Victorian Picnic by the Shore

Today I got to do something I almost never get to do: play dress-up with other people just for fun!

*Warning: this is an image-heavy post*  It would actually be really great to get some feedback about this: what do you think of the photo size?  How are they for loading? (I didn’t compress them before posting) Are there too many?  Any and all (constructive) feedback would be most appreciated!

My new-ish historical sewing friend, Sarah, invited me to come along with her and a friend, Edith, to dress in our 1880s outfits and go for a picnic.  Over May & June I had made an 1880s summer outfit for an event in July, but hadn’t gotten good photos of it yet.  I knew this would be a perfect opportunity, and who can resist a picnic on a beautiful day?  Especially since Sarah actually brought real china tea cups to drink out iced tea in (she made an earl grey iced tea with a bit of cinnamon, which was SO lovely, I made one with Lady Grey tea).

I’ll try to do a post or two more about this outfit showing the insides of the bodice, maybe featuring the bonnet, and talking more about fabrics, construction, process.  Today, it’s all about the pretty shots!

Ladies Who Lunch - Old School!

Ladies Who Lunch – Old School!

Left to right: Me, Edith, and Sarah

Turns out Edith’s undergrad was pretty similar to mine in terms of program (Visual art BFA doing photography, drawing, painting and sculpture – I didn’t do sculpture), so she graciously agreed to take photos of me in my dress:







Oh look, over there - something!

Oh look, over there – something!

I got some lovely shots of Edith, of course she’s beautiful and terribly photogenic so I think it may be more difficult to get a bad shot of her than a good one!




Then Sarah made it down the hill to join us (walking down uneven hills in bustles & corsets is worth noting)


Is Sarah’s hat not the most fabulous thing ever?!  Maybe not exactly period, but it’s way too awesome to care!!





My favourite photo of Sarah of the day – not least because it’s one of the very rare times I’ve used a flash to good effect!


Look at that regal bearing!

Please, please Sarah & Edith, can we do that again soon?  And make sure we have time for croquet and/or badminton!

15 thoughts on “Victorian Picnic by the Shore

  1. What a fabulous post and pictures Carolyn! I very much enjoyed reading it. I am curious about who made your parasols and hats. I am currently working on making a Victorian parasol and will post it so you can see it when I am finished. (Like most creative people, I have many projects on the go…tatting, knitting, crocheting and beading!) I make shawlettes as well. I have a friend that makes Steampunk outfits and I make the “accessories” and that would include the parasols and gloves and jewelry. Let me know if there is anything you would like for your outfits! Where are the pictures taken? I look forward to your next posting! Deborah


    • Thanks Deb! We took these at a place called Murney Park here in Kingston. As for parasols, I’m not sure where Sarah & Edith got theirs, I have to admit I ordered mine from China. I would love to have a more locally made one, though, please do post pics of the one you’re working on when it’s done! I love Steampunk, and hope I’ll get my first chance to play at the end of the month. If it’s a go, stay tuned here to find out more! lol


      • I got my parasol from an eBay supplier who makes them in the US of A. Mine was a rare find – it had a 34″ handle (Most on the market are barely 29″. You can see in the last photo that I can actually stand and lean on the top of mine). Mine is composed of wood shaft, metal, and 100% cotton lace. It was about $40 *more* expensive than most parasols available, but it was a worthwhile, period-accurate investment which I don’t regret!


      • Sorry- I had intended to reply earlier. However, I scrolled down and, apparently, it never happened. OOOPPS! Pretty sure we may have talked over my parasol that day, though, b/c it was new in 2013. LOL!


  2. I like the size of the photos because you can see the details easily. Dad suggested that another picnic would be newsworthy indeed; also, a great way to promote the historical association of which you are a member. Well done! I say, Well done! Loved that you took china teacups. Did you have cucmber sandwiches with the crust removed and cut into quarter points?


  3. Oh…my….gosh!!! I am so in love with your seaside bustle gown!!! It is perfection! Sailor/seaside dresses are one of my passions, so when I see one that is so very well made, it makes my heart so very happy!! Your hat is quite splendid as well!
    Well done!


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