Tuesday, February 1, 2011

dress, shoes, stays...oh my!

I thought I'd take you along on my 18th-century adventure as I get dressed for the book launch of The Colonel's Lady in August. My gown is hanging in my closet and now I need a few "accessories" to look the part. Since I'm watching my shillings, so to speak, I'm shopping for one item a month and will post about each one when I find it. It's kind of like a treasure hunt. No running to Nordstrom or JC Penney, that's for sure!

It's long been a dream of mine to own a reproduction 18th-century gown. I found one last October for a reasonable price made by a colonial artist. The gown divinely dropped into my lap, or so it seemed:) One of those little delight my heart moments from above. I've been thanking Him ever since! If you ever want a hands-on history lesson, try dressing as your heroine!

Here at right is my first accessory. What one earth? you may be thinking! It just arrived and I'm loving it. I tried it on right away and it fit:) Any guesses as to what it is? No, it's not a purse... You can't see it in this picture but the fabric is pink and white striped and very feminine looking and feeling.

Next up is a shift and then stays. The stays have to be special made by a stays maker just like long ago. Then there are the garters, stockings, and shoes. Interestingly enough, I don't have to worry about underwear. Colonial ladies didn't wear any:)


Here is my dear friend, Mary, and her husband, Adam, before a recent Twelfth Night ball. They live in New Hampshire in a very old, very beautiful house. They're antique dealers and 18th-century reenactors. It's been so fun to follow them on their adventures as they live a very full life, doing historical presentations for The Mayflower Society and other historic venues.

I've purchased two items from Mary's offerings page on her website - take a peek! You might see something that warms your historical heart:)

Their next historical presentation is February 24th at the Berwick Academy in South Berwick, Maine and is titled "Dressing a Colonial Lady." I'd give anything to be there!

Fortunately, Mary has kindly given of her time and expertise to help me dress for my own event. I couldn't do it without her!

If you could pick a century, which time period appeals to you most as far as women's dress? I think you know my preference!


73 comments:

  1. Laura, how fun that you're getting yourself a period outfit. I'm doing the same thing. Just yesterday I met with the talented seamstress who is designing and creating my Victorian evening gown.

    I don't know the term for the garment in your post without consulting my reference books, but my guess is that it is similar to a hoop skirt in that its function is to produce the wide silhouette seen on the women pictured.

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  2. Keli, How fun that we're in this together! I'm sure you'll soon learn, like me, that dressing as your heroine is quite an adventure in itself:) I'm learning so much but then I'm a blonde:) Can't wait to hear more about your gown! Wonderful that you have a seamstress nearby.

    YES, you are right about the pocket hoops! They're sort of a step down from the very wide panniers of the earlier 18th-century in that they just hold the gown out a little. Believe me, I don't need any extra padding:)

    Wouldn't it be delightful if we could appear in period dress for ACFW or some other function? I think Rosslyn Elliot did that at the ACFW banquet last year. She and her husband looked stunning!

    Happy dressing for your century!

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  3. This is going to be such fun "walking" this journey of discovery with you. How FUN to get all of these things, definitely like a treasure hunt. :)

    I would choose...19th century, Civil War era, methinks. :)

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  4. Casey,
    I can just see you in a hoop skirt Scarlet O'Hara style! Only you're much nicer, my dear:) So glad you get to come along on my dressing adventure. I'll try to make it fun and educational. You've inspired me!

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  5. So excited for your costuming adventures, Laura! Looking forward to further updates. :) Let's see, in answer to your question I'd probably choose either the Edwardian era (1913-1914) thanks to Downton Abbey, or the 1930s-1940s - so many wonderful gowns in the classic Hollywood films!

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  6. Laura, I plan to wear my dress to the ACFW Awards Banquet in St. Louis if Rosslyn is wearing hers. I'd love to see you there in yours as well. Are you game?

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  7. Oh Keli, Let's plan on that, shall we?! I think I'd have more courage if I knew you and others were doing it, too. I've never met Rosslyn but maybe one of us could put a bug in her ear? It would be so fun to have a picture made of us that way. And if anyone wanted to get on the costuming bandwagon we might start a new tradition! Please let me know how your gown comes along! I'd love to hear about color and fabric, etc. Bless you!

