Catching up

Since taking a new job with an amazing employer, it appears I have been quite remiss in blogging. I’ve been blogging for them really!

Anyway, this past weekend, Genesee Country Village and Museum hosted their first Immersion event for Civil War. Around 20 civilians and 100 military attended. The goal was to live in the past for the entire weekend with as few modern amenities as possible. Three buildings in the village were available for our use, we enjoyed period food in period packaging to cook with, cooks were assigned to buildings, and inhabitants slept on real rope beds with straw-filled ticks! Of course, the village looked wonderful, and the sun was shining brightly both days, especially rare in November! There were activities planned for us to do like packing a care package to send to soldiers, having a fun Saturday evening gathering with dancing and music in the stenciled ballroom of Hosmer’s Inn, and daily chores like making apple sauce, cutting down trees, and dripping lye. Each person had a role to play out and objectives to accomplish as well as money and letters to give and send.

Since there’s no modern stuff allowed, I have this one picture of all of us outside Hosmer’s. If it gets done again, this was a GREAT even to attend and I highly recommend it!

Civilians from the Pursuit of Floyd

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sky Meadows

I’m a little late getting this up since it was last month, but here’s some pics from that lovely weekend.

Published in: on May 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Winter School of the Civilian

This past weekend, members of the 21st GA along with guests from GCVM attended a workshop aimed at educating them about children’s and women’s clothing with the target years of the 1850’s and 1860’s. There were 19 of us overall and the gentlemen provided a delicious lunch for us to enjoy our learning experience.

Our first presentation was on children’s clothes and featured our guest speaker Malinda. She has two of her own and is very well-educated on the subject. She used a Power Point presentation and items from her own collection to teach us about children’s layers. Several of the ladies went home and immediately made things for their little ones based on her patterns and teaching!

The next workshop was on women’s clothing. I demonstrated the layering system from the skin out for a basic wardrobe. The ladies each took home packets of ESC’s free patterns and articles to help get them started. We followed up with a free wardrobe assessment to look at things ladies had in their wardrobes that were questionable.  Everybody was really enthusiastic and couldn’t wait for the next one!

Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 12:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Time Traveling Tea Video

This is the Long Awaited video of the Time Traveling Tea that the 21st Georgia and other volunteers put on in conjunction with the Mt Morris Historical Society. The year is 1859, and the visitors travel back in time to attend a tea hosted by the Mills-Branch family….

Time Traveling Tea

At the end of the Video, you’ll see an interview with Terry Mistretta, the late curator of the Mills Mansion and the one responsible for it’s rescue and restoration. The video is dedicated to her.

Published in: on February 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  


I will be teaching a hood workshop in March at the MAALHFAM conference at GCVM, so I got to work on some of the sample patterns made for that class. Here’s the hood based on an original we’ll be copying:

And then, because this seems to be the other popular hood type at use during the mid-century, I had to make what some friend of mine call a “pumpkin” bonnet. Mine is orange of course. They were also sometimes called “uglies”.  Much more of a challenge than the above.

I think I’m finally ready for the conference!


Update: Pics from the hood workshop at the Conference!

Published in: on February 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

1830’s Sewing Projects!

So, lacking anything between the 1810’s and the 1840’s naturally, I have become obsessed with the 1830’s!! So of course, when I found this perfect fabric on discount at a high-end quilt shop, it just spoke to me about being 1830’s. Yes, that’s right, the huge sleeves, the low necklines, the pleats, the piping on every seam, the box pleated skirts, and (UGH) back-closing bodices. Yes. It’s the decade of ridiculousness and we’re not even to the bonnets, yet…

Well, I already had a corset that would work, so the first thing to start on was the corded petticoat that would support the skirts and provide loft. Well, 3 hours into sewing tiny cords in between layers of muslin with no added stiffness apparent, I was a bit discouraged. But, 12 hours and good starching later, I was much pleased!! Though, I think I will try to convince a weaver to make some on a loom next time!

