Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Vietnam Reenactment at Fort Harrison

 A few weeks ago Malachi and I experienced a new-to-us event at Fort Harrison State Park in Indiana. Malachi is almost 13 and over the past few years he has become more and more interested in the military history of US soldiers during the Vietnam war. Over the summer he made a new friend who does Vietnam reenacting and was invited to come out to the living history and reenactment that took place on the weekend of September 11th. 

It was really nice to spend some one on one time with my boy and meet a great group of new folks. The museum was really nice and the weather was perfect. I had a wonderful time and Malachi did too! 

While most of my clothes could work for 1960's and early 70s, I did make a new dress to wear for Sunday. I've had a pattern for a shift dress from 1963 for a few months and wanted an excuse to make it. Malachi was going for a late 60's impression so I updated the dress by taking off a good 6" in length to bring it up into the later 60's. The pattern is for a basic A-line dress with a high neckline and semi fitted with darts in the back and princess seam darts in the front. I made two mock ups and traced out my final shapes onto new paper so that next time I can just cut and sew!

I made the dress from these cotton pillowcases I found on clearance at Wal Mart.

The print was a little off-grain, so I cut the pattern peices off grain to match the print. To keep the dress hanging ok I flatlined each piece with lightweight plain white cotton.

It took me a few days to sew it carefully. I even put in a zipper without too much trouble! I bought some eyeshadow and liquid eyeliner and experimented with make up looks from the 60's. My children were horrified! 😂 I found a few cute scarves at Goodwill that had 60s and 70s vibes. 

Greenish blue with black in the crease.

Silver and black. I ended up going with light blue-green on Saturday and beige on Sunday.

Since the rest of these pictures are ones I took at the event, here are the two outfits I wore. Then I can get into the real pictures! For Saturday I wore my vintage style Persephone Pants that I made a few years ago. These button fly, high waist, wide leg denim pants were very comfortable to wear all day. I paired the jeans with a white peasant blouse from my modern wardrobe and a few cross necklaces. This is the only picture I have of me on Saturday, from Saturday night at the hotel room I stayed at while Malachi camped with the guys. 

On Sunday I wore my new dress, beige sandals I got for free from a garage sale setting out its leftovers 😁, a scarf and an antique necklace borrowed from my 1860's reenacting days. 

Here is Malachi and I after arriving home Sunday afternoon. I begged him to allow me to have at least one picture with him and he grumpily agreed. Here he is wearing an original jacket he got in trade from a friend at the event. 

He's working on a brown water navy impression now and it is a lot of fun seeing him develop his interest in Vietnam reenacting. We have two neighbors who are Vietnam veterans (Ralph was in the air force and Gary in the marines) and it is a war that still creates complex feelings in those who lived through it as well as those of us who only have heard about it. It was a terrible war but all those who served there deserve to be remembered, honored and thanked for their sacrifice. 

In no particular order, here are some of the photos I took. I had such a wonderful time. I am so glad we had this opportunity to experience this together. I edited these in Lightroom to get a vintage feel.



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