Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Colonial Williamsburg Tailor Discusses Summerwear

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While we were visiting Colonial Williamsburg during Drummer's Call, we had an oppotunity to visit the tailor! We found him working on a tent-like structure! When I asked him about it he said it was in fact, a tarp-like structure for the Armoury to provide them with some shade this summer.
One thing I enjoy about visiting the tailor, is that no two visits have been the same. Each visit yields a different discussion partially based on the questions from the guests.  Of course the tailor, like the other interpreters and tradespeople, is a wealth of information.  The query of the day was...modesty...which somehow led to a discussion on bathing suits! I found this quite interesting because I had seen historical articles pop up in my journeys around the internet previous to this trip to the tailor. In fact most of them referenced Martha Washington's bathing suit! I had been curious if anything I had read was accurate because I had found it rather astounding, so I was certainly listening intently. I learned that much of what I read was indeed correct!  The tailor did explain that the 18th century bathing suit was like a shift. Weights were placed in the hem to keep the shift from floating up.
Here is an article I found for kids from the Washington Post that was recently published about historic bathing suits, including Martha Washington's. It's in two parts:
Here is the slide show...and the article (there is the same slide show here that doesn't work.)






Here is a post from Mount Vernon's blog.

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