atherleisure: (Default)
We went to Williamsburg for vacation this year, but we didn't take a long enough trip to make the driving worthwhile. Last year we were gone almost three weeks with Williamsburg and Louisville, but this year it was only a week and a half. It just wasn't long enough, and it didn't help that the drive up ended up taking four extra hours due to various traffic jams. We did come back through Louisville, but we were only there long enough to go to church and lunch. We were a month too early for the Jane Austen Festival.

We spent three days at the Colonial Williamsburg historic district, but it turns out that they have rearranged their schedules so that all the shops are open on the weekends. We didn't go on any weekend days so we were hunting for open shops quite a bit. It was still nice, but it was just less satisfying than previous trips.

On the other hand, there were certainly lots of good points. The weavers had a table loom set up for children to try out, and my girls loved it and kept asking to go back. We got to lunch and hang out with [livejournal.com profile] reine_de_coudre one afternoon, which was very nice, and we went to the Williamsburg Heritage Dancers' regular Tuesday night session for the first time. And I wore my new linen items.

DSC_0095

DSC_0094

I finished my stockings in time to wear them, and you can get a glimpse of them in the picture above. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a good picture of them while I had them on so I'll have to do that sooner or later.

The other outfit I wore was my c. 1780 wool gown.

DSC_1188

DSC_1186

The third day was 21st century wear.

I've heard so much about linen being the coolest to wear that I wanted to test it out. One day I had a wool gown with cotton-lined bodice and sleeves, a cotton shift, and wool stockings. The next day I had a linen jacket, linen petticoat, linen shift, and wool stockings. Both days I had the same cotton and wool stays, and the weather was about the same. My conclusion was that the linen wasn't actually cooler to wear, but that it did keep me from feeling that the sweat was running down me.
atherleisure: (reader)
The trip for the DFWCG's Georgian Picnic was so much fun. Getting dressed at [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson's house was fun - it's always better getting ready together. Then we went over to the picnic. The pavilion turned out to be available, and [livejournal.com profile] nuranar and I found a place in the sun but not out of the breeze. It's a rare thing that I'm looking for a sunny spot, but with the blustery day, sun was definitely desirable. From that point for all practical purposes, either I monopolized her, she monopolized me, or we mutually monopolized each other. However it may have been, there was a lot of laughter.

DFGCG 2015 Picnic Kaycee Cheramie Set-44

I didn't take any pictures, but Jen and Kaycee were both there and have kindly shared their pictures so any pictures linked here were taken by one or the other of them. Their pictures far outshine anything I could possibly have taken. They got some good pictures of my new-ish dress.

DFGCG 2015 Picnic Kaycee Cheramie Set-47

DFGCG 2015 Picnic Kaycee Cheramie Set-24

DFGCG 2015 Picnic Kaycee Cheramie Set-8

I did mention there was lots of laughter, didn't I?

I wore my 1780's dress that I started right before last year's picnic and didn't quite finish in time. So I had long sleeves and a wool dress. It was tropical-weight wool, though, so it will be quite comfortable if I get a more temperate opportunity to wear it. I was pretty chilly, but I had all the layers so it wasn't awful. The gusts were a bit of a trial, though. My old cap ended up looking very nice with the way I did my hair so I wasn't unhappy about not having made the new one in the end. My apron turned out to be a very nice color with my gown

There were a couple of lovely chemise dresses.

DFGCG 2015 Picnic Kaycee Cheramie Set-106

Jen's gray silk gown and tambour (or tambour-look) fichu and apron were lovely. I want her fichu. And her apron.

DFGCG 2015 Picnic Kaycee Cheramie Set-123

Ginger doesn't have to worry about me taking her polonaise since it would look awful on me, but she had probably better keep an eye on it because it's as beautiful as I expected it to be. Her wig was fabulous too.

DFGCG 2015 Picnic Kaycee Cheramie Set-130

I'm a sucker for green and white stripes so I loved Susanna's dress. I like tucks too.

DFGCG 2015 Picnic Kaycee Cheramie Set-113

There was lots of other good stuff - like Megan's tete de mouton hair and Beth's cross-stitched pinball that they posted about. And Jen wore her pinball. And I wore mine. Hmmm. Pinballs may have been a bit over-represented, but they're so cool, how could we possibly complain? And we met a girl from Houston who is interested in joining us for shenanigans so that's welcome news.

We then retired to La Madeleine, arriving about 4:30. We left a little after 8:30. Oops. But it was great talking to everyone at length and at leisure and drinking tea. I kind of wished I had brought my knitting in from the car because after a couple of hours I started to get bit fidgety and wanted something to do with my hands. It was in the car, though, so I wound up playing with my cup. Knitting would have been better, but it might have seemed rude so maybe it's just as well.

Then we went back to Jen's house and wound up talking until after midnight. It was a good night of conversation. Then we had to get up and out Sunday morning because Kaycee had to pick up the dogs she's adopting by 3:30 so we needed to get a fairly early start.

I managed to get everything I brought for specific people distributed to them and rather surprisingly came home with a couple of new books from Jen - The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower and two non-Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout. And I sold my old muff. Beth says she's going to make cross-stitch garters so I can't wait to see them. The picture on the MFA is clearer now than when I patterned them so maybe she'll be able to do the figure above the lettering that I couldn't make out before but is now clear as day.

