Sunday, June 16, 2019

My Regency Capsule Wardrobe

My plans for what I'm going to wear on my trip to England have changed several times in the past six months!  First I was unable to find fabric in the right color to match a vintage sari I have that I want to make into a ballgown, so that particular gown will have to wait for another occasion.  Then I had planned a rather elaborate wardrobe of 4-5 dresses and 2-3 spencers, but then I started thinking about packing all of this.  I'm taking a bus from Heathrow Airport to Bath at the start of the trip, and the bus only allows two medium-sized suitcases and one carry-on.  Given this, and the fact that we will be moving hotels from Bath to Brighton to London throughout the week, I started rethinking my plans to ensure I can pack as light as possible.  Eventually this solidified into a Regency capsule wardrobe.




I will now be bringing just two dresses, one spencer, two sleeveless bodices, and one petticoat that will hook into the waistband of each bodice.   By mixing and matching these elements (and by adding accessories) I'll be able to make at least five different outfits!

Day One:  Black & Ivory Striped Dress


Day Two:  Green Sleeveless Spencer, White Striped Petticoat


Day Three:  Sheer Striped Dress (over Pink Bodiced Petticoat), Pink Silk Spencer


Day Four:  Black & Ivory Striped Dress, Pink Silk Spencer


Day Five:  Blue Sleeveless Bodice, White Striped Petticoat


I was originally going to wear the Sheer Striped Dress twice, with two different bodiced petticoats (since they show through and change the look of the dress significantly), but I am currently so over the moon about how beautifully my Black & Ivory Dress turned out that I want to wear it twice!  So I can leave my blue bodiced petticoat behind, and save a little more space.

I am also bringing two shifts (and a third in progress), two sets of stays, one bodiced petticoat, three bonnets, three shawls, five sets of stockings, and probably three pairs of shoes.

I leave this afternoon, and I need to finish packing, so I'd better run!  Watch my Instagram for updates from England!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Past Event - Valentine's Tea at Bacon's Castle

If I've learned anything in the past month, it's that I was very bad about blogging events in 2014!  Here's one from February 15 - a Valentine's Tea at Bacon's Castle.

The Regency Society of Virginia sent volunteers to serve and play hostess to the guests at the tea. We also gave a presentation on Valentine's Day through history.

If you live in Virginia and have never been to Bacon's Castle, I can highly recommend taking the trip!  It's a very cool 17th Century manor house, and the docents there can give you a highly educational and interesting tour.

This is one of the rooms with actual antique furniture (which of course we were not allowed to sit on):

We set up for tea in another room:

I'm sure we were all very busy here, even if it looks like we're doing nothing!

Brian the Engineer took all of these photos for me.

One of our number, Kathleen, brought her beautiful Irish Harp to play music for the tea:

She provided such lovely ambiance!  She is truly an accomplished lady.

As I recall, RSV members also lent their china to Bacon's Castle for the day:

Each table had its own set, and they were all lovely.

Going over the plan for the afternoon:  (Stacy was in charge.)

Making sure the harp was in tune:

Something was sure fascinating!  Can't remember now what it was...

Helping one another get ready:

Taking a moment to pose in the exquisite light from this window:

The guests begin to arrive:

On display for guests to study was a pane of glass that used to be one of the windows of the house.  On it was written a love letter (etched into the glass with a diamond) that one of the former owners of the house wrote to his wife.

It's very hard to read, but copies of the letter can be found in the Bacon's Castle gift shop.

Another window that is still a part of the house has a signature on it, also etched with a diamond:

We prepared plates of food while the guests got settled in the next room:

A delightful selection of sandwiches and scones:

Time to serve!

We also taught those present how to fold a "puzzle purse" Valentine:

This type of folded Valentine was popular during the early 19th Century.

You could put a token or small piece of candy inside the pouch.

I liked these puzzle Valentines so much, I used them as the wedding favors at my reception a year later!

As the presentation continued, us hostesses served tea:

And drank tea:

Ooh, dessert time!

Then afterwards we cleaned up:

And took advantage of the beautiful light and historic setting for a quick photo shoot:

Don't worry, this chair is a reproduction - I was told it was ok to sit on!
I wore my Apron-Front Gown and Gold Velvet Spencer along with my American Duchess Pemberlies.

I had some fun posing in the furnished room, which was permitted as long as I didn't *actually* touch anything:

Seriously, five-years-ago-Chelsea was a bad blogger!  But better late than never, right?  :p