September 15, 2016

The Secret of the Sea - 1810s Photoshoot

All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...This past weekend was the Tall Ships Festival in Erie, PA and I had really hoped to go; however, life had other plans...So, a quick trip to the Irondequoit Bay on Lake Ontario made the perfect substitute!

In the weeks before the festival, I had planned out another dream Regency wardrobe - and on it were a new dotted dress and chemisette.  Worn over top my mid-century corset and strapped petticoat, the dotted dress features a gathered front and puffed sleeves.  Accessorized with the new chemisette, pale pink gloves and a reticule, I was seaside ready!

Of course, Maria, my sister and photographer, and I chose the only 90 degree day last week for the was extremely bright, harsh sunlight and very windy; but Maria, as usual, proved that she can overcome any obstacles with her camera! *All photographs courtesy of Maria M. - many, many thanks!* 

Completed Project Shots

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.

Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!

Most of all, the Spanish ballad
Haunts me oft, and tarries long,
Of the noble Count Arnaldos
And the sailor's mystic song.

Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,
With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;--

Telling how the Count Arnaldos,
With his hawk upon his hand,
Saw a fair and stately galley,
Steering onward to the land;--

How he heard the ancient helmsman
Chant a song so wild and clear,
That the sailing sea-bird slowly
Poised upon the mast to hear,

Till his soul was full of longing,
And he cried, with impulse strong,--
"Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
Teach me, too, that wondrous song!"

"Wouldst thou,"--so the helmsman answered,
"Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!"

In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze,
I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies;

Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

Poem is "The Secret of the Sea" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1850. Construction details to follow...thanks for reading!


  1. I love this dress and can't wait to read about its construction!

    1. Thank you, Kaela! Fingers crossed, the construction post will be posted early this coming week :)

  2. Oh my, what an absolutely gorgeous outfit!!!!!! This is by far one of my favorite regency dresses I've seen; the style is so pretty all on its own, and it also fits you absolutely perfectly. And, well, the dotted pattern *could* be a contributing factor as well. ;)
    So, so gorgeous, Anneliese!! Thanks for sharing! :) The pictures are perfection too - great location for them!!

    1. WOW, thank you, Esther!! All of your kind words are very much appreciated, especially coming from someone as talented as you! I think I might just smile the whole rest of the week now :) Oh, and I'm so happy to hear that you're a fan of dots too!