A few posts ago, when I introduced The First Picnic Of The Summer, I mentioned my involvement with other events that same weekend. It’s time to share pictures of another event from that weekend: an afternoon of music, dancing, and Model Ts at the Braintree Historical Society in Braintree, MA.
Let’s start with atmosphere: some Model Ts! Model Ts were produced between the years 1908 and 1927 by the Ford Motor Company. My grandfather worked for Ford years ago (though not on Model Ts!) and I have family members who still live in Michigan, so I feel a special connection to that part of car history. As far as I could observe, all of these Model Ts were still operational, drivable, and licensed to drive on the street! Neat!
The reason we were in attendance at this event was to do a few small dance performances. We did the same 20s dances that we performed at the Great Gatsby: the Charleston, Tango, Foxtrot, and One Step. I don’t have pictures of the performances… but in between performances we had time to wander amongst the Model Ts and have a picnic lunch.
Oh yes, and I wore a new 1926 dress and my all new American Duchess Gibsons! I also attempted some “make-do finger waves” in my hair. Basically, that means that I didn’t try for real finger waves… I just put some gel in my hair and used a fine tooth comb on the top bits. Since my hair has natural waves it just dried in a sort of wavy way and I put up the back in a low bun. I think it turned out pretty well, though, for not trying that hard!
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The dress was made because we needed day clothes for this event and my other two 20s evening dresses are not appropriate. As I mentioned in the post May Fabric Stash Additions when I shared this fabric, I wanted a cotton so it would be lightweight and washable… and this is what I wound up with. I thought it might be to sailor-y, but in the end I don’t think it is! I like that it’s a rather striking color and not something I would normally pick out for myself.
I didn’t use a pattern for the dress, I just sort of used my measurements and made it up while referencing a lot of 20s patterns in the COPA archive for skirt shape, mostly. The front and back bodice and sleeves are all one piece cut in the kimono style. It’s all french seamed and the skirt and sleeves are finished with hug snug. The waistband is a little messy on the inside, because I haven’t taken the time to finish it and because the sides were doing a weird thing I had to fix with a wonky side dart. But eh, no one will see the inside! I’m glad it’s done and I like the faked tie-collar.
The Gibsons are comfortable and cute. I like that the sole is a little thicker than on my Astorias, because it means the pointy toe shoe leather isn’t getting scratched while I walk (as it is on my Astorias). The toes are pretty pointy but they are starting to stretch to my foot shape, so that’s good.
The blue cotton is slightly sheer, so I made a cotton slip to wear under the dress to add opacity. It’s made of the same $1/yd white cotton that the trim on the dress is made of, so if it shows at the neck or elsewhere it just blends right in. I used the same measurements I used for the pink slip of my 1925 beaded dress. I was inspired by looking at 1920s patterns to add the curved panels on the side instead of having another straight slip.
As I said, in addition to looking at cars and dancing, we also had a picnic lunch.
One of the most exciting parts of the afternoon was when one kind gentleman asked if we would like to sit in his 1920s car! Of course we said “Yes!”