Friday, August 30, 2013

Time Travel Saturday - 1775 to 1941

Warning! There are lots of pictures in this post. :) Here is the final post of 3 from the events last Saturday. The true challenge of the day was packing clothing for two people for two completely different time periods!

In the morning we attended the Hive's 2013 Challenge event at Hartwell Tavern at the Minute Man National Park. We had to provide documentation for all our clothing and gear. There are two posts this week about that, you can read about my clothing here and Cori's clothing here. We had a wonderful time at Hartwell Tavern. I only wish I had time to visit with more of the re-enactors there. Sew18thCentury and KittyCalash , I'm sorry I missed you! After spending a lovely morning at Hartwell we zipped over to Fall River to the WWII living history event at Battleship Cove.

Battleship Cove is a maritime heritage museum preserving the world's largest collection of historic naval ships. Visit five National Historic Landmarks and the Commonwealth's official veterans memorial for WWII and the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf Wars. - Battleship Cove website

This incredible place in home to the WWII era battleship U.S.S. Massachusetts, the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., a Balao-class submarine, the USS Lionfish, and many other historical exhibits. I've seen lot of pictures of battleships but until you see one up close you don't realize just how big they are!

Can you tell Cori was excited to be there? He was like a kid in a candy store, a really big candy store! This picture is currently on my computer desk top at work. :)

We arrived later in the afternoon just as they were finishing a Pearl Harbor simulation. There was a large movie screen set up showing actual footage of the attack along with a very small scale reenactment of navy personnel responding to the attack. We didn't get a chance to really check out the living history displays but among them were military vehicles, a British Home Guard display, German military, U.S. Navy and USMC uniform and equipment displays. And of course the ships!

Cori and I met a couple fellow re-enactors at the 1920s Roaring Lawn party who take part in living history events at Battleship Cove. The USS Massachusetts Living History Group is a small group of WWII re-enactors and Navy history enthusiasts who are dedicated to bringing the historic vessel back to life. As we were looking for them we met a young gent who works there and he offered to give us a tour of the battleship. So cool! On a side note ... dresses, high heels, metals floors, and lots of ladders and stairs are not the best combination! Next time I visit the ship I'm wearing flats!

I wish I had taken more pictures inside the ship but the lighting wasn't great and my camera didn't want to cooperate. I did take this one of the shoe shop. :) I need to find a box of Cat Paw shoe tacks!! The boxes are really cute.

Shoe shop on board the U.S.S. Massachusetts. Rebbecca and Ashley this photo is for you!
We made two new friends during our visit! Anna and Lauren! (thank you for the pictures!) These lovely ladies do a fantastic job with their 1940s portrayals. I loved Anna's red dress and I'm super jealous of Lauren's seersucker WAVE uniform. They are so hard to find these days. Not only was she able to find one in beautiful condition it was her size too. Lucky girl!

This ships where a great backdrop for photos. This first one is a little dark but I still like it. I used Picmonkey to change the colors in a couple of the photos.

I got to wear my new 1940s hat, shoes, and purse! All three of these I picked up at the 1920s Roaring Lawn party. The shoes were made by the Red Cross Shoe Company and are very comfortable. The dress some of you may remember from last summer when I wore it to the Market Maddness event in town. It's a little faded in spots so don't look too closely. Despite it's little flaws the dress is one of my favorites.

Please pardon my messy hair and loose hair pins, it was the end of the day!

Dress - Fort Ann antique shop
Purse and Red Cross Company shoes- Curio Vintage
Hat - Tangerine Boutique
Seabees uniform - I think this one came from Ebay but I can't remember.
If you are looking for a place to visit I can't recommend Battleship Cove enough. There is so much to see and do! The few hours we spent there were not nearly enough. You can easily spend all day there or night too. Yep, you can arrange for group tours and overnights on the battleship, how cool is that? 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Challenge Event, 1775 - Cori's Clothing

18th century woodcut - Source
Hello everyone! Here is part 2 of my 3 part post. You can read part one here about my Challenge clothing and persona. Here's a quick recap. Participants in the Hive's 2013 Challenge at the Minute Man National Park were asked to provide documentation for all their clothing which was then placed in a binder for the public to look through. Here is the event description.

"Across Two Summers Part II - The Countryside at War
"In the summer of 1775, the people of Massachusetts faced the challenge of supporting an army at war while at the same time trying to provide for their own homes and families. Visit Hartwell Tavern to learn about life during the Siege of Boston. Talk to displaced refugees traveling away from Boston and surrounding communities, as well as Provincial soldiers heading towards the front lines. Enlist in the Massachusetts Army, learn the proper military exercise of the day, help manufacture musket and artillery cartridges, and immerse yourself in another period of time, when nothing less than Liberty was at stake."