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  8. Ruth,
    Somehow I knew you'd choose those time periods. From your pics you remind me of a flapper! And I mean that as a HUGE compliment! I can just see you in a dress and hat from that era or even a later one like the classic films, etc. Sigh. So many beautiful clothes. Somehow my Levis don't quite add up...

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  9. Laura, how fun. I'm envious. Perhaps one day I'll do that too. I love the dresses you have pictured in this post. Are those from a pattern? If so... might I inquire into the details?

    I'll guess that those are pockets, worn under the skirt (and accessed through slits in the skirt). Am I right?

    Can't wait to see you in your new gown, Laura. Did I mention being envious? :)

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  10. Lori, When your time comes, you can learn from my mistakes:) It's quite hazardous trying to do this right at a minimum of expense.

    I'd love to be in costume with you! This photo is from a Butterick pattern (I think). It may be an older one. I wish I could sew as that would make things so much easier.

    My gown is not as fancy as Mary's ballgown below but is much dressier than the 2 Butterick girls. I think my dress would be an afternoon dress or a tea gown.

    These pocket hoops don't have actual pockets but you are right, they're in the right place for them as they settle on each hip. Of all the undergarments, I think the stays intrigue me the most.

    Hope your writing is going very well and you are feeling better! Those bugs are particularly bad this year and we've been laid low, too. Thinking of you!

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  11. Oo, I think I know what the mystery item is, <};^)

    Me, I'd go Old West, 1870s-80s, cause the gals got to wear split riding skirts!

    And if I wanted to really get gussied up, 1858-1860 Southern Belle! I'm such a glutton!

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  12. What fun! I love to play dress up. I enjoy the fashion from many time periods of the past--especially in great historical movies like Last of the Mohicans or North & South.

    But for some reason, what I could picture myself in would be the clothes and hair styles from the 1940's. I've always been drawn to the WWII time period. I guess I see it as one of the last eras that included some modern convenience dressing yet the women still looked so feminine and pretty . . .

    But I will certainly enjoy viewing all your pics of your dress and accessories, Laura! Make sure someone takes lots of pics of you at your August event. We'll all be eager to see!

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  13. Oh, how exciting to "live" this through you. I'm a Victorian gal at heart, I love looking through the Godey's Lady's book sketches online. I would love to wear Victoria's green dress.

    I also love the 1940s style skirt & blouses with a frilly apron. Love those suit-dresses that women like Sarah Sundin's heroines might have worn.

    @Keli, I can't wait to read your book, especially with the Victorian era!!

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  14. Hi Laura,

    Keli sent me a link to your post, and I am so excited to hear about your plans for wearing period attire to ACFW! I told her that I hope we end up with a ballroom teeming with clothing from different periods. It would be such a beautiful sight.

    Your friend's 18th century gown is stunning. Though I love the weather here in the southwest, the most compelling reason for moving to the snowy northeast is the reenacting societies. I would *love* to belong to one of those historical dance reenactment groups.

    Here's a toast in front of the fireplace to beautiful period gowns and all of us who love them.

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  15. Hello my dear Laura,
    Thank you so much for all of the most kind comments about Adam and me on your blog this morning! I am glad to be of service, and in fact, have your new shift packed and ready to go out to you! I have enclosed a small gift from me---a bodkin, to lace your stays with, and keep you 'straight laced'! (Yes, that IS where that term originated!)
    I am happy to assist you in any way I can, and Adam, 'stay-lacer extraordinaire', is happy to give you some helpful tips!
    Your obedient servant,
    Goodwife Mary Spencer

    www.thecountryladyantiques.com

    http://anhistoricallady.blogspot.com

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  16. Oh, you are so cruel to ask such a question! What century...

    I am fast falling in love with the colonial era. I love the beautiful stomachers and caraco jackets and gorgeous fabrics. I've been doing some costume research for my colonial novella that will be published in May 2012 and busy gathering info for the first cover design I've ever done! I'm so excited about it and even crossed paths with you online in the comments at a colonial fashion blog or two!

    I do love the simplicity of regency dress, although the gowns are not flattering for my own figure. I do love the fashions of the 19th century, post civil-war.

