Hot! My 1770s Campfollower Impression is Complete!

I finally completed my Revolutionary War campfollower impression this weekend while Marc and I were at Rock Ford Plantation.  I bought a cheap checked apron, which was the last crucial piece of my impression, and then promptly got it completely filthy.

I will be making a new petticoat or two, as it turns out that my stays don’t actually make my waist smaller, they make it bigger!  I managed to jerry-rig my petticoats to last through the weekend, but I need at least one new one that is larger to act as my under-petticoat.  I also need to hem ALL my linen petticoats (and the new apron) to be about 3-4 inches shorter.

I also need to get cracking on my bedgown, as I need a garment that can be worn without stays in a pinch, so that I don’t have to get completely dressed first thing in the morning and so that if I need to remove my stays due to heat issues, I’m not stuck in my shift in camp.

My shift held up very well, as did the secondhand short jacket that I bought on the cheap from Angela Burnley a few weeks ago at the Fort Frederick Market Fair.  My stays performed wonderfully, though I definitely do need straps for them and I may need to shorten the back a little bit.  They were warm, but thanks to their stiffness, I can actually squeeze them off my back for a few minutes at a time, which helps a lot.  They got a good sweat soaking this weekend though, and are already starting to conform to my shape.

All in all, I’m very happy with the impression, and I can’t wait until it gets a little bit more worn-in!  What do you think?


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  1. I think you look great! I saw you on saturday am in the dragoon camp but I was wrangling our young bowmen.

  2. You look terrific! For being the first time in your own kit, I’m very impressed!

  3. Looking good! Stays are hot…there’s just no way around it 🙂 But a bedgown is a great idea for just-in-case it’s too hot–safety first!

    Just wondering–how do your petticoats fasten? I make mine with ties that can be adjusted–is there a way to finagle yours so that they can adjust to the larger waist size from stays (totally common issue, BTW!).

    I love your kerchief–printed kerchiefs are the best accessories!

    • Stays are hot, and leather ones are even worse because they don’t really breathe much! I want the bedgown even without that issue though, as it’s much more appropriate for my impression than the shortgown I currently have.

      One of them fastens with ties, the other with a button. The issue isn’t so much the fasteners as that when I do fasten them, they show about 4-5 inches of shift on either side! I just need to make some that are bigger.

      I love that kerchief too – it’s from Silly Sisters!

  4. Very dirty and I love it! I think that us camp ladies need to be more dirty. It’s so hard to get those lovely linen items that we spend so much time sewing up filthy, but we need to do it. I love it top to bottom, now I MUST get myself a printed kerchief, it adds the perfect touch to your impression!

    • Oh, it’s not hard for me! I love being dirty. When I got that apron, the first thing I did was to go find a mud puddle and kneel in it!

      Yes, I love that kerchief too – it’s from Silly Sisters.

  5. Love this! You look great– good job with the lacing rings/kerchief tuck. And wearing leather is like wearing a shoe…. Ewww.

    Looks to me like you need The Laundress at your next event. ;-P

    • Yes, the leather is hot, but it’s more comfortable than you’d think.

      Actually, I love being dirty! I’m working on trying to give everything a more worn look.

  6. I saw you several times, i was happy to see a few dirty followers. Not long ago saw women cooking in silk gowns. Looked so outof place, odd. I was weafinv my gunner kit and was with Continental artillery. Would have spoke if I had known it was your first Rev War event. So hard to meet new friends from “the other side”

    • That was actually far from my first Rev War event! I did 18th century for seven years before I moved to other periods. This is just the first time I’ve done Rev War in my own kit in a few years.

      But yes, say hi next time!

  7. I had a friend who had buckskin breeches. Said they were very comfortable the first day, but like crawling into a wet snot the next day. Put me off them. Love your articles,mkeep up the excellent work.

  8. This is awesome! I think I’ll have to put together one like this for when I’m actually in camp. My demo is spinning with my mom and mother in law knitting and weaving and talking about dyes so i try to be a little cleaner 😉 but the kids would be this dirty so i think I’ll send them off to play in the mud too! Thank you!