Sunday, June 25, 2017

Victorian Picnic (Or, The Ugly Shirtwaist Rides Again)

Still not a new outfit, but documentation of all outings is required, no? And I trimmed a new and very stupid-looking hat. This was a picnic on the lawn of the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion in Philadelphia; I couldn't tell you what the house looked like inside as it wasn't open for tours, but it has a very nice outside!
Obviously demonstrated well by Yours Truly hiding in the shrubbery. Look, I can work for the White House! (Sorry, political joke.)

We all generally decided to wear natural form, as it fit the theme, and because our natural form dresses are probably the lightest weight of dress that we all have that fits in the Victorian timeframe. It proved to be a hot day, but not unmanageable in the shade. We've definitely had worse! Since it was going to be around 90 and sunny, plus this was a place we'd never been to and I wasn't sure of the shade situation, I decided that I wanted a slightly more effective hat than my current adorably tiny one. A quick poke through my books and pinterest didn't turn up much in the "effective" range (why can't everything be an 18thc hat?? they're such great sun protection), but there are a few straw "country hat"-types that I turned up with larger brims (and now cannot find). All I had left hanging around was a boring old thrift-store navy straw hat that had never inspired me to be much of anything, so I made it work.
It's definitely not exact; the ones I found with a brim that wide were also more shaped, with the brim wider over the cheeks, narrower over the forehead and narrower than that at the back... but it's a sun hat, and I don't really care! So there.
The "I don't give a damn about my hat" face.
I also thought I might like my Ugly Shirtwaist more if I wore it belted and untucked, so I made a belt from navy cotton sateen (to coordinate with the hat, y'see). Do I like it more this way? Marginally. But I continue to like how lightweight it is for hot summer weather!
And you may notice that I didn't wear the overskirt, either...definitely makes for a more casual look, altogether! Well, I figured that was picnic-appropriate.
The picture of innocence? Oh, always.
It was a quick picnic - the site was only open for a couple of hours, but that was long enough in the heat. And it's quite local to us all. Only took me about 25 minutes to get there (over an hour to get home, but that's because I missed my usual exit and got stuck in construction traffic on Market Street, which was The Worst). All the people that worked at the mansion were lovely to us, and invited us back to be generally decorative at other events, which we very well might.
Mmm, digitalis. (Don't actually eat foxglove, please. Not great for your heart.)
Cheating horribly at croquet.
For our new album cover, apparently. Robin and I are obviously the angsty ones. ;)
Robin won the day by getting pooped on (by a bird, not a human), but she's currently sewing more trim on her skirt that will cover up the faint mark that wouldn't come out.

Not sure what's up next...I think our next substantial event is the Victorian Belvidere weekend in September, but we may crash one or two local events at historic sites in between. That we don't have to sew for, of course! I've got quite enough to sew for Belvidere: refit the bodice that goes with the print cotton skirt in this post so it doesn't look terrible, a black-and-ivory striped silk dinner dress, and a tea gown/wrapper of some sort. Dinner dress is currently in the works as I've deemed it Most Important.

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