Friday, July 26, 2013

Kristen: Fort Wayne, 18th Century Inspiration

This might be a little secret (no wait, I posted it on Facebook!) but I have been researching 18th century clothing as of late. It doesn't help that I attended a Revolutionary War reenactment with my fiancee and the Giorlandos a few weeks back. Of course I have forgotten to post those photos...

My fiancee had never seen the fort (a gem in Detroit) and I had never been there as a spectator. It's odd; I felt that I was dressed wrong! The first thing I noticed about the reenactors is that they remind me quite a bit of the Civil War. The wooden tables and chairs, tents, and cooking fires all reminded me of "home."
All of the people were very friendly and willing to answer questions. Hmm, that sounds familiar! The doctor and his tools were especially interesting, as my fiancee recognized a few from his medical studies.

We continued exploring Fort Wayne, and even ate lunch on one of the porches of a house. It really is a shame that this place was so misused for such a time. All of the history in this fort, and it was abused by the people of Detroit. Thankfully, there are those willing to donate their time and money to the fort, fixing it up inch by inch. If you're interested in knowing more, you can look at their facebook page here and donate here.

Finally, I MUST talk about the clothing! Since I am not well-versed in 18th century clothing, it was difficult for me to completely know every bit of clothing, though I did note a lack of stays on several women. Was this common? My Civil War dress just doesn't fit right without proper undergarments, though it might be different for this era. Also, I saw many pockets!

So here is the big reveal...I've already made 18th century stays! It is not perfect by any means, but I am proud that I jumped right in. It is better to have sewn and lost...then to have never cut at all! My next post will show its construction, and hopefully me in it. Also, Port Sanilac is coming soon, in all of its reenacting glory...


  1. I lived in Detroit for over 10 years and never visited the fort. Thanks for publicizing it a little.

  2. That looks like fun! I'd like to get into Rev. War reenacting, but I just don't have enough time, especially with starting college in the fall. *sigh* Historic Fort Wayne is on my list of CW reenactments to go to this fall!


  3. I've also been getting into the 18th century and just finished my first pair of stays recently! Can't wait to see how you made yours!

    In my research so far it seems that most every woman of the time period would have worn stays, in fact most of the dresses seem to be sewn by being built on top of the foundation garments. Even for poor women at the time, I've seen they would have worn stays made from a piece of leather.

    I love the embroidery on the pockets! A pocket is on my list of things to make!



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