In Vintage Inspiration

Flashback Friday: Women’s Land Army

Reenactments are something I really, really enjoy doing, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend many last year at all. One of my favorite events is a WWII reenactment held at Fort Indiantown Gap every January in Annville, Pennsylvania: Battle of the Bulge Commemoration Living History Week. It’s only open to the public on Saturday (January 31st) but if you’re in the Annville area I highly recommend checking it out!

I’m not able to attend this year’s event either (insert super sad face) but I wanted to post a few photos from last year’s event that never made it to the blog. I did share just a few pictures last year of my Knit For Victory project, and a few more photos from the year before (which was my very first reenactment!), but neither of those posts included details of my Women’s Land Army impression, so I decided to do a bit of a flashback today.

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I live in a super rural part of Western, New York so the farm girl impressions are the ones that really speak to me. Your “impression” is the person or unit you choose to emulate during a reenactment, and I’m interested in both the American Crop Corps and the Woman’s Land Army of England (which you’ll probably recognize from the TV series Land Girls). I’m fairly new to reenacting but I do try really hard to represent my impression, and the time period, correctly despite my lack of experience.

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(My aunt might in fact kill me for posting this photo but it’s too funny not to share haha! The breeches are nothing if not flattering am I right?)

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I really lucked into such a complete Women’s Land Army uniform because my aunt met someone at a reenactment who was looking to sell it. Before I did the WLA impression, I did the American version of a Victory Farm Volunteer or American Crop Corps which didn’t have a uniform that was regulated like the WLA of England, so I could piece together my own interpretation of what a farm girl would have worn (here’s a blog post about American Farm Girls of WWII, and a photo of my other farm girl impression from Instagram).

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We found a great many WLA pieces from various sellers on eBay, as well as a reproduction company called Apple Tree Lane. My impression is a mix of original pieces from WWII, a few reproduction items that were used as movie props, and some modern items that happened to work pretty well to fill in the gaps. For example, my collared undershirt is from a department store!

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One of my goals this year is to do more reenacting (including some WWI and 1920s events) because preserving history is something I’m so passionate about, and it’s a huge reason why I love sewing. Though my sewing has shifted from reenactment sewing to everyday “real life” sewing, I will still always have a passion for eras gone by.

If you’re interested in reenacting, the first step is to attend a local event and talk to a reenactor! These living history events exist to honor and commemorate our veterans, as well as preserve these time periods so they’re never forgotten, and reenactors love talking to spectators about it 🙂

Have you ever been to a reenactment? What would you pick as your impression?

xo
Rochelle