Recreating the portrait of Washington has proved challenging, but not in the ways you might think. I did manage to find some navy blue wool for his coat, but just try to find little brass buttons in the right size. I bought some of the smallest I could find at Hancock, but they looked too big when I got them home. Yesterday, I ordered a strand of 4 mm flat disc brass beads, hoping they will do the trick. The other challenge, believe it or not, was to find a piece of blue moire ribbon for his sash. After searching every ribbon store on the Internet (and my local Hancock and Michael's), I finally found a 5-yard piece in the right color and width on Ebay.
Here's a bit of history: Washington wore the blue sash to distinguish his rank. Because they had no consistent uniforms, there was great confusion in his army between officers and the rank and file. So Washington (or one of his aids, probably that clever chap Hamilton) came up with the idea that officers should wear a particular color of sash to identify their rank. Don't you just love this stuff? I know I do. So you see, the right color sash was imperative for my little Washington.
You'll be happy to hear that His Excellency is no longer standing around in his skivvies. He's actually fully dressed now. I made his breeches and waistcoat yesterday and his coat today. He still needs pockets, buttons and other details, but he's getting there. Hopefully, I'll have new pictures to post tonight. Still contemplating how to make the cannon and the flags work ...
One other thing: I read somewhere that Washington always wore a miniature portrait of Martha around his neck, tucked into his waistcoat. I am very tempted to give him this little trinket. What do ya'll think? Here's the reference I found on a cached page (no longer available) at Mt. Vernon: "A grandson recalled that George Washington wore a miniature of Martha around his neck 'through all the vicissitudes of his eventful career.'"
I sure hope Williamsburg still wants him after all this. But as I keep telling Dan, "If they don't want him, he'll look great on our mantel."