    Lovely conversation and I'm looking forward to meeting Mary in February here in Maine!

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  17. You guys will have so much fun at ACFW dressing up in the period costumes. I remember seeing Rossalyn in her gown and she was lovely! I think her husband was dressed to match her in the right period clothes, if I recall now.

    And I agree, Ruth does seem suited to the 20s style. :)

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  18. Winter, Underneath all that western talk and volleyball playing, you are a true romantic at heart:) There IS something about those ante-bellum dresses that are lovely. I'd take any of the ones Scarlett wore in Gone With the Wind! Even the one she made from the curtains:)

    I, too, am a fan of western riding wear. I've often dreamed of going the rodeo route and being a "buckle bunny" or barrel rider. Crazy, I know! I can't ride a pony!

    Love hearing about everyone's preferences here:)

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  19. There was such an elegance about the 40's style clothes, Renee Ann. I can see why you and others are drawn to that time period. Wasn't that the era when women drew a stockingline up the back of their legs with black marker in leiu of hose? I really like the hats from that era, too. And I'm a huge movie fan of that era.

    So glad you get to join me in dressing as I'm sure to learn a lot along the way. I've always enjoyed playing dress-up, too. I don't think that ever goes away. I still love paper dolls! Have been looking for some colonial ones even:)

    Thanks for the tip about the photographer. My agent said the same thing. I tend to forget those things and this is one event I'll probably never repeat, so want to capture the moment. Bless you.

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  20. Julia, I think Sarah's covers are so well done, don't you? I know just the style you're thinking of. Those tailored suit dresses were really nice, also. Sometimes fashions make a comeback and I'd like to see more of that era again.

    I'm really excited about Keli's book, too, as it involves the violin! I love the title she's chosen and wish they'd keep it but we'll just have to wait and see...

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  21. Laura, you HAVE to where your dress at ACFW in St. Louis so I can see it. It kills me to not be going to your book launch in Kentucky.

    I guess the time period I'm most fascinated with right now is the turn of the century since that's where my book is set. I've been studying the Gibson girl fashions. But the "S" shaped corsets look like a real nightmare.

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  22. Rosslyn,
    Well said! And welcome to my blog:) I'm a fan of yours and manage to pop over on Mondays to see what you've been up to though I don't comment. But you can probably tell I visit from your stats! Anyway, bless you, Keli, for bringing us together over here today!

    I remember you and your hubby vividly last September. You both looked wonderful and I found myself wanting to touch your lovely dress:) I think you may have started a new trend! I really hope writers start appearing in costume. I know Dee Gist and Jamie Carie have done that for certain venues and the pics of them are great.

    Like you, I am so drawn to the rich history of the northeast and all the reenacting going on. My heart has always been for the dancing end of things. Learning those old country or contra-dances would be a real treat. Mary and Adam do that very well. I really enjoy all the pics they post of them dancing. They make it look so easy. And I don't think Mary even breaks a sweat!

    Anyway, hope your writing and research is going well. I'm enjoying counting down till debut day with you! Not too much longer now:)

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  23. Mary,
    That is fascinating - I didn't know that saying originated from a bodkin! You are something else! I'm going to write that down. It does make perfect sense now that I know the origin:) I love the old expressions as so many come to us straight out of the 18th-century.

    I'm so glad you like the post. It's such an honor to share a pic of you and Adam and talk about all the ways you've helped and inspired me. Trouble is I could write a novella! I'm afraid this post fails to do you two justice!

    I can hardly wait to get my shift and bodkin! You should be seeing my note to you any day. And I know when Townsend sends my stays I'll have a question or two for you and Adam. I've reread your previous instructions over several times and they made perfect sense but am sure trying them on is another matter entirely:)

    Bless you so much for everything!

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  24. Oh Carla, if you get to meet Mary in Maine you are in for such a treat! Try to take a pic if you can and post:) I'd give anything to join you.

    I chuckled at your comment as it IS cruel to try to narrow the field about which era we like best. I don't wear the Regency fashions well either. Being in stays colonial-style suits me much better.

