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Preview: The Lady of Portland House

The Lady of Portland House

Updated: 2018-03-05T23:00:05.925-08:00


Lady Georgiana's Closet


Hello All,

I know it has been ages since I have posted. Life seems to take over very quickly these days. I do have some news, though. I have decided to post some of my vintage and costume items on Esty. Enjoy :)

Lady Georgiana's Closet

An Afternoon Picnic at the Crown and Book


A few weeks ago we were treated to a lovely picnic at the Crown and Book, hosted by the most generous Paul McClintock. A glorious time was had by all. The bindery shop, at the sign of the Crown and Book owned by Mr. McClintock. The beautiful spread! Mr. McClintock provided all of the arrangements and delicacies for the day. The main himself! There were many diversions. It was a small gathering, but the company was lovely. At the end of they day I spent some quality time with my girl, Aspen. [...]

Colonial Williamsburg Part II


Ok, yes, I know… I’ve been a terrible blogger. Those of you who follow me on facebook know many of the reasons. The top reason has been Mr. Bob, my horse. He’s in full time training and between him and the business my time has been limited. Anyway, I finally got around to writing about the rest of the trip to CW. Here are the photos… Enjoy! There was SHOPPING…. Lots and lots of shopping! We also had a great opportunity for experimental archeology. The weather did not exactly cooperate the entire trip. We had sun, snow, sleet, rain, freezing temps, then sun again. This, of course, taught me what I need to add to my wardrobe to winterize it. More on that later. We had a lovely tavern night with new friends. And the highlight of the trip for me was the last day. My wonderful husband gifted me an extra day and so we strolled on the sunny streets of Colonial Williamsburg, took a carriage ride, and had a private tour of the stables. In short, the trip was absolutely magical! We also had a private photo shoot at Bacon’s Castle with the lovely Lauren, from American Duchess. Hop on over to her blog post to see the photos… On Location at Bacon's Castle - Journey to the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries   And finally, I have some exciting news coming up with regards to this blog. I am working on rebranding myself and working on my workshop at home. More on that later too. [...]

Colonial Williamsburg March 2014 Part 1


Wow! Where to begin? Williamsburg was absolutely amazing, magical, and I cannot wait to go back. I spent a wonderful week with some of my favorite ladies and met a number of lovely people. I hit the ground running and joined Abby, of Stay-in Alive, in the millinery shop Saturday morning. It was wonderful to meet the ladies that work in the shop and see their stunning creations! (Photo by Lauren of American Duchess) Lauren and Maggie arrived later Saturday afternoon and I hoofed it back to the house to round them up and drag them, willingly, all over Williamsburg. I look rather disheveled, but this was taken after I had walked a good 5 miles that day. The next morning we woke up early and dressed for our day in Jamestown for the Military Through the Ages event. Jamestown was a lovely experience! The sights, smells, and interpreters were wonderful. I wish we had more time to spend meandering the grounds and seeing the sites. The ever lovely, American Duchess Lauren The surgeon showing explaining his trade. No trip is complete without making chicken friends. (Photo by Lauren of American Duchess) (Photo by Lauren of American Duchess) Then this happened…. Yes, we met Napoleon while shopping! Doesn’t get much better than this…   Stay tuned for Part 2 [...]

A Hat and a Reticule


Hello All,    I have returned from Williamsburg and I am slowly sorted through my pictures. It was absolutely AMAZING; words cannot describe how wonderful the trip was. I will be posting pictures and stories soon, I promise. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the final projects I completed right before I left for CW. Enjoy! Attr. to John Hoppner, Portrait of a lady, ca.1785-1786, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne While doing research on 18th century hats, I stumbled across this beauty! I decided I must have this hat in my wardrobe. I am very pleased with the result! I jokingly refer to it as the hat of doom. The second project was a simple embroidered reticule. My older reticules have definitely seen better days. I’m very happy with the results and it held up beautifully during my trip. I promise to have pictures and more on the trip soon. God Bless!!! Love Lauren [...]

