For the first time in ten years of living in Atlanta, we attended Sunday in the Park at historic Oakland Cemetery. I don’t think I’d even heard of it until two or three years ago but it really took the urging of my friend Anya to get us there.
There’s no arguing that it seems a little weird to have a festival in a cemetery but this was definitely a festive event. Craft booths, entertainment (including a one-man, 20-minute version of Gone With the Wind), tours, carriage rides, food and even a Victorian costume contest.
We loved it.
Did you catch the part about costumes? That may have played a small role in my decision to drag the family along on a Victorian adventure in a cemetery. Because of my love for all things Regency, I opted to sew a couple of Regency dresses for Miss L and I. Hers is a beautiful robin’s egg blue cotton from the designer solids line by Westminster. For my dress, I went with a gold jacquard by Robert Kauffman that is so incredibly soft and flowy that I want to hunt down more of it to make in other colors.
Both patterns are from Sense & Sensibility, although mine is the Simplicity version. I had some issues with the sleeve of L’s, although I’m not sure if I did something wrong along the way or if it was something else. The dress is the size 4 in width but a size 6 in length. I thought it might be long enough to add a couple of growth pleats but it turned out to be the perfect length.
My dress is the foundation for my Steampunk costume, so I already knew what I needed to change to get the bodice to fit me better. While my previous costume had a wider skirt (so it would be more gathered in the back), I stuck to the pattern on this one. And wish I’d added the extra width. I ended up ripping out the side seams and adding three inches to each side (I bought the last of the bolt and that was all I could salvage) but it’s still not enough, at least to me.
The bonnet is one of my favorite parts and the first structured hat I’ve ever made. OK, semi-structured. The brim includes buckram and millinery wire, and copious amounts of hand sewing (my left hand is still achy). It’s by Timely Tresses and the style is Julia. In spite of the hand sewing, it actually came together pretty quickly. I really like how it pulls together the look and definitely would make another to coordinate with future costumes.
Next year, I think I’ll try my hand at some Victorian costumes. It’s kind of nice way to spend a Sunday afternon