Sunday, May 31, 2009

GAR Fundaiser Ball

In Peoria, IL the GAR hall celebrates it's 100th birthday this year. Yesterday an open house was held in the afternoon with displays, refreshments and a play about Abraham Lincoln and in the evening was the ball. David and I attended with Malachi - since he is breastfed, he is a necessity!
I finished David's new uniform yesterday morning, before we left. Two late nights were necessary for getting it done and his trousers took longer than usual due to a necessary but unplanned trip to the oral surgeon on Friday (one of my wisdom teeth extraction sites has dry socket) so I wasn't even able to cut out the trousers until Friday evening. The work was worth it though. David was the most handsome man there and I just love how he looks in his new frock coat! Isn't the blue most brilliant? I was nervous working with such fine fabric but it sure makes for a nice finished product.
The displays were in the basement portion of the GAR - a fine array of medical tools, engineering techniques, uniforms, flags and even a portion about women in the war, as soldiers, doctors, nurses and spies. Malachi soon grew weary of me holding him and desired to roll. Since he has learned to roll he rolls everywhere and that seems to be his favorite occupation, besides eating. I spread his little quilt on the floor and he was happy as could be, grabbing at his little stocking feet and rolling about. The other little children in our reenacting group seemed to like him and, of course, he just ate up the attention!I love this picture of Miss K. holding little Malachi. She has been so good and so motherly and so sweet with all of the boys. I first met her when I was pregnant with little David and was absolutely taken by her sweet demeanor. Here is David outside the GAR hall. This is the only picture I have that makes my husband appear small. The building is huge!And of course I took many pictures of him in his new uniform. He only likes a few of them, but here is a closer picture of him fully accessorized (except for his medical officers sword, but his sword belt is not in yet. It's due to be shipped in July). The wind was terribly strong. Note to self: Use pomade next time. Hair wispies just aren't the thing for a nice 1860's look. A little gated pathway going alongside the GAR hall provided some relief from the wind. Here is the front of David:And the side back:And me. I am so unhappy with how this dress fits now. I made it last year when I had just found out I was pregnant with Malachi. The bust is too tight now and the waist sits too high. I had just started work a new corset last year before I found out I was pregnant. The corset was put on hold and now I see that I still really, really need a new one. David said to go ahead to get what I need so today I need to make a mock up and fit it. I think I'll use the Laughing Moon Silverado pattern this time since I've heard gussetted styles give a better shape. I'm just tired of being smushed up top so I can't wait to have a better fitting style. It's time for a new corset anyway. I made my current one when I was pregnant with little David - 3 years ago!We got our dinner at a little ice cream shack type place - tamales and strawberry milkshakes and cheese fries. Oh-so-not-period but oh-so-good. We ate at the botanical gardens although we could not go IN the garden since a wedding was going on.

The ball was held in the upper level of the GAR hall. It was beautifully decorated in red, white and blue and the windows let in such romantic light on the dance floor. It was very hot, however, and Malachi was stripped down to his little strapped underdress and diaper. The beauty of layering! The baby was a social success and handed round. I received my Darling back when he became fussy and attempted to feed at a bosom that was not mine.
I was delighted to discover an old friend whom I had not seen for a few years. Here is Mr. Eric and Malachi. I met him when I was 15 and severely criticized him at the time for being a federal sympathizer. Ah. The follies of 15! Despite our rocky beginning, we have been good friends ever since. David even let me dance the Virginia Reel with him. I also danced the Virginia Reel with David and then did the last waltz with David and Malachi. Malachi seemed to enjoy that.
Here is the little sister of the aforementioned Miss K. - another Miss K., and isn't she adorable? This is the pink dress I made last fall for the elder Miss K but as it was a bit too small, it was passed down to her sister. I think she looks perfectly sweet!Mrs. Lincoln, as portrayed by Donna Daniels, and a gentleman. Mrs. Lincoln had the loveliest, ladylike demeanor and sweetest disposition. A final (although blurry) picture of Malachi and I. And the only one we got of Malachi with either of us!
A lovely time, but now to focus my energies on getting this new corset done!



  1. All of these photos look so professional!
    You are a great photographer, Sarah!

    Malachi is so cute! He & Judah look ALOT alike!

    The up close photo of you is one of my favorite photos of you!

    Strawberry milkshakes & cheese fries? Yummy! :)

    Oh Sarah, very impressive.

    You look as if you stepped right out of history. The pictures of you all are great.

    Not only does your husband look dignified, but your pretty taffeta dress on you is gorgeous.

    So very glad you've shared on your blog. Enjoy your site so much.

    God bless,

  3. What great pictures of your wonderful family! Are you members of the Society of CW Surgeons? The reason I ask is because I am =)

    I love to read your blog!

    Mary Beth

  4. Your dress is stunning! I am continually amazed at what your hands make.
    Little Malachi has the most gorgeous eyes, they sparkle!

  5. Sarah,

    I am again absolutely amazed at your sewing abilities. Have you been sewing for a lot of years? Not only is David’s outfit wonderful, but you look as if you could have come straight out of the 1860s!

    I had to chuckle when you talked about your little one wanting to nurse at someone else’s bosom. I was holding my adorable little five-month-old niece this afternoon. She became hungry and attempted the same thing. ;)

  6. Sarah, David's new outfit looks so nice! Very professional looking and it fits so well. I'm impressed.
    All the photos are lovely. I like the blurry one of you and Malachi. He has his fist in his mouth like Maria perpetually does.

    I love the colours on the dress you are wearing!

  7. I love these pictures. You look awesome and you hubby looks so handsome in his frock coat. God Bless!


  8. David's uniform looks great! I don't think your waist looks high at all, you look fantastic! I love the rosette. Such a nice touch. Good luck with the corset!

  9. Wonderful! Thanks for posting, you are a talented seamstress!
    ps) The 1860's dress you recently sold to a Mr. Frank H. he restored and gave to me as a present! The picture is at my blog:

    *Miss Mia

  10. Dear Sarah,

    I was catching up on a whole series of your posts, the last week having been a little nutty. By the end of the posts I realized that I had been smiling much of the time.

    Your husband's uniform fits him very well -- excellent work, as usual!

    And yes, I like the blurry picture of you and baby malachi at the ball: it's just so unforced and happy.

    Very best on a hot day,
    Natalie in Kentucky
    where the cat is laying as two-dimensionally as possible on the windowsill, to maximize breeze coverage, I imagine.

  11. You did a fine job on your husband’s uniform!

  12. Thank you all so much!

    The good fit of the frock is entirely Mr. Ruley's doing - I am *so* glad I got the pattern from him and highly recommend him to anyone who is making a CW era coat. His work is outstanding.

    Mary Beth, no, we aren't ourselves members of the Society of Civil War Surgeons - yet. Hubby's CO is a member and so I think David will follow in his footsteps quite soon. He portrays an asst. surgeon now and is getting all the time more interested in mid-19th century medicine.

    Mia, I am so delighted to hear that the dress was able to be restored. Did you see it when it was yet disfigured by the horrible dey job I attempted on it? Mr. H emailed me a photo (one of the ones you have on your lovely blog!) of you in it and you look so beautiful. I'm so glad the dress was able to be rescued! :)

    Ah, Natalie, I wish I could be like your cat! It's been so humid and hot here lately and *any* bit of breeze is most welcomed and used to its full potential! :)

  13. David looks so handsome in his uniform, what a great job you did. I love the plaid you are wearing. Malachi as always looks as cute as a button. It looks like you had a wonderful time.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!