Inspecting the costumes of the tour guides

This year, while at the Fort, Shirley and I spent a lot of our time inspecting the outfits worn by the staff.  The focus was, of course, stealing ideas for ourselves!

We were given a ride on a sheltered golf cart to the "Big House"

This girl was dressed as the wife of one of the men living in the big house.  I forgot what she said his job was. It was a cooler day so she was dressed in a heavier fabric (wool likely).  My dress was  designed in a late 50’s style and hers was late 40’s early 50’s.  (Looks like this pattern) The fort was built early 50’s but was extremely “backwoods” so the ladies would not be in on the latest fashions.

On her head, the girl was wearing a woolen cap that I think I can copy…I really need to get some caps made for these earlier years.  Many ladies would wear them under their bonnets-especially older ladies such as myself!

It is basically 3 pieces knit on larger needles and the color bits knit in a wave on smaller needles. I’d do this but not in Christmas colors.

SAM_2083

The back is just a basic hat.

SAM_2084

I can do this.

And here is a couple of lace ones.

SAM_2094SAM_2126And I must have this cape.  How cute is this!  I wonder if I can figure it out without a pattern?SAM_2091

Here is the back view.

SAM_2092

Of course it is lined.

SAM_2093

Then there is this red one…Little Red Riding Hood…

SAM_2100SAM_2101I think I have some red wool that was given to me that might be big enough.

Being connected to the Hudson Bay Company the Fort had many samples of cloaks made from their blankets.  I should make one of these, as a Manitoban…SAM_2123

I haven’t been too interested in working class clothes but I think I might be interested in it one day.SAM_2117

Several of the ladies were wearing sontags.  Not a one of them knew that that was its name. They called it a criss-cross shawl.  I can’t blame them for that.  They are all students (most weren’t even history students) that got summer jobs from the government.  (I want their jobs….)  They are given basic info that they memorize…and then pray they don’t run into someone who thinks they know more than they do (insert winky face here.)

 

 

Oh, I want that

When you go to the Old Fort in costume, they will often let you get up nice and close to some of the artifacts.  Here are some lovely things that I wish were mine ALL MINE muhahahaha.  Okay, the crazy side slipped out for a second.  I know these things belong in a museum for all to see and enjoy.

A lovely little misers purse.

A lovely little misers purse.

A pretty pink bonnet.  I was told that a bonnet on the bed was good luck but a top hat was bad.  I can't find anything to verify that.

A pretty pink bonnet. I was told that a bonnet on the bed was good luck but a top hat was bad. I can’t find anything reliable to verify that.

This whole desk is lovely to me.  I love old wood furniture.

This whole desk is lovely to me. I love old wood furniture.

Pretty blue dishes.

Pretty blue dishes.

A box for wine.  Oh, I want that!

A box for wine. Oh, I want that!

A lovely desk set.

A lovely desk set.

Wouldn't this trunk look lovely in my living room?

Wouldn’t this trunk look lovely in my living room?

And this eyelet is to die for , is it not?

And this eyelet is to die for , is it not?

My next post will feature some of the clothing of the folks working in the museum.  My mind is whirling with some future projects!

Neither rain nor snow…

Shirley and I were a pair of brave troopers and headed out to our Victoria Day event in spite of the near torrential rain. Here are some of my favorite photos.

We were given a ride on a sheltered golf cart to the "Big House"

We were given a ride on a sheltered golf cart to the “Big House”

Unlike last year, we spent quite a bit of time in the basement checking out the kitchens.

Unlike last year, we spent quite a bit of time in the basement checking out the kitchens.

We did a few lady like "at work" poses.

We did a few lady like “at work” poses.

Then we got a bit silly.  Shirley wanted to flaunt her lovely Victorian shape.

Then we got a bit silly. Shirley wanted to flaunt her lovely Victorian shape.

And I wanted to show of my thrift store find of "sensible shoes".

And I wanted to show of my thrift store find of “sensible shoes”.

We then decided to brave the rain (which had slowed down) for some outdoor shots.

We then decided to brave the rain (which had slowed down) for some outdoor shots.

We walked out of the the Fort walls to some of the outer building.

We walked out of the Fort walls to some of the outer building.

The river gave us some interesting, if gloomy, back grounds.

