Abraham Lincoln Funeral: The Boy's Costume

In may here in Springfield Il, there is going to be reenactment of Lincoln's Funeral. The whole shebang with the calvary, and civilians. Some people are going to do it full on. Hand made costume, setting up tents, going full monty. (Not naked, mind you. Fully clothed full monty)

I am not that dedicated. I will hand sew hems til my fingers bleed but I can't seem to make myself buy twelve yards of really good cotton/wool/silk, when I have SO FREAKING MUCH POLY that would do the job perfectly. Im in the mindset that if it Looks like it could be accurate, its accurate enough. Part of that comes from my noncomformist streak, part comes from the beautiful fabrics I already have which are not 'technically period' and lastly, Im cheap. Seriously. I can make a gown just as easily from a duvet cover as brocade and I can almost certainly say no one will have a gown like mine.

(Not that they would WANT to, but still.)

So, I will be gowned appropriately (In my eyes) and have decided to garb my son as well. I gotta tell you, looking for kids photos from the Civil war era is HARD. Oh, not that they arn't there, oh there are TONS.

Just half of them are POST MORTEM.

Yeah, nothing worse then trying to judge seams when you can't see through the haze of tears because that is just a baby. It makes sense, to try and preserve the memory of a loved one, but my god is hard for a mother to look through. Anyway, at least I found this NOT POST MORTEM photo.

CDV Victorian Boy by C T Newcombe of London Lovely Lighting c1860s Photograph | eBay





I took this idea into making my son a costume. I used a Burda pattern as a base to keep my pieces the proper size, but cut... well, creatively.

Heres a selection of photographs as I went through and made this costume


Originally it was this nice, inoffensive beige scratchy wool like fabric. I can't even begin to guess what kind of fabric it is lol. I wanted something a bit more sombre, so I thought about dying it. 

There is actually a TON of research and historical accuracy about dying clothes in civil war era. When it was too expensive to make all new wardrobes for the mourners, they through original outfits into dye-bins and made them black. I used a cheap dye kit from Walmart and dyed the whole thing. I know, I know. Your supposed to dye just a bit to see if it'll work, but heck if I can't even make a muslin Im sure as heck not waiting to dye something! Anyway, it turned out better than I hoped: 



This really nice dark grey, pebbled fabric. Somber and still not as stark and pure black. Yay! 



Then after this point it was mostly hand work. Hemming, button holes, and such. 











I plan on getting a slouchy hat and black boots but after that, he's all done!

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