Monday, September 12, 2011

This Week is the Providential History Festival

This week is the Providential History Festival. PHF involves, among other things, packing meals for four days; showering in outdoor temperatures; calling a dance with a live band; meeting old and new friends; exhaustion.

I have a cold. Yesterday, Sept. 11th, I stayed home from church, blew my nose, and watched videos of the terrorist attacks that ten years ago changed America. After ten years, it was good to be reminded of what happened that day.

Sewing is put on hold until after the event. After the event we're planning to relax with good friends for a day before getting back into the ruotine. I'm looking forward to starting a new dance session with new dances and dancers, and the upcoming challenge of sewing historical clothing for my brothers.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hunting Frock: Green Glory

The coat(some assembly required) and it's wearer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sewing a Hunting Frock

I have easily a dozen sewing projects to complete between now and December, one of those being a military hunting frock for my brother Andrew. When he re-enacts at the Ft. he has to borrow a frock, and besides being old and much used all their frocks are much too large for him(he is still growing).

I came upon a large quantity of undyed cotton canvas, and since it was practically free I decided to take it home and dye it the correct shade of green. Several weeks ago I used normal Rit dye to stir up this mass of cotton(wet material is heavy!) and it turned out disappointingly tie-died and in the end, faded in parts from being out on the line. My first experience with hand dyeing was less than perfect.

So today I took to the tub again for a second and final try, whatever the outcome. I believe it turned out well enough. It was very hard to adequately stir the material to achieve an even dye; the material was heavy and bulky. Dye got everywhere, and even my hands are a sickly shade of green. But it worked. Stay tuned for glimpses of the long awaited hunting frock!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Coming Soon

For better or worse, I have two weeks to print my booklet.

Trousers, Trousers, Trousers

Yes, period 1820's clothing hang regularly on our wash line.

The final summer dance performance was on Saturday. My sharp looking group of dancers knocked the socks off friends and family at Ft. Atkinson State Historical Park through three performances throughout the day. Then I went home and collapsed. What exhaustion! What relief! Summer session is well and truly over.

The trousers held up well. No buttons popped, though everyone's hems were six inches deep in mud, after dancing in the rain on wet grass. Funny thing, after measuring all the men for waist size I made the trousers accordingly. But at dress rehearsal everyone's trousers were much too snug. At that point they just had to wear them. I figure it's their fault for gaining weight, right? 

Since we got home Saturday night with everyone's dirty clothes, the trousers soaked in the bathtub all of Sunday until Labor Day morning, when I labored to wash them all.

The ghost of Christmas Past is taking shape. I'm making an underlay of thin cream polyester(shocking, I know) with a layer of white cotton underneath that since it's so thin, and on top of everything will go a layer of this pale green stuff, which is terrible to work with. It's fairly stiff material, so as you work with it the little threads get stuck in your skin like invisible slivers. To finish it I'm planning on adding some emerald green beading around the neckline. Think 1920's flapper dress, here. It should be interesting. Hopefully the ghost I have in mind will consent to wear it.