Sunday, September 20, 2009

Malachi Models 1860's

Yesterday I finished up the last of Malachi's things. Namely, buttonholes and buttons. I wimped out and used hook and eyes to close his gowns but they are done! I dressed him up and David helped me take some photos of him in "stages of dress" style.

Shirt and Drawers:
Stays and Petticoat: Outer Gown: (don't you love his expression here? 8 months old and already working on "the look" :) ) Soft Shoes: These were made by tracing around his foot to get the right size for the sole and then squaring off the shape a bit. The top is just one piece with the straps cut out from the top portion. I tried to felt some leftover wool broadcloth to use although it came out a bit fuzzy. The embroidery is a motif taken from an original pattern for baby shoes and is done in pale lilac. Pinafore and Cap: Here Malachi wonders if a leaf tastes good.In the mouth! Ymmm. Crunchy.I am in love with this cap! Mrs. G. kindly sent me a copy of the pattern she used for her own baby caps and I sized it up a tad to fit Malachi. I love how warm and cozy it is.
This one is made from white cotton. I whipped some lace around the face edge for a bit of prettiness. And on the Hay-Rack:
And with Daddy. David made a silly face. Sometimes it is harder to get him to seriously smile than it is to get the children to smile!
And finally, here is David in his totally finished field frock. Yeah! I'm so glad I'm done with this coat! I won't bore you with lots of pictures since it is basically the same as his dress frock but with shoulder boards instead of epaulettes on the shoulders. He is wearing it here with his rejected vest, which I fixed for the time being with a patch over the vent. I love all the buttons. . .I must confess, I do like a man in many buttons. 



  1. What lovely pictures. Malachai is getting so big.

  2. Malachi's outfit is so so cute & so is he! How precious!
    Those little shoes are adorable!

  3. Oh My Goodness!! I LOVE THIS! From the head to the little wool toesies! He looks so cute---I mean handsome! ;)

  4. I LOVE the shoes! The whole outfit is very sweet but for some reason I am IN LOVE with the shoes!

  5. WOW! I don't know how you do it! Awesome sewing! That red is stunning on your son. He is absolutely beautiful. The shoes, to die for. Just the cutest things in the world! Are they from Elizabeth Clark's pattern? I have that but haven't tried it out yet. Why oh why don't we dress our kids this way anymore? Too darling.

  6. He looks darling! I like little boys in dresses :)

    And on the "be-a-good-example-and-accept-everyone-for-what-they-are" thoughts: I try to do that too (I mean, my clothes was horribly wrong in the beginning as well), but I can´t really get over the ones who claim to be serious living historians, and still make such obvious-to-all "misstakes", just because they like that look more than the period look.... The ones who do know better but don't care. I can still like them very much as persons, but I can't respect them as re-enactors. Everyone have a right to enjoy themselves in their way, but they shouldn't clame to be period correct. I am very carefull to say I've done things absoloutley right (there is always new things to be learnt), but at least I try.
    Did that sound too self justifying?

  7. Thanks so much for elaborating on how you dress Malachi, I've been curius. He's absolutely precious. And the shoes!!! So excellent. I'm filing that idea away for future use.

    I completely hear you on your reaction to reenactors. In fact, that's one of the (many) reasons I've avoided going back to New Salem. You're not the only one who has "in the flesh" feelings 99.99% of the time or more. And although you thought you were "bitter, cynical, and haughty," I loved the "real" because I had a chance to realize how often I feel that way, too.

    God Bless!

  8. Thanks! It's been so fun sewing baby stuff but at times I got discouraged and overwhelmed with it all. I'm glad it's done!

    I modified the pattern here: for the shoes. We had a good discussion on baby booties recently over at the Sewing Academy and Mrs. Clark suggested that shaping the sole a bit differently on this pattern would yield a good shoe very similar to original baby shoes. The pattern printed out as-is is enormous (it would be big on Judah, who wears a size 9 shoe!) so I used the same concept but substituted Malachi's measurements and foot size for the pattern size given. They were absurdly easy to make. . .I just machine top stitched around all the cut edges on the top and the sole/upper is sewn with a 1/4" seam.

    Sarah A., I do completely agree with you about people who claim they are serious living historians and then are apparently not!

