Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Greenfield Village Civil War Remembrance 2011

Oh, Greenfield Village...where do I even start? I just got back from a fantastic weekend in the 1860s. The weather was intermittently gorgeous and heinous, but even the bad bits couldn't put a damper on our fun. Saturday was absolutely perfect, in the low-to-mid seventies and partly sunny. I got to wear my new silk day dress, without being too hot, and it was marvelous.


There will be more on the dress later, since for now this is just an event recap, but I was really pleased with how all my clothes (and my mom's!) turned out this year. Everything was done, fasteners and all, before we left for the event. This is an unprecedented amount of peparation on my part!


The hat was another triumph. It's the one I made over the insulation-foam block, and trimmed with a few various bits I had left over from other floral projects, velvet leaves from Hats by Leko, as well as three coffee filter roses. I made them the night before and wound up blow-drying them in the bathroom at my parents' house so the watercolor wouldn't stain the straw of the hat. It worked out, though!


My lady mother joined us for the weekend, and above you can see her in a cotton day dress of her own creation. I actually bought the fabric for a song and then sold it to her, since I don't need another cotton day dress. She also re-trimmed my straw-braid hat to coordinate with both this dress, and the plaid silk day dress that has now become officially hers.

Sunday was a bit warmer, and although my mother decided to tough it out in her silk dress (she's hardcore), I made a sheer for just that purpose--staying cool!


Again...more about the dress later. Sunday night was full of adventure, beginning with Mike's party--which I took to calling the DFE. DFE stands for "Duck Fat Extravaganza," and the name comes from the fact that he published his tentative menu on facebook, and the main attraction was Duck Confit with pommes de terre à la sarladaise. For those of us who don't speak French, essentially that's "Duck cooked in duck fat, with potatoes...cooked in duck fat." Hence, Duck Fat Extravaganza. I did try some of the duck, sans fat, and it was really good. So was the bread, green beans, cheese, ham, angel food cake, and berries.


Shortly after the DFE began, we were told by several people that severe weather was headed our direction. Tornado watch, 70 mph winds, the works. Being Michiganders, we just moved under a borrowed tent fly and the party continued. As it turned out, the weather system passed by us and we survived completely unscathed. There was a little rain, good company, and a nice breeze. And then...the ball!


I didn't even feel like packing my ballgown this year, and my mom didn't feel like switching bodices out on the plaid dress, so we both wore our day dresses--I wore the sheer and she wore the plaid. I think it was a good choice for both of us, and by the time we got to that point in the weekend I was so tired I could have fallen asleep standing up.


Sunday night was definitely the high point of the weekend...Monday turned beastly hot, and we didn't do too much. I may or may not have fallen asleep in the air conditioning of the Henry Ford Museum, and then crashed out in the tent afterwards. I didn't feel too poorly, but I got very tired, and so taking a nap made it much better when we were packing up and driving home. Gross weather notwithstanding, it was a lovely weekend, and there are plans already being made for next year!


  1. You look lovely- I especially like the pink gown!

  2. Oh Man!!! I wish my mom would dress up with me. OMG. that would be so fun. I'm so jealous. I'm going to steal your mom. Oh, and your pink dress... and your shear. yep. I can't even stand how cute you two are! :)

  3. Katie,
    I've been looking to make my own sheer, floral print gown. Any idea where I might find some good fabric options?

    1. Originals by Kay had some florals last time I looked! Otherwise perhaps The Dressmaker's Shop, or Renaissance Fabrics. If you just want stripes, crossbarred, or some other kind of woven pattern then I'd take a look at Puresilks.us. They are actually the ones that produced the repro sheer print in this post, but I don't know if it's still available.