Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1860's Clothes for David

It is with a bit of shame I have gone through our reenacting clothes and have realized how sad a state the boys' wardrobes are in. There was a time, not even that long ago, when I took great pride in the tiny garments I fashioned for them. The boys always looked perfect and their clothes coordinated and David and Judah usually matched. I always received millions of compliments on how cute they looked. But now? They have been "getting by" with less and less the last year and a half or so. They have grown, and the once nicely fitted clothes now make them look like gangly scarecrows. The hand me downs Malachi has received are faded and, although in sound condition, just look worn. It's sad.

I have had to step back a little and reevaluate why I actually participate in 1860's reenactments. I have been very burned out so last year, when we did not do many events at all, was a sort of reflection year for me. It was nice to have that little break. This year we do not plan to do very many 60's events (quality over quantity!) but I do want the boys to be nicely dressed. They don't need tons of outfits but one nice outfit apiece will be sufficient and suitable.

Last October I started button suits for David and Judah. I never actually finished them. So, when we had the opportunity to visit a local historic site for a program celebrating A. Lincoln's birthday, I pulled out the nearly finished blouse and trousers and added the buttons and buttonholes they needed to be complete.
Basic white blouse or bodice. . .buttons to trouser waistband

David told me he wants to wear "big boy" clothes now. After all, he said, he is growing up. And that is true. I  draped and cut out a little vest for him on Sunday and sewed it up in some grey plaid wool he selected from the stash. The vest is lined with black cotton sateen and is, to all appearances, "just like Daddy's", with the exception of the pockets. I did not put any pockets in the little vest.

A little cap, made years ago and rather small now, but still fitting, he put on. I tied a bit of grosgrain ribbon around his collar for a simple tie and he was thrilled with his new outfit! He would not take it off all day and was very careful during meals to not spill any food on his clothes. He pinned a cockade to his vest for the party last evening and to all appearances is very well satisfied with himself. This came as something of a surprise to me, since he usually takes no interest in his clothes whatsoever.

 Judah was very upset that he had to wear a tunic last night. He wants a big boy outfit now, too. Malachi still prefers tunics. He very matter-of-factly informed me that it's better that he wears tunics (or even dresses) because he is "still a little boy. I'm not as big as David or Judah." Which is true.

Anne is well supplied with all of Malachi's old baby clothes. . .they still look quite new, for the most part, so I do not feel very guilty putting her in old things. Here she is with David:

And by herself, with her Christmas dolly. (no, I haven't put fasteners on the doll dress yet - I am so afraid she will chew off hook and eyes or buttons! I may deviate from historical accuracy and just put some velcro on there, at least temporarily).



  1. I love how you all costume together! Your kids are so cute and I can't wait to see what lovelies you sew for them this year. That last shot of Anne is just too precious!

  2. I too used to take a lot of satisfaction in the children's reenacting wardrobes. Since we haven't attended an event in years their clothing has been outgrown and for the most part unreplaced. Katie wants to get back into reenacting though, so we're beginning to acquire more garments in preparation once again.

    David looks very manly and grown up, a vest just like Daddy's is a truly important thing. Anne has to be one of the most expressive babies I've ever seen! :)

  3. Adorable, as always! as for the doll, why not just whip it shut for now? or better yet, use hook and eye tape! :)

  4. David looks like such a little man!! Its why I like to put Isaiah in button down shirts and khakis, by dressign him in big boy clothes, it somehow emphasizes his littleness and his manhood at the same time...for maximum cuteness overload. David looks so good. Anne yelling for joy over her doll is priceless :)

  5. The maniacal grin on your little Anne-girl's face is seriously making my day. As to the doll, Tresmomma probably has the best idea, but I though that maybe just two small ties would do the trick?

  6. David is very handsome in his new clothes, and that photo of Anne with her dolly is PRICELESS! I got such a kick out of it!

  7. The face on little Anne in the last picture! Oh, she is just too cute :) David looks very nice in his new grown-up clothes, too.

  8. So long as you use small enough buttons, I think she'd be fine. My mom once found a pair of nickels in my little brother's diaper, and he showed no ill effects.

  9. I LOVE this, Sarah! David looks so grown up! I can still remember when I met him, he was toddling about in his little dress and now he is a fine young man! Goodness, how time flies! Little Anne, as always, is a picture of sweet baby perfection. :)I hope I get to see you all this reenacting season! Will you be at the Galesburg ball? There is the Blue and Gray ball in St. Louis and Heather and I are not sure which we want to attend.

  10. The face on little Anne in the last photo is just so precious! You have most beautiful children! :)

  11. He looks so darling! I especially like the vest.

    I was wanting to ask you - how did you originally start sewing historical clothing? Did you use patterns? I haven't the faintest clue how to drape things and have only ever used patterns for my historical clothes. I would like to learn how to drape, but I don't even know where to start learning how.
    I reenacted as a teenager, but now I have a husband and 2 children and would like to start making historical clothes again for events, but it is so overwhelming to get started. And I know you homeschool (as do we), but how do you find the time to sew?

  12. Well, color me confused - I saw your post "In Search of Richard Pippin" on my Google Reader feed, but it's not here.

    So, I'm going to be ornery and post my comment on this post, instead. :)

    Understand what you mean about wondering where the history is in the SCA. Have you tried Micel Folcland, the N. American arm of Regia Anglorum? Sounds like they're much more authenticity-minded, although this is about all I know about it, stolen from a post to the Ayreton e-mail list by Baron Folo: Regia is the best and most accurate living-history groups of its sort--Britain and Scandinavia between 950 and 1066 ce; and Micel Folcland recreates life in the Danelaw a thousand years ago.

    Exercised my Google-Fu and found a website: http://www.micelfolcland.org/

    And, to keep it on-topic for the post I'm commenting on, I love the picture of Anne with her new dolly!

  13. Goodness gracious your children are so cute! Anne is just too adorable and David looks happy in his historical outfit.



Thank you for your lovely thoughts!