“And the Spring comes slowly up this way.”

Things have been busy in my life recently, and while I have gotten a lot done in the past 4 months, sadly little of it has been reenacting oriented. Still, a few small projects always seem to creep in.

First was a very special project for a very special little girl. Unfortunately until she decides to join us the details will have to wait. Aren't I the worst kind of tease?

Second was the long awaited project of re-sizing one of L's linen gowns. A few years ago, when I had the time and the fabric to do so, I made L an "extra" gown. I sized it up from the blue wool gown she was just beginning to fit into with the intent that she would grow into the new gown, as kids tend to do. Unfortunately, I didn't take into account the way my child grows! I enlarged the gown in the length but also in the width. 2 years later and she still hadn't filled out in that width, although the length is now almost not enough. Just this past week I finally sat down & took out the excess size from the bodice, re-pleated & re-attached the skirt & added ties to the back. Now not only is there one less UFO* in my sewing room but L also has a second 18th C gown. Come summer when she returns to camp coated in mud, soaking wet & complaining, she will have something fresh to wear!

The third project on my list was a silk bonnet for L. She has light sensitivity & in modern life usually wears a baseball cap or sunglasses to shade her eyes while out of doors. In reenacting life neither of these was a viable solution. However, a brimmed bonnet is. On our trip to Minnesota last November L got to choose any fabric that she wanted from the silk department at SR Harris. She choose a very dark, almost black, navy blue silk taffeta. I decided to use the Kanniks Korner pattern for her bonnet strictly as a size guide. The instructions, well, anyone who's read this blog before knows that instructions are the first thing that I ignore. I did want this bonnet to be large enough that L could continue to wear it as she grows into adult sizes. I decided to use 2 layers of buckram & inexpensive floral wire in the brim to support the shape. The brim is also lightly lined with some scrap of dark blue wool. Unfortunately L has yet to wear the bonnet for more than a moment while fitting. What's a hard working mother to do? Why borrow the bonnet for herself of course!

The final project on my list has been the reorganization of all my research materials. When I first started reenacting I kept all my book lists and notes in a simple spiral notebook. However, this method hasn't worked out in the long run, especially as I collect more & more images to go along with my readings. Then when you add in the number of journal articles and books that are now available as digital copies through Google Books and EBSCO, my old fashioned notebook just wasn't enough. Over the past month I've gone through everything, sorted into relevant eras and specific categories, deleted any duplicates, double checked that every image has a date, author or at least location attached to it, made a database of all the books & articles I have read and those that I still need to read and best of all, loaded this wonderfully organized collection onto one flash drive. Now when ever I need anything, it is right there at my finger tips. What will I do with all this easy to find information? That, my friends, is another long term project that you all will have to wait & see!

*A UFO in sewing lingo is an "Unfinished Object" ie those projects that are half finished & waiting for the right time to be done.