Last weekend me and Andrew went to see Dunkirk at the movies. But you know how it is, when you are a reenactor, you can’t just go see a historic movie without any fuss done about it. So of course we had to dress up for it!
A few weeks ago Andrew discovered that an Australian reenactor aquaintance of his had also moved here to Sweden (!), and now lived only about an hour away from us! Reenactors being few and far between in the part of the country that we are in we went and visited them (him and his Swedish girlfriend) and had a good time talking about mutual interests. Anyway, one thing that we deicided was that since we all wanted to go see Dunkirk when it came out we should make an event of it, meet in a town half way and dress up in appropriate attire. Obvioulsy 😉
I am almost ashamed to admit that Iactually had no proper 40’s gear. I had one dress, that I made years ago from a 40’s pattern and that I use more as an everyday dress. Nothing else really. Even though I love this era and the fashion of the time! But you know how it is, the list of things to sew is ever long and some things you just don’t get around to. This plan of ours though of course meant that I had to make myself some! I had a hat already, one that I had made for school and that I really like. So that was my starting point. And after looking through my fabric stash I found some apporiate ones. I wanted to go for a rather simple and everyday type outfit, something that would easily have been worn during the war. So I went for a skirt and blouse. The blouse was a tan coloured cotton, and made using a 40’s pattern. And the skirt was a blue wool I had bought on my last visit to England.
Becuase I used materials from my stash, and already had the hat, stockings and shoes (a thrift store find) the only thing I had to buy for this outfit in the end were the buttons for the blouse. I felt rather proud to only have spent 20 kronor (about £2) on this whole outfit! In true a war-time frugality spirit 🙂
I have enough experience of sewing now to mostly be able to confidently make the things I want, but that doesn’t mean almost every project has moments of despair when it feels like it’s never going to look right in the end. With this one for a long time I was convinced the blouse was looking more like a potato sack rather than an elegant garment. But somehow once the collar and sleeves came on it rather miraciously looked perfectly fine! Andrew is forever telling me to stop being to critical of my own work…
Now for the guys; obvioulsy they were going to go in uniform! Andrew has a large number of WW2 uniforms, but unfortunately they are all still in New Zealand. So he had to end up borrowing one from John, with his own hat and some other things. Both of them, being proud ANZAC’s, wanted to go as their own nationality, so New Zealand and Australia it was!
We headed into town hours before the movie started, to have a chance to just walk around in our nice clothes and take some photos.
John, Matilda, me and Andrew outside Örebro castle. John in his Australian uniform and Andrew in his New Zealand one.
If there is a canon you need a photo with it, right?!
Andrew really looking the part I think. The moustache is in preparation for a reenactment where he will be a french grenadier, and consequently need a moustache. But it really works for this too!
Matilda and I. I really loved wearing this outfit!
“A soldier and his sweetheart” #1
In my experiece Swedes are VERY bad at dealing with people in “weird” clothes. At other times when we have dressed up here most people that we’ve encountered have done everything in their power to NOT see us. It’s like people get embaressed or something, I don’t know what it is! Whereas in most other countries people tend to come up to you, ask questions and want to take photos. This time though, Sweden did a much better job that usual. I was quite impressed! We had so many people look at us, ask us why we were dressed up and take photos. When we walked past an outdoor serving restaurant the whole place burst into applause! Why I don’t quite know, but we enjoyed it all the same!
For a different setting we headed to and English style pub, The Bishop’s Arms”, to take some more photos
Soldiers need to relax and read too!
“A soldier and his sweetheart” #2
There was a rather suitable picture at the pub…
Excited new soldiers off to serve their country!
“A soldier and his sweetheart” #3
“A soldier and his sweetheart” #4
As to the actual movie, well it was fantastic!! I know a lot has probably already been said about this movie, and I’m not going into the details of the story, I think most people probably know what it’s about. But I have to say that I thought it was very beautifully made. So many war movies are full of blood and goore, honour and glory. This one wasn’t. It was more just about survival. About a desperate will to stay alive, fighting for your life. And it was very human and somehow strangely humble. I was very touched by the movie, will admit I may have cried a little during it, and very much would like to see it again! I would definitely recommend anyone who hasn’t already seen it to go do so!
It was such a lovely day, fun times spent with friends, wearing historical clothes. And now that I have a proper 40’s attire, I can’t wait to use it again sometime soon!!