Tuesday, March 1, 2011

1860s dinner

As I have mentioned, our town has officially turned 150 so to celebrate they held a dinner on the Main Street (among other activities).
People coming to the dinner were encouraged to wear period clothing so a friend of mine asked if I would make her a dress. Of course I said yes, if only to see her actually wearing a dress!  Halfway through the making of her dress she said I should go so I had to make one for me too.

Saturday was the night of the dinner. Dresses were done so I was very excited.  As someone who has been on various committees, it was nice going to an event that i did not have to plan or work for.  Or so I thought!!!

They had local teengers being the waiters for the night so anyone interested turned up Saturday afternoon for some very rigorous training.  My two boys (aged 12 and 14) wanted to go so off we trooped. While they were doing that I ended up helping to fold serviettes and set the places. (I can't for the life of me understand people who stand and watch others work and do not join in).  The kids were put through their paces and while the lady was strict with them, she got the results. By the evening, they looked like a professional group of waiters that had been working for ever.  Not like a group of kids.  Not a single plate was dropped, no glassware was broken. I used to be a waitress and i can't claim that so they did very well.
Dinner was very nice and the day which had been quite warm turned into a cooler evening. Still a little muggy. The biggest problem was the rain, which was not heavy but very constant, so our skirts got very wet and dirty.  Luckily for everyone else who hired their dresses, they could just hand them back; I will have to wash mine.  The bathtub is looking good for this job i think.
Our dresses turned out well, but I htink mine, being quite heavy material, was too heavy for the petticoat so didn't flare out as much as I would have liked.  My friend's did as she had much lighter material.
The ladies from the local Historical Society had lots of fun watching me try to hold my skirts up in a ladylike fashion while I tried to cary plates etc and keep out of the water. LOL!!

So, some photos for you.  i dont have a great one of my dress, but I may be getting one later.  There was a professional photographer there so we are trying to get some from her. In the meantime....

The marquee while it was getting set up (before the rain)...

My shoes, which were new but very comfortable, especially since i haven't worn heels for yeeeeears.  As my friend and I ended up helping to serve meals (we served the gluten free meals so the kids wouldn't get confused) my feet were sore by the end of the night, walking up and down this long row of people.
My little bag that I made, and then ended up taking a basket as well so this ended up sitting on the table, looking nice!!

My friend and I went to the dinner in this old car.  i turned it sepia for fun and to suit the era.  Ok it is a 1920s car going to an 1860 dinner but it was sooooo much fun.  We thought we were royalty, waving to everyone we saw.

And finally, my two boys and I.  (See the skirt doesn't flare out far enough at all, so I am a bit disappointed in that).It really needed a hoop which I was determined not to use but I didn't have time to be fussing around and changing things by the time it was done.If I had've been able to see it better in the mirror, maybe I would have changed it for a hoop.

We had a lovely night, the boys had a great time.  All the guests got a commemorative champagne glass which is really lovely.
And yes, for anyone keeping a close on such things; my eldest son is taller than me; not so much in this photo but I did have heels on.  I told him to stop growing late last year and he seems to have ignored me.  Who knows how tall he will be, but I am feeling quite short lately LOL!!!


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful evening, plus making your dress too. I agree about those who stand around & watch you work....I can't figure that out either...Cheers Karen

  2. Sorry Karyn, I seem to have had a brainfade yesterday and didn't comment here. What a wonderful day, love the outfit, and well done to the lads for all the help they provided [and their friends as well]. The marquee looks lovely. Shame the rain made a bit of a mess, but I suppose it cooled things a little. Love the little bag, it's so sweet. You were a very busy girl leading up to this. Thankfully, some people are still willing to give their time for the community.