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The Countryside at War, Hartwell Tavern, MMNHP, August 24, 2013

The Countryside at War, Hartwell Tavern, MMNHP, August 24, 2013

We came, we saw, we sewed, we ate cake. No, it was more than that, though there was any quantity of excellent cake on a lovely Saturday.

I had a chance to spend the whole day with people I really enjoy talking to, like Sharon Burnston and Sew18thCentury. (I love that silk gown. I really do.) We are all preparing for an event we will be part of in Providence in October, and I think and hope it will be great fun! But I’m getting several weeks and 25 years ahead of myself.

On Saturday, Sharon was a widow who had traveled from New Hampshire to visit her daughter, who was but one month from her confinement. She had a portmanteau of clothes for the soon to be born child, and food, as the blockade and closing of the city had made obtaining anything very difficult.

Before the jacket was applied

Visitors came and asked interesting questions, but there wasn’t much I could answer. Reader, I had not studied. I had sewn instead, vain woman that I am, laboring to produce new trousers and a new waistcoat for the Young Mr. He spent the day reading his school book, recovered in craft paper and blue check linen. Saving grace, that cover, and I plan to make many more. The Young Mr (after hauling carts and goods for people) found  some handy stones and settled in to get his work done.

His father plans to make him a full-size wooden musket from some mahogany that was left over from construction at work: there are no rules to prevent him learning to drill will a dummy musket. At events when he’s not trying to do his school work, he does enjoy being put to work. He likes to feel useful, and I am grateful to people who recognize that, and help me keep him in the hobby. This was all his idea in the first place…

Sew18thCentury and I had a long walk on the bike path, which was mildly dangerous. Bonnets block a great deal of your vision, and change your hearing, so bicycles are particularly troubling. And when wearing a bonnet, one has to peer out from under it to see anything above you, or your lap, as you can see here.

Our clothing was documented, as you know from posts on this blog. I assembled sheets for each of us, and they can be found here: The Young Mr, Mr S and Kitty. I finished it all late on Friday night, so by the time I reached my own, well…there’s always next year to tidy that up. I still like the gown, and I really like the lightweight wool olive/brownish petticoat with the gown. Hooray! Clothing I like, in wool, that can be worn in summer. What’s not to like? (Well, pins, for one thing. They bend and pop out.)

Drilling in the shade, Shirley-style

Drilling in the shade, Shirley-style

The men were drilled for the September 28 event, which rolls forward, sort of. I expect or hope for a schedule this week, which will be helpful. Fingers crossed…though no matter what, I will have to hope a train back to Providence by 3 to make rehearsal for the event at work. That should be interesting…

Now it’s down to finishing and fixing projects in process, and deciding on fabric for a housekeeper’s gown from 1800. I think I’ve settled on a year and style, but the fabric eludes me still. I have to find it pretty soon, because on Saturday, I’ll start making coats for Saratoga. I’m a sucker for beauty, and the Adjutant got me with sea foam green and dark brown wool. The facings are false, so really, a button-hole-free, single-year, described in a letter, regimental coat? The artist in me won, and I am so making that.

Many, many thanks to Sharon Burnston and Friends of Minute Man National Park for the photos! I took none, except of the Young Mr in our yard.