    I'm so anxious to hear more about your colonial story. You've teemed up with some terrific authors once again! Seems like we've started something now that Amber's and Rita's and Joan Hochstetler's great books have come out. I remember overhearing an agent say that colonial fiction is now HOT! There is a new colonial novel coming out from Bethany House next year. Ah...at last!

    Anyway, bless you for being here today - you're a blessing!

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  25. Lori,
    I'm sure you're familiar with Rosslyn's blog. If not, I think you'd like it a lot. She has a bent for research like you:)

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  26. YAY, Lorna! Oh my, I'm not familiar with S shaped corsets. They even sound like a nightmare, like they squeeze the life out of you.

    I have a pic of my great-grandmother at the turn of the century in a frilly white dress just like Marguerite would wear, and her waist looks like it's about 15 inches. She was tiny to begin with but I wonder now if she wasn't in a very tight corset. She must have been as that waist is impossibly small.

    I've always been fond of the era you write in, especially those big, lucious hats!

    I never thought to wear my gown to ACFW but that would sure be better than wearing my JC Penney outfit 3 times in a row:)

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  27. Hello again, Laura,
    Just wanted to mention that I most often do NOT wear gowns like the lovely new 'sacque back' I wore to the Twelfth Night Ball! There are many photos of me in past posts on my blog showing other pieces of my 18thc. wardrobe! Yes, it all is certainly a big investment, especially since we reenact more than one time period. As I also have talked about in past posts, it took me years to even accumulate what I do have. Just today, I was able to get a wig similar to mine, and re-sytle it, and am now offering it for sale on our website! We are putting the photos up this evening on our website OFFERINGS page. I am working on a brown, 1770's style wig for myself--a very different style and 'look' than my 'Georgian', and IF it comes out well, I shall get and restyle another for re-sale too! These are each one of a kind, and I will not have more.

    Oh! I have to tell you that I am going to make your lasagna this week! They did not have halibut at the store today, and I got fresh salmon, which we also adore. I am making it with the salmon, whole grain lasagna noodles, and I think I shall add some artichokes! Thank you my dear...Will most definitely try the halibut in future.
    Kindest regards as always,
    Your dear friend~
    Mary Spencer
    http://anhistoricallady.blogspot.com

    www.thecountryladyantiques.com

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  28. Mary,
    I really love all the items you wear, even the very simple ones! And your wig is so lovely! I can't wait to go over and see it posted! They are by far the prettierst that I've ever seen.

    You've brought to mind a good point. Being reenactors, you simply must be accurate in your presentations, right down to every little detail. But it does take time, years even, to find the right clothing and all those period accessories. I love your website because I get a solid feel for just how it was done back then based on your attention to detail and the accuracy you bring.

    Off to look your offerings...!

    Oh, I hope you like the recipe:) We are kindred spirits in more ways than one as I am a huge artichoke fan - lol! If I weren't so far away I might finagle an invitation to supper that night. Bless you bunches.

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  29. This is such a fun post! I think period fashion is so much more beautifully made than our modern day getups. Although a nice pair of sweats is just what a girl needs sometimes!

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  30. Of course I want to dress in the world of Miss Bennett and Mr. Darcy!!

    I read on a comment that you have never seen the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. FOR SHAME, Miss Laura!! You must rent it as soon as you are able! I have some sort of virus and tucked myself in bed and watched the 1st disc for the umpteenth time!!

    What is the list of pieces you are looking for? Maybe this Michigan girl can find you something.

    Stacie

    PS..Don't fret my friend, there was enough postage on the book marks!!

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  31. Gillian,
    So good to see you! YES, those olden day things were so feminine and lovely. Per my research, men back then found women's dress very alluring. Dare I say, sexy?! I think the gown's then flattered a woman's God-given shape.

    So glad you're coming along on this grand dressing adventure! It really is FUN!

    Hope you're feeling great;)

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  32. Laura, FYI, I looked up Colonial Paper Dolls on Amazon and Tom Tierney's books came up. They're the same ones I've purchased in museums on school field trips. He has many time periods, several Colonial--American Family, Little Colonial Girl, etc. You might find what you're looking for . . . :)

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  33. Stacie, Wonderful to see you but sorry to hear you're under the weather! However, I bet P&P is the best sort of medicine:) Given all the swooning over Mr. Darcy via the web, this one must be THE one to watch. I am definitely remiss!

