Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An Old Favorite

Back in the summer of 2001, when we were living in New Hope, PA, we took what was probably my favorite vacation ever. We visited Williamsburg, Virginia and toured the historical area as well as several settlements, plantations, and battlefields. I had read that the best way to give your child a meaningful experience was to dress them in the style of the period. The brochures said that this was a signal to the actors in the villages to include your child in their activities. So, me being me, I researched the style of the day and made India a colonial gown. The only concession to modernity was the zipper. If I were making the gown now, I would choose instead to have the gown lace up like India's Dream Dress. I have tried to find photos of India in the dress, but they are from the days before we owned a digital camera. So they are in hard copy and probably stashed somewhere with my scrapbooking stuff. And let's just face it. I am a loser at scrapbooking. I would rather sew any day of the week.

But the dress is worn nowadays by a lovely vintage (though not of the same era as the dress style) dress form in the guest bedroom. I pulled it out the other day to photograph and remembered how much I loved this dress. I can't wait until Ahnalin can wear it someday. India looked so darling in this dress. And the ploy worked! As we walked through the streets of Historic Williamsburg, people fussed over her something fierce! I believe news traveled about her and her dress, because as we walked into the dress and hat makers shop, they pulled me into a back room and offered me a job. That was rather surprising. And, boy! I was tempted! But India was pulled into several of the little dramas around town and thoroughly enjoyed her time. She remembers so many of the interesting facts she learned on that trip and has wonderful, warm (well blazing hot as it was over 100 degrees!) memories.

The two fabrics were both Williamsburg Foundation licensed reproductions of actual fabrics used in colonial times.

We hope to go back and visit again someday. Maybe I should make myself a gown!


Sonia said...

Oh, Sivje! That's gorgeous! I could wish for such talent. And your vacation sounds wonderful. I'd love to take that type vacation some day.

Jane Steen said...

Yes, make yourself a gown! Do it with strict attention to period methods and details, and post the whole process on your blog. Sewing AND history - irresistible!

LAnderson said...

Lovely gown and I LOVED reading the story about it!

Bunny said...

That's a beautiful gown, Sivje, and a great story to go with it!

Williamsburg is one of my favorite places. I think every American needs to take a mandatory trip to historic Williamsburg. DH and I learned so much and got such different perspectives.
My favorite part was the "Abby", the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum with all the folk art. It was just incredible and the best museum experience I have ever had.

Dawn said...

Sivje...the dress is just stunning! Now I feel inspired to make an outfit for Abby. With CW being 5 miles away from us, how can I not. Plus, she loves it when people fuss over her so I am going to start putting my ideas together and set to work on it soon! Thanks for the beautiful inspiration!!!