Friday, September 11, 2009


My sweet husband has had all sorts of hobbies over the years. They range from money making to money taking ones.

He had a photography hobby that turned into a nice little money making deal, however, it was hard work. I'm telling you wedding photography is torture! After he lost his job and we started our own home inspection business, which was not a hobby, but a necessity, we couldn't keep up both, so we sold all the photographic equipment. He had lots, I mean, LOTS of equipment--two Hasselblads (those are cameras--expensive cameras) and several lenses to accompany those bodies, lights, light meters, backgrounds, props, I telling you lots of stuff. Those Hasselblads? You buy them in parts, the body, the lens, the view finder, the film advance handle (I'm not kidding), and they are all expensive, very expensive. Anyway, we sold all that stuff just about the time digital was taking off, so we were very fortunate in that respect. So, we took that money and exchanged the photo studio in the attic for a theater. Rather nice exchange.

During the bicentennial, way back in the early to mid 1970's he decided he wanted to do living history (reenactments), so off we go on that little hobby. This was Revolutionary War reenacting, which meant he had to have all the clothing that went along with this living history deal. I wasn't too keen on the idea, but I wanted to be with him, so I participated as well. Understand that when you do living history all your clothing and accouterments MUST be authentic, which means that all this research had to be done as to what a particular soldier would have worn. So, with the help of other members of the 2nd Georgia Battalion we start to gather our clothing. My camp follower clothing was rather easy. By the way, a camp follower was not a loose woman, she had to be married to a member of the unit and if he died or was killed she was booted out of the unit. Not an easy life for these people that fought for our independence from England! Anyway, I had to have a chemise (18th century nightgown, underwear and bathing suit), a petticoat (skirt), a bodice (basically your bra worn over the chemise), mob cap (keeps your hair out of the fire and smoke out of your hair) and an apron. All of this had to be made of linen (remember authentic to the period). The mob cap and chemise had to be made of handkerchief grade linen, which was rather hard to find, but the other clothing was just regular linen and easily found back then. However, hubby's clothing was not quite as easy. He had to have overalls (pants), a waist coat (vest), a shirt and a frock (coat), neither of which I was capable of making, well I could have made the vest, but didn't. My Mom sewed lots, in fact she made my wedding dress she was so good, and she volunteered to make his clothing. She didn't have any difficulty with anything except those overalls, which were a nightmare. Eventually, we did get all the clothing necessary to be AUTHENTIC with our Rev War living history events. We did this from about 1973 until 1982 when we participated in a huge event at Yorktown, VA reenacting Cornwallis' (England) surrender to General Washington. It was a grand event with over 4,000 participants. After that we decided nothing could top that event, so we "retired" from Rev War reenacting.

Well! Now Hubby has decided he wants to volunteer at our local history center, which is Civil War, well actually pre Civil War, because Sherman burned everything around here. We live near a very famous Civil War area just south of Atlanta. Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind" made our town very famous. In fact, the battle fought here was a turning point in the war. We have a Confederate Cemetary right at the edge of town and a very good Gone With the Wind museum at the old Depot. Actually, did you know Tara didn't exist? Margaret Mitchell had relatives that actually lived at Lovejoy and it's believed she fashioned Tara after their home place. There was a big battle at Lovejoy as well. Anyway, we have people coming here all the time looking for Tara, so the historical society purchased and moved an old house and out building in, restored them and now have guided tours of a pre Civil War farm for those looking for Tara, which is a really nice exhibit.

The historical society is always looking for volunteers and guess who has volunteered, ya'll? Yep, my dear sweet husband. I've opted out of this era, I'm not interested in gathering all the necessary items to "volunteer". He does chair making demonstrations and loves every minute of it. Once again this has necessitated more authentic clothing, so I've "volunteered" to make his Civil War era clothing. It's civilian clothing but it has to be authentic as well. I'm not creative enough to just make them, I have to have a pattern! One of the ladies in the volunteer group loaned me a pattern for the pants, shirt and vest. Last night I started this project. I took me FOUR HOURS to cut the pattern out. When you purchase a pattern it comes printed on these huge pieces of tissue paper and you have to cut all those pieces out so you can place them properly on the fabric to cut that out in order to start sewing the garment. This is NOT going to be an easy project. I've made clothes for myself in the past, but I've never made any men's clothing. I'm going to tackle the shirt first, then the vest and then hopefully by the time I get to the pants I will have tuned by sewing skills to the point I'll understand the pattern instructions.

Stay tuned for the next project. Oh, by the way, we are going to start painting the outside of our house, so when do you suppose I'll have time to sew? Maybe by Christmas I'll have this sewing project completed.

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