Prancing About in a New Costume, with Friends, in the Rain

 At long last, after over a year, I got to attend a St. Louis Historical Sewing Society event last weekend!

A group of about 10 of us donned costumes and masks to do a (socially distanced of course, other than for a quick group pic!) outdoor costumed parade for a local nursing home. It was great fun to dress up, see one another in person, and share our fun with the nursing home residents who haven't been able to see many people for the past year.

For the two weeks leading up to the event I kept going back and forth on what I wanted to wear for the occasion. The outfit I'd made for the event back in November that I was unable to attend due to a family emergency? My Edwardian evening gown? My Regency open robe? Finally, I decided to just watch the forecast and pick my outfit the day before the event based on that.

The forecast predicted a drizzly, windy, chilly, day. So, the 1860's outfit I completed last November it would be!

This outfit began about 5 years ago when I made an 1860's gray wool Garibaldi Blouse. Gray wasn't the most common color for Garibaldi Blouses, but I had some gray wool in my stash to use up, and I come across this 1864 painting "Lady with a Dove", by John Brett, which indicated to me that gray blouses of this type did exist.

Ever since I made the blouse, I've wanted to make the rest of the outfit depicted in the painting. So, for the past couple years I've gathered a couple different types of black silk for the skirt and materials for a "swiss waist" as well. Finally, last fall, I pulled the hoarded materials out and made the skirt and swiss waist in about 2 weeks for the event I'd intended to attend.

Well, the event came and went, and I was out of state, unable to participate. Thus, the finished outfit resided on my dress form for the next couple of months, waiting to be worn for something, anything, and getting worn for nothing. 

This Saturday's costume parade, with its wind, scattered rain showers, and 50(ish) degree temps seemed the perfect time to wear a snuggly wool blouse and debut the ensemble!

As I haven't made a bonnet to go with the ensemble yet, I opted to pair it with the headdress I made 6 years ago to go with my purple ball gown. It reminded me of the flower in the hair of the woman in my inspiration painting, and it was fun to find an excuse to wear this headdress again!

After our event at the nursing home was over, a couple friends and I decided that since we were all dressed up in the first time in forever, we should take full advantage of the afternoon and do a few more things.

We started with grocery shopping, and received almost no comments on our attire.

This was followed by a trip to the local history museum.

Where shawls were shared to protect my regency era attired friends from the chilly wind.

We enjoyed the woman's suffrage exhibit and admired the few extant dresses that had on display, ranging from the 1850's through the 1920's.

We ended our outing with ice cream - enjoyed outdoors, in the rain, because you know, Covid times. No indoor eating.

All-in-all however, wind and rain included, we had a wonderful time prancing about in costume and enjoying each other's company in-person once more!

Hopefully we're not too far away from being able to make costume events a regular thing once more!

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Historical 1860 CostumeEvent Costume Victorian