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MargaretO'Grady
10-26-2006, 05:37 PM
Hi everyone, I'm Rizzi, generally go by Meg, I answer to either :p but anywho, was hoping that some of the more experienced sewers in here could give me some advice? For Rememberence Day, the ladies in my unit hve agreed to dress in mourning, to whatever degree we would personally prefer. The problem here is that I have very little experience constructing clothing (apart from the pinnings from Mrs. Clark's website, which I adore to no end), and being experienced seamstresses, none of the other ladies use patterns. I really would like to make the outfit myself, would someone be kind enough to recommend a pattern that would be beginner-friendly? I've been researching for a while now, and am wavering between black (so I can trim it interchangable when desired) or a light lavender. Any advice/opinions would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!!!

ElizabethClark
10-26-2006, 10:55 PM
I'd suggest making up any daydress you like in a sedate color or else black (sympathetic mourning or just plain old common sense fashion!), in a wool or silk of your preference. Sympathetic mourning, rather than "widow's weeds", is very appropriate for Remembrance Day, and wouldn't really be all that different from everyday clothing. Basically, sedate Sunday Best. I'd go that route rather than lavenders, etc... you'll get more use long-term from a sedate Sunday Best sort of dress.

You might ask one of the experienced ladies to help you drape a bodice pattern. Or, you might ask for help fitting a customized muslin of any of these Sunday Best styles (silk or lightweight wool):

Past Patterns 702
Martha McCain 7212, 4500, 4510
Laughing Moon 111

Basically, you'd be looking for a darted-to-fit (common for silks and wools), high bodice style, with a coat, bishop, or even a pagoda sleeve (though I prefer coats, as they're VERY versatile, and a better base for creativity!), and full skirts pleated to the waistline. Of the three makers listed, Past Patterns and Laughing Moon have the easiest-for-a-newbie period construction details in the bodice--and the most straight-forward historic method often gives the best results.

Ginefur4
10-29-2006, 03:14 PM
Meg, let me first apologize for changing the topic of your post somewhat, but I have some questions related in a round about way.

I too need something to wear for Rememberance Day that would be beginner friendly.
My problem is I am not sure what to wear. I have never attended this event so I am not sure of the tone - mourning and solemn, finest attire of silks etc., or Sunday Best as suggested by Elizabeth. The military unit my husband is participating with does have a civillian branch, but the photos from their website reveal the "Farb Uniform" of white shirts and calico skirts. So, they will not be much help on this subject or maybe I should say I would rather not take their advice.

I have mourning attire, but had not planned to wear that. Should I just go with my best day dress and bonnet?

Thanks,
Jennifer

Carolann Schmitt
10-29-2006, 03:26 PM
Hi, Jennifer -

Several decades ago Remembrance Day was a fairly solemn occasion: a modest parade of a few serious living history units, GAR affiliated groups, and local dignataries; wreath-layings, a memorial service.

Now - Remembrance Day has become all things to all people. There are still a few groups that observe the occasion as it was intended. Unfortunately, many others use it as a way to showcase their impressions (which may or may not be appropriate), do their last shopping spree of the season, visit with friends and attend year-end meetings and dances. The clothing runs from very good to very, very bad.

Your best day dress and bonnet would be most appropriate for the majority of the activities that weekend. As Elizabeth mentioned, sympathetic mourning is much more appropriate than "widow's weeks". If your unit has a dinner or you'll be attending one of the balls, then you may want to bring a better dress or ball gown.

Regards,
Carolann (who misses the simpler, more solemn Remembrance Day events)

cookiemom
10-29-2006, 05:06 PM
Meg, let me first apologize for changing the topic of your post somewhat, but I have some questions related in a round about way.

I too need something to wear for Rememberance Day that would be beginner friendly.
My problem is I am not sure what to wear. I have never attended this event so I am not sure of the tone - mourning and solemn, finest attire of silks etc., or Sunday Best as suggested by Elizabeth. The military unit my husband is participating with does have a civillian branch, but the photos from their website reveal the "Farb Uniform" of white shirts and calico skirts. So, they will not be much help on this subject or maybe I should say I would rather not take their advice.

I have mourning attire, but had not planned to wear that. Should I just go with my best day dress and bonnet?

Thanks,
Jennifer
For what it's worth, there are a couple of photos of the civilian ladies who marched in last year's parade at this site:

http://groups.msn.com/cwpix/shoebox.msnw [middle of page 2]

Ginefur4
10-29-2006, 05:27 PM
Carolann, Thanks for the advice. It sounds like the "good ol' days" were very nice and appropriate.

Cookiemom, Thank you for the link to your photos. I had searched the net for photos to get an idea of what to wear prior to posting this message. I did not come across your set. From all of the photos I have viewed I see there is just what Carolann stated, very good, very bad and everything in between.

Thanks for the advice ladies! Meg, I hope this diversion helped you out in some what too since I hijacked your post. :p

Jennifer

MargaretO'Grady
10-29-2006, 09:21 PM
Most definetely, post hijacking is always a good thing!