Let me preface this post with the following statement: I need sleep. If at times my text is confusing, I apologize! Within the past week I've participated in a Civil War Christmas "party," Jane Austen's birthday party complete with Regency dress and underpinnings, wrote /edited a 15 page paper, and finished a website for class (http://18thcenturyclothing.weebly.com/). Yet it was all worth it! You've already read my post here about my Civil War party...now for Jane Austen's birthday!post. I was ecstatic to be invited to a birthday celebration for Ms. Austen with such a lovely group of women, and at the Inn at St. John's, a former seminary!
The chapel itself was gorgeous! I was one of only a few women who dressed in Regency attire, so there was a *gasp* when I walked into the room! After a short blessing we headed down to the banquet room, where a party was set to honor Jane Austen's birthday!
We first started with a toast...and since I didn't have my license (left in the car) they wouldn't serve me champagne! My 26th birthday in one week, and I toasted with sparkling grape juice! Everyone at the table had a good laugh at that one...After our meal, we sang "Happy Birthday" and ate some cake.
Our host had little prizes for the tables if we could answer enough trivia about Pride and Prejudice without the use of modern devices. One of the women at my table could nearly quote the book! We didn't win, but I did learn A LOT about the text itself, and that I truly was in a room of Austenites! They also had a little lending library and games that we could admire. Did you know Jane Austen has an action figure????
Did I mention that everyone kept snapping pictures of me? I was quite a novelty; one women even commented that I looked like dear Jane herself! I take pride in the time/research that I invested in this ensemble.
Finally, I had to return home. Along the way I stopped at my Aunt's house to hem my cousin's choir dress. I made her take a few pictures, since the lighting at the party was difficult. I'm reminded of how well everything fell together. Seven yards of light yellow cotton voile fabric, several feet of embroidered leaves, a set of short stays, a sleeveless chemise, white stockings, dainty black slippers, perfectly curled hair with grecian hair band, my own teardrop pearl earrings, reproduction ring, and a silk/wool shawl imported from India...so many pieces had to fall together *just so* in order to make this work. I'm glad it did! As my first Regency wardrobe, it certainly displays the advancement of my sewing skills.
It has finally happened...I am an Austenite! It's not enough to read her writing...I needed to spend some time in "her clothing" to truly understand her.
Now I shall SLEEP! That is, until I start sewing for The Historical Sew Fortnightly...more on that later, you nosy reader you...