My mother was recently in the local paper. My hometown’s Historical Society ran some sort of tour of local historical houses, including one that was built in the 1850s. It happens to be the home of my kindergarten teacher. I remember ages ago, back when I was a Girl Scout, said teacher took my troop on a small tour of her house, and showed us a closet that was deceptively deep. It was actually a hiding place along the Underground Railroad.
My mother’s picture appeared in the article about the Historical Society’s tour because she made herself a Civil War era dress and wore it to greet people on the tour (I believe it was at my kindergarten teacher’s request.) I think the dress came out quite adorable, so of course, I tried it on at the earliest opportunity possible.
The dress has a few features I wasn’t expecting. The white sleeves under the dress are not actually attached to any shirt- they’re separate pieces. The apron is held to the dress with snaps, and what I originally confused for shoulder pads (before I tried the dress on) turned out to be some kind of odd padding in the bust. I think it’s meant to mimic the shape a corset of the era might create.
It’s not my size, granted, but if I adjusted the ties of the apron, it would fit well enough to wear to a LARP. (And maybe wore a bigger petticoat underneath, because even though bigger skirts are harder to maneuver in, they’re also more fun.) Luckily, my mother and I are very close in height.
Now I just need someone to run a Civil War era LARP.