    I am severely suffering from the John Thornton effect though. Seems like nothing - no hero - measures up since North&South. About a month ago I watched one of my old favorites with Ciaran Hinds - Persuasion. Thanks to RA, I could hardly get through it! I wanted to knock Ciaran out!

    You are so thoughtful to offer to go accessory hunting for me! But having you buy my books is gift enough. I can never thank you enough for that. Just promise you'll pop in here and join the dress fuss:)

    Praying you feel better soon. Thinking of you and thanking Him for you!

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  34. Oh Renee Ann, Thank you, thank you! I have to order a book Lori reccomended so will go there now. His name is very familiar for some reason...

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  35. Oh Renee Ann, Thank you, thank you! I have to order a book Lori reccomended so will go there now. His name is very familiar for some reason...

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  36. Laura, these dresses are beautiful!! I love the blue one and that green one is to die for! Mary and her husband are so cute :) And I like the idea of getting all you need piece by piece - definitely more special and exciting to look forward to! I just can't wait to see you all dressed up and looking like you just stepped out of a novel :D And, I'm with you for 18th century Colonial dress, my friend! Knowing you and reading your work has given me a great love for that time :)

    Oh, and we got more snow today and are expecting more tomorrow :( My poor Daddy was actually shoveling snow off the roof before dinner! Wouldn't want it collapsing under the weight of it all, especially when more is soon to come. I hope the sun is shining for you, dear Laura, and it isn't too cold! LOL, I think I need to move to the other coast ;)

    Blessings,
    Amanda

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  37. Oh I'm glad. :) And yes, I would hope I was a better person that poor Scarlet. :P

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  38. Amanda!
    So glad you like the dresses and are caught up in all the excitement like I am:) And all the rest of us history lovers! It really is much more fun getting things piece by piece like you said. That's more my style and I just about squeal when I get a package:) I'm having to take my measurements a lot as everything is custom made. Just like the 18th-century!

    Your dad is a wise man for shoveling all that snow off the roof. When Wyatt was born 14 years ago, we had 3 feet and all kinds of roofs collapsed here from houses to barns. It was such a mess. Randy does that, too, on occasion. I'm afraid of heights so he never asks for help:)

    So glad my books have given you a love for my beloved time period. That sure brings me JOY. Stay warm and snug, my friend. Spring is coming!

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  39. Hi Laura,
    The term "straight laced" came not from a bodkin, but from being laced into stays! believe me, when you are actually laced into them, you will fully appreciate exactly what it means,(lol!)---the bodkin is merely the tool needed to lace the stays!
    Love,
    'Mare'
    http://anhistoricallady.blogspot.com

    www.thecountryladyantiques.com

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  40. Mary, I was thinking about that earlier and realized my error! In all the excitement I get a bit twitterpated! Now I really know the meaning of straight-laced:) Bless you!

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  41. I can't wait to see you in costume!! You'll be beautiful, I know!

    If I could pick an era to dress from, I think it would be the 1940's and '50's. I love the big fluffy skirts and high-heeled pumps. Just think "White Christmas" or Grace Kelly in anything!

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  42. Wow! Such a fun post! You know I'm all about period costumes and accessories even if I'm a bit of a tomboy. I think you will be so pretty in your gown and I can't wait to see how you dress it up!

    As for me, I'm with Ruth I LOVE the clothing from the Edwardian era. Clothing was still so elegant but was a bit less restrictive and cumbersome than what previous generations wore. Did I mention there were some great hats??? LOL Downton Abbey has made me wish hats were the thing again!

    Hi Rosslyn I recognize your name as the author of Fairer than Morning, the book set in Pittsburgh, my neck of the woods!

    XOXO~ Renee

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  43. Regina, Grace Kelly was one of my favorite actresses ever along with Audrey Hepburn. They just don't make them like that anymore! Somehow your dressing preference fits you to a T!

    I sure hope this outfit comes together for me. It's certainly been an education! And thanks so much for the kind words - so appreciated, dear you!

