December 29, 2017

A Winter's Walk - 1860s(ish) Photoshoot

The air is silent save where stirs
A bugling breeze among the firs;
The virgin world in white array
Waits for the bridegroom kiss of day.

It is - too cold outside!  But Maria, the sister and photographer, and I bundled up to brave the cold, on Christmas Eve no less.  A little ways away there's a lovely, family-owned and operated Christmas tree farm: the Freckleton's Tree Farm that we stopped by for a winter's walk and photographs.  We chatted with the owner and retired professor, Mr. Freckleton, for a good half hour, and he could not have been more friendly and kind.  He even sent us on our way with a recommended reading list.  So, if you live in the area, make sure to visit them next year to pick out your perfect Christmas tree!  

If you've been following us on Facebook, you may also be wondering about the other Christmas project that I had been working on...It's been placed on hold for now (perhaps 'till next December?), and, instead, I had fun pulling together this outfit from the closet.  It's a combination of mid-19th century and vintage items with a maybe-not-so-period skirt - the "ish" in the title - but was warm and oh so fun to twirl in.  Also, it gave me the opportunity to wear my 1860s sacque coat for the first time.  Made from a forest green wool with a fully quilted, silk interior, and trimmed with black silk bias strips, you can read all about the past project here: Forest Green Sacque Coat.  

The Inspiration 

I blame the hat and this picture entirely: 

Ice Skating Attire, from the Palmetto Soldiers Relief Society
(Image via: Pinterest)

As soon as I laid eyes on those furry hats, I knew exactly what I'd wear!  I paired the forest green sacque coat (hiding a white body or shirt that I made years ago and will never see the camera!) with two 18th-century style petticoats (red fabric? and brown linen).  These were worn over a mid-19th century chemise, striped stockings, drawers, corset, under-petticoat, large bum roll, and red, flannel petticoat for warmth.  Then, the vintage fur collar, hat and hatpin, gloves, and me-made muff completed the historical skating inspired look.  [Please note: this outfit was historically inspired, and not intended to be historically accurate]

Winter walking ready!

Here are several other images that served as inspiration:

Detail from a painting
(Image via: Ruby Lane Vintage, Pinterest)

Winter fantasy featured on the Dreamstress' "Rate the Dress"
(Image via: The Dreamstress)
You'll notice in several of the pictures later that I draped a brown scarf over my hat to match the ice skater on the left (above).  

Skating ensemble, c.1863–67
(Image source: The MET)

Someday I'd love to make a proper skating ensemble...

Central Park, Winter - The Skating Pond, c.1862
 Painting by Charles Parsons, Lithographed by Lyman W. Atwater
(Image source: The MET)

Completed Project Shots

A million thanks to Maria, my sister and photographer, for all her time and talents.  Without her, and her willingness to freeze with me, none of these photo shoots would be possible. *All photographs courtesy of Maria M.* 

The air is silent save where stirs
A bugling breeze among the firs;
The virgin world in white array
Waits for the bridegroom kiss of day;
All heaven blooms rarely in the east
Where skies are silvery and fleeced,
And o'er the orient hills made glad
The morning comes in wonder clad;
Oh, 'tis a time most fit to see
How beautiful the dawn can be!

Wide, sparkling fields snow-vestured lie
Beneath a blue, unshadowed sky;
A glistening splendor crowns the woods
And bosky, whistling solitudes;
In hemlock glen and reedy mere
The tang of frost is sharp and clear;
Life hath a jollity and zest,
A poignancy made manifest;
Laughter and courage have their way
At noontide of a winter's day.

Faint music rings in wold and dell,
The tinkling of a distant bell,
Where homestead lights with friendly glow
Glimmer across the drifted snow;
Beyond a valley dim and far
Lit by an occidental star,
Tall pines the marge of day beset
Like many a slender minaret,
Whence priest-like winds on crystal air
Summon the reverent world to prayer.

Poem is "A Winter Day" by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Bonus: Outtakes of me twirling around in the snow!

Happy Holidays! 


  1. What stunning photos of you! This post was a delight to read. I love how you and Maria captured the essence of LMM's poem with the costume and setting. The outfit certainly looks right for the Victorian era, just with narrow skirts.

    1. Thank you, Kaela!! I had hoped we'd do "A Winter Day" justice, because it is such a lovely poem!