July 18, 2011

A summer Sunday tea party fundraiser~

I wore my silk seafoam and gold sacque-back gown, made by my friend the lovely and talented April Thomas, with a white, scalloped-lace mantilla kerchief from Spain, at the neck. I made the floral nosegay for the bodice front, as well as my hat. I wore a sheer, netting lace apron with floral motif that I also made myself. My 'pearl cream' leather, tongued court shoes with 'louis heels' and vintage marcasite buckles were a big hit. I styled my own hair as best I could using a rat for height. I wore a white scalloped-lace trimmed pinner cap under my straw hat. My vintage fan, with an 18thc. al fresco picnic scene was a bargain find. Underneath my gown I wore a shift, cream silk 'clocked' stockings, with my French silk and embroidered satin ribbon garters, and silk brocade pocket hoops, as well as my new silk stays. Around my neck I wore the lace choker that I made with English embroidered netting lace, strand pearls, and a bow out of the gown fabric. (I talked about making this, and my hat in earlier posts several months ago). I carried a much-appreciated white Battenberg lace parasol~
 It was a perfect New England summer day for an annual elegant tea party fundraiser event that we attended.

We arrived just before one on this glorious, sunny Sunday afternoon. We immediately became the hit of the day, with everyone buzzing, wondering who we were, and asking shyly about our clothing, and could they take our photo? Many guests arrived in lovely modern day dresses, but sporting nice, summery hats as well, just right for the event.

A barbershop quartet serenaded everyone from the gazebo on the expansive green lawns, singing charming old time songs, to the subtle background accompaniment of birds and insect sounds. Flowers were in full bloom, and the academy gleamed white in the brilliant sun. We strolled the grounds bordered by stone walls, as almost with every step, we were approached by  gracious guests with cameras.

After the lawn concert, we all went into the genteel old building for a marvelous English tea. Each room had small tables and chairs dressed to perfection for the occasion, with a different antique cup, saucer, and plate at each seat, along with silver utensils, fancy napkins, and a little net bag of dried lavender tied with bows, as a favor.
Servers brought antique teapots full of Earl Grey tea, and elegant platters of tea finger sandwiches and cakes and treats of all descriptions. A young girl,  looking lovely, in what was obviously her prom dress, came to each table with a silver tray holding crystal bowls of lemon curd, fresh whipped cream, and sugar cubes and lemon slices for us to help ourselves to.

We met, and talked with all the ladies and gentlemen at adjoining tables in our room, as a wonderful harpist played period music throughout the rest of the afternoon.
We had a memorable, and most delightful day...

You can't tell in this photo, but the lovely, triangular lace mantilla neckerchief is scalloped on all sides, and looked beautiful from the back.


These lovely and charming ladies talked with us all through the tea~