A few weeks ago the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers performed at Guerriere Weekend, which was a celebration of the bicentennial of the naval battle between the U.S.S. Constitution and the H.M.S. Guerriere. The Constitution now lives at the Charlestown Navy Yard, and the celebration of "Old Ironsides"'s victory included an encampment of 1812 reenactors, dancing in the Commandant's house (that was us!), activities at the Constitution Museum, and several other events for the public throughout the weekend. On Sunday, the Constitution was tugged out of her dock to sail under her own power for only the second time in 100 years. It was quite exciting.
|a contemporary image of the battle|
In preparation for this, we all needed new clothes! There was a lot of frantic sewing, and not a lot of sleep. As a result, most of my dress is actually sewn by hand, because I did it on the train to and from work (as well as during a couple of long experiments during the day-shh!). This project ended up being a little ridiculous because the sleeves I had made at home were cut from a different pattern than the rest of my dress, which was scaled up from Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion. Had I not been putting the bodice together at 3am, I would have addressed the problem, but exhaustion got the better of me. I ended up have absolutely NO range of movement, and it was a very silly sight for the dress rehearsal. Luckily, I had time to put in better sleeves before the real celebration on Saturday.
All in all, I really love this dress...I am quickly becoming obsessed with tassels for Regency. Hooray for becoming a walking cat toy!
Here are some pictures of us at the Commandant's House. All of the images are courtesy of Quinn, because I forgot my camera on Saturday.
|Ladies in one of the main dancing rooms|
|In the entrance hall, which has lovely murals|
|Almost all the dancers!|
|Royal Marines encamped outside. We had a lot of fun watching them drill and yelling "Dudes doing drills!!"|
|playing period card games in between performances with accurate cards. Commerce was quite fun and a bit like Gun Rummy, but we cheated and didn't gamble, which removed most of the strategy...oops.|
|blurry, but I thought this was like a painting|
|dudes doing drills! (Royal Marines in red, US in blue)|
|A spectacular hat|
|on the porch. Hooray tassels!|
|All that dancing and frolicking was quite tiring! However, it is hard to flop gracefully with a wooden busk.|