The river gave us some interesting, if gloomy, back grounds.  As you can tell by my expression, I’m feeling bedraggled because of the rain and because my skirt was too long and I kept stepping on it and dragging it through the dirt!

Shirley is managing to look dainty and fine!

Shirley is managing to look dainty and fine!

Ah!  Dry land!

Ah! Dry land!

I wanted a photo like this...I liked last years so much.

I wanted a photo like this…I liked last years so much.

I made Shirley do the same pose.  Once the photo was done Shirley looked at me and found that I had put my hat back on...backwards!  I wish I could say I planned it that way!

I made Shirley do the same pose. Once the photo was done Shirley looked at me and found that I had put my hat back on…backwards! I wish I could say I planned it that way!

Victorian at Heart gets out again!

In honor of Queen Victoria’s Birthday, Victorian at Heart planned an outing.  We had considered Lower Fort Garry but the weather was just too rotten with rain, rain and more rain.  So we went to Maple Grove Tea House in Captain Kennedy’s House.  After tea we posed for some photos.945471_374847979285725_971187163_n

Shirley wore her 1860s sheer dress.

SAM_1132

I wore one of my 1880s bustle dresses.

SAM_1144

Mr Mac Leod and his daughter were with us!  After awhile, Mr Mac Leod had to head back to work so he left with his daughter.  Shirley and I were headed to our cars.  We looked at each other, neither of us ready to head home to modern clothes.  The rain had stopped so we decided to head to the Fort as we originally planned and go to the tea they were hosting in honor of the Queen’s birthday.

482594_374849332618923_250362262_n

Last year, when we had gone to the tea, we had it in the basement of the governor’s house.  In later years that room had been used as a dining area for a motor club.  We were expecting more of the same.  It was a bit different this time.  The staff person who was playing the Governor came out and lightly chastised us ladies for not having our men folk with us!  It was fun playing the part  of rebellious females who insist on traveling alone.

We began the tour of the house and saw a few rooms.  When we got to the parlour we found the fireplace was all lit up.  I had never seen it lit and didn’t know the chimney was still in working order! It was cool that day so I’m glad it was lit.

941665_374849675952222_346610121_n

As you can see, the table was set for tea.  I was very surprised to find that the admissions desk had called ahead and arranged for us to sit and have tea in the parlour just like real guests!

SAM_1152

Shirley sat between the Governor’s wife and the Governor’s guest.

SAM_1151

The Governor sat next to his guest and I sat between the Governor and his wife.

936380_374849732618883_2095932129_n

There was a maid that served the cake while Mrs. Colvile poured the tea.  I kept falling out of character and trying to pour my own tea and not waiting for the maid to open the door for me!  Obviously, I am nouveau riche and lacking in the social graces of the upper crust!  All in all a wonderful start to the costuming season.

Happy Halloween

Today is the day of spooks and goblins.  I’m not really into the scary side of Halloween.  I understand the thrill of a good rollercoaster but for the life of me, I can’t figure out what the love of scary things is.  I don’t watch scary movies (in fact, I avoid most suspense movies for the same reason).  I don’t like ghost walks much either.  Once, during the Halloween season, I went to the Lower Fort Garry on a tour with ghost stories and ghostly figures strolling around.  One actor was particularly gifted.  He was playing a mentally insane person who was detained at the fort during its years as an asylum.  He scared me so bad I actually screamed like a little girl and placed a child between him and myself.  My justification was the child was braver than I am.  I’d like to think that if I believed he truly was a mad man, I would have spared the child….

I like the costume side of Halloween (and the candy part isn’t to bad either).  Just like the kids Halloween program we had on Monday , I will be dressing in one of my Victorian costumes for my work day.  We will have having a Halloween Party for the seniors and there will costume judging and treats.

The seniors at work made these Frankenstein decorations for our party today. They are made from a terracotta pot and its base glued on the top.  I think the bolts at the neck were inspired!

If I don’t roast alive and if my feet aren’t killing me, I will keep my costume on for the evening when the children come to my door looking for candies.  In Canada, Halloween is very Victorian and these Canadian kids should know this.  Let me quote Wikipedia.

North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was celebrated there. The Puritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to Halloween and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that it was brought to North America in earnest. Confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.

