Thursday, January 15, 2015

In Which I Return to the Blogging World

    At this point if you all haven't forgotten about me completely, you may be wondering what obscure end of the earth I ended up on, or what pirate ship took me prisoner and is whisking me across the seven seas, or perhaps just what I have been doing for the past six months?

    Since that wonderful weekend of the Jane Austen festival, life has been up and down with some big changes.  I will devote a paragraph or two to each.

    First, this past summer I landed my dream job.

   Dayton History has various living history sites around Dayton, the largest being Carillon Historical Park, where a collection of historic buildings have been brought to one beautiful park and have been brought to life by historical interpreters.  I had volunteered a few times for Dayton History over the past year.  Mostly I went for special events with my wheel in tow.  Then one day the manager of early settlement asked me if I would be interested in working there.   Of course I said yes, but I told her I didn't have any kind of college degree, and didn't have plans to get one, but she told me to send in my resume anyway.  So I did, and after I completely forgot I had even applied, an email popped into my inbox one fine day asking me in for an interview.  They said they liked my experience enough to hire me and wave the requirement of having a degree!


    One thing led to another and before I knew it I was going in three days a week to work in costume in whichever site I was assigned to.  I was ecstatic.  This job has been such a blessing to me, and it has really showed me that the Lord has a plan for all of us even if we don't see it right away.

    Of course once I began reenacting three days a week I realized I needed a few more staple dresses.  First came an 1860s visiting dress for working the Victorian teas we have at the civil war homestead.

     Please excuse the grainy mobile photos, and I know the background is awful but the playroom had the best lighting so....... you work with what you have!

      I used Past Patterns 1850-1860 Darted Bodice pattern for the jacket, and did the skirt with 5 yards and knife pleats.  I used black ribbon for the pagoda sleeves, and wore my under sleeves that my mother bought in Gettysburg for me.  Also with this outfit I like wearing my blue felt bonnet, and a nice pair of crochet gloves.

     Next on the list was an 1830s day dress for all of the tavern dinners we do, and also because most of the interpreting we do in early settlement at the park is 1830s.  If you didn't know, 1830s is the time period of Wives and Daughters.  Waistlines were beginning to lower, and skirts became much more full than the Regency dresses.

     The fabric I used for this dress was purchased in a shop in Gettysburg.  It's a lovely heavy cotton with cranberry and brown stripes.  The pattern was Sense and Sensibility's Romantic Era Dress pattern.

I wear a modesty piece in the neck for warmth and throw my brown wool shawl over it.
It is very comfortable and I just love the fabric!

    This job has been so much fun and such a huge learning experience for me.  I never see it as work at all.  Each day I get to do something different, whether it's working with a bunch of first graders teaching them to bake on a hearth, showing visitors around the park, attending special events in costume to help set the mood, helping with high teas at the homestead, cooking and playing fiddle for early nineteenth century dinners in the historic tavern, or helping behind the scenes to make the park a better place, each and every minute is a minute I won't ever forget.  You will definitely see many posts about what I have been up to at the park in the near future!

     And now for the project I was working on in the fall........ bridesmaid dresses!
     One of the daughters of a family who goes to our church was getting married in November and asked me if I would sew dresses for her eight bridesmaids.  Of course I said yes!  I haven't done a lot of formal wear so I knew this would be a good opportunity for me.

     So here you have.... more mobile photos!

    It was such fun working with these girls to make them all look beautiful for the wedding day!

There are still a couple more things I would like to share but I am going to save them for another post since this one is now so long already.   But now that I am done talking, I would love to hear from you!  What have you all been up to?  What projects are you working on?  What places have you visited?  How was your Christmas?  Do tell all!

Hope you have a lovely day!!

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