Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sew, what's with Appleseed?

I lurk on several 18th century-based Yahoo groups. A couple of weeks ago a woman stopped by one of them and said that she volunteered with the Appleseed Project, mentioned that they teach marksmanship and the history of April 19. 1775, and that she was putting together a farmer's wife outfit for telling her history lesson. Hey! I knew about Appleseed! Sort of. A little. I contacted kyjam off-list and offered to help her out. We e-mailed back and forth about what she needed to do, and when we realized there was no way she was going to get everything done in time for her shoot on September 11th, I decided to box up a bunch of clothing I wasn’t using at the moment and send it to her. Because it’s all about me, you see. I don’t want the 2A/gunnie crowd looking like idiots to us living history types, and I don’t want the living history types coming across as snobby to us 2A/gunnie types. See? It’s all about ME not wanting to look bad. Really. So tonight I took an apron I made (takes off shoes count), um, 15? 16? years ago when I didn't know any better, and fixed the too-wide waistband and too-wide pleats. I took off the 1 ¼” linen band and ties, and repleated it using ½” pleats, bound it in linen tape, and added 3/8” apron strings. Now I just need to put ties on a straw hat and get it all out the door.

Too wide wasitband and ties on the left, new wasitband across the top of the pleats, and new apron strings on the right.

Between kyjam and Rattail Bastard, I think I’m being talked into this whole Appleseed thing.


  1. I almost did it this spring, but got talked into a camping trip with some friends who I wasn't going to see again for some time. My 10/22 is all ready, even, with sights and a sling...

    By the way, do you really think that the people at kyjam's Appleseed would care about the difference between 1 1/4" and 1/2" pleats?

  2. Is a 10" grouping that much different from a 5" grouping? I suppose it depends on if you want to do it right, or if "close enough" is what you're after. If they are volunteering their time to teach it "right", I can at least try to do the same. Not trying to sound pissy, but it matters to me. And heaven help the historian at any future Appleseed that I attend try to tell me that the Americans won the war because riflemen stood behind rocks and trees and shot at the stupid British that marched in ranks. Here's hoping they research it better than that!

  3. I see what you did there- heh.
    Forget the 5" group, they look for a 1" group from ya.
    But HEY!- that idea of giving the instruction in period garb is a great idea.
    As you've surmised, the shooting instruction is interspersed w/history ,& said history is at the human level, not tactical/political as would be read in history books.
    There are a couple of significant stories in which women play a central role- General Gage's lady friend comes to mind.
    Yer on to something there kid...

  4. This is from kyjam who Blogger won't let comment here for some reason:

    "Er....we can get that 5" grouping down to 1" or 2" if you let us. ;) And most of our research comes from "Paul Revere's Ride" by David Hackett Fisher. It is based on depositions. Each instructor gives the history in their own unique way. I tend to give the women's perspective along with the usual points.

    And no, most of the men that show up would not know the difference on the apron. Appleseed has many new gun owners, many patriots, and many who don't realize they are patriots...yet. And so not many living history enthusiasts that I'm aware of...yet. However, I'm glad that if someone knows their stuff they'll know my outfit is period correct.

    After this shoot I will use my patterns and Nancy's outfit to make my own for the October shoot. I still need to dirty up my cloth before starting. If it looks too new I'll be feeling something is wrong. *big grin*

  5. First to clarify (I was up waaaay past my bedtime last night), I did not mean to imply that Appleseed will accept a 5" grouping. *grin* I was speaking generally about shooting, say with a pistol, that people have different definitions of "good enough". Some just want to be able to hit center of mass. Some want to be able to hit center of eyeball. With stuff that I, however indirectly, use for interpretation, I want to be correct as possible. There are a lot of differences in apron construction between the 18th and 20th centuries. I'm sure not many care, but the devil is in the details, as they say.

  6. Eh, I kid. Sorry if I touched a nerve--I myself have many OCD things I do...

  7. Ma'am, I think of you as more of a Molly Pitcher type gal. You should serve a bigger piece. (oh, and be careful not to get yer hand blown off while ramming the next charge!)

  8. Justthisguy -- I cut my gunnie teeth serving on a repro Rev War 3 lb. field piece. Worm was my usual spot, and if you hold the implement with your hand cupped, and your thumb tightly agains the side of your hand, you're much less likely to lose it should the worst happen. You'll lose some meat off your palm, but you'll hopefully retain your thumb and hand. We used charges that were small enough to slip down the bore easily. No need to "ram", just "tap".