January 2, 2012

A new year, an 18th century 'fantasy evening', ladies' 18thc. wigs for sale, and 'let sleeping dogs lie'~


Farewell to 2011, and all it's heavy trials but also it's sweet memories. A new year has dawned, and we toasted on New Year's Eve, expressing our wishes for a new job, and an end to the difficult financial circumstances of the last three years. A little of the peace and security that so many others are able to take for granted were our fervent wishes and hopes, professed aloud to only each other in our darkened bedroom, lit only by the soft glow of a fire in the fireplace.
Although because of our plight, we have not been able to attend as many of the historical reenactments we so love, we try to get to as many as possible. I write this blog not only to celebrate my New England life in a little 230 year old house, but to share and celebrate our adventures in historical costuming and reenacting.

One small 'new year's day thing' I did for myself was to paint my toenails with gorgeous silver nail polish, and I love it!

The annual Colonial Twelfth Night Ball at the Wayside Inn in Massachusetts is fast approaching. We have had our tickets for awhile, and have put away a few dollars here and there so that we could have dinner at the 300 year old inn the night of the ball, dressed in our finest period attire, sitting in a room filled with antiques, at a table before a cozy fire.

One of several of the dining rooms at the Wayside Inn! This one happens to be my favorite~

The Taproom at the Wayside Inn. We've attended many period gatherings here in 18thc. dress, and on the night of the ball, the guests stroll from ballroom to taproom and back all evening~

For Christmas a year ago I received a completely unexpected and wonderful gift---a glowing gold and seafoam silk gown a la francais! I could almost hear angels sing when I looked at it...I wore it for the first time to last year's ball, and it was an evening that you only dream about in your private and silliest fantasies; you see yourself walking grandly into the room to gasps and murmurs of wonder.  Everyone compliments you, and tells you you are 'the most beautiful woman in the room', and strangers ask to take your photograph...sigh...
It all happened to me, just like a dream! This year, I can hardly wait to again wear this elegant and magical gown. At last year's ball, there were a few other gowns of opulent fabrics, and with yards and yards of metallic and lace trims, bows, and fripperies, but none caught the attention of everyone there like mine did. My gown was a bit simpler, and lighter on the adornment, but the soft, shimmering seafoam blue-green and burnished gold of the silk, the simple scalloped serpentine trim, and the delicate scalloped white English netting lace peeking from the sleeves, and edging the decolletage were just right.
This morning I pinned up, pressed, and hand-hemmed the petticoat and mantua of my ball gown. Although the sacque back is supposed to trail on the floor a bit, as a train, it is just not possible to dance. It causes you to step on it and stumble or trip, so for the ball I have taken the hem up just a little and whip-stitched it, so that I can do the period dances at the ball with no mishaps.

My gorgeous silk 18thc. gown a la francais...

I styled my own wig, and made all my hair ornamentation myself. This year I have made a new silk bow for the back of the wig, and a 'bouquet' of seafoam ostrich feathers as well. Along with rhinestone 'hair jewels' randomly placed here and there among the curls, I am thrilled with the result.
I will again wear the ivory silk clocked stockings and my divine 18thc. style pearl-cream leather shoes with silver marcasite buckles, and my satin French embroidered garters! I was given a gift this year of a white silk ribbon choker with one teardrop pearl, and plan to tie this around my neck. I will wear the stunning pearl drop earrings that were a gift from my friend Erin this year, and which I featured in an earlier post.  I am hoping that this year I will turn some heads as well---most especially, Adam's.
In a few weeks, I will post details about our evening at the historic in---dinner, the period dancing, the Twelfth Night cake, and more. We plan to put the photos we take up in a new gallery on our website, so I hope you will visit and see it.
Here are photos of my wig, ready for a ball.

My '18thc. Ladies' Georgian Wigs' are available by custom order.  They are available with the hand sewn side tendrils, as on mine, or without them. My wigs look like human hair, with none of the 'overly shiny' synthetic look of some wigs. I painstakingly and carefully hand style each one myself,  and include a feather or simple hair ornament. 
Please visit our website SUTLERY  to see all details and order~

I made the decorated silk bow, as well as styled the wig~
Getting ready....blush silk brocade stays, cream silk clocked stockings, 18thc. satin embroidered ribbon garters with a poem on them in french, and my gorgeous 'pearl cream' leather shoes with louis heels and old marcasite buckles...
The back of my gown a la francais. I'll feature this year's complete outfit after the ball, in a photo gallery on our website~
I love the lighthearted and amusing print at the top of this post, showing a shop with ladies trying on a variety of 18thc. 'skirt supports' such as bum rolls, bum pads, hip rolls, panniers, and pocket hoops. I myself will wear my gold brocade pocket hoops under my sacque back gown to the ball~

...And now for an "awwwww" moment! I want to close this post with pictures we took on New Year's Day of our yorkies wearing the pj's we got them for Christmas~

Happy New Year, everyone~