Life is such a very interesting thing, one can make such a seemingly small choice, and yet it will set into motion a chain of events, far beyond anything you could possibly imagine. It was just such an interesting chain, that led to my making 18th century clothes, for the 4th great grandson of Daniel Boone.
It is much too lengthy a story, to go into here, but suffice to say, it was all because of great grandma Anne Scearce's sister, Mary Hannah Krout, and her book, Hawaii and A Revolution. Through information in this book, I became acquainted with him, and found we both shared a love of history, and in particular, that of the 18th century America, when revolution was rife, and the frontier was wild.
To make a long story short, he is a living historian, who travels to Kentucky and Virginia, each year, representing his 4th grt. grandfather, Daniel Boone, at Boonesborough, and Martins Station. I was honored to make, entirely by hand, linen garments for him to wear, on these upcoming events.
This is the first shirt I made. It is dyed indigo blue, and is long almost to the knee. This is a typical shirt, that would have been worn, by the Long Hunters, in the 1760's. I took my design, from a shirt that Boone, already had, and using other old museum pieces as reference, I slightly modified the design, to better reflect the actual methods, used by tailors, on the frontier. No sewing machine stitches, just one hand sewn stitch after another.
This lightweight, linen, fringed coat, was my next project. It was made much the same as the indigo shirt, but was open down the center. That fringed cape, was a very good challenge. As anyone who sews knows, fringe does not go naturally in a curve. That crazy cape, took the better part of a day to fringe, and I can say, I have no wish, to ever do another one. In the end however, it was well worth the effort, because it came out perfectly.
While I was making the caped coat, Boone had been busy, preparing a veritable stew pot of walnut dye, using an old fashioned gas burner, and an old canning kettle. Into this went the coat one day, and out it came, this lovely brown. No scout worth his salt, would have worn a white linen coat, into the savage infested forest of those days. So we turned that coat quickly into a garment, that would blend into the shadows.
Along with these two shirts, I also made him, a checked scarf, some linen bags, linen market wallet, a breechclout of blue wool, blue garters, and a waterproof cloth pistol bag. All of which had their own challenges, but were loads of fun.
If you want to see more wonderful pictures of Boone in action, Google, The Raid on Martins Station. There are some nice pictures, of all of the great folks there. I am hoping he gets some good friend, to take his picture, while there this year.
When you see him, with his Kentucky Long Rifle in hand, he looks just like he stepped out of a page in history. Even the tatoo on his right wrist, is just like the one the Indians put, on the wrist of Daniel Boone.