    Thoughts on this can get so complicated. I'm a member over at the Civil War Reenactors Dicussion Board and there have been several "flame wars" on progressivsm vs. farbism, etc. I think the whole modern-day mindset of total, open "acceptance" has permeated reenacting and everyone gets extremely offended if, God forbid, rules and guideline are given which indicate someone might have a problem!

    Reenacting is definitely a situation where you really are judged by your appearance. Obviously, you cannot be a reenactor if you show up in a modern peasant blouse and knee length skirt.

    The ladies who show up in inaccurate attire, if they are just beginning or if they have been mis-informed by other reenactors, do not bother me so much. They are usually very open, very friendly, and very eager to learn more.

    The ladies who show up in attire that was popular in reenacting 10+ years ago and think that due to their veteran reenacting status they are vastly more knowledgeable than anyone else bother me to no end. Ladies who justify things thinking that "they would have done this if they had had it" annoy me too. Such as "they would have made a ball gown from this beautiful synthetic upholstery weight curtain if that was all they had had".

    I can tolerate misinformed ignorance. I cannot tolerate lying. Which is what people are doing when they know better and yet choose to ignore the truth anyway!

    I guess what I was saying is that I should be trying more to respond in a more positive way when I see things I don't like at reenactments. Or else I'm the one who is miserable the whole time. I don't think I'll ever reach a point where seeing a poly ball gown at 8 a.m. won't bother me.

    I long and desire to reenact with like minded folks. Like Jessica said in her comment last post, it's up to me to find people like that to reenact with them. And there *are* a few - a very few - around here that have similar reenacting goals. We need to get together more often and research and strive towards those goals together! It's just taking the time to coordinate everyone's schedules and organizing such a thing.

    Right now my options are:

    Grin and Bear It
    Grin and Bear It and yet try to educate and inspire where and when you can
    Flee the Horrid Farb Fests and Seek Restful Places of Peace with a smaller, yet more progressive set of folks who have the same reenacting goals you do

    Right now my options are #1 and #2. David is not yet to the point where the cons of mainstream events outweight the pros. So I'm patiently waiting for him to get fed up. :)

    So. . .that was long winded! I just need prayer and help in responding in a better, more loving way when I see a historic atrocity instead of inwardly weeping, despairing, hating, otherwise making myself and likewise anyone around me miserable.

    Jenny, what is up with N.S?! I have never volunteered there so I suppose harbor a fanciful vision of everyone co existing in love and harmony wearing gorgeously accurate gowns!


  9. Sarah,
    I LOVE seeing all your creations. You are such an inspiration to me. My question to you is, how do you find the time for all this sewing while caring for three little ones, keeping house, and doing all that you do? I am amazed at your productivity! I do work full-time, but it takes all my energy to keep my house marginally clean, cook and clean up from dinner each night, and spend time with my kiddos. Sewing so often goes on the back burner. Thank you for posting all that you do and for providing me with inspiration. If you ever want to make anything to sell or sell any of your creations...let me know!!

    I wish we lived closer to each other. I'd love to include you in our "informal" sewing group and do some events with you. Our kids would have such fun together. However, IL and CT are SO far apart!

    Best of luck.
    Jess Craig

  10. I wish we loved closer too! What's funny is that I grew up in Rhode Island (first half of my childhood) and then Connecticut (second half) we lived in North Stonington and were not too far from the Foxwoods Casino - which created an ungodly ammount of traffic on our road! It's such a beautiful, beautiful, history-rich area!

  11. LOL, so did I, until I got out there. The women all have nice dresses, but there's only one pattern that's been shared around, and I don't find it horribly accurate (given my only little bit of resarch). The biggest problem is more in my perception: the point of N.S. is to tell the Lincoln story, while I'd rather be reenacting. There isn't a single first-person reenactor, at least not that I've met.

    That being said, our new house is only about 15-18 minutes away from N.S. so I'll probably be out there more next season. Perhaps I've only been out there on the wrong days. I hate to give the wrong impression.

  12. Those baby clothes are just darling! And so is your precious baby! How sweet. :)

  13. Dear Sarah,
    Your picture of David smiling big and holding Malachi is adorable...hope that one gets printed; it's a delight!

    Looks like a lot of us have frustrations over reenacting: it's good to see the support here.

    Hugs and hoping your week is going well,

    Natalie in Kentucky
    where the twins have been somewhat fussy and I was "cooked" and worn out by about 2 pm yesterday...with hours left in the day to go


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!