Wednesday, April 28, 2021

An 1860's White Waist and Shaped Belt


As the end of April is already here and we are getting ready to go this weekend to our first small living history / Civil War reenactment since the fall of 2019, I wanted to share these pictures of a finished ensemble I made a month or two ago. Not that I will be wearing this outfit this weekend (I won't - rural, poor, working class is definitely my favorite!) but as Rose just turned six years old recently I thought these would be nice to share. We took these pictures on a warm, windy day in March and she is wearing the pink dotted swiss dress I made for Anne several years ago. I made this particular outfit in coordination with a friend of mine who wanted photos of more upper-class shoes. Which I am wearing in these pictures, but shoes are hard to see in most photos!

Rose is the only child that hasn't needed new 1860's clothes. It's been so very long since I've made any of the children any clothing for Civil War events that even all the hand me downs were too small for all but Rose. I've known this fact since the beginning of the  year but it took me almost four months to make trousers, shirts, braces (suspenders) and waistcoats for the big boys. I just can't sew as fast as I used to. I only made two vests since the pattern I bought for the boys two years ago the oldest two mostly outgrew before I had a chance to make it up. Oh well, Malachi will have two vests that will fit him awhile, David can squeeze into one of them for this weekend and I am ordering the next pattern size up for Judah! How did all three of my little boys become as big as, or bigger than, grown men?!

I listened to all of the videos from Fall of Civilizations channel on YouTube while making these. I really enjoyed that and was sad when I came to the end of the last one, about the Inca civilization. Damn! I love history and although I learned a lot about American history during my years in (home)school, I didn't learn as much about world history. And I feel like I am discovering SO much I never knew about or even had the knowledge to wonder about before. It has made the hours sewing these clothes, bit by bit, really fun and interesting for me. 

The podcast/sewing time has also been one of the only things that has given me a few minutes of calm the past few weeks as my mom was very sick in the days leading up to Easter and shortly after a covid test came back positive. I was really upset when the hospital sent her home after diagnosing her with pnuemonia and giving her an antibiotic pack. A few days later she had to go back due to critically low oxygen and she has been fighting for her life ever since. Now that she is doing better I feel like I, too, can breathe easier. She is by no means recovered yet but thankfully( she is still with us and seems to be improving. It will, however, be a long road to back to normal, or perhaps the finding of a new normal. If you feel moved to, please pray for her as well as for my father as he is recovering from covid too.  

I go tomorrow to get my 2nd moderna shot. I'm hoping that I feel well enough to go to the event this weekend. I had no side effects from the first shot except a sore arm for a day or two but I've heard the 2nd one can be a bit harder to bounce back from. 

I have no idea that this year will look like but I am grateful that there is hope. I am grateful for little moments of "normal". I am glad my hands remember how to sew clothes for my children - who aren't so little anymore - so that they can enjoy activities they remember fondly from what they now call "BC" (before covid). 

Now school is in its final weeks and I am grateful that they had a good year. Benjamin and Rose are in their 10-day stretch of being the same age between her birthday and his and Judah started baseball. Four of the kids are in 4H this year and our county has received permission to host a normal, full fair this September. Also in September, my oldest son starts highschool. 

Life goes on and there are so many things to be thankful for. 

I realize this post has very little to do with the actual construction and details of this outfit. I will write another one with all the details soon!

Much love,


1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad your parents are recovering and it's lovely to see you and Rose. I hope you feel well enough to go to the reenactment!! We aren't returning to normal here in Michigan, for the foreseeable future, and I'm pretty sure my favorite reenactment in the end of May is canceled, but I'm going to make my own fun with my friends and hope for next year. I too had Covid, but last year, and it took me a month to feel back to myself. I was fairly sick, but not hospitalized and I did not have pneumonia though breathing was difficult for months afterwards, in my particular case, as I have weak spots in my lungs at the best of times. God brought me through and kept my entire family healthy for which I was supremely grateful. I'll be praying for your family and your parents and again, it's so good to hear of all the people I've heard of recovering. Imagine living during the black plague years? No thank you.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!