Many of you will remember reading about my re-creation of a Bloomer gown, and working with Past Patterns who had started the pattern years ago after tracing off an extant gown in the San Diego History Center but never finished it. In the ensuing years I did classroom presentations on it and also one at the History Center.
Early last month I was contacted by Pam Poulin, Professor Emeritus from John Hopkins University, who had helped me with my research on Amelia Bloomer and the Bloomer gowns, and who also pointed me to Jody Luce (aka The Tailor of Peterboro) who portrays Elizabeth Smith Miller. Pam asked if I would be interested in doing a joint presentation with her on the Bloomer at next year’s conference by ALHFAM, http://www.alhfam.org/ comprised of living history interpreters and historians, to be held in Williamsburg, VA in June 2015.
At first I was shocked. Then a bit scared and uneasy. I went into my mode of “they know more than I do and I’ll look like a fool”. But that only lasted about ten minutes. I remembered thinking the same thing when I was asked to join a costume guild, and then to go to Costume College until I found out we’re all different skill levels and we’re all the same. So of course I said YES!
Pam told me when she approached the Directors for ALHFAM about doing this, they were very excited so she wanted my approval and input. For the past month we’ve been putting together our proposal for the presentation to submit it. We still need the final approval but Pam is quite certain they'll like it. But I’ll still hold off a little longer on my jubilation. In fact, that’s why I haven’t said anything until now. We should know by December if we’re on the schedule and then I can really start sweating.
I will be bringing my reproduction of the San Diego bloomer and will be wearing my other one. Or as The Squirrel says, “You have to make a new one!” Pam portrays Amelia Bloomer and will be wearing her’s and telling more about Amelia and the Women’s Movement. She also plans on bringing the “other” Bloomer gown held at the Courtland County Historical Society in New York. Until I came out with my gown, they thought they had the only one in existence. I think it’s going to be very exciting.
I let Jody Luce know about this and she hopes that she and her Bloomer Brigade may also be able to come and join us.
So, to any of my friends in Williamsburg: here’s your chance to make something new, a Bloomer, and come join us! I’m throwing down the gauntlet. If you’re serious about this, contact me and I can give you some quick and easy options for making your own, not just with this pattern. Or you can always come to the presentation and learn how.