Reenacting and Female Impressions

Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
1
#1
Hey all!
I'm new to the reenacting scene and I thought I might give it a go. My school has a reenacting club and I'm looking to do an impression of the average young woman during the civil war specifically from the Confederacy and I'm also considering doing a nurse impression. How should I start? What should I do?
Thanks!
-Anna from Baltimore
 

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captaindrew

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
5,496
Location
West Palm Beach Florida
#2
Welcome Anna, from South Florida and the Reenactors forum. The best way to get started is get out to a few of your local events and get to know some of the reenactors in your area and go from there. There are several lady reenactors on here that can probably help with some pointers on your impression, paging @Belle Montgomery @Equestriangirl93 @grace @Mrs. V and you'll find plenty of good info in the Reenactors forum.
 

grace

Sergeant
Joined
May 5, 2018
Messages
594
Location
Crossroads of America
#5
Welcome! O, where to start...

I guess what I'd say right now is don't buy anything without a mentor's advice.

Please don't. You can spend a lot of money really fast here. I was blessed to receive the contents of another reenactress' wardrobe for free, but that's uncommon.

I wish you the very best of luck! Feel free to message me as well if you would like to!

grace
 

unicornforge

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
1,525
Location
Near Gettysburg, PA
#6
There is a reenactment at the Carroll Country Farm Museum in Westminster Maryland on May 4th from 9am till 4pm. My humble advise is to come to the event. If past events are an indication, there will hopefully be a tent of people doing a medical impression that you may talk to. .... My advise is to go to living history events and talk to people doing medical impressions so that you can find a group that you feel comfortable with, and who will provide guidance in creating your impression. ... If you call the Carroll Country Farm Museum you may acquire some contact information to be able to talk to someone prior to the event who is participating in the medical impression about borrowing some clothing and trying out an impression prior to purchasing a lot of expensive clothing and materials. http://carrollcountyfarmmuseum.org/event/civil-war-living-history-reenactment-5/?instance_id=792
 

Mrs. V

First Sergeant
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
1,401
#8
Hello and welcome! I would suggest that you start small...your small clothes(underpinnings). You will never regret getting a decent corset, drawers and chemise. And yes, you can cheat by using a cotton nighty..I’d also suggest that you get a work dress. Buy used where you can. If your hair is long enough, part it down the center and put it into a bun. I’ve seen crochet doiles used as bun covers. Keep it simple until you know where your impression is going. And have fun.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
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#12
Welcome Anna!!! Remember the "average" woman from the Confederacy is anything but "average!" but very brave and tough considering all they went through!
You could be anything from a "farm girl" to a young society lady and many of these were great "smugglers" of goods for their men in grey as well! Obviously it's cheaper to be a farmgirl regarding costuming. Many female Confederate diaries out there to consume to hear first hand like Brokeburn etc. The more into the war even the wealthy women were even sewing patches on their wardrobes because of the blockade so you can choose to be from the beginning or near the end or whenever. You're limited by your imagination but please do your research so you can appear authentic to anyone who approaches you at an event so they can learn correctly. . Check out PBS' "Mercy Street" for learning about nurses...they did a lot of research for that series!
The basics are the fabrics they wore were are all "natural" like cotton, wool , silk etc....NO polyester unless you want to be accused of being a farb! However I do know a "mourner" who wears it but it passes for "silk" however remember natural fabrics "breathe" so you won't feel clammy as you sweat on a hot summer day. Just as important are the "Underpinnings" which you can make yourself or even buy from Etsy (Treadle Treasures) or Ebay .
You can pick a lady out of CW history or create your own persona! These ladies all run the gamut! Don't be afraid to "evolve" or change personas either...as you know everyone gets better with practice. Beware some FB reenactment pages can be nasty so join at your own risk.
Don't be afraid to just "show up" dressed at an event and observe/converse with the others. They won't stop you at the entrance if your dressed up. The general public wants to see characters when they attend so simply even being just period "eye candy'" at them is a plus. The good news is as a female it is not mandatory to belong to a unit. Don't forget however there may be a few "mean" girls (yes they're everywhere nowadays) but ignore them and keep doing what you're doing!
I'll be here if you have any questions!
Most importantly have fun entering your time travel machine especially knowing your helping preserve American history!
Many books can be bought used on Amazon or visit the library and even You Tube has an array of CW women photos and videos:


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Last edited:

Polloco

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Messages
1,380
Location
South Texas
#13
Howdy and Welcome from Texas ! Really did enjoy the photos.I wish I had gotten into reenating when I was younger now I feel its too late.
 



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