Saturday at the conference always starts with a presentation of the speakers new clothes. Carolann Schmitt provides each female presenter with a dress length of the same fabric and the men with fabric for a vest. Each presenter then creates a garment. This year's fabric was a stunning shear cotton and there were so many beautiful dresses. The men's vest fabric was a wonderful gold and it looked stunning with the dark frock coats.
The conference is divided into two tracks; one with more of a female interest and one with a more male interest. I attended the women's track so, unfortunately, I can't report on the men's tack. It sounded like such great sessions though. The Household in the 1860s covered topics such as architecture, systems & processes, and the rooms of the house. Nineteenth Century Money and Banking covered, well, money and banking. There was a session on selecting fabrics for men's clothing, and another on the rural architecture, landscape and technologies of the 1860s. I wish I could have been in two places at the same time!
The first session I attended was on the bloomer outfit. K. Krewer presented an entertaining history of the development of the suit and the women most often associated with it. Next Susan Hughes talked on the infamous slave code quilts. This was an extremely interesting talk, pretty much debunking the whole thing, but Susan also spoke on the attitude of the time toward slavery. After lunch Stacy Hampton spoke on hair combs of the 19th century and the Carolann Schmitt presented examples of different sheer accessories. So now of course I need a sheer something to wear :). Photos of the sessions and other things can be found here.
I visited the market place and bought a beautiful reproduction mourning broach, new undersleeve fabric and some bee's wax for sewing. Also spent most of the breaks looking at the originals on display.
Saturday evening everyone is invited to dress in their finest period wear for dinner. Also at this time the winners of the needlework competition are announced and door prizes are given. This year after dinner Michael Mescher had period games out for everyone to play. Carolann announced that next year, in celebration of the Schmitt's 10th year as hosts of the conference, there will be a ball on Saturday night. So I finally get to make the new ball gown!!
I didn't stay too long after dinner as Nancy and I had stayed up way too late the last few nights.