“It was 95 degrees & humid, but I’ve never been so comfortable in my life as in full Victorian dress including corset!”
The original costume was developed for Suzi Sellers, and is currently worn by Melissa for interpretation.
Experience designing, building, living, and working in this costume was the reason Silhouettes was created. Suzi was employed at a working 1880’s German dairy farm in northern Illinois as a docent & day camp teacher for children.
Under direction of anthropologists, all worked using authentic materials, bred animals, tools, plants, & buildings. They grew & harvested their own food; hitched & drove the team, and worked the potato patch – all in period costume.
Men & women worked alongside at the Volkening Heritage Farm & Spring Valley Prairie Restoration in Schaumburg, Illinois. Under the supervision of a team of anthropologists, they did the activities, cooked, ate, planted, harvested, stored, processed, bred animals, & managed the farm EXACTLY as it would have been on a dairy farm owned by German immigrants in 1885.
Suzi was in charge of weekend tours with visitors, and week day camps for children ages 7-14. In full Victorian costume, all male & female interpreters (playing their correct gender roles) and teachers grew, harvested, prepared, & served the food (while teaching) ON TIME (or the anthros would get upset).
They milked the cows, planted the seed, dug potatoes, mucked the barn, fed the stock, bred & birthed the stock, rotated grain in the bins, gathered eggs, gave tours in the prairie, sewed, made rugs, cleaned house, repaired buildings, drove the wagon, churned butter, blacked the stove, weeded the garden, gathered rose hips while the dew was still on them, & never figured out how the fox was getting into the henhouse – all in absolutely AUTHENTIC COSTUME FROM THE BUM UP.
All of this in 100 degree 90% humidity, & all had never been happier.
Continue to see the finished project below:
This ensemble included:
- 1-piece cotton day dress with standing collar, gathered sleeves, & pearl buttons
- kitchen apron with drop bib front
- ruffled petticoat
- (laced ankle boots, white cotton knee socks & pendant watch by others)
Fashion Show March 2018, Cody, Wyoming