Normally Cori portrays a British soldier at events. For the French and Indian War period he wears a kilt as a member of the 78th Frasier's Highlanders. For American Revolutionary War events he's part of the 20th Regiment of Foot which is a British light infantry unit. And finally for the War of 1812 era he is a private in the 27th Inniskilling Regiment, another British unit. So basically he's always wearing some kind of red uniform. It's not very often he gets to be an ordinary civilian at events so this part of his wardrobe doesn't get much attention. However, he does have a nice wool suit (which you can see here) and we are making improvements where we can with everything else. Eventually he will need another pair of breeches (he's not allowed to wear his nice wool ones unless he's dressing up!) a new shirt, and frock coat.

We decided on a basic working class/farmers portrayal for him for Saturday. Here is the documentation for Cori's attire.

Shirt – Blue and white check shirt, hand sewn. Based on one in Fitting and Proper by Sharon Burston.
“Stolen … blue and white check shirt…” Massachusetts Spy, August 16, 1775
Neckerchief – “a blue handkerchief with white spots” February 14, 1776
“a blue and white bird eyed cotton handkerchief “ March 12, 1767
“a spotted cotton handkerchief about his neck” October 22, 1783
Jacket – Brown linen jacket, hand sewn. Based on jacket in Costume Close Up by Linda Baumgarten. Cori's jacket was made using the JP Ryan frock coat pattern with some slight changes. It's better suited to the 1750/60s but as Cori was portraying a lower/working class person we felt that it was OK for his coat to be a bit old fashioned.
“Had on .. a brown cloth jacket and breeches” Connecticut Gazette, October 13, 1775
"Had on and took with him ... a brown coat ...a checked shirt, a pair of gray breeches, pitched and much worn. "  The New-York Gazette, January 2, 1764
Breeches and spats – 1750/60s style breeches with fly front. Worn with black spats as seen in A Scene near Cox Heath, or the Enraged Farmer. May 1, 1779 Publisher: Sayer & Bennett and Ladies Maid Purchasing a Leek, Lewis Walpole Library
Black tri-corner hat – Common style of the 18th century. Tricorn Hat 1779 - Connecticut, National Museum of Americana History Behring Center NMAH#7176
Market Wallet – Blue and white striped ticking. Based on one in collection of Historic Bethlehem Inc.  

Ladies Maid Purchasing a Leek, Lewis Walpole Library
A Scene near Cox Heath, or the Enraged Farmer. May 1, 1779 Publisher: Sayer & Bennett
Do you want any spoons, any hard-mettle spoons: 1760
Plate 11 from Twelve Cries of London.  
Artist/Photographer/Maker Paul Sandby c.1760 - Source Museum of London
Great image of a man with a market wallet. Painting by Mdm Francois Dupare c.1760's - Source Washington State University
Market wallets were a common way of carrying goods from town to market or for carrying extra clothes for a long journey. They are often mentioned in runaway ads and came in different sizes. They are rectangular in shape with an open slit down the middle. Items are place in either end and then the whole thing is twisted shut carried over the shoulder, arm, or even around the neck. Ours is based on one in the collection of Historic Bethlehem Inc, Penn. and is roughly 18" x 36". I made a much smaller one for carrying modern items to events but it somehow made it's way into Cori's gear never to be seen again. Guess I'll need to make a new one for myself. 

Put all the above information together and here is what you get! As we were walking from the parking lot to Harwell Tavern, Cori discovered that my little table/work bench fit perfectly on his back. A creative and clever way to carry things!  In the Cries of London series you see lots of people carrying things on their backs, although mostly in baskets of some kind. Looking at the pictures of Cori I noticed that his blue and white neckerchief is not visible for some reason, but it was earlier in the day. :) He wore same thing to the event at OSV a few weeks ago. Thankfully there was no harry mole this time!

We used the market wallet to carry our lunch and an onion bottle with water. We often use it to pack our clothing in when going to events. It's so handy!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Challenge Event, 1775 - My Clothing

This Saturday was a very busy day for Cori and I. Lots of traveling, dressing up, and talking with all kinds of amazing people. We time traveled from present day to the year 1775 and then to 1941. Phew! Because we did so much I'm going to be breaking this into three posts. :) Just a heads up, this first post is rather long and has lots of pictures.