Blue Spencer, Remaking a Spencer I Never was Happy With


Some years ago I made this spencer. This particular photo was after I had altered once. This is one of those projects that I was never completely satisfied with. The spencer always had fitting issues around the neck and the sleeves never quite fit right. Not to mention as soon as I hit 27, certain areas in the chestal region decided to expand, joys! So, I started taking this piece apart about 2 years ago with plans to fix it and change it into something else. Ahh, the early days… please ignore Aaron’s boots, and the ill fitting frock coat… and.. well… pretty much everything he is wearing. Eeek! We all have skeletons in our reenacting closets, right! (Ok, I’m hard on myself, but I’m a perfectionist who is always trying to learn more and hone the craft.)Anywhoo… back to the point of all of this. About six months ago I found this lovely miniature. I decided my old, worn out, seen better days, ill fitting spencer might be able to have new life. Here’s the starting point, well the semi starting point, after removing the sleeves. As you may be able to see in the picture, the arms eye sits too far back and digs into my arm. I HATE it when clothing digs into me, especially when I try to move my arms forward. So, that had to be fixed. The other issues was the wrinkling of the bodice when I would close the front. The darts did not sit in the right spot and somehow needed to be moved. So, I sat and thought for a day or so, and looked at it. Yup, I need my sit, think, and stare time. During my sit and think time, I made my way to one of our local antique stores and found this lovely trim. It was perfect for this project and it’s vintage silver! After fussing with things for a few hours, I decided to add a side piece under each arm. I somehow forgot to get a picture, but it’s really not that exciting. Anyway, that did the trick! It put everything in the correct spot. I also added boning to the front of the bodice on both sides and metal eyes on the inner edge to lace the bodice closed, like the painting shows. After a day, or so, of mounting the trim, we now have a finished bodice. Again, not the best of pictures, but at least you get the idea of the fit. I’m  much, much happier with this incarnation of the spencer. The fitting issues are fixed and I love the result![...]

Another Round Gown… Really, Can One Have Too Many?


This gown was one of those projects that I needed after the Riding Habit of doom. It was easy, it had no issues, and it only took me 12 hours to make. Yes, it is possible to hand sew a gown and sew it  well, without cutting corners in that amount of time. Anyway, here are the pictures. Enjoy!
(image) The fabric.
The inspiration. I decided to make it more simple than the original gown. I may go back and add the piping on the bodice later on. 

Everyone needs a helper pet when hemming gowns.

Riding Habit Jacket/ Spencer That Almost Killed Me!


So, the ladies and I decided we needed to do some sort of riding habit day while we are in Williamsburg. I had started this habit a few years ago, about the time I started getting into horses. Anyway, after a move and buying a business, the habit fell to the sidelines waiting for the perfect event to make its debut. I had already drafted the pattern and cut the original pieces out when we lived in Portland. I was never quite happy with the fit and decided it was time to readdress those issues this time around. Angel, aka Mrs. Cartwright, had made these lovely buttons to go with the riding habit as well. The colors are perfect! After a few hours of fussing with the fit, I felt I had tackled the major issues…. This, of course, would prove not to be the case as the project progressed. This was one of those sewing projects that caused frustration from day one! The sewing gods were not in my favor and it was annoying. I decided to line the lapels and the cuffs in blue silk to match the blue in the buttons. The hat I plan to wear with it has the blue and green as well. Now take a good look at the shoulders… notice anything strange? Well, I didn’t until AFTER I put the sleeves on. If you said the shoulders look short, you’d be right! I have no clue how I could have missed that very important detail, but I did. Yay me! Anyway, more on that later. The time to construct the collar had come. Pad stitching has to be one of my least favorite parts of tailoring. It takes FOREVER and it feels like you haven’t accomplished a whole lot by the end. Yet, it is one of the most important shaping tools in the bag of tricks. I also decided to line the inside of the collar in the blue silk to match the lapels. At this point I had finished the collar and started attaching the sleeves. Then I did a fitting…. Yeah, the sleeves pulled the collar out of alignment and did not fit right. So, I added a shoulder strap on top of the shoulder. I did a lot of research before I decided to add this crucial piece to extend the shoulder. Since the 18th century was chock full of pieced gowns, spencers, jackets, ect, I decided it would be ok to have this piece. Yes, I am that particular! This time it worked! The shoulder straps allowed the sleeves to sit in a correct position at the shoulder seam. Mind you this was after a few dates with the seam ripper and ever mounting frustrations! It’s projects like this that keep me humble, that’s for sure. Finally it was time to start on the cuffs. This part went surprisingly fast and was fairly easy. I decided to keep the stitches red like I did on the lapels and the collar. Finally! Success! Now it was time to attempt the skirt. I, wrongfully, assumed this part would be a breeze, no issues, ect. Well, as I mentioned before this was one of those projects. I discovered something about my body…. Long peplums and same colored skirts do not work on my body…. AT ALL! So after two days of fighting with the skirt trying to figure out why my already hefty derriere looked like a moose had taken up residence under the skirt, I decided to call it quits. An Amazonian dress, 1797, Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection Costume Parisien, an 8 (1799-1800) I researched once again and rediscovered these fashion plates/ cartoons that I had forgotten about. Perfect! I can wear it as a spencer over one of my numerous voile gowns!   And the results…. I know not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.  So, the riding habit that almost defeated me has been bested and checked off the list of “Items to Make for Williamsburg.” [...]

