Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fashion During the Time of Mary Todd Lincoln

On my way home from teaching at the Stitchville USA's Spring Fling, I decided to stop overnight in Springfield, Illinois. Springfield is the capitol of Illinois, and Abraham Lincoln lived there from 1837-1861. In fact, he was living there with his wife, Mary, when he was elected as our 16th president. There are quite a few attractions in town relating to Lincoln. I decided to spend a bit of time visiting some of them before heading home.  

The first place I visited was the Lincoln Presidential Museum. There were several interesting galleries and even a replica of the Indiana log cabin where he once lived. My favorite gallery was Mary's Blue Room. It was so much fun to see a life-sized mannequin of Mary Todd Lincoln in her finery.

Did you notice the worke box on the table?  I sure did!

Next are some beautiful dresses that Mary's "social rivals" wore.

Since returning home, I found this marvelous video showing some of Mary's beautiful outfits. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

A needlework friend recently told me about a wonderful book, Mary Lincoln's Dressmaker. I'm looking forward to learning more about Mary's dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley, and the special relationship these two women developed.

There wasn't enough time to explore all the museum galleries, so I need to return to the area sometime. I had enough time to stop at Union Station, a railroad station that opened in 1898. The station now houses special exhibits. Currently the exhibit features items from the 2012 movie Lincoln directed by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg insisted on an accurate portrayal not only of the facts, but also the sets and the costumes the actors wore.

Here are photos of two of the costumes actress Sally Field wore when she played the role of Mary Todd Lincoln.  

And here is an embroidered notebook belonging to Mary Lincoln that Sally Field was allowed to use in the movie.

Since this blog post is running long, I'll wait until next time to show you photos from the Lincoln home in Springfield.


C Reeder PhxAz said...

Thank you for sharing all this. The notebook is my favorite.

Marilyn said...

Weren't those dresses amazing?
Love the workbox.
Thanks for sharing the pics.

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

What glorious dresses! Oh my...can you just imagine? Lincoln's Boyhood Home is only 1 hour from us to the south. When i was growing up it was just one hour from us to the east. I've been there many times. Made school trips there as a girl, took my children there, went on dates there. :) Its a lovely historical site! My daughter just got done reading a book on Mary Todd Lincoln about her battle with mental illness, she shared many of the passages with me and she was a troubled woman, but the love that Abe and she shared was something. Thank you for sharing this with us!

Lee said...

Thank you for sharing those amazing dresses with us!

Margaret said...

This is so so cool! Loved seeing all the dresses. And yes, you should read Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker. I enjoyed it a lot!

Meari said...

Such beautiful dresses! Would've loved to live in that time period.