Public Presentations

To help improve your public speaking skills our county 4-H requires you to give a “public presentation” each year. A public presentation is a demonstration, speech, illustrated talk, recitation, or dramatic interpretation that is from 5 to 15 minutes long. Two judges evaluate your talk, give you pointers on areas you could improve, and score your presentation. If you score well enough (within the top 15%) you can advance to district level presentations.

This year I chose to do an illustrated talk about “Getting Dressed in the 1860s”. My goal was to instruct about mid 19th century women’s clothing, dispel some myths about corsets and cage crinolines (“hoop skirts”), and have an excuse to dress up in my Civil War garb 🙂 . I told about the “ideal silhouette” of the 1860s, explained how the underclothing helped build the proper foundation, and talked about my dress. I actually started out my presentation in my base layers of undergarments and added the other pieces as I explained their purpose.

Today Addie, Marcus, and I participated in the district level presentations. Since this is my last year in 4-H (next year I’ll be too old) I was really excited to do well enough to go on to state! Marcus impressed everyone with his computer savvy (his presentation was “Computer Parts”) and Addie is also going to state with her recitation of The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke!

Here are some pictures from county presentations. I have to send a *big* thank you to my friend Allison for helping me to finish my new corset in time.

County Presentation 2014 a

County Presentation 2014 c

County Presentation 2014 b

County Presentation 2014 d

I didn’t get any photos at district, but afterwards Addie kindly snapped a few quick pics of the new Civil War coat I sewed called a “paletot”. It’s actually Addie’s but she let me borrow it for today since mine’s not done yet. Mine will be the same pattern and fabric, I’m just going to make the sleeves longer. We also have to decide what color we want to trim them in. Any suggestions? As you can tell from the pictures it was quite windy out!

New paletot 1





-The Farming Daughter


8 thoughts on “Public Presentations

  1. Did you make everything Michaela? I loved the “petty coat”? I would wear that on the outside.
    I have been looking up Georgia, for Tim’s wedding” to check out what we would like to see. A friend told me about I think it’s called Stone Mountain. It’s somewhat like Mt Rushmore but with Civil Ware generals. and you take a train ride around the mountain. Have you heard of this?
    Miss and love ‘ya

    • I made everything except for the cage. Although I would eventually like to try making my own cage it’s perfectly acceptable to use a pre-made one since most women would have bought theirs. Actually, even a rather cash strapped lady would be able to afford a used hoop at a second-hand store.

      I have never heard of Stone Mountain until now, but it looks really neat. You’ll definitely have to go and take lots of pictures. Miss you too!

      -The Farming Daughter

  2. Shocking! ;D. That’s amazing that you made all of that. It looks super cool. Except the paletot. That actually looks pretty warm. :P.

    • It was a little awkward talking to everyone in my underpinnings :D! There are a bunch of layers; now I understand why 19th century women talk about sewing constantly. The arrival of the sewing machine in the 1840s must have been such a boon! Haha, yes the paletot was nice and warm.

      -The Farming Daughter

  3. Loved the photo’s! Long ago my family(Ithiel Burleigh(1780-1865 or so) had a farm near Richford NY, so it was neat to see civil war fashions with a farm background!

    Beautiful job sewing. Keep up the good work!

    Susan (Burleigh) Grove
    Mom to 12, 3rd generation Montana cattle rancher’s daughter, and civil war reenact or with my family in WA state.

    • Mrs. Grove,
      Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Yes, I love talking about Civil War clothing, especially how it relates to working class folks like farmers. Maybe I’ll have to do a post about the differences between working class and more well-to-do clothing sometime.

      I see that you have 12 children. That’s wonderful, I love being part of a large family :).

      -The Farming Daughter

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