The downside of the whole thing is that I've talked more in the last thirty-six hours than I think I've talked in the last three weeks. My throat is tired of talking. Still the fun and the laughter were definitely worth it.
atherleisure: (reader)
I went to the local English country dance ball on 10/30. It turned out to be not so much a ball as a party with dancing. It was fun, and it turned out that the host grew up very close to where I grew up - our junior high schools both fed into the same high school, though he was just enough older than I that we wouldn't have been there at the same time. And his family moved from Dallas to Houston at the same time mine did and for the same reason. Small world, isn't it?

It was a fun party, and I danced every dance. I look forward to doing some more things with them, though I had to decline the invitation to join them at the Hobby Center for a Baroque dance performance due to a scheduling conflict. That would have been fun, but I anticipate more fun from my other engagement.

I realized on my way to the party that I had a headlight out, and it amused me to think that if I were pulled over for it, the policeman probably wouldn't think it odd that I were in 1820's dress, what with it being the evening before Hallowe'en and all. (I wasn't pulled over, by the way, and I've taken care of the headlight.)

I took no pictures. Not even one, but I looked generally like I did for the Salem ball a couple of years ago. I did a better job with my hair, though, and never actually put my gloves on. The humidity made the curls relax over the course of the evening, but they weren't awful. I'm glad I didn't have to unpin them until just before leaving for the party after having slept in them overnight. (Mom was surprised that I even knew how to do pin curls.)

Salem 2013

The next night was Hallowe'en. Again, no pictures, but I wore my 1886 dress and the new bonnet. For the first time I went trick-or-treating with my children instead of staying home to hand out candy. I am pleased to report that my high button boots were okay for walking over a mile, though I'm going to get something to put in them so my feet don't slide down to the toes so much - the perils of having narrow feet. It was the first time I got to wear them for a costume event. Again the humidity made the curls relax, but at least the rain was between the time I got home from the dance the night before and the time we went out Saturday night. I had to take the curlers out earlier this time - lunch time, maybe?

1886 Navy Faille Walking Dress

Next up is the Georgian Picnic, and I'm really looking forward to it. I had hoped to get to a couple of DFWCG events this year, but due to weather and scheduling, I somehow never got to. I think I'm going to wear the wool dress I made last fall. I need to do something with colorful accessories to spice it up a bit, but that won't happen this time around. I'll have my pinball and an apron and mitts and cloak if I need them and a bit of ribbon on my cap so that will have to do. I'm too busy cross-stitching right now to sew!
atherleisure: (reader)
I finished the 1780's round gown I was trying to make for the Georgian picnic last weekend. Friday night I had it finished except for setting the skirt to the bodice, but I did not want to stay up terribly late when I had plenty of perfectly good clothes to wear. Tuesday I set the skirt, and today I took pictures. I'm quite pleased with the dress.

1780s Tan Wool Round Gown

It is mostly hand-sewn. The exceptions are the skirt seams, the sleeve seams, and the bottom half of the armscye seams. I have a hard time getting worked up about hand-sewn seams that are completely invisible from the outside.

1780s Tan Wool Round Gown

1780s Tan Wool Round Gown

Those who follow [livejournal.com profile] mandie_rw may recognize the fabric. Those who follow [livejournal.com profile] reine_de_coudre might almost recognize the dress. Apparently, we all bought fabric in the same Fabric.com sale a few years ago. They just got around to sewing theirs up a little sooner than I did.
atherleisure: (piemontaise)
The Georgian picnic was great, more because of the people than the activity. It was certainly chilly, but several years in Virginia stood me in good stead - I had the cold weather gear. It was funny to realize after the fact that there were two groups: those who kept warm with period garb and those who used long underwear or similar modern fixes. It never even occurred to me to wear anything that wasn't period...except that there was a time when I was considering an 1860's petticoat to prevent shadowing through the wool dress I was trying to make in time. It's funny how different people's minds work. Still, I was warm enough until the wind changed near the end of our time there at which point the retreat to La Madeleine was welcome.

Once again, I took my camera and had the best of intentions, but I never managed to take it out of my basket. I didn't even put it in my pocket. I'm such a lousy photographer. Anyway, if you want to see pictures, [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson posted several and wrote nicely about the picnic.

Oh, and I didn't finish the 1780's wool round gown I attempted. At bedtime Friday night I still had to pleat and sew the skirt to the bodice, and I was not going to stay up late sewing when I had at least four things I could have worn, all of which I like. I chose the piemontaise since they were no longer predicting a 30% chance of rain.
atherleisure: (reader)
Tuesday the prediction for the DFWCG Georgian Picnic was high of about 49 and 30% chance of rain. I had been planning to make a long-sleeved light-weight wool 1780's for Spirits of the Past at Smithfield Plantation about this time before life went all topsy-turvy. So I conceived of the nutty idea of trying to make the dress in time for the picnic. Of course, I decided it was silly and didn't start. Then I decided to see if I could on Wednesday so I started the dress. At the end of the night last night I had a bodice made up and one sleeve cut out.

1780s Bodice in Progress

Now I've got the sleeves made up and am in the process of pleating the skirt. Can I finish setting the skirt, set the sleeves, and sew down the shoulder pieces tonight? Probably not, but I'm going to have a go. Since they're not predicting rain any more, I've still got the back-up plan of the piemontaise. I'd better iron that...

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