Just this past weekend, several members of my costume group called Somewhere in Time, Unlimited got all gussied up in 1850’s +/- garb and showed up at the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) here in Seattle, Washington for their “Living History Day”. There were several groups of the official “reenactors” from Fort Nisqually, Fort Steilacoom, The United Daughters of the Confederacy Robert E. Lee Chapter 885, and of course not to be left out, the Washington Civil War Association!
I was so fortunate to sit in on the fashion show provided by the ladies & gents of the Washington Civil War Association. Their attention to detail on the garments was incredible. The woman dressed in white who narrated the fashion show said she originated from the east coast, but I found she was very well informed about the styles of the era and shed a lot of insight about life and clothing back then. I enjoyed her presentation very much indeed!
Out “on the field” as it were, one could find many, many men dressed in beautiful Civil War attire complete with their sabers, bayonets, canteens, and well choreographed movements. As the weather here in Seattle was a bit chilly, I didn’t hang out long to admire them, but wish I had had a heavier sweater with me so I could stay outdoors to watch what they were doing.
Inside, later in the afternoon, a fine gentleman dressed as Abraham Lincoln was welcomed and escorted into the museum on the tones of drums beating. The crowd made-way for “the President” as he slipped easily through the path on his way to making a presentation indoors. The room was literally PACKED with people waiting to hear his speech and then enjoy tea with the president. By now I was feeling faint from all the bodies in the room and I thought of all my “sisters” who lived in the South, plagued by the heat and humidity while wearing their corsetts and heavy dresses. My heart went out to those women!
For those of you interested in the Civil War era, perhaps the trip I have planned for December 13-20, 2008 will pique you. My husband and I will be traveling on the world famous American Queen sternwheeler from New Orleans up the Mississippi to Vicksburg. We will be visiting a number of the famous sites and homes along the way. I have several patterns by Simplicity and McCalls that I was hoping to get sewn before we leave. It would be nice to wear something pretty and “in character” in time for the Captain’s Dinner on board the ship.
If you’d like more information about the trip, go to: www.SITUSeattle.com click on “Dress Up Opportunities“ and then scroll down in the 2008 column looking for the photo of the American Queen. You’ll be able to see interior pictures, rooms and pricing. If you are interested, there is a link in which to contact me back for your discounted rate.
I’d love to see photos of any of you having completed a Civil War dress or suit. Feel free to contact me and let’s chat. We might have to sip on a mint julep…