19th Century Hairstyles

Nothing quite finishes off an outfit like a great hairstyle.  And when it comes to historical outfits and reenactments, like it or not, the right hairstyle is vital.  Nothing, in my opinion, ruins a lovely historical gown then a scrunchie and a messy bun.  I have seen it.  It bothers me.  You definitely do not need to create some elaborate design, but a proper bun or braid just makes such a difference!

In my experience, the length of hair really isn’t all that important, as there are many tricks and pieces to use.  In fact, I have shoulder length hair and have no trouble creating a passable 1850’s look.  Even those with short hair can use extensions, winglets, appropriate caps or nets etc. to help maintain authenticity.  While I have limited experience with the unique Apollo knot styles of the 1830’s, the majority of the styles from the 19th century can be recreated with a bit of practice.

Several years ago, I created a few tutorials for hairstyles.  They are linked below:

1860’s Braided Hairstyle

1860’s Twist with a Bun

How to Make a Hair Rat – The Modern Way

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Historical Winter Recipes

I love to bake…I even enjoy cooking dinners most nights of the week!  😉

However, when it comes to reenacting, I have had very limited experience, as I tend to focus and highlight sewing and fashion.  Over the summer, however, I was able to connect with the Foodways Historian at my local museum and just watch her in action.  While there is most definitely a method and way to cook over fire, it is also surprisingly simple.  Precaution must be taken when cooking near an open flame and when touching and handling the tools, but anyone who has a little knowledge of baking and cooking will see the similarities of modern and historical food preparation.

Today I have collected a few recipes perfect for cold, chilly days and the holiday season.   While these are unlike recipes we see today, I;m sure those of your who like a challenge and figuring out puzzles, will enjoy these 19th century recipes!

Scotch Short Cake Recipe: Leslie, Eliza. Miss Leslie’s Lady’s New Receipt book 3rd ed.

Philadelphia: A Hart. Late Carey &Hart. 1850


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My Favorite Things

Today I want to share with you a few of my favorite things that help make my sewing and reenacting just a little bit easier.  For the most part, these items are simple in nature, inexpensive and relatively easy to find.  But don’t let their simplistic nature fool you, all these are immeasurable in their usefulness!  I have also done my best to link each item mentioned.  I hope you enjoy!

PART ONE – My Favorite Sewing Things

  1.  Moldable Ruler
  2. Mary Ellen’s Best Press
  3. Fiskars Thread Snip Scissors
  4. Fiskars Sharpener
  5. Thimble
  6. Dritz Small Iron
  7. Wrist Pincushion

PART TWO – My Favorite Reenacting Things

1. . Basket

2. Notebook

3.  Stockings

4. Fleece Leggings

5. Quilted Petticoat

6. Shawl – I used this pattern.

7. Handwarmers


As I mentioned above, none of these items are all that fancy.  But I have found them to be true workhorses and my go to items.  As you begin to build your own sewing and reenacting tool kits, take note of what works and doesn’t work.  And while we always want to be as accurate as possible, sometimes a little modern cheat can make a difference between freezing or enjoying your event!