Saturday. This is the first full day of presentations of the symposium and starts early. Breakfast Saturday and Sunday is included in the symposium fee. Saturday breakfast is the first time we get to see the faculty's dress and vests.
The first order of the day is basic housekeeping issues and then presentation of the symposium fabrics.
This is a long standing tradition with the event. Presenters are sent a length of the same fabric and asked to make a garment from it. It is always fun to see the different interpretations of the fabric. It is unknown how much longer this wonderful part of the symposium may continue as Carolann is finding it more difficult to find appropriate fabrics in the yardage quantities she needs.
After the fabric presentation and before the next sessions begin we get a break to go shopping and view the originals on display. Again, rather than posting all the originals here you can visit my Flicker page and see the pictures I took.
The presentations are on two separate tracks--one more female oriented and one more male. Thank goodness the workbook has the handouts for all the presentations as there were several on the "other" track that I was interested in.
The first presentation for me was Wrappers Redux and a Second Helping of Sheers by K. Krewer. I love K's presentations; she puts so much research into her talk and she is a great speaker. Her handouts are wonderful and full of illustrations. K examined wrappers and sheer dresses in great detail during the presentation.
The next presentation was Following the Drum: Regular Army Officers' Wives 1840-1870 by Kimberlee Bruce. Kimberlee was a new participant at the symposium and it was nice to hear more on army wives experiences; it's not something that is usually portrayed accurately at events.
Before lunch we heard from Colleen Formby Little Things Mean a Lot; a discussion on the little things that can make such a difference in a woman's dress such as buttons, garters, collars and cuffs. Colleen is a reference librarian and her handouts are full of great references.
After lunch we heard Cheyney McKnight's presentation In Their Lap: African American Slave Medicine. Cheyney was also a first timer at the symposium. She gave such a great presentation! Wonderful presenter and it was great to hear a topic addressing African American lives at the time. Cheyney discussed the health issues of slaves and how they were treated by the enslaved healers and white doctors on southern plantations.
The final presentation of the day was An Extreme Curiosity: Solo Women Travelers in the Mid-Nineteenth Century by Carolann Schmitt. Besides being a lovely and gracious woman, Carolann is a great presenter and researcher. Her topics are always well researched and presented with enthusiasm and peppered with great illustrations. This presentation focused on the mid-19th century solo travels of two women, Ida Laura Pfeiffer and Isabella Lucy Bird. These women didn't just travel to different cities or states, they traveled internationally at a time when few women traveled very far from home alone. I can't wait to read up on these ladies myself.
This was the end of the presentations for the day. We were now at our leisure to visit the exhibits, the marketplace and then get ready for the Fancy Dress party!