To Williamsburg We Go!



This is going to be old news to many of you, I’m sure, but I am finally heading to Williamsburg! I was invited to attend the Millinery Through Time convention and my dear husband is sending me for my 30th birthday (Scary I can’t believe I’m going to be 30!). It will be quite the reunion for myself, Lauren of American Duchess, Maggie of Serendipitous Stitchery, Samantha of Couture Courtesan, and the most hospitable friend who is opening up her home for us, Abby of Stayin’ Alive! I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and extremely excited. Although, I’m not sure if Williamsburg is ready for our descent.

As a result, I have been sewing like crazy! I’m still not quite finished with everything I need to make for the trip, but I have made some progress. Over the next few posts I will show you what I’ve been up to. So stay tuned!

The Past Few Months in Animal Pictures


So, those of you who follow me on Facebook have seen many of these pictures before. The past few months have been filled with our animals and our business. So, here is a little slice of our life at the Fort. Enjoy!   In January we adopted this little guy and named him Dexter. He is the sweetest dog and is in love with Aaron!  He is also growing like a weed! He just passed his 1st birthday in November and he hasn’t stopped growing!. Dr. Who Monty Then in July we brought home these adorable snuggle bunnies! I had no idea how much fun rabbits are and these kids have us completely wrapped around their fingers! Of course, they are now 8 months old, and  a bit larger. I jokingly refer to them as the “kitchen staff” because they live in our kitchen. The animal count was now at 13….. But who can stop there, right! Alice A good friend of ours is moving to India and asked if we would take his female bunny for him. We introduced her to the boys, and after a few weeks the three of them are inseparable. This winter has been rather cold for us and we had a few days with quite a bit of snow. Bob and Aspen had a very good time playing in the white powder. Bob being Bob! My sweet Aspen is still showing us her personality day by day. She was so badly abused in her previous homes that she has flash backs and I have to remind her that she’s not going to be beaten by me. She has made amazing progress in the year we have had her and I love my girl! The girls have not been fans of this cold winter. They still believe that I control the weather and protest when it freezes, event though they have an outdoor heating pad in their coop on the harsher days.   Gico is still Gico! He’s a crotchety parrot who loves me and Aaron and pretty much hates the rest of the world. He loves to make sure the dogs are in check, especially Dexter. Max and Leila are getting older and older. Max is really starting to slow down and his arthritis worsens with each passing year. But he still has some spunk and likes to run around and play. Last, but certainly not least, is our Chloe cat! It’s hard to believe we have had her for nearly two years. She’s a very happy indoor/ outdoor girl and loves living in the country. Our animals are our joy and they keep us sooo very and happily busy! God Bless! Love Lauren P.S. Stay tuned for a rather large post about an exciting upcoming trip! [...]