Our day began bright and early with a trip to Hartwell Tavern at the Minute Man National Park to participate in the Hive's Challenge Event. I really wanted to go last year but was not able to. Check out the Hive's blog for posts on last year's Challenge.

Chatting with a couple lovely ladies at Hartwell Tavern.
Photo by Friends of the Minute Man National Park Facebook page
 This is the description for this year's event.
"Across Two Summers Part II - The Countryside at War
"In the summer of 1775, the people of Massachusetts faced the challenge of supporting an army at war while at the same time trying to provide for their own homes and families. Visit Hartwell Tavern to learn about life during the Siege of Boston. Talk to displaced refugees traveling away from Boston and surrounding communities, as well as Provincial soldiers heading towards the front lines. Enlist in the Massachusetts Army, learn the proper military exercise of the day, help manufacture musket and artillery cartridges, and immerse yourself in another period of time, when nothing less than Liberty was at stake."

Participants in the Challenge are asked to provide documentation for all their clothing which is then placed in a binder for the public to look through. I decided to go as a shoemaker. I wore my blue and white cross-barred gown and brought along my tools and unfinished shoes. Here is my documentation. I will have a separate post for Cori's attire.

Shift – Based on shifts in Costume Close Up by Linda Baumgarten and Fitting and Proper by Sharon Burston. Machine sewn but finished by hand.
Stays – First started in a Hive workshop. Pattern from a pair of 1770s fashionable stays in a private collection. Linen lining and blue worsted outer fabric, leather binding. All hand sewn.
Under petticoat – White linen under petticoat with printed cotton border. Based on a petticoat as seen in Fitting and Proper by Sharon Burston. All hand sewn.
Blue linen striped petticoat – Blue linen and white striped petticoat made of two panels of fabric pleated to narrow waist band. Ties front and back with linen ties, open at sided to allow access to pockets. All hand sewn. The fabric came from Burnley and Trowbridge. I'm kicking myself for not buying more of it at the time. The fabric was a dream to work with! 
Gown – The pattern for this gown was created in Hive workshop, based on original 18th gown in a private collection. It's made from a blue and white cross-barred linen with matching stomacher - Based on the print Native Meltons by British printmaker Richard Houston (c.1721-1775) after the painting by French artist Philippe Mercier (1689-1760). All hand sewn. I first posted about the gown here.

This picture was taken about 2 years ago but it's a nice close of the gown, bonnet, and neckerchief together.

Neckerchief – "StolenRed Ground and spotted with White" - Boston Gazette, February 19, 1770. Also based on a red and white cotton neckerchief as seen in A City Shower, 1764- Museum of London.For more information on handkerchiefs see my post Spotting Handkerchief in Art.
Aprons – Linen check apron, all hand sewn. Print The Jealous Maids in the Lewis Walpole Library, linen check apron in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg. “Said servant took with her … checked apron.” Pennsylvania Gazette 9-20-1775. There are also several examples of check fabric in the "Threads of Feeling" exhibit. Leather workman's apron. As seen in period prints of shoemakers and other tradesmen. The Contented Cobbler Publish'd July 14th 1772 by W. Humphrey Opposite Cecil Court St. Martin's. British Mezzotint Satires in North American Collections
White linen cap – Linen cap, common 18th century style with single ruffle, hand sewn with red silk ribbon. Similar to the cap worn in A City Shower, 1764- Museum of London.
Bonnet – Black silk bonnet with a red silk lining made by Hallie Larkin. Common style of the 1770s. Black and red combination inspired by a mid 18th century runaway servant ad. Similar to the bonnet in a 1772 print called Ladies Maid Purchasing a Leek. Black was the most common color of bonnets in the 18th century. You can read my post on bonnet colors here.
Stockings – Blue cotton stocking. “had on … yarn stockings of a blue color.” Connecticut Gazette, October 13, 1775
Shoes – Leather shoes with “silver” buckets of a style common to the mid 18th century. Fugawee Shoes.

