Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ok, I've been a hermit

Truly I have been a hermit.. I have been flying massive hours and it's already volunteering season at the Farm Museum! I've spent time as a living historian on 3 days this season so far, and it's just the beginning. It's so worth spending the time when the kids ask good questions and really are touched by seeing folks in period dress doing traditional arts.
But, the big reason I've been out of touch is that I've been sewing.I purchased a "Tea Dress" in Gettysburg (Civil War era) for an upcoming dance, and though it is beautiful, I spent a lot of money on it. Then one day I happened to look at the $2 a yard fabric at the local Wal-Mart, and you guessed it, there was my Tea Dress fabric. I got angry at myself and decided that I would get my sewing machine out and work on some outfits for myself rather than paying the high prices for already made ones. Since I posted last, I have made (left to right) Blue floral skirt to go with a blouse I already had, Tea Dress which is a duplicate pattern-wise to the one that I bought, and purple skirt and Zouve jacket which will be worn with a white blouse. However, I want you to know that the Tea Dress that I made took at least 20 hours of work on my part and it wasn't $2 a yard the price I paid was really worth the money when you figure in the time of the person that made it. The skirt in the one I made has 6 yards of fabric in it. The least that any of the reenactment skirts has is a little under 4 yards. This is the latest project that I started last night. It's a bodice and skirt, but it'll look like a dress when worn together. I'm no seamstress, believe me, I made some dresses for my daughter when she was younger, and some Halloween Costumes for the kids, but mostly I made "easy to sew" things. These are reproduction patterns and they assume that you know what you are doing, the instructions aren't very complete. And they are honestly the most difficult patterns I've ever sewn. But I'm learning as I go and since the outfits aren't for everyday wear, I think they'll be ok. The outfit I'm working on now has piping around the neck, sleeve, and cuff, the first time I've ever done that. And all the skirts have kick plates made of thicker material, and tape added to the bottom, and there are many hooks and eyes to sew into everything by hand. Time consuming, but I enjoy wearing the finished product. I always say I like to sew when the garment is finished, but not before! So please forgive my hermitness...I've got an awful lot of fabric in my stash to get to. :)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Branching out

Every one of our weekends is packed full, and every week day is occupied either by flying or by working with the business, and I'm sorely behind on that! So what did I do? I started another project! I started making hair ornaments for victorian/Civil War era dresses as I just wasn't going to pay those prices that most places in Gettysburg were charging. I am letting my hair grow longer, but for now I have a hair fall that I needed a lacy comb to cover up where it meets my own hair. I've been getting ribbons and flowers and hope to have more of a selection in the future to share with the ladies in my group.
But lest you think I'm not doing anything fibery, here's the "Rosemarkie" vest at it's present state. I have about 3.5 inches to go before I begin the steeks for the armholes. I'm enjoying the pattern and the process even though I have little time to work on it with my flying schedule. And if I'm not busy enough, I bought several period patterns so now I have to dig out my sewing machine and express my creative side through making clothing. That's another story, but no hurry on that!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A beautiful day in Maryland

It was a beautiful and a bit windy spring day in the Maryland countryside. Our reenactment/living history group met another group at the Union Mills Homestead for a day of play, friendship, and enjoyment of the weather. As you can see, it was blustery, a little bit challenging when wearing hoops and many layers of petticoats, I nearly got blown over a few times. I tried to knit while watching the units play, but the yarn kept being blown around so I quickly gave that up.
Jon learned to fire the mountain howitzer (blanks, of course) and all about safety, and at the end of the skirmish with the South Carolina unit, learned about bluffing when you're out of ammo! I was able to get a couple of good photos of the smoke coming out of the cannon...pretty impressive. I had no idea there were so many people needed for the procedure and so very many safety rules. I enjoyed watching the process.
This is my guy all dressed up and smiling because he got to fire a musket and run around and hide behind trees and just have fun. The looks on the faces of all involved said it all, fun and more fun. The unit had quite a group of spectators, even as the museum isn't even open for visitors this early in the year. After we finished, we went to Gettysburg to look around at the shops and then to a good dinner and home to put everything away. I'm sure everyone is going to sleep well tonight! Tomorrow I knit again! :)