Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Pink Caraco Steps Out

I had the plan to finish my pink caraco ensemble (caraco, white ruffled petticoat, and silk-covered hat) in time for our reenacting organization's biggest event this fall--a "birthday celebration" Grand Encampment.  Unfortunately, other people's mending needs (a pair of breeches with giant holes in the inseam and a completely destroyed shirt collar come to mind) precluded finishing the petticoat.  On the upside, I was able to borrow a similar white petticoat from my mother, which I had made as part of an ensemble for her years ago.

So the pink caraco stepped out for the first time on Sunday.

With all the photography that pours out of a weekend like this, I had expected that some of my friends would snap plenty of pictures of the group--and thereby of the outfit, too.  But we had barely any time to stop and take proper pictures, and so I had to content myself with waiting to see if any strangers happened to get a shot, post it to Facebook, and eventually make its way back to me via the magic of tagging (oh, technology!).

And this would be the first time I saw the full outfit--lacking a full-length mirror or any other nice homey touches in my tent (and having gotten dressed quite literally in bed as it was about 40 degrees when I woke up Sunday morning), I had no idea if the whole thing worked together.  As I'm sure you noticed from the dress form photos, it's a poor representation of what a garment will look like on a human body with proper underpinnings.

I'm lucky enough to have had two photos make their way to my viewing.  This is the first:

Ha! That's me in pink and white in the background.  The foreground are friends of mine from the artillery, lining up for opening formation.  It did give me a good enough view of the back to show me that I'm happy with the pleats in the skirts and the overall fit of the garment.

But then I found this one:

The Chicago Tribune posted some images from the event online, and of course they caught a shot of me screwing around with my fancy new walking stick and laughing my head off with a friend.  Despite the goofy expression on my face, I'm quite pleased with the overall ensemble!  The caraco fits as it should (fitted back and chest, arms aren't terribly tight and that's deliberate, full skirts over the hips and false rump).  And what a difference a false rump makes!  I can pick out exactly what needs to be fixed, too--addressing the closure and re-doing it with lacing will eliminate the bunching at the front (dressed in bed, remember?), and finishing out the trim will yield that final 18th century touch.  I also need to find a better way to tie my hat on so I don't end up with rumple-cap.

I'll add, because I think I'm allowed to brag--this was caught while I was walking to the "battle" field with the artillery, where I narrated the artillery demonstration.  I've done this before...but never for something in the neighborhood of a thousand people!  What I was proudest of, however, was that I was not at all nervous taking the microphone.  That's a pretty big accomplishment for me!

Oh, the challenges of historical clothing--actually seeing it on yourself can be difficult!

1 comment:

Cassidy said...

You look great! That's such a nice candid shot.