Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fort Meigs in February

Historians and scholars have a wonderful, poetic way of writing about history. I tend to take a more colloquial, down to earth approach.

February 2, 1813: Some crazy bastards arrived at a frozen field in Northern Ohio and said, "hey, it's minus a billion degrees out. What do you say we build a fort here, right now, when the ground is frozen solid and it's cold as balls out here?" And so they did.

What's most amazing to me is that they succeeded. I've lived in the Midwest my whole life. Winter here gets C. O. L. D. The ground freezes into a big dirty block of ice, snow piles up higher than your head, and no matter how many layers you wear, your feet eventually get cold. And yet our intrepid ancestors not only survived, they thrived! They built a fort and parked themselves there for a good long stay! And 200 years later, a group of reenactors descended on the site to demonstrate just how much it would have sucked.

Okay, okay, that's not exactly the point here. The Toledo Blade did an article about the event with more information. Also, not all of us had to brave the elements. Fortunately for us, a lot of the demonstrations were indoors!

Samantha, our friend Vivian, and I signed up to do a draping demonstration. It was very common for a garment to be draped directly on the body, rather than adapted from a flat pattern like a lot of us do for modern sewing. Our resident expert Samantha draped a bodice pattern for Vivian and then did a bit of an experiment on me afterwards.



Samantha brought some handsewn dresses for people to examine!

The fort also set up one of their conference rooms with adorable period decorations and furnishings, so we took some fun pictures after the demo.



I did a test run of my new dress--there are a few things I'm going to be changing, but overall I'm happy with how it's turning out! This is the dress whose sleeves utterly defeated me back in June, but I'm happy to report that it now has sleeves, and that I'm pretty happy with them! Of course, I forgot to take pictures...oops. Next time!

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