Alice has given permission…

Shirley asked her sister, Alice if I could post her photos here and she has agreed.  So here we go.  As you recall Shirley made her sisters outfit.

The museum staff were very nice to us…allowing libertys that I don’t think are very normal….

They let us sit on the antiques and go right into barred off rooms.

Love the “real” poke bonnet on the bed!

Here is one of Alice and I together.

One of the museum staff agreed to pose with us in the house.

Now here is the very best photo of the whole day.  It was actually taken by a staff person who’s job it was to go around and take photos of the event and get releases signed for future advertisements…we could be stars some day!

A fellow in the photo adds to it doesn’t it…makes it look more real.

Queen Victoria’s Tea

The Lower Fort Garry (an original fort-not a reproduction) hosted its annual tea in honor of Queen Victoria’s Birthday.  My buddy “Shirley A. Victorian”, Shirley’s sister, and myself dressed up for the occasion.  The Fort was built in the 1850s and so that was our theme for our outfits.  Shirley’s sister was dressed in an outfit made by Shirley.

I do not actually have permission from the sister to throw her photos out into the wild blue yonder so I will refrain from using face shots of her but I will assume that the permission I got from Shirley last time, carries over to this time.

Wanna know what got me thinking a shot of whiskey might be better than a cuppa tea?

When I first arrived at the fort, I felt something odd across my legs….

“Oh, crap! My hoops just fell off!”

Had to go behind a wall and a bush….

And Shirley’s sister had to “reapply” my hoops!

Mercifly, I decided to don some modern undies under my split drawers or I’d be more than a little embarASSed!

This is my favorite photo of just myself…

To bad it is in the basement and not the parlor!

I like it because I have a nice expression on my face and you can see the reticule my mom bought me.  You can also see my very modern camera….

I also like this picture of myself in front of the store.

Is it getting hot out here?

Here is a good one of Shirley and I.

“Shirley…we must keep our porcelain skin protected…”

I take up 3 seats in this dress!

Good Gravy! No snuggling on the porch with a fella in this dress!

It is time to head home….

Time to leave this quaint little world….

And head on back to the modern one….

You can drive in a hoop skirt!

I have two things added to my to do list.  One is to ask Shirley if her sister will give me permission to post photos of her face to the world because there is a really awesome one of the three of us!

The second thing is to shorten my petticoat and skirt by about 2 inches because I nearly killed myself walking in those things.  They worked fine on flooring-gliding along nicely.  But on brick, gravel, grass, rough wood….they clung to the surface and I ended walking on them.  I was having enough trouble managing my fan, bag and parasol without having to haul my skirts around by hand too!

My next project…

I like to have a goal to work towards.  And I like to think that when I finish making something I’m going to use it.  My next goal date is Victoria Day next May. 

There is an original Fort just outside of the city I live in and it was built in the late 1840s.  This is not so exciting when you think of how old some of the buildings in Europe are but one must remember we are a new country and the original peoples of Canada did not build a lot of permanent buildings!

Plaque outside of the Fort.

 The Fort walls are made of stone and in spots you can see where the soldiers carved their names.

 

The exterior of the Lower Fort Garry

 

 This Fort has had a tradition of having a tea in honor of Queen Victoria’s Birthday.  Lady A and I are planning on going to the Fort and having tea on Victoria Day (which is a holiday here) and we plan on doing it dressed in 1850’s attire.  Once we have had our Tea, will take some photos around the fort.

The Big House exterior

I particularly want to get photos in the Big House.  There are lots of nice spots that would fit the period of our dresses.

Dinning room of the Big House.

Any many pretty antiques!

Want it...

In a previous post I showed the material I’m going to make my dress out of and that I was going to use Truly Victorian patterns.  I started on the petticoat but I stopped when it seemed like it was going to be far, FAR to long.  I’ve decided I need the hoops first so I get an idea of how far out the petticoat and skirt will stick out.  Unless I’ve totally got it pictured incorrectly in my mind, I’m thinking I’m going to have enough material from the petticoat left over to make a chemise, a corset cover and some bloomers.  (I don’t think they wore bloomers in the 1850s but I’m not about to go running around the old fort with just me and mother nature under those skirts. 

Speaking of which…even with bloomers on it is likely a good plan if I practice sitting and moving in those hoop skirts.  And how on earth will I get into the car….?