Saturday, July 16, 2011

So You Want to be a Reenactor...

Along with owning my own frozen custard franchise, one of the things I want to do before I die is become an historical reenactor.

Just having come off a road trip that included Gettysburg, PA, my current focus is on the Civil War era. I popped into a dress shop that offered dresses, purses, bonnets, and dancing slippers for historical reenactors to purchase, and I was in heaven. I also learned a thing or two about Civil War fashion...

When the Battle of Gettysburg ravaged town in the 1860s, there was a heat wave. While it was only in the 90s when we rolled through, it was hard to imagine wearing the layers and layers of clothes those fine Pennsylvania ladies wore without swooning.'s where we forget that women of the past weren't fools.
  1. The first layer a lady wore was meant to absorb the sweat.
  2. The large hoop under the skirt kept the material off her legs.
  3. The kind seamstress mentioned that if we saw any ladies in town rocking back and forth on their heels, it was actually what women did to get a breeze under their skirts.
I also learned that dresses were made from very vivid colors and patterns. The more well off you were, the more colors and patterns your dress had. Sometimes we forget how vivid these dresses must have been!

Click here for some beautiful paper dolls to print based on Margaret Hale's outfits in North and South (one of our favorite movies!)

Don't like those designs? Make your own paper doll here (this was really fun)!

Getting as addicted as I am? Click here to find out about becoming a reenactor.

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