Next was the bonnet. One of those aweful Poke Bonnets. Using pattern paper and some scissors, turns out the first try was the best, so we went with that. I didn’t want it to be TOO big and awkward. Just enough to be the early ’30’s. The Met’s collection also helped a great deal. I ordered a beige china silk to cover it. I had envisioned lots of flowers, ribbon and even a feather or two, but a simple spray of orange ribbon flowers is all that’s there for now. I’m still looking for the right feathers. It had to go with the green veil of course.

The next thing to do was the dress. It took several mock-ups to get the sleeves just right, and since I had such limited fabric (only about 5 1/2 yards) it was crucial to get it right. The skirt was two and a half fabric widths (probably about 105 inches full) but that seems to be in keeping with primary sources. The hard part was fitting a bodice on yourself that closes in the back! The trick was to finish the back, then drape the front on a lining piece. Sew the side and shoulder seams together and then use the center front seam to do the fitting with. I was lucky, all my pleating lined up really well. I also was puzzled by the lack of darts on originals, so I put the front pieces on the bias and that works great! There’s piping on EVERY seam, so I was forever at that. But I think it came out well. A very flattering neckline, and I don’t think the sleeves need supports underneath (one yard in each sleeve!)

I then made a little chemisette and cap by hand while watching the Jane Austin marathon that was on during the Superbowl.

The next 30’s project is a whitework pelerine to go over the low neckline. It’s debut will be at the MAALHFAM conference at GCVM in March.






Published in: on February 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Merry Christmas!

Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

More Yuletide at GCVM

So, the next time I visited, we were recruited to sing in the choir!

The minister gave a sermon about how, though Christmas as a celebration is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, we should celebrate it anyway for a whole host of various reasons.

At dusk, the big chandelier was lit with all it’s candles.











There wasn’t much snow that weekend, but enough for a snowman.


This past weekend, there was much more snow, and Chris and I took a break from Christmas baking to sled down the hill with a young soldier.





















Even Mr. Wilkins went down the hill.


Malinda and her daughter, Maggie arrived.


Despite being very cold, Maggie braved the hill, too.


And so did Malinda!


We spent a bit of time sledding.
































The day ended when Mr. LeCount sprung a sneak snowball attack. I ran for reinforcements to the soldier’s fire. It was a 5 on one snowball fight. But Mr. LeCount STILL won!

Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Yuletide at GCVM

Just a few pictures from today at GCVM and their annual Yuletide event. This year, we were asked to add ambiance by walking around outside, which means we got to break out all the winter wear! I was plenty warm, and we could stop different places for hot tea, cider, and a fire to warm our hands by.

We checked out fabric in the store.

Met up with friends in the street.

Lisa brought a little red runner sled. We had to test it out on the big Hill!

Chuck went the furthest.

We stopped at Thompson Tavern for some hot cider, cookies and a glance at the local agricultural paper. Karen and I read tea leaves.

There was a Christmas dance going on in the Town Hall.

More next weekend!

Published in: on December 6, 2010 at 12:29 am  Comments (1)  

Sewing boxes and kits

Anna Worden has been letting me test drive these fabulous little sewing boxes and kits that she’s written excellent directions for. Here are some photos of the finished products!

My favorite, the Deluxe Kit!

This kit contains: scissors, a 6 inch ruler, 5 pages for needles, a pincushion with glass-headed pins, beeswax, locket containing hooks and buttons, thread winders with thread, thread ripper, a pencil and paper booklet for lists and notes, a tapes measure, chalk for marking, and two thimbles.

Medium sized kit:

This one is very small. It fits in my drinking cup! It is only as long as the first kit is wide. It contains: 4 pages for needles, a pocket for buttons and hooks, scissors, a thimble, thread wound around a fabric twist, chalk, a ball of string, a small pincushion in the shape of a strawberry, a measuring tape,  and, since it’s for traveling, a fresh collar to keep the neckline of the dress clean. It’s tied with a wide silk ribbon that can double as an ornamental bow for a dress.

The Soldier’s Housewife:

The smallest one of all!

This one rolls right up to be very small indeed! The rolled section is a pincushion stuffed with wool. There are 3 pages for needles and a pocket for buttons, a thimble, and thread wound on winders. No scissors since a soldier would also carry a jack-knife.

Anna hopes to soon be able to publish her directions, so stay tuned!

Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm  Leave a Comment