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My first WWII reenactment

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I just got back from my very first WWII reenactment at Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania. It was awesome!! I didn’t get many photos of my outfit (which I’m going to remedy soon!), but I did get a few shots that I think you’d enjoy seeing anyways :)

I chose a civilian farm girl impression since I didn’t want to risk getting a military impression incorrect and offending someone, though someday I’d love to impersonate a WASP! While I was there I was doing some research on the WLA of America and they did actually have an official uniform, so I’m working on getting one together for the next event. I really like the British WLA too though! So many choices!

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The reenactment troop I registered with is called The Paper Dolls so I couldn’t help but take this one ;)

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This particular reenactment is nearly a week long but only open to the public on Saturday. So for the rest of the time on base, we ladies got to take all sorts of cool classes on WWII knitting, hairstyles, fashion, women’s rolls during the war, and more! I learned so much!

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Red lipstick was a must! The cosmetics industry really took off during WWII because women were encouraged to enhance their beauty as a morale booster for the soldiers. Personally I love an excuse to wear red lipstick so I definitely did my bit to boost morale :) There was a good handful of older gentlemen at the event who stopped me to tell me I looked just like one of their female relatives from decades ago. I must have been doing something right!

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I really liked this little dude hanging out at the NAAFI cafe! So cute.

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It was definitely neat to walk around and see all the WWII era vehicles and uniforms!

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I really didn’t take as many photos as I should have (it was freezing! I’m sorry!), so if you’d like to see more there are some awesome ones on facebook: here, and a great little video: here.

I promise I’ll be back with more photos of my outfit! I drafted the overalls myself (well, half of them) and I’m pretty darn proud of the results so I’d like to share. Plus I want another excuse to get all dressed up ;)

xo

 

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  • Juliana

    I so want to do this when my kids get a little bit older! Looks like tons of fun and right up my alley!!

  • KC

    Stalking through your posts and wow, this one makes me so happy. Would have loved to have been there! A friend gave me her aunt’s WAC uniform and I wore it to an air show once–I got hugs from sweet old gents and even got to go behind the ropes to pose with my favorite F4U Corsair…and I didn’t even look half as great as you did! Great job!

  • Sean MacKenzie

    I was searching through your blog posts and came across this one. I love WWII reenactments. I went to one here in Indiana in 2008. LOVED IT!! I truly felt like I belonged.

    Oh, and you mentioned the WASP’s so I have to reply…I too wanted to recreate a WASP uniform and go as one. How awesome would that be?! :-D

  • Aubry Joy

    There are a couple of drool-worthy photos of participants in uniform on the facebook page. :) I also love the standoff between the U.S. soldiers and the Nazi soldiers. It must have been fun!

  • Sky Turtle

    This sounds awesome, would have loved to participate, meet the people, think about the past.

  • Caitlin A.

    So cool! I was really curious about what, exactly, a WWII reenactment was…I think I had it in my head that it was a battle thing like Civil War reenactments. I really love these photos, it seems like such a neat idea!

  • Tasha @ By gum, by golly!

    Wonderful photos! What an adventure!! It was so much fun following along with your pics from it on Instagram too. I had no idea they held classes and such, how neat. And I can’t wait to see more of those overalls!

  • Solanah

    Oh my gosh that sounds/looks like the best time! The only WWII reenactments I’ve been to are super touristy weekends, but I still get excited about them. If I went to this I’d burst! Looks like so much fun, and you look like a natural in this style!

    xoxo

  • Sarah

    Yay!!! What a great post and I am dying to see more!! You look so fabulous as a 1940’s girl. I agree with Cathy – this is definitely the start of a beautiful thing :)

  • Cathy Bundy

    SO this is the start of a beautiful thing then!? Go for it lady :D You looked gorgeous! I love that it’s so different, who needs normal?! Not me! Not you! Enjoy…. Bundana x

  • Miss Crayola Creepy

    I love that when you say it’s “freezing” it literally is, but when I say it the temperature is probably 50 degrees hahaa

    I’m dying to see the overalls! I didn’t even know you made them!!! You looked adorable!

  • ShanniLoves...

    Great photos! So how often will you get to perform in these reenactments? Where I live every Memorial Weekend they have what is called the Rendezvous. All kinds of reenacters come into town. They are all from the Revolutionary period. They put on a reenactment of the war and you can walk around their camp to see how they live, what their jobs were like. They also have booths set up where some are selling items from that period. Pretty cool. One of the highlights is the food, The buffalo burgers are a big hit.

  • the Garment Farmer

    Lovely photos!! Sounds like a wonderful experience. Your outfit looks so cute, and that sweater looks really snuggly :) Thanks for sharing.

  • sallieforrer

    WOW Rochelle!! This looked like such a great time! Congratulations on your first reenactment! I think it’s so cool that the majority of the time was spent taking classes and learning more information about the period (sort of like when I went to Colonial America summer camp or whatever that was… what was that? maybe I dreamt it…hmmm… scratch that!)
    Anyway, I loved seeing peeks from your week! Thank you so much for sharing! As an aside, I’ve been watching “Foyle’s War” on netflix recently, don’t know if you ever watched it. I’ve been totally fascinated by all the different British uniforms for women in the services.

    • Rochelle New

      Thanks Sallie! Yeah someone else actually just recommended Foyle’s War to me so I’m headed over to Netflix to find it. Colonial America summer camp sounds so awesome! ;)

  • Meredith Schreiber

    Beautiful photos! It looks like you had a grand time. What exactly do you do there? I used to work at the Genesee Country Village as the potter and I would give the same speech about potters in the 18th century to everyone who came in. It was a weird job. Where did you sleep? I’m very curious, haha!

    • Rochelle New

      At this particular event if you go as a military impression you work on your drills during the week in preparation for the reenactment skirmish on Saturday. But since I went as a civilian, I attended classes, shopped all the flea market vendors and just hung around being awesome ;) lol You have the option to sleep on base in the army barracks, or in a hotel. My aunt and I were going to sleep in the barracks but the showers were broken on the first night so we got a hotel and just ended up staying there the whole week. 18th century potter sounds so cool!! I love the Genesee Museum.

  • Jessica Cangiano

    I’ve adored seeing your photos from this event on FB and Instagram over the last few days. You’ve got me yearning more than ever before to take part in a similar reenactment one day, too. If only there were some other vintage/history loving folks around these parts to keep my reenactment from being a one woman show. :)

    You look absolutely fantastic, and I just have to say again how well I think grey and red suit your beautful colouring, dear gal.

    ♥ Jessica

    • Rochelle New

      Thank you so much, Jessica! <3 You should definitely get into reenacting :) You'd be surprised how many groups there are are out there if you just know where to look. Where are you located? I can try to do some sleuthing for you :)

  • Rebecca Wagner

    Ahhh that is so cool!! The dog is adorable too hehe

  • Cowroad

    Wow, all those photo’s (yours and the ones on Facebook) are amazing! What an interesting thing to do: who knew??? :-)
    “Foyle’s War” (that program I mentioned last week) was indeed about the British WLA…

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A Blog By Rochelle New

I'm a fabric wizard and wielder of needles with a passion for quilt industry cottons, bygone eras, and natural things.

i.e. I mostly do nerd things like pretend I'm a wizard, collect moldy books, and spend too much time picking up acorns in the woods, all with my spirit animal (a dog named Lucille), my personal photographer (a man named William), and a few literal fat cats in tow.

Making magic and messes in the backwoods of New York.

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