A while back I mentioned to some of my living history friends that one of the items on my bucket list (even though I don’t really actually have one, but only sort of) was to live at a historic house, in period clothing, and do everything there is to do but with historical accuracy. They were kind enough to actually remember that I wanted to achieve this and so invited me to attend an event at Boonesfield Village in St. Louis, MO. I had never been there before, but these friends of mine frequented the site often and seemed to be good friends with the staff.
The house we stayed in is called the Engledew. It’s circa 1800s and has a center hall with two rooms on either side of the hall; to the right the kitchen, and to the left the parlor. Each of those rooms had a huge hearth for cooking/heating. Upstairs were two bedrooms above each of the downstairs rooms. A new, full basement had been added to the house as well. I was spoiled because there were two bathrooms there which was soooo nice to have. I like washing my face with hot running water. Hehe.
Saturday morning was bright and clear so we had an outing around the grounds. While it was cold, the sun felt very refreshing and even though I spent the majority of the night waking up to put logs on the fire to keep us warm, the outdoors renewed my energy for the day.
For this event, because it was to be very cold, I whipped together a new Regency petticoat. I only have the blue cotton dress (the one in the pic) and a chemise for my Regency wardrobe – not exactly winter clothing. I did not have enough time to make an entirely new dress (though now making a wool one is on “the list”), so I opted to make a new petticoat. I have a brown wool one that I wear with my other 18th century items, so I wore that, plus a white cotton one, and my new one created from pale lemon yellow flannel!!!!
I based mine on this picture (scroll down once you open new link). Because my underbust is 29 inches and my waist about 27ish, anything tied around my underbust eventually slides down until it rests on my hips. Therefore, I put straps of twill tape on this petticoat, and measured the waist to be 29 inches when gathered. It’s super comfy. I also added a button and hand sewed a button hole. It’s a tad difficult to button if it’s in the back, so I put it on backwards, button it, then turn it around and pull the straps over my shoulders. I was really proud of this project because I did not have a pattern, only the picture, and I pulled it off in about a week. But best of all, the petticoat kept me very warm!!!!! I plan to make two more petticoats like this – one for me and one for my sister – for Waterloo. You can see just a wee bit of my yellow petticoat in the above pic peeking out from just below the blue hem. I now plan to add one growth pleat so it does not show.
Overall, it was a fabulous weekend, even if it was super cold. The house stayed toasty warm and I learned how to make sweet meat pies!!! We made seven pies total in two days and we ate almost all of them. It was lovely to have everyone crammed in the kitchen talking and eating around a toasty fire. I can’t wait for the next event with all the wonderful people I met.