18th century clothes, 18th century clothing, Clothing, common dress, common people, Costume, dress, sewing
In a world of fast fashion, mending is quite out of date (unless you’re a hipster, and I am one of the trilobites of hipsterism), so it is all the more appropriate that I have a gown in need of mending.
I am still making new things, like the “Bad Squishy” jellyfish cap. It didn’t look so tentacular until I held it up to show it off. As with any cap, the main goal is merely to keep it upon my head–always in doubt.
In just a week I’ll be headed up to Fort Ticonderoga to clean the officers’ quarters and generally represent the women who accompanied the 26th Regiment of Foot— and yes, I know I’m old enough to be the mother of any number of those folks, but there’s no need to point it out all the time. The main thing is the cleaning. And the weather, which looks like it could once again be unseasonably warm. That won’t stop me making another wool gown, which I am making up in a drab wool specifically for dirt and distracting my unsettled mind.
All the same, I pulled out the mother of all wrecked and wreckable gowns, the cotton gingham made for Bridget Connor. This has achieved a pretty nice patina, though I will confess to having washed it last fall after repeated wearings over the course of the summer. I know– not so necessary, but I did. Fear not: the stains remain.
But I wore it vigorously and made it up quickly– to the point of needing to take it off and mend it at Stony Point (was that really two years ago?). Mending is required once again, so that small seam ruptures do not become actual sleeve separations as I dust, sweep, and mop. Yes, of course I’ll be making experimental mops this weekend, why not? There just isn’t enough distraction in the world.
I worried about those eyelets I installed way back when, but was relieved to discover that I had seen a precedent, and that the date was within tolerances for someone of my age to retain in her clothes. The lacings also make dressing significantly easier for me; some days, putting on an open robe takes me back to the button-up and lace-up toys of pre-school, when tying shoelaces was a major accomplishment.