Sunday, May 26, 2019

Leverett Family Petticoat Returns to Colonial Williamsburg

The Leverett family quilted petticoat, reproduced from a pattern created by pricking the design onto muslin, has been returned to the makers at the Margaret Hunter Shop, Milliners and Mantuamakers at Colonial Williamsburg. 
The pricking was in the collection of Massachusetts Historical Society, along with a written description (left by a family member) which noted it was a pale blue silk with silk thread used for the quilting, which gave it the impression of light ‘tissue.’ The recreation of the petticoat was a collaborative project between the Massachusetts Historical Society and Colonial Williamsburg, and was created for display in the exhibit entitled Fashioning the New England Family, on view from October 2018-April 2019. 
Fashioning the New England Family,
Mannequins by Astrida Schaeffer
It is now safely in the hands of Mistress Whitacre, where it will be used for educational and interpretive purposes. It was entirely hand sewn by the milliners and mantua-makers.
For information on the project, see: 

For information on the exhibition, see:

For an interview with Jared Bowen of Open Studio on WGBH:

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Latest in Mourning Wear: Advice from Harper’s Bazar, 1901

“Crepe is more fashionable than ever” notes the November 1901 edition of Harper’s Bazar. “House gowns and dinner gowns made entirely of crepe and in the princesse style are exceedingly becoming, while there is permitted on crepe dinner gowns a trimming of the dull jet passementerie.”

Making reference to the fact that “all of England is in mourning” –Queen Victoria died on the 22ndof January, 1901 -- the author observed that it is no wonder that there was a plethora of choices of style and textiles available on the market. The writer also notes that after the first expenditure of the dress and appropriate accessories, it is possible to get along with “fewer gowns than when wearing colors.”

I recently found this volume of Harper's
in fine condition at the Avenue Victor Hugo Books in Lee, NH (May 2019).