Fall Historical Costumer Picnic

It’s official! The NYC Historical Costumers will have our next get-together in October at the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. This is a FREE event and anyone who has fallen in love with 18th century fashion is welcome!

The trio of formal gardens is, for me, one of the city’s hidden gems, and very peaceful since it’s a designated “quiet zone.” We’ll enjoy a potluck picnic again, perhaps in the Italian garden’s pergola with a view of the garden. Then we can stroll through the gardens and take some photos. There was a heat advisory all last week, and the thought of crisp fall air, apple cider, and perhaps a pumpkin pasty is so delightful. Hmm, now I’m craving butterbeer, too…

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Van Cortlandt House Museum – 18th Century Picnic

I’m not shy about admitting there was a lot of blog reading and Instagram lurking before I got the courage to try sewing costumes. And then, in fits and starts, I finally completed an outfit, but quickly realized only dressing up for Halloween wasn’t going to satisfy me. I daydreamed about flying to the Fetes Galantes with an entire wardrobe of extravagant gowns.


I still would love to go one day. But the truth is you don’t have to wait for a perfect Cinderella moment, just push up your sleeves and get started!

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My First Historical Event! The 2018 Française Dinner

Hello all! Two months ago *cough* Hmm, make that almost three months ago (wow, it has been a while!) I attended my first historical event, the Seventh Annual Française Dinner in Alexandria, Virginia. I had so much fun at the dinner, even if things didn’t go according to plan (more on that in a moment). It was held at the historic Gadsby’s Tavern, where George Washington celebrated his birthnight ball two years in a row. They still celebrate with a birthday banquet every President’s Day weekend. I met lots of talented costumers, and I’m already thinking about how to be better prepared next year!

If you saw photos on Instagram back in March then you already know I ended up wearing my back up because I bit off more than I could chew. I wanted to challenge myself and I definitely succeeded at that at least! The attire guidelines are 1750–1800 formal wear, which essentially covers all the popular gown styles of the 18th century. Not helpful to the indecisive! I narrowed it down to a 1770’s Robe a la Française or a 1780’s Italian gown, and in the end a combination of fabric budget and complexity were the deciding factors.

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New Event: Historical Costumer Picnic at Van Cortlandt House Museum

It’s been a while, but I have a lot of things on deck! First up, I can finally share an event that I’ve organized for local costumers (read: thinly veiled reason to dress up and make friends).

Save the Date - Van Cortlandt House Picnic

I want to stress that I’m not an expert, and all skill levels are welcome. You don’t need come in a hand-sewn Robe a la Francaise, and since it’s a summer picnic you would probably be more comfortable in a jacket and petticoat or round gown anyway (although if you do, I will ooo and ahhh accordingly!).

You can register and find other info on Eventbrite:

**Please note: event is listed as free so I don’t have to pay fees. The Van Cortlandt tour is $5 at the door.

P.S. New Yorkers- you can see this Gainsborough painting “The Mall in St. James’ Park” at the Frick. Several of his other well-known portraits are also on display, as well as the Boucher room and other beauties.