Harlots Inspired Levite, part 2


Waddup, my peasants???? SURPRISE! EARLY POST BECAUSE I CAN’T KEEP A SCHEDULE! WHEE! #noragrets #Iknowitwasmispelled


So I finished my Charlotte Wells inspired Levite on Friday with the completion of my velvet based on the hat dated from 1775-1790 (I would safely put it around 1780-90)



The weather for the Battle of Germantown was warm, but it was still just pleasant enough to wear my new levite gown and, needless to say, it shook some people to the core. It was BRIGHT! Honestly, I didn’t anticipate the fabric being this bright, but I was gonna roll with it since it was just plain fun to wear and I really honest to goodness enjoyed it– plus it probably got more than one stitch counter butthurt over it, which is a bonus.


It’s just a tiny bit bright

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RIP everyone who saw it in the sun

Yes, this levite was bright and drew a lot of attention, which was a great thing since I got to explain to people why I was there. No, I wasn’t the lady of the manor considering she would have evacuated a long time ago lest she get her gown reeking of black powder or shot, I was portraying an actress from Philadelphia. Since the battle of Germantown marked the beginning of the British occupation of Philadelphia and, if you read my previous post about concert life in America, the British brought culture with them and job opportunities for actresses like me who have been hit hard by the congressional ban on theatre in October of 1774. Portraying an actress is something I can relate to since I do theatre and have been in musical theatre multiple times in my life. Actresses had to not only perform and rehearse for long hours, they also had to work on sets and costumes and said costumes had to be at the height of fashion. Actresses like Fanny Abington had started out either in the mantuamaking industry or working for someone in the mantuamaking industry, so they were prone to becoming trend setters. Wealthier women came to actresses for style advice and, as you’ve read in my last post about levites, theatre costumes inspired everyday fashion. I like to see myself as someone who is big into fashion and maybe inspires others, so I’m naturally drawn to portraying an actress. The 18th century actress had to live, act, and do everything a lady did without the title behind her, which is more realistic than me just having wealth without explaining where it comes from.

Actresses of the late 18th century designed the costumes they wore and were allotted money in order to make them. Fanny Abington was given 500 pounds per year in costumes, but she occasionally went over budget because she was extra af.


So for my look at the Battle of Germantown, I was inspired by Charlotte Wells’ redingote, but I wanted the theatrical influence, so I went with a costume based dress from 1779. The fashion plate I used was from 1782 since I really loved her pose, in all honesty. The pattern I used was the Wingeo levite gown with a few alterations. The pattern was meant to be an overdress, but I wanted to do something more along the lines of the fashion plates, so I wound up adding long sleeves to it and extending the front a little through piecing. The pattern itself is strange since the directions are on the pattern pieces, but it was easy to figure out and frankenstein to my vision.


The hot pink is something that probably upset a lot of people since, ovbiously, everyone wore dull colors in the 18th century and I have to agree with you. I was so wrong.


I don’t know what I was thinking


I am so ashamed of myself


I am just so wrong on so many levels


I can’t find ONE source that shows hot pink in the late 18th century


Nothing to see here


Move along now


The pink is a myth… Like Sasquatch!


The color clearly never existed, I should just burn my new dress I worked so hard on. Shame on me

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I should just start doing laundry like a good little peasant sheep reenactor

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Now that you see that I was totally wrong with my color and gown choices, here are some photos from the event.

Me with Kim Walters and Krista Jasillo, two fancy af ladies who are some of the best people ever. Kim has a fantastic shop that sells FABULOUS 18th century jewelry that will leave a dent in your finances
I FINALLY got to meet up with my fellow lovely BIRB lady, Vicki Embrey
Photo by Bill Coughlin. I got to hang out with my friend Adrienne Ruth who is also a talented and fabulous historical seamstress. She was also smarter than me and opted to wear a splendid linen dress rather than silk in 80 degree weather
With my friends Robin, Krista, Adrienne, Aly, and random photobomber. You go, random photobomber, you go

Charlotte Wells would have approved of my wardrobe choices as well as my jewelry choices. I was wearing my Sign of the Gray Horse pearl earrings and necklace along with my 1780 peridot pendant, 18th century brooch, and 1770s shoe buckles. I’m crazy, so I like to wear my original jewelry pieces because if you don’t wear them, why do you have them? Jewelry is meant to be worn and loved, so I wear and love my original pieces. The metallic lace trim on the stomacher and sleeve cuffs comes from the 1910s and it’s just such a neat touch. All in all, I feel pretty confident in my research to wear something this obnoxious and if someone has a complaint about it, I can simply feed them to my bird. He likes fresh sacrifices.

Quetzalcoatl has been living it up in suburbia under the alias Buzzy and he is a good boy when appeased


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