Mar. 12th, 2017

atherleisure: (reader)
Last weekend the state park at Washington on the Brazos had a celebration of Texas' declaration of independence in 1836. My whole family went with the girls in costume. E's dress is based on a museum piece that I think is late 1830's, and M's is a bit more generically "Victorian." I made a new dress for myself out of a brown printed poplin.

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This was the first time I've gone to an event that was set at a very particular point in time, though I'm sure that's familiar territory for the reenactors around here. Most of my events are more "Regency" or "1910's" or the like. So I did a fair bit of looking at extant dresses, trying to find things I liked that are specifically mid-1830's. And since this was a homesteading sort of area at the time, being slightly out of date seemed reasonable...no, it's not that far from New Orleans and not that far from the port of Houston, but it's very rural so 1834-1835 seemed like a good target.

Here's what I came up with.
Mid-1830's Dress - Front

Mid-1830's Dress - Back

It's cut from six yards of yard-wide goods, which was a bit of a trick and wouldn't have been possible if I weren't on the short side of average. I still got plenty of size in the sleeves, but I did have to cut them down a bit from the Janet Arnold pattern I started with. I ran out of time to make sleeve supports for the event, but I'll have them for the battle of San Jacinto next month. All the bodice and waist seams are piped, and the skirt is cartridge-pleated to the waistband. The bodice is lined with muslin, and there's a 6" muslin hem facing. It hooks up the center front.

It was a drizzly, on-again-off-again rainy day so there wasn't as much going on as I'm told there usually is, but the children had a good time, and we wandered around from about 10:30 to 3:00 before we headed home and made the children take their shoes off before they got in the car.

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My massive shawl is big for the 1860's so it looks a little ridiculous in the 1830's, but I was glad for the large expanse of wool in the cool dampness of the day.

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And of course, here are our lovely friends the Grahams who invited us to join them and brought the children cupcakes in honor of Texas' birthday. They also provided all the pictures.

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Now to finish the sleeve supports, trim the bonnet, and make a chemisette for the battle of San Jacinto in April. I should make a cap with a more 1830's shape than the 18th century one I wore this time, but I think the neck handkercheif I usually wear with 18th century things worked quite well tucked into the bodice in lieu of a proper chemisette.

I hope the weather is a bit nicer for San Jacinto because we've had a couple of damp events lately.

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