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  44. Renee,
    Now I'm so anxious to watch Downton Abbey if only for the costumes:) I think the Edwardian period is one of the best, too. And I'm a hat lover like you! My gown has a hat and I just love looking at it. It has 100 year old lace on it:) Looks good enough to eat!

    I'm excited to read Rosslyn's book, too, especially since mine is set in Pittsburgh about 50 years before that when it was still the wild west!

    Go Steelers! I'm supposed to bring a cheese tray and deviled eggs to the Super Bowl party:) I hope you're looking forward to one where you are!

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  45. Hi Laura, Love the post...I have to confess I have no idea what the picture is. I love the 20's sytle of dress. If I could skip an error, probably would be the 70's. So wish I could come to Kentucky to see you at your book signing event. I'm praying I'll be able to go to St. Louis! Have a blessed week!

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  46. Colleen,
    So good to come home and see you here:) That makes my day remarkably sweet (especially since it started off at the dentist's office)! I'm with you - no thanks to the 70's. All I recall is shag carpet, avacado and orange, and polyester. UGH:)

    I sure hope we can both go to St. Loo as Julie Lessman calls it. It seems so far off but it's going to be right around the corner. Let me know what you decide! You are the best roommate!

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  47. Fashion in any area is just not my thing but I thought I would say hello anyway :)

    Any dress that covers lumps and bumps work for me - hehehe! I loved Romala Garai's costumes for Emma. I think we women often do ourselves a disservice with some of what we wear today!

    Blessings to you, lovely Laura :)

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  48. This is so much fun I'll have to stop by more often! Laura, I'm really looking forward to the Colonel's Lady now after reading the conversation here. Another Pittsburgh setting! And early American, even better. :-)

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  49. You're so sweet, Amanda:) Actually, I dread the dentist and haven't been for 3 years so have a little filling set for next Tuesday. Paul, on the other hand, has perfect teeth! He bravely went first yesterday as he likes the dentist, leaving me in the lobby to sit and recite the 23 Psalm. I usually don't get anxious about much but the dentist heads the bill (no pun intended)!

    I'm glad you haven't gotten any new snow. I could just imagine your little dogs slipping and sliding away:) And am very happy to know you have a Mary book in hand! I've heard they're great:)

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  50. Rosslyn,
    I'm thrilled you've come by and enjoyed this post. These readers here are great and more than a couple are looking forward to your book! I saw your beautiful cover when you posted it awhile back and love the little twinkle in the heroine's eye. Looks like she may be up to something:)

    I'm finding researching Fort Pitt/early Pittsburgh fascinating. Thanks to you, some time back I ordered a few of the books you recc. on your blog. My favorite is The Craft Apprentice by Rorabaugh. It had me in stitiches in more than a few places despite the somewhat dark nature of apprenticeships/indentures, etc. It's a fine book.

    I'm also IN LOVE with Stefan Lorant's Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City. It's huge but I got it for a song and it's even autographed:) Am wanting to return for research there. Luckily, my college roomie lives in the city.

    Anyway, better get back to work. Bless you for coming by. I'll come over Monday and see what you're up to and try to leave a comment:) Happy writing, new friend.

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  51. Rel,
    So good to hear from you:) Am chuckling about these big gowns hiding our bumps and lumps. I have a few!

    I know you are beyond busy there. A new reader just contacted me about FF and was raving over it. That's a kudo to you, I am sure! She loved the historical section with the covers posted. She found mine - TCL - and emailed me.

    BTW, what are you doing next September? Say, mid-month?

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  52. Amanda, Oh my, I just replied to your comment on the previous post on this one. As I said, I'll blame it on the dentist:)

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  53. That's okay, LOL! I got it on both posts actually. Thanks for making sure I knew though :)

    This is my first Conneally book and I just LOVED it!! She is so funny yet there is a depth to her writing and it makes for a fabulous combination! Hope you get to read her soon :)