The Wedding Gown


So, it is no secret in the reenacting world that a certain Ms. M married a certain Mr. R , of HMS Acasta fame, some weeks back. The project that has consumed most of my year was her ball gown for her wedding ball. Miss Waterman, aka Cousin Emily, allowed me to make her ball gown as a gift for my dear friend.  Now that the wedding has concluded and the official pictures have been released, I can finally show you what she and I created. One of the main reasons we brought her to the fort was to begin the fittings for the gown. She wanted something from 1812/13, simple, and elegant. A few months later we started to have a wedding gown taking shape. The cotton lace trim is a reproduction from France. Ms M did the trimming and final bits of the gown. And the lovely Mrs. McCarty helped me with hemming the gown the night before the wedding. The happy couple and the final result. These photo were taken by the lovely Lauren of American Duchess.   *Note: all pictures were posted with permission from the bride. Please do not repost. [...]

Projects 2013


So I have still been working on projects, even though I haven’t been posting. Here’s the list so far this year. Red wool cloak, based on the 18th century extant example in Costume Close Up.   Two pairs of corded stays. I decided to give them a whirl. They are perfect for outdoor activities. Although they are a bit too casual for evening. It was that time again… time to remake my white muslin gowns. They last about 2-3 years, if I’m lucky. The old ones were ratty and had definitely seen better days. The pleated open robe of doom! I loved making this robe and I’m quite pleased with the pleats. A silk metallic organza open robe with antique silver trim worn for a very special occasion… More on that in the near future. And finally, a waistcoat, banyan, breeches, and shirt for my dad. My parents came to visit us a few weeks ago and attending a card party with us in kit. There will be more on that later as well. Well, that’s all for now. There will be more posts coming in the near future. Enjoy and God Bless!!! Love Lauren [...]

My Dear Cousin Emily Visits the Fort… Part 2


My dear Cousin Emily, spent much of the evening after our tea party catching up on her writing while I prepared the household for bed. The next day was going to be rather busy with the delights of equestrian pursuits. We started the next morning with feeding the horses. I have always enjoyed feeding them and grooming them and prefer to do so on a daily basis. The we took to the saddle and rode through our estate. It was wonderful to show my dear cousin the lay of the land and introduce her to friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, my cousin took a fall from my mare, Aspen, and her injury ended our ride rather abruptly. Fortunately nothing was broken, however, my cousin was ordered to keep the injured shoulder in a sling. My dear sweet Aspen felt terrible that her rider fell and she was very affectionate to Emily. My Bob was his usual happy and sweet self. Later that afternoon, my cousin and I decided to explore one of the nearby islands that had recently been discovered by Cpt Vancouver during his voyage on the HMS Discovery. We planed to meet another dear friend, a bookbinder Mr. McClintock, who resides on the island. The ferry ride to the island proved very cold and windy. My dear cousin, being from the county of Tennessee, was not used to our cold Oregon Territory weather. We arrived at the island safely and proceeded to explore the villages in the area, slowly making our way to our friend’s village. Exploring the small village of Coupeville At sunset, we ventured to Deception Pass to see the place where Cpt Vancouver sailed only a few years earlier. That evening we met our friend, Mr. McClintock at a local Tavern for some fine food and the best drink on the island. To my surprise, there were a group of musicians performing that evening. A little birdy told them about my signing, and they asked me to perform on the spot. That evening we made our way back to the fort, happy and exhausted. My cousin’s visit was truly a wonderful time for all. [...]

I’m Back!


Yes, after a very long hiatus I am back to my little blog. Things have been crazy busy, but I have many things to share in my upcoming posts. I have some long overdue posts coming, so stay tuned and be prepared for bombardment! Enjoy!



