1861 Kansas Statehood Ball

We went down to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve on New Years day to photograph the bison herd in the snow. I got some nice video (will show you soon, I promise!) and Harland some great pics of scenery and the bison. While there we ate lunch at the Emma Chase cafe in Cottonwood Falls, and Sue, the owner, who spearheads a lot of touristy projects in Cottonwood Falls mentioned that their annual Statehood ball was coming up and did we want to attend.
Hmmm…let’s see….
  • we get to wear 1861 period appropriate attire
  • dancing to a string quartet in an historic building with native limestone walls and original wood floor in lovely little Cottonwood Falls with that wonderful courthouse on a brick street
  • a chance to dance with my hubby (we haven’t danced since our wedding almost 5 years ago!)
It sounded magical, and so for the last few days I’ve been brainstorming, researching the internet for period appropriate 1861 clothing, and ordering:
  • a period appropriate corset (I ordered it from a shop on Etsy and a seamstress will be making it based on my measurements this week)
  • chemise
  • bloomers
  • hoopskirt
  • petticoat for under the hoop skirt
  • petticoat for over the hoop skirt
  • a fan
  • a pattern to make an 1861 ballgown
  • dress fabric
 For Harland we’ve bought:
  • a pair of wool pants from the thriftstore that need to be hemmed
  • a cotton shirt from the thriftstore that I removed the collar from which makes it look like a mid 19th century shirt
  • a period appropriate vest made from cotton duck that I ordered online
 I’m like a little kid I’m so excited! I love history and have always wanted to dress up like a lady from the 19th century. And now all I have to do(I make it sound so easy, HA!) is make a dress.
Here’s the look I’m shooting for:
The fabric I’ve purchased is  light light brown with tiny little pink and mauve roses all over it. And I also bought some cotton lace for the neckline and sleeves.
The ball is Jan 26, so I need to get hopping on the dress, but I can’t start it until I have all my underclothes because I’ll have to fit the bodice with the underclothes on, and they won’t be here until early next week. The clock is ticking down….
So, that’s what I’m up to – the usual craziness.
Pictures to follow as our outfits come together….

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