Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Where's the tucker and other Gettysburg clothing

Sammy, the nurse cat.  All the time I was sick last night,
Sammy slept with me and stayed with me. 
He even kept my place warm when I had to get up. :)
This is our only boy cat, Sammy. It's amazing to me how the cats knew when I was sick last week and he especially stayed with me and snuggled and made me feel better.  He loves sleeping under the covers with me on cold winter nights, and spoons with me with his head on my pillow.  He got tired of going with me to and from the bathroom all night when I was sick so he stayed in bed one time to wait for me to come back and I managed to get a picture of him.

Ball gown bodice. 
This is a picture of an 1860's garment in the collection at the Gettysburg National Military Park. All of the items here are from the collection and are shown with permission.  There is a ball gown bodice, a day bodice/blouse, and a skirt. The day bodice was more like a blouse that would be tucked into the skirt, and contained insets of red ribbon with cutword in both the day bodice and the skirt. The fabric is silk, the lining seems to be polished cotton, and the stays in the bodice seem to be wooden. I didn't want to take the bodice completely off of the carry board, but wanted to examine it.  It's obviously lying on it's front side, which has only the bertha just as seen on the back.  The bertha is one thickness of fabric with black ribbon attached by hand to the outside edge, there is an additional bias stripe of the fabric that is turned under and sewn right in the middle of the bertha to add interest. 

Ball Gown bodice interior
This view shows the inside of the bodiice.  There isn't any boning on the outsides of the opening, and there is only one line of piping on the outside, finished the usual 1860's way by cutting out the extra fabric, turning it under, and sewing it by hand.  You'll notice that the sleeves are of the same silk fabric as the dress, and that there is no tucker. 

Men's work shirt 1
 This men's shirt might be a bit later than civil war, though I did not go look up the specifics of the individuall item.  This shirt is made of a homespun type heavy cotton fabric (it would be very hot for the summer time!) but what I found most interesting is how the portion of the shirt that was intended to be tucked in was made of a different fabric.  If the main fabric was expensive or the seamstress didn't have enough, adding this less expensive fabric to the bottom is a perfect way to save on fabric.

Mens work shirt inside back
 This shows the bottom in the back with yet another fabric added to the bottom tail.  The inside lining which goes from the neckline to about the waist is of the back bottom fabric.  I love the ingenuity of the women in the era!  Many original garments are pieced together when the sewists ran out of fabric.  The buttons on the shirt are milk glass.

Mens shirt
This men's shirt was made of a cotton calico fabric which is very subdued.  If I had seen this fabric in the fabric store, I might not have thought it was Civil War era.  I am thinking this might have been a dressier shirt because of the size of the cuffs, and of course, civil war era cuff buttons are on the inside side of the wrist with the buttons up almost at the seam line where the cuffs are attached to the sleeve.

Pin cushion made of a piece of a linsey-woolsy overshot throw
This pin cushion is made from a piece of an overshot coverlet, the pattern is snowball, and the orange threads are wool whereas the background threads are linen.  I loved weaving overshot when I had my loom up and running.  It's done on a linen warp of threads of about half the weight of the pattern, two shuttles are used, one for the background (tabby) and one for the pattern threads.

This drawstring bag caught my interest. 
 The threads on the bag look to be shiny, I thought it looked like mercerized cotton but I don't believe that process had been patented until after the war.  The bag is crocheted, but look at how tiny the thread and the stitches are...the bags that the sutlers have available at events are usually made of very thick threads with large stitching, not at all like the examples of extant bags that I've seen.

Rack of large textiles
While i had my camera in my hand I took some pictures around the collection storage room in Gettysburg.  This is a textile rack.  the textiles are lovingly stored rolled in acid free fabric and rolled so that the stitches in the fabric and in the embroidery are not stressed.  There are coverlets, sheets, towels, quilts, and a few flags on the rack.

This is just one isle of artifact storage, on the right are the boxes of "relic material" and on the right are the oddly shaped items and items that have not been assigned a storage drawer yet in the other areas of the storage area.  There are several aisles of boxes of relic and archaeological material that are presently being photographed to add digital images to the museum records.  There's always something to do on my volunteer days, and while I have the larger project of the photographic records to do, sometimes there are interesting other projects that come up.

This is one section of the artillery projectile storage.  Paul the curator has spent a lot of time and effort sorting and organizing and labeling the shelves.  Many of them still need digital pictures taken and added to the record.  I'm helping to get the images taken, and everything done to add them to the record.  It's a big job but I enjoy what I'm doing every day that I'm able to come in.

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