Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ships Ahoy!

on the U. S.S. Constitution, better known as "Old Ironsides"
This week (through July 4th) is Boston Harborfest, and this year is especially cool because the week coincides with the city's Navy Week and some of the War of 1812 bicentennial events.  Today my family and I headed to the Charlestown Navy Yard to tour some of the visiting tall ships as well as our own U.S.S.Constitution, nicknamed "Old Ironsides" since its time as a navy leader during the War of 1812.  Naturally, boats and history mean sailor dresses, so I trotted out a favorite that I made last summer.
I worked on my victory rolls as well, with limited success.  I'm still not totally happy with them (so I'll just have to keep practicing), but they looked pretty good when I left the house this morning.  Unfortunately, they weren't as wind-proof as I'd hoped, despite the copious amounts of hairspray, and the harbor winds wreaked havoc on my temporarily-straightened hair. Luckily, we'd already taken pictures!

the U.S.S. Consitution

looking over the prow
I made the dress last summer as an experiment in pattern drafting, and it is one of my favorite things to wear because it is super comfortable and also nautical.  I think I need to invest some time making a few more sailor dresses this summer so I have some variety and this one can have a break! I have a couple of patterns in mind and am planning to raid the patriotic fabric bins on sale after July 4th.  I already have a parasol to play with-I made it to match this dress last summer.  It was an easy 1-day project and I highly recommend recovering parasols as a cute accessory for summer events...hats are nice, but sometimes I want a little extra sun coverage (and sometimes my hair doesn't fit inside a hat, like today).

the view from the Navy Yard
a great vintage billboard in the yard--make sure to wear your safety shoes!

I've had a lot of friends visiting this summer (and more to come), so I've spent more time than usual doing touristy things like the Freedom Trail.  The great thing about this is that I feel like I've been communing with the history of the area, and remembering why I love it so much.  I've also been learning some new things!  For example, did you know that it takes 8 days to sail a tall ship (a modern one that is, with engines) from Denmark to Boston?  Two of the visiting tall ships were from Denmark and Norway, and their crew members were full of information.

from the KNM Thor, the Norwegian ship
   Also, did you know that the original figurehead on the Constitution was Hercules?  A later one was President Andrew Jackson, but he was so unpopular in Boston that the figurehead's head was sawed off in the night! You can see the Jackson head and a model of the Hercules figurehead at the Constitution Museum, which is totally darling and fully interactive.
One of the battles "Old Ironsides" lead was the defeat of the British ship the H.M.S. Guerriere during the War of 1812.  That bicentennial will be celebrated this August, and I will be present and dancing! I'm looking forward to it, and this weekend was a great way to motivate some more regency sewing. I learned a lot, and I look forward to exploring more of the summer's naval events!

1 comment:

  1. More sailor dresses!!! I want you to make more, they're so cute on you.