Monday, June 30, 2014

Delicate Company - Part 3

The last post about the Delicate Company weekend a few weeks ago will highlight the not-so-delicate aspect of the group.  Note: most (all) of the "indelicate" photos showcased in the post are staged.  There were no laudanum addicts or ladies of the night at the weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Delicate Company - Part 2

In my attempts to remain in the immersive experience, I only took photos sporadically.  Which is why I have pictures from the first immersive night and second full day, but not the first full day and second immersive night.  (I specify immersive nights because we ate at a restaurant near the house on the actual first night when we arrived and then hung around in our wrappers while we got to know each other.  Oh, and then, as we retired for bed, the ladies used me as their doll to play dress up.)

On the first night, we did a Jane Austen murder mystery to get ourselves used to being in first person.  It was super fun because everyone already knew the characters we were portraying - chosen randomly from picking out of a hat - so we actually had things to talk about that we thought our characters would be talking about.  (Because the weekend was an event for people who may not have already had a first person impression, most of our attempts to be in first person were stilted at first because we still weren't sure exactly who we were and what we knew about...)  


Friday, June 13, 2014

A Weekend of Delicate Company - Part 1

For all that it was supposed to be an immersion event (as in, no modern conveniences), I took a lot of pictures.

But first, let me set the scene: the weekend was held at the Shapley Ross House, which was built around 1820 and lived in continuously until some time in the 20th century, the exact date of which I have forgotten.

(Side note: the Shapley Ross House is named after the original owner/builder, who was  "the wealthiest man in Lincoln County and was recorded in the tax records owning two mills, over 1000 acres of land and 25 slaves"(Delicate Company).  His name was Shapley Ross.  I thought "Shapley Ross" was the names of two different families that owned the house over the years, but nope.  End side note.)

The house is not actually that big.  It has two floors, with two and a half rooms on each floor.  The two sides of the house are mirrors of each other.  The half room on each floor is the entrance hall (on the first floor) and a strange staircase landing / bedroom hallway (on the second floor).  That is all.  It is not a stereotypical plantation mansion or anything like that.  But my goodness it was gorgeous and perfectly decorated to give it a period feel.

The house has museum quality reproduction and antique furniture, but feels like a home.  No chairs were roped off to keep people from sitting on them and we could explore anything, dig through any drawer we felt like.  I would randomly open a cupboard to find extra linens or open a drawer in a vanity to find period hair clips, combs, and pomade.  Karen Duffy, the docent of the Shapley Ross House and the hostess of the Weekend of Delicate Company, did an excellent job to make the house feel like a home for the weekend.

This post has tons of pictures of a house, which may not interest everyone, so I'm putting it under the cut... 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I leave tomorrow for A Weekend of Delicate Company, an immersion event being held at a historical home in Missouri.  I'm super excited!  I'm also very disappointed with myself, because I did not make the new dresses I planned to make according to the Epic Master Plan Schedule of Tasks.

I realized sometime between finishing my corset waaay back in January and finishing my hoop skirt waaay back in February (and finishing a petticoat... which I guess I never blogged about.  Sorry about that.  I have been extremely neglectful of this blog.) that I can either focus on school work or on sewing.  When I am occupied by one, I forsake the other (to the detriment of my grades or the progress of my sewing projects).  Since I am a student first and a costumer second, I chose my schooling over my sewing.

Since the AP exams almost a month ago, which was essentially the end of my academic high school career (with the exception of a few essays for non-AP classes), I have had a lot of free time.  In that free time, I could have potentially finished every item on my Epic Master Plan Schedule of Tasks.  I debated doing a monthlong sewing marathon (there were a lot of items on that list), and ultimately decided not to do so because I knew the quality of whatever garments I finished would be very low and the whole endeavor would be a waste of time and fabric because I would not be happy with the finished products.  I'd rather take my time and complete good quality garments without having to adhere to a deadline.  So instead, I read books and relaxed and went to Hawaii with my class and went to graduation rehearsals and got sunburnt and then finally graduated.

I did complete a few smallish projects and do costume-y things (look for more on these in the following weeks!):

  1. 1860s chemises and drawers (I might only have one outfit to wear during the Weekend of Delicate Company, but at least I'll have clean underwear!  I haz priorities.)
  2. Elizabethan Franken-smock and blue linen stays (and my Foundations special studies class)
  3. 1860s skirt (yes, a single skirt! Whoohoo!) and shawl
  4. Prom skirt (and prom photos, because why not?)
  5. Ft. Tejon Civil War event
  6. Bodice block-making
And here's a picture from my recent high school graduation for no other reason than because I think this post needs a picture.

Photo by Mr. Bleimeister
I have a moderate-sized stash to be used up this summer, so I will have more to post about in the next few months!