more merchants than you could shake a stick at, including this lady, who was weaving fabric for towels. She was explaining how it was done, and talking about her dress, which she had made from her own woven fabric. She made that fabric on a 45" loom, which takes about 8 or 9 hours per yard to weave. And her dress took 5 yards! Whew! It sounds like fun though!

Another lady spinning wool.

I was surprised to see that there were no other people in period clothing that were not reenactors! I wasn't a reenactor, but I would have felt pretty funny wearing (in my case) a 1950s dress! ;)

This lady was the proprietress of Regency Remembered. She had on the most exquisite outfit! Her hat was amazing.

There was a "schoolroom" set up in one area! I loved seeing the Bible verse on the chalkboard! There were TONS of schoolkids there since it was field day for them, so it was quite the zoo for a while.

Watching little boys try to split great big logs. :) So cute!!

Now for the reallllllllly good part. The fabric stores!! The first one I came to was Wm. Booth Draper! I was very happily surprised to see a "big-time" company there! They had a ton of gorgeous fabrics; I could have spent SO much money. But somehow I only came out with velvet, which you'll see in the pictures later on.
The fabrics in this picture are available on their website. I just about died over that red and blue block print.

More fabrics.

These gorgeous block prints were for sale at Regency Remembered. I alllllmost bought that one at the top center. To me, $50 for 5 yards seemed quite reasonable!

My sweet friends Bekah and Jolene, who invited me! (Oh, and Sake, the dog). ;)
They were both wearing lovely dresses that Jolene made.

And now for the loot! :)

I bought this gorgeous scarf/fichu/shawl/neckerchief from one of the merchants. I just loved the pattern and the colors! I almost went for the all-blue pattern, but decided to be bold and try some other colors instead.
Nicely enough, it's 44" square, so it can be worn as a fichu or a shawl!

Ahhh. I bought 2 yards of this gorgeous velvet from Wm. Booth Draper. It was only $10 per yard, which seemed like quite the good price for a very good quality cotton velvet. And it's 60" wide!
To my very great happiness, I found when I got home that it matches one of my regency dress fabrics perfectly. I'm already plotting my spencer jacket!! :)

I wore my calico regency gown, which I revamped a bit beforehand. I'm happy to say, my new undersleeves worked perfectly! Thanks for the tips, Lily!!

I removed the original sleevebands and made them much more fitted and wider. I'm so excited that I finally have undersleeves!! :)

I bought my bonnet from Regency Austentation on Etsy. I really like it! It's very well made, and you can decorate it up in a variety of ways. Since I was going for a working-class look and not a promenading-in-Bath look, I decided to just do a simple ribbon decoration instead of silk, feathers and flowers.

When I originally made this dress, I assumed that it would somehow magically stay closed in the back with just a drawstring at the neck and waist, but for some reason it didn't! I wonder why! Ha!
Needless to say, I added some much-needed hooks-and-eyes, and now it really does stay closed. Hurrah!

And now for the good part; I made garters, and they held my socks up the entire day!! I didn't have to pull them up once. :) Now that is a good thing!!
My stockings are from Jas. Townsend.

Wait!!! I forgot my reticule!

I started this reticule ages ago, and it had even ended up in the drawer of shame (aka UFO drawer). I got it out in anticipation of this reenactment, however, and actually finished it! I really love it; it looks small, but it holds an amazing amount of stuff!
Unfortunately, I can't find the embroidery pattern I used, but I'm pretty sure it was from Needle 'N' Thread.

I lined my reticule with some gorgeous reproduction cotton (an 1860s reproduction, incidentally, but who's counting?!). It is the same fabric I used for my garters.

All in all, it was a very fun time, and I can't wait for next year!! :)

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  1. Looks like a lovely day, and your outfit is wonderful. What a good match between the velvet and the fabric, you'll be able to do wonders with that

    1. Thank you so much, Kaitlyn!! It was a lovely day! And I just can't wait to make my velvet spencer! :)

  2. How lovely! I've always wanted to make a Regency dress. They are quite lovely.

    1. Thank you, Stephanie!! :) Ooh, you should make a Regency dress; they're so fun!

  3. Esther,

    What a wonderful day! I love visiting reenactments, and have always wanted to attend a War of 1812 reenactment. There are some really grand 1812 reenactments in our state, but they are a bit of a drive from where we live. Usually in the fall we have the chance to go to a Civil War reenactment, as they are held closer to our home. Your outfit is beautiful!! I cannot wait to see what you create with your new fabric. : )


    1. I love reenactments too! I only wish there were more of them around here!
      I would love to see pictures from your Civil War reenactment!!
      Thank you so much, Sarah!! :)

  4. You look wonderful, I love the print you picked for your dress. Ah yes, William Booth Draper!!! I adore that company and have purchased soooo much fabric from them over the years. Fantastic products and wonderful people to deal with too. :)

    1. Eee!! Thanks, Emily!! I am a tiny bit prejudiced, but I rather like that print myself. In fact, I LOVE it. I wish I had 100 dresses made out of it. ;)
      William Booth Draper IS amazing!! They have wonderful fabrics, and you're right, they're very friendly!! :)

  5. I have spent some wonderful days watching re-enactments. I love your dress - you look really special - and I am so pleased that you are feeling better


    1. Thank you so much, Rebecca!! You're so sweet! :)

  6. What a memorable day! There aren't any big-time reenactments of any era (except WWII) where I am. I have always wanted to attend a Civil War one, but any time period would be fun. :) Your dress turned out lovely, you looked quite classy, comfortable, and authentic. Of COURSE one would dress up to attend a reenactment! ;) Oh dear, oh my, the fabric vendors must have been amazing. I would be quite dangerous to myself at those booths. You found some lovely treasures and have fun sewing up that velvet! I *really* like the red and white print you are pairing it with. Excellent taste, my dear! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.

    1. Thank you, Sarah A.!! This is pretty much my favorite dress right now! :)
      Oh my, I would LOVE to go to a WWII reenactment! There aren't any of those anywhere around here though...*tears*
      The fabric vendors were amazing! We could really empty them out between the two of us, couldn't we? ;)
      Thanks for all your sweet words. I always love reading your comments! :)

  7. I would have been squealing too over vendors having fabric for sale. We NEVER have any at the events I go to. I would have had a hard time walking away from some of those.
    Lovely dress too.

    1. Oh man!! How can anyone have a reenactment without fabric?!! :) That is too bad! I really am kicking myself for passing up those block prints!
      Thank you so much, Val! That is high praise coming from someone so talented as yourself!! :)

  8. You have such a wonderful eye for detail and historical styling, dear Esther. This outfit is a classic delight and looks completely breathtaking on you.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Aww, thank you so much, Jessica!! You're too sweet. :)

  9. What a fabulously fun day ~ I can't wait to see your spencer out of the red velvet ~ I think it's going to look awwwwesome! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. Thank you, Bonita!! I too can't wait for that spencer! :)


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