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Author Topic: Female new to colonial re-enacting and could use some help  (Read 6138 times)

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Offline shirleycat

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Female new to colonial re-enacting and could use some help
« on: August 09, 2007, 08:05:15 PM »
I posted before but in the wrong forum.  Hubby and I are doing early colonial - circa 1740.  We are English loyallists, working class.  I've been wearing the typical skirt, long (English) bodice, and chemise, along with a white cap (the so-called mob cap).  We're in northeast Florida and, believe me, it is HOT here.  When I asked hubby for advice on shoes, he said leather sandals would be okay - that working class women would not have worried about wearing stockings and closed shoes in this heat..
I think I'm okay as far this goes, but I'd like to wear some type of jewelry, and make some changes to my clothing so I don't look like everyone else.  I also plan to get a flintlock pistol to wear in a sash.
I realize there is a dearth of records and images from that era regarding lower class women (or women in general!)  but perhaps you've gotten further in your research than I.  I'd appreciate any help you can give me for fleshing out/improving my early colonial persona.  Thanks.

Offline tleve

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Re: Female new to colonial re-enacting and could use some help
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2007, 12:08:56 AM »
well , i really don't do colonial but, here is what i found and maybe it will help:

clothing patterns : McCalls - M5156 and M4863 ; Simplicity - 5041 ; Butterick - B4570 , B3604, B3071 . these are exsamples of outfits , i don't sew , but my mother does and she said that some of these are asy to make.http://www-cchs.ccsd.k12.wy.us/cchs_web/jiliff/Colonial/clothes/clothing.html

Jewerly :http://www.angelfire.com/mi2/tradesilver/ ( this site might help )

well i hope this well help .
" No Good Deed Goes Unpunished "

Offline EditorSmokeFireNews

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Re: Female new to colonial re-enacting and could use some help
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2007, 04:58:56 PM »
Have you seen Whatever Shall I Wear: A Guide to Assembling a Woman's Basic 18th Century Wardrobe by Mara Riely?
This is a good guide to getting the basics together.

As for patterns, google colonial patterns and see what comes up.  I would recommend staying away from patterns from McCalls and the like, some of them can take non-historic "shortcuts" if you will in their patterns.  We carry historic patterns, as do many other companies dedicated to historic clothing.  Our website is www.smoke-fire.com.  JAS Townsend and Son is another good source of early American gear.  Google is your friend here, really.

Can't say as a working class woman would have had much, if anything, in the way of jewelry.  Perhaps a simple silk ribbon around the neck.  I am unsure about the pistol, but my understanding is that it would have not been likely to see a woman walking around with a gun.  Perhaps it's a regional/circumstance thing though.  I would love to hear other's thoughts on the matter.

Good luck with your endeavor!
Lee
Editor, Smoke & Fire News

Offline tleve

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Re: Female new to colonial re-enacting and could use some help
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2007, 12:05:24 AM »
i wouldn't be to quick to discredit "Company" patterns , all of my outfits are form these patterns . The only non-historic shortcut is using a sewing machine ( Except for Butterick, which are weird to being with ) . the others tell you to use buttons, hook and eyes , and there is no elastic , they make you use draw strings with casingsand gathering of fabric .

" No Good Deed Goes Unpunished "

Offline Bonnie aka blnzrfn

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Re: Female new to colonial re-enacting and could use some help
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2007, 06:37:12 PM »
  ;D  Hello Shirleycat,
There are alot of historicaly accurate patterns out there from many different venders..I personaly would stay away from McCall/Simplicity unless you makeing Halloween costums lol    ;D  Anyway if you can follow one of them you can follow a historicaly accurate one  ;DRIGHT!  ;D
I have alot of patterns from Smoke&Fire (www.smoke-fire.com)..They carry:Period Impressions(Polonaise&petticoat)NICE..,Rocking Horse Farms(1780's Jacket)..,Janice Ryan(Caraco Jacket)...
Like I said there are alot of nice patterns out there that people have researched
If you want to change things up from the bodice and petticoat
Iam getting ready to make one of Janice Ryan jackets this weekend :laugh:  If you need any moral support just  give a hollar   ;D  blnz  ;D
"as seen in Smoke and Fire News ; www.smoke-fire.com"

Offline Flamingos.r.us.

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Re: Female new to colonial re-enacting and could use some help
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2007, 11:32:29 AM »
Over the past few years, the commercial patterns havegotten better, a friend said they have advanced in the 1812 era and the civil war era, but to say that they are the best ones to use is hard to say.  When you have a large amount of researched and tested period patterns available, why go with the "costume" ones.  As for accuracy, we're not referring to elastic, buttons or hooks and eyes, but rather the cut of the pattern.  Alot of time periods are distingquished by the angle/cut of a certain seam. (i.e. the curved seam on the back of an 1812 dress)  As for being in Fla. and the heat, the people who settled Jamestown, Va. were from England and NOT acclimated to the humidity, thus the "seasoning" period....you either died or got used to the bloody weather....remember, the English who settled the Carribbean still wore the same style of clothing as in England...just lighter fabric.  Fashion comes First!!!!  and onto that subject...stays before ANY other garment...no matter what class...runaway ads for servants, and slaves attest to that fact... anyway, let me get off my horse :laugh:
the flamingos are my minions.