Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mrs. Casey's Tea

This post is long overdue, but I was too busy having fun at (and recovering from) the Sew Expo. It will also likely be picture heavy, but there are such a variety of really good impressions and activities at this event that I want share them all with you!

This event is all about the Ladies, with the exception of a few select gentleman, including this handsome guy. Isn't he adorable? This year's tea included a Fashion Revue as well, so this young chap came along to show off 1860s fashions for a growing boy.
Candied flowers adorned Easter cakes (I can't recall the name or story of these, but they were well documented to the period) . Also on the menu were pickle, salmon and ham sandwiches, along with marmelade tarts and pound cake, and of course, a variety of teas.
We were fortunate to have our servants returning this year to bless us with their service skills. Here we have an excellent example of a mid-19th century wrapper and cap. While caps were far out of fashion by 1860, they did still appear on older women who clung to the fashions of their younger years and in some laboring or service occupations.
The cooks also graced us with their talents in the kitchen as well as serving during the main event. The Fashion Revue began with children's fashions - a girls party dress with chemisette and undersleeves, and boys plaid trousers, silk waistcoat and cravat.

While this is not a great picture, it is a great example of the next part of the fashion show - teen party dresses. The white lawn dress and silk sash are typical of a special occasion dress for a younger teen and the red flounced silk taffeta is an amazing example of fashion popular for all ages in the 1850s.
Anna modeled a lovely teen summer sheer dress in a white windowpane with a half-high lining, and a silk ribbon cravat.
Cassie, our narrator for the Fashion Revue, wore a wool riding habit and cap to demonstrate the variance of mid-19th century clothing for occasion.
We then moved on to women's day dresses - with Mrs. Casey and I wearing the plaids of the era.
There were fine examples of solid colored wool day dresses as well...

Mrs. Tolmie came over from Fort Nisqually in her finest wool plaid and shawl straight from the region of Kashmir along with Janet in a very suitable calico. (And if you are headed to the Ladies and Gentleman of the 1860s conference in Gettysburg, look for Kashmir shawls in the vendor hall.)
Another example of tea-time loveliness - a lightweight silk broadcloth dress and an original cashmere paisley shawl.
Mrs. Gove, wife of Steam Ship captain Les Gove modeled our evening ballgown ensemble, complete with floral headdress and a sheer wool shawl.
After tea and the Fashion Revue, it was time to visit the exhibit room- this year's theme was underpinnings. We did make some references to "le cage" as a suitable birdcage a la "Cranford", but a mostly civilized demeanor was maintained throughout.
Another feature of the underpinnings room was this incredible corded petticoat created by Miss Sophia's mother. There are at least 75 rows of sewn-in cotton cording, reproducing an effect that would have come pre-sewn in the period and taking an incalculable amount of time and patience!! This beautiful original tucked petticoat was also on display including a Broderie Anglaise whitework trim. The gentleman and Officers waited most patiently to take guests on guided tours of the historic buildings after their repast. And finally, the entire company gathered for photos and parting comments. The event was a great success for the Fort, a lovely afternoon and an enjoyable experience all around. Many thanks to Mrs. Casey and staff for bringing back the tradition of tea!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing such a comprehensive and amazing review of the tea. You captured moments that I either totally forgot about or was unable to get, either because I was helping with the fashion review or guarding items in the parlor. I was sort of bummed when I got home and realized that I only took 3 pictures during the entire event!

Oh, and I wish that my little bow was silk! I got it at Michael's in the ribbon aisle . . .

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Eye candy! And I really love seeing more women attempt the historical hairstyles, so many of these women look as though they'd just stepped out of a daguerreotype!

Sophia said...

How lovely everyone is! I can't wait to make the event next year!

Jennifer said...

What a nice collection of great looking costumes! I especially love the white windowpane summer gown and the blue ball gown. Fabulous!


Lauren said...

What a lovely event. I had a blast hanging out with you on Sunday. :-)

Lucy said...

Anna's dress is just divine.I wish people would dress with the dignity of times past.Not that I'm recommending corset, but just dressing with grace.

Sarah Jane said...

This was such a delightful post to read, and the pictures are wonderful. You all look fantastic and it looks like everyone had a wonderful time! I agree with Robin about the hairstyles, they all look superb. Oh! And the undergarment display!!! Wonderful!