    And, I'm happy to know it was a cavity and not a root canal. If I may add my pennies worth, speaking from someone who has had a couple fillings in her day, ask your dentist what he thinks of composite (white) fillings instead of the tradition silver ones. My dentist said that they last longer than silver and where the silver ones pretty much only plug a whole and can easily pop out (sometimes weakening the structure of the tooth), a composite filling strengthens the whole tooth and acts as a bonder of sorts. And when I say white I mean that it will be the same color as your tooth so you won't even notice a filling. Hope you don't mind me saying this but I thought it worth mentioning. The whole reason I had needed a root canal in the first place when I was younger (12) was because of a silver filling in a back molar that kept popping out and they refilled it so many times that my tooth was more filling than tooth. I've had a new dentist for a while now and I'm happy with how he does things. The only draw back to a composite filling is, depending on where it is, insurance many not cover it. But it is worth asking and sometimes worth the money to avoid problems down the road.

    Praying all goes well and the Lord will give you His peace :)

    Blessings,
    Amanda

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  54. Amanda, I appreciate your input so much. I think you are talking about avoiding the mercury fillings of old which are causing health problems now, or so the medical community thinks. We wanted to make sure our boys don't have any mercury especially, so asked the dentist to do what you suggest several months ago. My mouth is full of mercury, unfortunately, but like you said, I can always ask for those other fillings in future - like this Tuesday! They only cost a little more which is so worth it in the long run.

    Thanks for being caring enough to comment on that. I'm a victim of more than one root canal, too, so commiserate with you there!

    Of course I always think of poor George Washington who had such terrible teeth and suffered so! My mind is always regressing to the past... Bless you bunches!

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  55. Hi Laura,
    I don't think I can pick one century, much less one decade. Once I find out if can get to the ACFW, I'll be starting my dress as well. I'm glad Keli is going to wear hers.

    The dress is one thing, the 'extras' are another. I understand that to get the right fit, the stays have to be right. Costume designers for the big movies insist that the actors wear every detail of the costume--I love that!

    If I go, my dress will be 1837.

    Keli, what year is yours?

    Waving to Mary, our amazing reenactor!

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  56. Debra, If we're both there we must have a pic made together:) I'm so excited that you have a gown, too! I hope Keli comes back round to tell us more details. I'd love to hear more about your dress, too!

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  57. Hi Laura -

    I wish I could attend that book launch and see you dressed in your finery! Please post pictures. :)

    I'm quite happy with today's clothing except for the stuff that's too revealing. How those women could get anything done with stays, corsets, and other uncomfortable garments is a mystery.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  58. Susan,
    Welcome here! It's so nice to see you. And I must agree - fashions today are far more comfortable than those of yesteryear. I'm sure when I get into those stays for the first time I'll wonder, like you, how women got anything done at all then. They sound so uncomfortable and will take some getting used to.

    I promise to take pics of this book launch - looking forward to sharing it here with you all so much.

    Praying your writing is going very well. Really enjoy your blog!

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  59. Laura ~ what am I doing in September? Goodness, I can barely work out what I am doing next week...LOL!

    Well, actually I'll be doing the usual, working, reading TCL, blogging and even looking after my family - hehehe!

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  60. I would either choose a dress from the civil war era, or the regency era of England. I just love Jane Austen and all the movie versions of her books. Those choices would surpise my close friends, because they see me as a tomboy, even though inside I am a girlie girl who loves to dress up.

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  61. Revisiting the discussion from the earlier post for a sec, no I don't like black-eyed peas either.

    I am so looking forward to the book launch. I'm thinking I might see if I can talk my mom into coming. We'll see though. By the way, the phone number for The Colonel's Lady is listed in the Lexington phone book.

    From reading the posts, I notice you've been to the dentist this week, and will have to go again. I'm like you, I don't particularly enjoy going to the dentist, and it's been awhile since I have. I will pray you remain calm next week. I'm never very calm when I'm at the dentist.

    Also, may I ask for some prayers next week. My grandfather is having surgery to remove a skin cancer. It's on his arm, it's not melanoma though, and of course I thank God for that. As of right now, the surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, 2/8. But they've already changed the date on us once. I'm just feeling a little nervous over it.

    We're supposed to get a bit of snow last night. The weather has been so crazy. I have a cousin who spends the winter in Texas along the Mexican border, and it was 29 degrees there last night.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

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  62. Rel,
    I'm still thinking/dreaming of you being here Sept. 22-25:) You'd have the time of your life! Only we wouldn't let you return to Australia:)!

