This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun. most of the time. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**



About Me

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HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, member & Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, a representative of the San Diego History Center, & an honorary member of SITU (Someplace in Time, Unlimited) in Seattle. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Exciting News to Share!

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 January 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.
   
                                           ~~Val~~

17 comments:

  1. Ahh!! I want to do that!!! It just depends on whether or not I decide to go to Waterloo with my husband... It's the same week. Hmmm...

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    1. I would love it if you could. It would help to have friends there I know.
      Val

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  2. Oh what a wonderful compliment to you and your skills Val!! I am so thrilled for you! What an exciting thing to have happen!! Yay yah yay!!!
    blessings!
    g

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  3. If I could teleport, then I'd bring mine over!

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    1. I guess there's a larger Bloomer Brigade out there that we didn't know about. :)
      Val

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    2. I made mine a year ago using Past Patterns #811, but changing the bodice based on the Bloomer Waltz music sheet (I think that's the one that inspired me the most). I figured that if I'd lived at the time I'm non-conformist enough to have worn it for comfort .... Australia is a hot climate!

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    3. Ista, I'd love to see what your's looks like. I think I know which music sheet you're talking about.
      Val

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  4. Congratulations and Good Luck !!
    Rochelle, ATAA

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  5. Huge and hearty congratulations. I'm glad your critic voice only lasted 10 min. Get out there and shine girl!

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  6. So excited for you! You will be fabulous! I don't live too far away and will, hopefully, get to see you!

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    1. Jeanette, that would be great. I'd love having people I know there supporting me.
      Val

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  7. I was just doing some searches on the prevalence of bloomers in mid-19th-century frontier America and found your post, which helps me envision what an independent young woman in Michigan did in the 1850s. I am writing a novel based on her journal of 1856-58 and happened to find a couple of letters to the editor she wrote to a national magazine in 1894 detailing her being the only woman she knew wearing "the short skirt" or "Bloomer dress" for a quarter century beginning in about 1854! She says in those letters that only women ever gave her trouble about it--no men--and she finally quit when her own daughters asked her to (teens!).

    I plan to detail all this in an upcoming blog entry. Please visit www.rosettebook.com to learn more and join the email list.

    Thanks for your work!

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. I'll keep an eye out for it.
      Maybe she was the only one in the area she lived wearing a bloomer dress but she was no way the only one wearing them as the photos in my Pinterest page shows. https://www.pinterest.com/timetravels/bloomer-gowns-1850-1900/
      Val

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    2. Great collection of photos--saw some I haven't seen elsewhere.

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I would love to hear if this was any help to you. Pretty please!