18 January, 2012

Twelfth Night Wrap-up, and More Projects

Every time I log into Blogger and see that I have more followers, even after not blogging for several works, it gives me the urge to write. So, thank you to the many new followers for joining, and I will certainly do my best to continue posting!

This past Friday evening was the Sudbury Twelfth Night colonial ball; it was held at the Wayside Inn, in Sudbury, MA, and it was my first ball! I have yet to see any photos that include me, but when I get them I will be sure to post them. I wore my printed cotton gown (since it's the only gown I own!), with a hip roll and I added silk ribbons and brass buttons to polonaise it in the back. The wig looked amazing, my dear friend Miss Liz did such an amazing job with it and I am eternally grateful to her for taking the time to simultaneously style it and explain how she was styling it (not to mention purchasing it and the accessories to help make it big, as well as to decorate it). It was a huge compliment when a local, well-known wig maker told me that he loved my hair, it certainly gave me a bit more bounce in my step!

The best part of the whole evening was just enjoying the company of my friends; I really felt like I've become a reenactor, and am not some 21st century gal just playing dress up in reproductions of old clothes. That feeling was validated when Miss Hallie told me how beautiful I looked, and how I was really carrying myself correctly, and actually wearing the clothes. We both agreed that I had come a very long way from the first time I tried her gowns on, posing like someone was taking my photos for Facebook or Myspace! I am just in awe of my friends, they are amazing people and I truly adore them and appreciate all of their help with my newbie questions. You guys know who you are!

In addition to Twelfth Night, that weekend was also the kick-off of the new Hive season! Prior to the Sunday Hive, I enrolled in a shirt workshop for that Saturday, and had a great time learning some very helpful new tricks. Eventually, my rectangles and squares of fabric will become a riding habit shirt; it is similar to a man's shirt but shorter. It is also giving me the skills and know-how to finally make a shift (I was positively delighted when my $20 cotton muslin shift that I purchased a few days before an event over the summer started ripping at the center back of the neck on Sunday morning!); I'm using a teeny needle and trying to make incredibly small backstitches: every thread of the linen is a backstitch. So yes, very teeny! And loads of stitches per inch. I will be photographing some of the seams eventually, I just hope they appear as it's white-on-white! One helpful trick I learned was pulling threads to create a cutting guide; I have a terrible time trying to cut straight and now that I know how to pull a linen thread across the warp and weft, I will no longer have crooked cuts!

Sunday's Hive was a great first session, and I was asked to speak in one of the sessions. That is totally a Really Big Deal and I was honored to speak in the session called Using Props as Interpretive Tools. I gave a newbie's perspective on how you can use your clothing as your prop, and the research that has gone into the garment as well. I spoke after one of the NPS Park Rangers, who is an award-winning interpreter and does this daily (he is also the hubby of my good friend 'Mrs. Derby,' aka Miss Em). Those were some big shoes to fill, and I could certainly see why he's won awards! When Minute Man opens back up again to reenactors volunteering at the various houses, I will be volunteering with 'Mr. Derby' and soaking up all of his knowledge.

I'm still working on my stays (albeit incredibly slowly; did I mention I have a tight deadline to finish them, too?), and need to blog about the Mercy Bradford Cloak Mystery. Miss Hallie examined the cloak with me and answered all of the questions I had about the cloak as a garment; I still have to do the genealogical research to see if we have a Bradford or Brewster descendant. How I wish I could ask the donor!

Speaking of the museum, I'm busy working on their next big exhibit that is opening February 1st and will be up until December 31st, called Written, Printed, & Drawn: Rarities from Plymouth's Past. It's all maps, rare documents, and rare books, and promises to be a great show. There will even be a small section dedicated to the War of 1812! I've already created the 6'x6.5' vinyl banner and sent that off to the printer and we're working on the text panels. I was given loads of creative freedom and we are having a fabulous time working on them. I'm so excited for the show to open up!

12 January, 2012

Back to blogging, part deux!

Oh, real life, why must you get in the way?! I've had so much to do lately that blogging has had to take a back seat, though I've been doing a lot related to the 18thc. and history in general.

In addition to the list I posted last time, I have a few more things to blog about, including making a foam bust for a 17thc. bodice (so cool!) and how I am finally, truly, finishing my printed cotton gown! The Twelfth Night Ball tomorrow evening put on by the Sudbury companies has been my main motivation, and I still have to finish hemming my self petticoat; I have, though, put on cuffs (I don't think they are particularly good, though) as well as added buttons and silk ribbon so I can polonaise the gown. It looks great polonaised, and I'm really surprised that this very light fabric folds and drapes so nicely when done up!

I'll leave you with a photo of the wig I'm wearing tomorrow night, before the decorations were added. A good friend showed me how to style it, and it looks SO GOOD on. Hooray!