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  63. Debra, I forgot to mention that you are so right about those stays achieving the right "look" as it just doesn't work without them. Every century had its shape and the 18th is no exception! Besides, I need all the help I can get:)

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  64. Michelle, I'll certainly be in prayer for your grandpa both now and in the coming days. I marked that day on my desk calendar. Please let me know how that goes. Am so thankful it's not melanoma as that runs in my family. I know how close you are to your family.

    I shuddered when I heard you were getting more snow! Much as I love it, I'm sure it brings up some weary feelings by now. But TEXAS! Some of those folks have never seen white stuff till now:)

    Oh, pass the black-eyed peas, please. I can eat them straight out of the can...

    And thanks for your prayers/thoughts about the dentist. Don't know why it's so nerve-wracking but it surely is.

    I'd love to meet your mom if you both can come in August. I just talked with Dawn this morning (owner of The Colonel's Lady) and we're so excited. Trying to hunt up a photographer for the event.

    Praying that you have a restful, blessed weekend, Michelle. Thinking of you.

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  65. BelovedGraceful,
    I'm with you all the way! The Regency era is so pretty - and those hats! It would be fun to be an actress if only to wear all those costumes. And I've always been partial to big hoop skirts. There are some upcoming books like Kaye Dacus's that have wonderful Regency covers - and I think Tamera Alexander has a pre or post Civil war cover with a big hoop skirt. Ah, so many books, so little time. Praying your studies are going well and you are enjoying that KY snow:)

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  66. Laura, I am so delighted for you to have one of your heart's desires come true! What a wonderful post! I can't wait to see you in all your finery : )

    I have a great interest in fashions and costumes. I love to sew and work with fabric. My favorite era is the mid to late 1800s. I have done quite a bit of custom sewing, making clothing, quilts and pillows. Embroidered Western shirts with pearl snaps are a pleasure to complete. Western costumes and custom clothing is an art form in itself! As a child, I loved to play "dress up". I was very fortunate to have clothing from my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother to use as my costumes. I loved to entertain and put on shows with my family as my "captive audience" : ) I do needlework and embroidery, and have made a living at times through my crafts and custom sewing. I love clothing and costumes with lots of beautiful fabric, gathers, tucks, pleats, beadwork and artistic details. I also make cloth dolls and country critters, and they all have wonderful clothing : )

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  67. Virginia,
    I love learning more about you! I just knew you had a creative heart. You're gifted with one of the things I've always wished I was - being a seamstress, embroiderer, doll maker, bear creator, etc. All those lovely fabrics and patterns and the like! I bet your house is a lovely place.

    Like you, I've always loved playing dress-up. You are so blessed to have clothing passed down from the ladies in your family. What a treat!

    I tried my colonial gown on this morning and it fits like a glove! I am thrilled as it should be snug. However, there is NO way I can sneak a shift and stays under that! OH MY... May be time for a little diet:)

    So good to hear from you, Virginia!

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  68. Be SURE to check out (and buy!) the beautiful 18th Century period-clothing that Debbie Campbell creates (for men, women, children, boys, & dolls) at:

    http://www.nouveauchic.com/

    (Debbie's other job is traveling the U.S. with her husband, telling others of the Good News!)

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  69. Yes, wouldn't that be fabulous?!

    I'm thinking my family might want me back, eventually ;-)

    Hugs

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  70. JP,Thanks so much for the link! Love the website! For some reason I can't get the women's section to come up and I can't activate the email for her but I did get their mailing addy off their blog:) Bless you so much and thanks for stopping by!

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  71. Rel, Have any period costumes handy? LOL:) I'm going to check airfare from Aussie to St. Loo...

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  72. 'an historical lady' is fantastic. Wonderful blog, and her clothes and her stories are amazing. No wonder you like her. I am so glad you featured her and I was able to visit her awesome blog. I am addicted! Have a great time dressing up in your own 18th c. things.
    K.T.

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  73. Dear Anon, So happy to hear from you:) The web can be such a magical place with all these wonderful blogs and costuming and history sites:) Bless you for stopping here and saying so!

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