Banneker Museum Colonial Market Fair 2018

This past weekend was the 9th annual Colonial Market Fair at the Benjamin Banneker Museum in Ellicott City, MD. It's a small but increasing local event that seems to annually bring in a lot of spectators from all over the Howard/Baltimore/Arundel County areas.

Of the four years that I have participated (2014-2018), I have watched the CMF grow in size. From performances, to vendors, to demonstrations, and sutlers.

Each year that I participate I always set up my display of 18th century women's fashion; I show everything from fancy ball gowns, jackets, hats, etc. to simple clothing like work jackets cotton petticoats and even underpinnings. This year due to the crappy weather that threatened us again this weekend, I decided to forego the fancy gowns and display rural 18th century women's clothing of the area. Basically your basic jacket and petticoat, underpinnings, and accessories. 
The only new things I added to the table were a couple of booklets that showed 1790&…

18th Century Indoor Picnic

This past Saturday, I attended a little get-together with a few friends in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia and had an indoor picnic. Originally it was going to be outdoors at the Montpelier Mansion in Laurel, but due to the pretty nasty thunderstorm that threatened the weekend, last minute changes were made-which worked out pretty well. Anyway, we all had a great time! Everyone wore wonderful outfits that dated from 1740 to 1800, there were lots of delicious finger foods (though the chocolate chip cookies that I brought with me sadly did not make it out of the package unscathed; next event I'll get a fruit platter). The best part of the picnic though, was the opportunity to meet some new faces and just let our hair down and have fun!   

1785 Green Pierrot Jacket

Over the past few months I've always wanted to make a pierrot jacket...actually scratch that! I've always wanted to make a proper zone front. The past few attempts I've had to make a zone front, mostly resulted in me just sticking trim overtop of my gowns to mimic one. Seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was; but then overtime I came to realize "where's the challenge? You're not really making a zone front by decorating the front like that. Gotta actually get in there, and do it." To quote Miss Frizzle, "It's time to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy." So with that in mind, I pulled out some inspirations via Kyoto Fashion Book, Pinterest, 18th century fashion plates, and online tutorials and got to work. 

I wanted to combine both the zone front style to the pierrot jacket. So looking at fashion plate illustrations was the first place to look for examples. If you look at the fashion plates, you can see how the jackets were de…

Commission Project: Steampunk Vest & Skirt

Last week I was asked by my good friend Heather, to make her an outfit for her steampunk themed vending booth for an upcoming anime convention. She didn't want anything elaborate and complicated such as a floor length Victorian walking gown or anything flashy like a heavily cogged bodice. 

However, the request for something practical and comfortable seemed to come to mind. Also, everything would be due on Friday! I started this on Sunday. 

So after our trip to JoAnn Fabrics, we grabbed patterns from the Simplicity line. A vest from Simplicity 8023 and an A-line skirt from 1369. 
While making the skirt, I was immediately faced with a few tiny challenges: installing pockets into the front of the skirt, and installing the waistband with elastic (when the pattern does not call for it). I had to do a lot of trial and error in order to get the skirt to look right; otherwise it was pretty easy to knock out in two days. 
The vest's construction was a little easier than I perceived. Be…

Call To Arms: Mount Vernon Revolutionary Weekend

This past weekend was the battle reenactment at George Washington's Mount Vernon; where the Continental Army with the aid of Spanish forces, squared up against the British and Hessian forces. With the weather surprisingly on our side this year, the event turned out to be a very successful and educational experience for all.

This year I debuted my newest impression Mrs. Charlotte Carter, a wife of a merchant who operates a local trading company in Alexandria. With supplies dwindling, the British Brigade had contracted us out to replenish their food and uniform rations. Originally, my husband Jonathan was supposed to accompany me with this impression (in an attempt to break him into the wonderful world of reenacting), but had actual military duties this weekend and couldn't make it (the life of an NCO is never dull, I tell you!). 
However, what I've learned through my research and from the scenario my Lieutenant and I did for this new impression, is that the military went t…

18th century Calico Print Bumpad

A few months ago, I decided that I needed a new bum pad that would best work with my 1780's and early 1790's gowns; this is mostly because the bum rolls I had just wasn't cutting it anymore. While they do at times give me a nice silhouette for the skirts in the back, it just seemed a bit blocky around the front of my hips. So I wanted to change that. 

 When American Duchess came out with their underpinnings pattern (half boned stays, with flounced shift and bum pad) I figured this was a good place to start. And boy am I glad I followed through.

While this is my first time using AD patterns, I was a little nervous at first (Simplicity sometimes can be a bit hard for me to follow), but to my surprise, I found Lauren and Abby's instructions very easy to follow and it came out looking like it did in the sampler photo (phew!)

I also made one for my friend Stephanie to use for her ball gowns and also augmented it just a little bit to match her impression when she portrays a…

Fort Fred Market Fair 2018

This Thursday, my friend Stephanie and I went the Ft. Fred Market Fair in Big Pool, MD. In the past we have gone for at least 3 years together and usually come ready with market bags, baskets, etc. to carry the combined haul. We saw friends and colleagues and made new acquaintances, and even the weather was cooperative (no snow or excruciating temps this year). Definitely planning to go back again next year.

!Twins!  I kid you not though, we had not planned on wearing the same print or the same petticoat color! It was awesome and we had fun with it! 

Well that's it for now. Now to prepare for the Rev. War Weekend reenactment at George Washington's Mount Vernon next weekend. Stay tuned!