So much has happened since my last post it is hard to talk about everything. But, long story short, I'm starting a new career as Aaron's dental assistant. I've passed my little exam and I'm waiting for the state to approve my licence. So, this lady is going back to work for a time to help support hubby in his practice.  Which means I'm going to be MIA for a long time as I work along side my husband. As one dear friend put it, the only thing that could coax back to work is my sweet hubby. That's the truth!

As you can see the whole family gets involved, well at least the pups do :)

My Dear Cousin Emily Visits the Fort… Part 1


A mere week ago my dear Cousin Emily came to visit me. I was so delighted to finally see my dear cousin, as it had been nearly a year and a half since last we met. It was a one of the best times that we have ever spent together. As many of you know, my dear cousin is due to wed the Doctor this coming October and I had planned to help procure some her wedding clothes, thus the reason for her visit. The Fort quickly became a flurry of activity as ladies from the surrounding Oregon Country came to see my cousin. I dare say, she did not know how much joy her visit brought. On Sunday last, we gathered to have tea at a lovely home a few hours south of the Fort. Miss Waterman and Mrs. Cartwright Miss Waterman and Lady Jersey, aka Mrs. Azevedo My young neighbor, Miss Jenna, joined us for her first outing since coming out into society. She spent countless hours sewing her gown or the occasion. Miss Jenna, Mr. Forest, and Miss Waterman My Cousin and Me Miss Jenna and Me Miss Waterman seizes a quiet moment to read the letter from her dear Doctor  That evening we departed for the Fort for some much needed rest. This gave Miss Waterman and Miss Jenna a chance to catch up on their letter writing and enjoy a cup of tea. The next few days would prove to be busy and quite adventurous. [...]

12th Night


Hello Dear Friends, I have been shamefully overdue in the blogging department. However, I assure you that life has been rather busy and I have hardly been on the computer lately. Anyway, on Saturday last, we invited members from our local Regency Society to our home for a celebration of 12th Night. The night was magical and it was lovely to open our home up to our friends. Here are some of the best pictures of the evening. Enjoy! This will be a long post with lots of pictures :D The spread shortly before the guests arrived. Mrs. Gawne Mrs. Sprague Mr. and Mrs. Sprague Mrs. Haring Mr. Haring Ms. Slover Mrs. Hafner-Laney Miss Colt Mrs. Gentry Mrs. Azvedo Mrs. Cartwright Cpt. Cartwright My handsome Sir Thomas Yours truly Us [...]

Finally Getting Settled


We are finally settling in to our new routines here at the Fort. It’s amazingly beautiful here and I feel so blessed every morning. Aaron is doing very well in his Dental practice. We have an amazing staff and we finally get to be the bosses we’ve always wanted to be. God is so good! Here are a few pictures of our new home and life :) Aspen in the round pen in front of the barn. Bob and Aspen in the round pen. Aspen is doing very well and keeps putting on weight, which she needs. She is much smarter than her previous owner gave her credit. I was able to teach her how to free lunge and line lunge, and she picked them up within 10 minutes, or so. My goofy boy. The chickens seem to be taking to the country life. Chloe has become an indoor cat. We tried letting her stay with the chickens in the run, like we had in Portland, but she wants to be inside. She hasn’t asked to go out in about a week. The dogs are settling in well too. They love living on so much land and having the ability to run wild. Gico loves the large windows and the outside birdies. And finally… A few pictures of the inside. I still have some more unpacking and organizing to do, but you get the idea :) Well, that’s all for now! God Bless! Love Lauren :) [...]

