Celebrating Canada 150 in 1867 Fashion(s)

I’m posting about this project in a backwards manner, showing you the finished ensemble being worn before the construction post(s) – and before I’ve finished with the Raspberry Mint Sorbet. But I wanted to get this up as close after the July 1 weekend as possible, and so you get the good stuff first!

So, as you may have guessed from the title of this post this year Canada celebrated its 150th “birthday,” maybe not such a big deal as a centennial or bicentennial, etc but still significant for us as quite a young country; plus, I wasn’t around for the centennial and will have to live to nearly 90 to see the bicentennial, so I’ll take it!

For the occasion a few friends around Ottawa and I decided to make historical dresses inspired by the year of Canada’s confederation, 1867, and get up to some shenanigans around the capitol over the holiday weekend. We initially intended to have picnics throughout the weekend but the weather ended up being just about as un-co-operative as could be and rained heavily, thundered and lighteninged most of the time. So we had to make some hasty re-arrangements and I’m quite pleased with what we managed to throw together last minute. I also actually quite like that we ended up doing something different each of the 3 days.

For the Friday we found a teahouse to accommodate the 4 of us who could make it (Me, Sarah, Liz, Catherine):

And there were mimosas – which didn’t last all that long ;o)

This is what we were dealing with weather-wise:

However, Sarah and I had arrived early and before the rain started for the day and I got a couple nice shots of my ensemble:

Because I find 1840s-1860s fashion such a snooze-fest overall (with a few exceptions here and there) I decided to push my dress more towards 1868 and the very beginnings of the bustle (much more up my alley)

For Saturday (July 1) Catherine very kindly agreed to host all of us at her house, and we gained an addition to our party, Anne-Marie, who came down from Montreal:

We managed a pretty good spread for being so last minute, and the table looked lovely set with an antique Battenberg lace cloth of Catherine’s:

And there was champagne! (because, of course there was)

The weather finally gave us a break for a few hours on Sunday and we finally got in a picnic, at a garden of the Central Experimental Farms and it was great!

We also gained yet another addition to our party, the ever-lovely Edith – whose dress wonderfully nearly matched the lining of her picnic basket!

So happy to be finally outside!

Slight parasol mishap

Anne-Marie was with us, too but had experienced an unfortunate accident with her marvellous dress the evening before (a sleeve got badly torn) so she came in civvies and very kindly did a lot of the bending for us!


So meta but good shots of my hair, of which I’m really quite proud. I’m still very very new to wig styling/dressing so I was really pleased with just how well this turned out and how stable it was on my head!


And I made the oh-so-wise decision to climb a tree in my get-up – and there wasn’t even any alcohol involved!

So despite the difficult weather I think we all had a really fun weekend, I got to wear my new dress lots and I made 3 wonderful new friends who I hope I’ll get to see much more of after we move back to the “True North Strong and Free” next summer!

Happy 150th Dominion Day Canada!

8 thoughts on “Celebrating Canada 150 in 1867 Fashion(s)

  1. It looks like you had a lovely time, despite the weather. You also all look wonderful in your red and white! I must say I’m a bit jealous of your national colors, in the Netherlands we just get bright orange… And despite having commented this on your Instagram before; I really love how your dress turned out, it’s stunning!


  2. Love all the red and white! Your new dress looks gorgeous! Early bustle is such a great era. Looks like a marvelous weekend!


  3. You all look fabulous! I’m so impressed with each creation and dead jealous of the fun y’all had! I hope I get to meet you before you leave Washington.


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