Of Twirly Skirts and Petticoats

This weekend, I am going to my first Mid-Century (circa 1869) Reenactment at the Perryville, KY Battlefield and Living History Museum.  It's not the actual Battle of Perryville reenactment, it's called "Perryville on the Farm" and from what I've heard, the weekend is filled with horse trading and horse racing...very fitting for the Bluegrass area that I live in. 

I was invited to the event a few weeks ago, and being so busy with all of the Regency stuff I'm making for the Jane Austen Festival, there wasn't time for me to make a gown.  So, Beverly Simpson, the Camp Coordinator for the Living History Museum was kind enough to loan me and my daughter some gowns.  And my dear friend Natalie at ZipZipsVintageSewing loaned me one of her hoops.  All I had to make were aprons, bonnets, chemises and petticoats.  This was a much bigger task than I expected...SO many layers and SO much fabric for mid-century clothing!!
It looks like I will be spending the day starching and ironing!!

My daughter Jane was thrilled with the fluffy skirt and comfortable cotton feel of the fabric.  Even in her undergarments, she twirled and spun around the room exclaiming she was a princess.

I just adore this little pinafore!  Forgive the fact that she is wearing it over her modern pajamas.  I got the free patterns for the petticoats, chemise, pinafore and slat bonnet on Elisabeth Stewart Clark's website.  They were very easy and quick to make.

When the weekend is over, I will post more about the gowns we borrowed and the events that we participated in.  I'm eager to try reenacting, and yet, a little nervous because I'm one that likes to know what things are going to be like in advance.  Also, the forecast is calling for a high of 94 degrees on Saturday! Yikes!!  ....all of those layers....  if you don't hear from me in a while, it's probably because I'm recovering from a heat stroke!


Sarah Jane said…
Oh my goodness! You have been *busy* sewing! You are certainly starting out extremely well! Petticoats and everything. Everything looks fantastic and I just love that last picture of your daughter. THe pinafore is perfect. I am looking forward to reading about your event after it is over! We are experiencing similar temps here; the heat index is supposed to be around 100 this weekend and we are off to an event as well. :(
Persuaded said…
Oh, I absolutely adore that pic of your daughter frolicking through your living room. And I know just how she feels... there's nothing like comfy undies to put one in a frolick-y sort of mood;-)

And I have never dressed in all of the layers you will be in, even so, I think you might be pleasantly surprised about them being horribly hot. Many days in the summer I wear my 1930-40's duds which includes "tap pants," bra, long full slip, a girdle which covers most of my torso and upper legs and then my dress... and sometimes stockings held up by garters. I almost never overheat... which is odd as I am a total wimp about heat. I think these gals knew what they were doing somehow! Part of it is the natural fiber undies and part of it is the fact that air can circulate around your legs, and it does especially when the skirt swishes around. My daughter says that when you wear a longish dress you make your own breeze;-)

I can't wait to hear how it goes♥
Jenni said…
SarahJane, thank you. I have so much to learn about mid-century...I'm going to try to take it slowly...but, then, I've never been good at doing things slowly, so we will see how that works! ;-) I hope someday I can be half as good a seamstress as you are.

Dianne, Thank you for that boost of confidence...I WILL not overheat because you will it so...and because what a pathetic whimp I would look like if I did! :) If our grandmothers and great-great grandmothers could do it, well then, so shall I!
Mrs. G said…
You did a fabulous job on Jane's clothes, she looks like a little doll! I'm glad you had a nice time. :)
Mrs. G

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