So, did women actually work as shoemakers in the 18th century? Yes they did! Although it was a far more common trade for men, there were some women such as Elizabeth Shaw making shoes in the Boston area. I first mentioned Elizabeth Shaw in my post here
The Boston Post Boy & Advertiser, July 20, 1767

"Womens best Lynn made Callimanco Shoes at 36s" Boston Evening Post, April 26, 1765.
“Took with her a bundle of clothes. … a pair of blue worsted shoes with white heels. … She had in her shoes a pair of large silver buckles.” Pennsylvania Packet, December 14, 1782
“Took with her … a pair of leather or purple velvet shoes with square carved yellow shoes buckles.” Pennsylvania Packet, May 22, 1775
“Two pair black cloth shoes.” Pennsylvania Packet, August 23, 1773
“Benjamin and Holton Johnston, Shoemakers from Boston, in Front Street, two doors above Market Street. Take this method to inform the ladies, that they make all sorts of silk and worsted shoes, in the neatest and best manner. They likewise have the best Boston shoes to sell at the very lowest rates. All those that will please to favor them with their custom, may depend on being faithfully served.” Pennsylvania Gazette, May 30, 1765.

Put all above information together and here is what you get! I don't have a wooden tool box so I used a couple baskets to transport my shoes and tools. I was really glad I brought the little table you see, it made a great little work bench.

Not really sure what I'm doing in this picture.
Yum, peaches for lunch!

Photo by Friends of the Minute Man National Park Facebook page
I didn't accomplish much of anything with my shoes as we were only at Hartwell a short time, plus I spent most of the time talking with people. :) I think visitors really enjoyed seeing a little bit about the process of how shoes were made. I need to do some more search on the cost of shoes as that was one of the most common questions I had.

The *almost* finished shoe!
Around 1:00 we headed back to the car and changed in the parking lot (for the second time that day) and drove to Fall River, Mass for a WWII event. That post coming soon, up next is Cori's Challenge Event attire. :) The true challenge of the day was packing clothing for two people for two completely different time periods!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Great Hair Fridays - July 1942

It's been a little while since I posted one of these. Today's Great Hair Fridays post is from the Modern Beauty Shop. Issue July 1942, vol 2.

There is a great little article on make up and another on using hairpieces. I like the section called Dash and Drama. Hope you all have a great weekend! :)



Friday, August 9, 2013

Giveaway Winners

The winners of my vintage pattern giveaway are NoraFinds and MaciNic! Congratulations ladies, I hope you enjoy your patterns! :) Please contact me at with your mailing address so I know where to send them.

And now some lovely Edwardian ladies. Look at those hats!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Finished Gown - Purple and White

Hello all,
As promised, here are some pictures of my finished gown. The gown made it's debut at the Rebels and Redcoats event at Old Sturbridge Village over the weekend. This gown has been on my project list, half finished, for about a year and a half. The fabric was purchased from William Booth Draper back in March of 2012. I've posted on occasion about this gown. You can read all of these posts here. The two posts people might find the most interested are my research post on purple and white fabrics in the 18th century and the one showing a painting of a gown with a similar print.

The back view. I spent a lot of time playing with the fabric until I was happy with the arrangement of the back pleats. I didn't want the floral design to look too chopped up. Back pleats are much easier with stripes and solids for sure! The flowers didn't match up perfectly but I didn't really expect them too. The floral design on the robings and stomacher match up pretty well so I'm happy about that. :)

And the front. Closed front gowns begin to appear in the 1770s but there is some debate as to when exactly. There is an interesting article on the subject here. Personally, I like the look of the open or stomacher front gowns so that is what I decided to make. They are versatile and work for a range of dates from the 1740s to 1770s. Of course the width of the back pleats, cuff size, and other details change. I still need to add cuffs to this gown.

I wore my new gown with a semi-shear cotton apron and matching neckerchief. They are both very white, making the gown seem off white in comparison. My black silk bonnet was made for me by the wonderful Hallie Larkin of At the Sign of the Golden Scissors. Hallie makes custom bonnets but also has a pattern available for making your own. You can find her shop here.

And finally, I picture of Rebecca and I together lol! Rebecca was wearing a lovely red and white gown of her own creation. I believe she is working on a blog post about it. Rebecca and her sister Ashley co-write A Fashionable Frolick. These are two of the lovely ladies I met during the first part of my 18th century shoemaking adventures. Ashley was not able to make it to OSV this year. Hopefully the next time we meet we can get a photo of the three of us. :) Check out A Fashionable Frolick out for a great selection of photos of OSV.

Photo from Rebecca of A Fashionable Frolick
Rebecca also sent me the link for this photo. I took part in a fashion show called the Runaway Runway hosted by the Ladies of Refined Taste. A group of us posed as runaway servants to help show case the clothing of working-class people of the 1770s using descriptions from 1770s runaway advertisements. Cori also took part in the show. Part of his "character" required the application of a "proper hair mole." Ewww!

Attaching the mole. Photo by Irina Huynh
Photo by Irina Huynh
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