Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on August 31, 2014
This weekend I had the most marvelous time at a Civil War Reenactment at Fort Stevens! Seeing as I live in the Pacific Northwest, there aren’t as many historical events to attend as if I lived in the South. So when an event like this one comes along, it is always most exciting!
The Fort Stevens Civil War event draws around 800 people from around the area, and several acres of land are transformed into a virtual 1860s battle camp, complete with hundreds of tents, campfire cooking, cannons, horses, and (of course) costumes! I was amazed at the authenticity and attention to detail by all the reenactors. If one didn’t know better, you’d think that you just stepped onto a film set of a period drama!
During the day there was an amazing battle reenactment, and in the evening there was a ball outside, which was grand fun!
I managed to get a couple shots of my Civil War day outfit, though the gold and chocolate brown silk ballgown (which I made for the Saturday evening dance) will have to wait for another blog post.
The Civil War Day Outfit
I put together my day outfit rather at the last minute, since most of my sewing time had been put into my silk ball gown. The full skirt is made of a thick cotton sateen, and the batiste light pink blouse is trimmed with yards of lace edging around the neckline. Oddly enough, I actually made this blouse a couple years ago as an Edwardian blouse! But by 2 am on Saturday morning I finally came to grips with the fact that I just would not have time to make a Civil War blouse, so I dashed to my closet and found this blouse which actually worked just fine for the era!
The blouse was made from the fabulous Beatrix Shirtwaist Pattern by Sense & Sensibility Patterns, which *almost* passed for 1860s style since I omitted the collar and tucked in the blouse to avoid the peplum look. There are tiny peach flower buttons down the front of the blouse, along with oodles of Venice lace trim. It ended up being perfect for a hot summer’s day, too!
Sadly I forgot to bring my corset along with the many other fashion necessities I had packed on the trip (hoopskirt, day outfit, evening gown, gloves, cape, etc.), so the outfit doesn’t look as nice as it would have if I had remembered the corset… Oh well! It worked just fine for this event.
The Fort Stevens Civil War Camp
I snapped lots of photos throughout the day, when I wasn’t busy chatting with ladies over tea or watching the battle reenactment. The whole setup was so impressive – there were mercantiles, civilian camps, musical groups, woodworkers, quilting groups, and much more. It was just amazing! Below are a number of pictures from the event, and next time I will try to have lots of pictures of the silk ball gown I wore! (Please note that most of the pictures were too wide for the blog, so if you click on them you can see wider views of the battlefield.)
At the end of the day there was a two-hour dance outside with traditional American folk songs, including the hilarious song “Old Dan Tucker” which Mr. Edwards used to sing in “Little House on the Prairie“. 😉 It was the perfect way to end such a wonderful day, and I was so thankful I had finished my ball gown in time! (Thanks to my mother for staying up till three in the morning to hand hem the dress while I was whipping out my day skirt!)
I am hoping to have lots of pictures of the dress by next week, but here are a couple of “preview” shots in the meantime to tide you over.
Until next time, happy sewing!