Dress · Edwardian/Teens · Finished! · Puget Sound Ladies Costume Society

The Lady Mary Dress & the Titanic Tea

I’m just going to skip the part where I apologize profusely for taking so long to post about this fun and fabulous event and go straight to photos of the event itself and the dress I managed to crank out for it. Sound good? Ok!

So, Saturday was the Titanic Centennial Tea, an event hosted by The Puget Sound Ladies Costume Society and headed by yours truly. Readers, it was amazing. The food was delicious, the converstion excellent (we spent most of the time chatting about history nerd stuff, including the ship and reenacting), and the setting was lovely. All of the ladies were so well-dressed, and I was slightly jealous that I didn’t manage to crank out a hat since there were so many whimsical hats there. Oh, well.

So, the dress! It’s made out of a yellow and white poly-cotton striped fabric that I got from one of my best friends, Nona. I managed to finish it the morning of, and ended up having a bit of a wardrobe malfunction in that the dress placket was too tight and the snaps I put in the back wouldn’t stay closed. So, I had daddy safety pin me up in the back before I left. đŸ˜‰

I probably won’t be making this dress again anytime soon, but I would recommend the pattern (Laughing Moon #104) to others looking for a good Edwardian dress pattern. And combined with lots of lace and some pearls, I was quite pleased with it. Since I was making a yellow version of the Lady Mary Dress, I decided to try my best “Lady Mary indifference” face:

The hair was an interesting experience, as my only experiences with historic hair have mainly been confined to the 1850s/60s or 1940s/50s/60s. I used this fabulous tutorial and was really pleased with the results (so pleased, in fact, that I left it in the style after the tea when I went to go see Titanic in 3D).


Speaking of the re-releasing of the movie and the amount of Titanic Centennial celebrations I’ve seen going on, the cult around the popularity of this shipwreck is really fascinating to me. Of course, the ship itself and its role as sort of a microcosmic view of the world at the time is also fascinating, but I’m really interested in how engrossed we as a culture seem to be in the whole tragedy surrounding. Without a doubt, the 1997 movie helped in this regard (Leo Dicaprio especially), but I don’t think that’s the whole reason. I think the sinking really marked the beginning of the modern age, with WWI beginning 2 short years later.

Interestingly enough, one of the gals at the tea asked me why I had decided to put together a tea to celebrate the centennial, and after jokingly (but somewhat truthfully) saying, “I was dumped!” I told her that I’d always been fascinated by the ship and that this was a good opporotunity to do an Edwardian event. I’ve actually been thinking about this question and my response to it quite a bit the past few days, and I can’t help but wonder: is there something morbid in commemorating the deaths of over 1500 people in a shipwreck a hundred years ago? And if it is, what does that say about commemorating other tragic events of the past, like the Civil War or the American Revolution, which are significantly more commemorated via reenactments? Thoughts on this?

Anyways, more photos can be seen of the event here on the PSLCS blog. We’re planning a Bastille Day Croquet picnic as our next event, probably in July. Definitely looking forward to making an outfit for that!

3 thoughts on “The Lady Mary Dress & the Titanic Tea

  1. In my opinion, the event was fascinating and upsetting to pretty much everyone in the western world because it was a harsh reminder that technology and money does not insulate us/ people from danger, harm, or death. The focus of rememberence in this event is on the wealthier passengers of the ship and how their privileged lives were interrupted, with the death of the majority 3rd class passengers as a numeric afterthought. People continue to remember this event because of how it affected the elite.
    In contrast the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which occurred one year earlier, is largely forgotten by the popular consciousness. At the time this tragedy, which played out in the middle of New York City and was witnessed by many citizens, is said to have thrown the City into a state of emotional shock and depression. While this event was very important to the elevation of both women’s rights, worker’s rights, and building safety issues in its day, it is not remembered with anywhere near as much zeal as the Titanic because the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire affected only poor working women.

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