Month: July 2014

Summer Workshop

On Saturday, July 5th, a host of Gardiner’s Company and friends gathered at the Hamilton’s house on Pepper Alley for some sewing, some painting, some personal projects, a class on ‘falling bands’, and lots of delicious food. Sadly the motivation to do any actual skirmishing never appeared, but there was plenty of talking about fighting.

New tables were acquired for the Company’s use, and so several folks got to work painting them Bandes blue, and then applying one coat of varnish.

Edwin and Alan apply varnish
Edwin and Alan apply varnish to newly painted tables

More than a few bandesmen worked on some personal projects in the shade. Richard worked on weaving some new trim, Ester fingerloop braids new cords for shirt strings, and Eleanor works on some hand sewing on a new bodice, but also helped make a new doublet pattern for Robert, as well as helping Zeke with some pants.

Personal projects in the works
Personal projects in the works; sewing and weaving

Sadly, the larger of the resident beagles hurt his knee in all the excitement of visitors, so he was properly medicated and crated, but kept near Master Hamilton to ensure he remained quiet and as happy as possible. The girl beagle did her best to make everyone feel welcomed and shed upon, with a happy doggie grin and wiggly rear.

Beagles at rest
Beagles at rest

Isobel hosted a class on the falling band, a collar that was issued to all bandesmen in Gardiner’s Company to protect the necks of their doublets.

Typical workaday falling band
Typical workaday falling band

Isobel showed a variety of falling bands and cuffs, from the truly fancy bedecked with lace, to the simplest pleated of a rougher linen. She also demonstrated pulling threads to ensure a straight cut on the grain, as well as a precursor to making a neat drawn work hem.

Several types of falling bands
Several types of falling bands

She gave us a great ratio to figure out how to determine starting lengths of linen strips. Start by measuring the collar of a doublet from either side of the button placket, and add two inches for hems. This piece is for the neckband portion that will attach to the doublet collar, and should be roughly two inches wide. Take the neckband measurement and double that to determine the length of the collar fall, which ideally is about 4 inches wide. The fall can be narrower at around 2 inches, or much wider around 8 inches, depending on taste or fashion. The same ratio works for cuffs as well, if you choose.

Most importantly, we were exceptionally well fed. From a delicious lunch with sides and baked goods, to a grilled dinner, and decadent dessert. Once again, our cooks excelled in their jobs and we are fortunate in their company.

Zeke enjoys dessert
Zeke enjoys dessert

Fashion in Colonial Virginia

On Saturday, June 28th, Robert and Isobel, Christopher and Emma, and Alan and Jane descended on Jamestown Settlement’s Fort to volunteer for the day discussing fashion, clothing, and textiles to visitors, in addition to the history of the Fort.

The Governor’s new clothes were on display, one set laid out on the Governor’s bed as if prior to getting dressed, and the fine silk suit folded neatly in the clothes press.


Emma, Robert, and Isobel stage and interpret in the Parlor and Hall of the Governor’s house.

A few more pictures of the day are available on Flickr.