Fort Necessity


Hello All,   We spent the past few days getting our new home ready for us and the pets. We decided to call our cabin Fort Necessity, for our 18th century world. Anyway, Aaron spent three days getting the chicken run ready and predator proof while Mrs. Cartwright, who helped us soooo much, and I worked in the fields clearing the pastures. We still have more work to do before we move the horses in, but it is definitely coming along nicely. And yes, you read that right, HORSES. Yesterday we purchased the perfect horse for Aaron. She is an 18 year old, 16.3 hand Appy Thoroughbred, like Bob, with a bit of Quarter Horse in her as well. She has a great personality and she really likes Aaron. So, things are really coming together and I thank God for all that He has given us. Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!   View of the little cottage, that will become my 18th century room, the old chicken run, which will be dismantled, and our barn. The cabin. It’s a bit messy, because we are still in transition, but you get the idea. I will post pics of the interior when we get settled. The new run the hubby built and a peak at the pasture. We still need to put up the electrical fences and do some more clearing. The front drive and lawn, which will be nice and green when we finish with it :) The back lawn The beginning of the riding trails. We spent most of the morning clearing them so we can ride when we get the horses settled. The babies were so excited and spent most of the time running around and exploring. Aaron managed to snag this pic during one of Leila’s rare calm moments. And finally, Aaron and his new girl, Aspen. I’m so excited to introduce her to Bob and have all of our babies with us. Well, that’s all for now. I have lots, and lots of packing to do. God Bless! Love Lauren [...]

Removing from Portland House


Dear Friends,

    Many of you have already heard our news via Facebook, so this may be a repeat for some of you. Anyway, Aaron and I are moving to Monroe, Washington at the end of this month. God has provided an AMAZING dental practice for Aaron and we are buying it. We are so very excited, but also sad to leave our friends here in Portland.

We have also been blessed to find a home that fits our needs to a T. It’s a cabin on five acres with a three stall barn, for Bob. We are also going to be looking for a buddy for him, so I will keep you posted on that front as well. As for now, we are extremely busy with moving and packing and the joys of working through owning a business. So, I will be offline for quite some time. I may be able to update here and there with pics of the house and some news, but sewing will be on hold for a while.

Here’s to entering a new chapter in our lives! God Bless!

Love Lauren

Regency Retreat


What an amazing, amazing weekend. We spent 3 and a half days engrossed in Regency splendor, attending workshops, and spending time with friends both new and old. Here are a few pictures from the weekend. After dinner and a lovely magic show the first night. Lady Devereaux and Mrs. Cartwright enjoying port in our room after dinner the first night. The picnic and archery on the afternoon of the second day One of my favorite pictures of Mrs. Kowal Lady Devereaux in her finest My favorite ensemble of Mrs. Cartwright’s Sir Thomas and me The handsome Cpt. and Mrs. Cartwright These two photos truly capture the magic of the ball. Our very naughty “bodice ripper” room decorated as such for the room contest. Mrs. Kowal reads excerpts from Jane Austen in a very shocking manner. [...]

5th Annual Pittock Mansion Picnic


Yesterday we donned our afternoon finest and headed to one of our favorite places in Portland, the beautiful Pittock Mansion. The weather was perfect and we had a very lovely time. Here are a few pictures.


The Captain, enjoying a little snooze.


Cpt. and the lovely Mrs. Cartwright


Mrs. Gentry, me, the Cpt., and Mrs. Cartwright


A couple of pics of my new dress and open robe.


That’s all for today!

Love Lauren

Inspiration for the 1790’s




I’m not a huge jewelry fan in real life, but in 18th century life, that’s another story…


Just look at the amazing stab stitching on this coat.


I don’t remember where I found this, but this spencer is just lovely.


I love the blue ribbon details on the sleeve.

1790’s Sleeveless Open Robe


I whiped out a simple sleeveless open robe this week to go with my yellow voile round gown. I used the Janet Arnold 1790’s open robe pattern and just finished the sleeve holes instead of using sleeves. Here are a few pictures.





This fabric was also purchased last year from Regency Revisited at the Fair at New Boston.

I plan to start the next gown tomorrow. Stay tuned :)

Love Lauren

Finished Chintz Round Gown


Here it is! Enjoy :D





I ended up changing a few things on the original pattern. I had a very difficult time setting the sleeves with such a narrow back. So I decided to add a small piece to each side to ease the sleeve into the bodice without pulling. It worked very well. I also used my own sleeves, because I like them :)

Love Lauren!