Last week I attended a “Catholic Ladies Picnic Tea” in Gettysburg. It was a small event that two other ladies (Amanda and Laura) and I set up when we realized that were were all about an hour from Gettysburg, though in different directions. Of course we wanted to dress in period garb for the day. Amanda is a reenactor and has a lot of knowledge and experience dressing in civil war era attire and Laura has done living history events and also has some knowledge. I, on the other hand have never worn a dress from this period in my life and my knowledge was limited to what I could find on the internet. Given this is a very busy time of year for me I didn’t think I would have time to make a dress so I did a search online and found something very inexpensive. A two piece “Victorian” costume.
I loved the fabric and it fit well (with a corset mind you!) but for the period it wasn’t quite right.
The most obvious was that the shoulders were wrong. I took the sleeves off, cut off the sleeve cap, added a piece of fabric (stolen from the skirt) to drop the shoulders and sewed the sleeves back on at the bottom of the insert.I also removed the lace and lined the inside of the sleeves.
The end result was quite nice I think.
The whole ensemble, with the bonnet I showed you a few days ago and crocheted gloves:
I parted my hair down the middle and gathered it into a bun at the back and covered it with a lace head covering. A brooch and fake emerald drop earrings completed the look.
I know everything isn’t technically “period correct” but it worked well enough and was a lot of fun to wear.
Although, driving is a corset was a little challenging.
I was a little flustered by the time I got there. Traffic and realizing that it was farther than I thought meant I got there an hour late! Unfortunately Laura wasn’t able to make it at the last minute as she had a situation happen that needed immediate attention, so it was just Amanda and I.
I had packed a full picnic complete with tea cups and china. I had planned to take lots of pictures but in the end I didn’t. I am not very good at enjoying an event and remembering to take photos it seems.
The weather was perfect and under the shade of a large tree we were quite comfortable even though it was late July.
We decided that rather than wait until next year, October would be a nice time to try again. The weather should be nice and the fall colors will be beautiful.
If you live close enough to drive to Gettysburg for a one day event and would like to be invited, let me know. It’s a private event so we won’t be publicizing the date but are certainly open to more ladies attending.
Yes, you would have to dress up.