Before I get to my huge post on the mantua makers' lovely gown draping for the lovely Mrs. Randolph, I'm going to share about the little trips we made into our numerous stops to the Margaret Hunter Shop. After all they were open from 7am to 7pm for this grand day and I simply had to jaunt to my favorite spots here and there in the historic area as well as indulge in 18th century fashion! It will all come together beautifully in the final blog post!
One of our quick jaunts was to the First Oval Office Project where they have been recreating General Washington's grand marquee tent from the American Revolution. They are located at the Secretary's Office near the Capitol. They are not always in production mode. They have been recently recommissioned to sew the dining tent and apparently a few other projects so their term of work is for the summer...which of course I have to take advantage of because they aren't always there. I'm definitely a "seize the moment" kind of gal!
Of course I have to feature this jaunt first because this is another textile and stitching opportunity to learn from. I love their craftsmanship. Everything is period accurate from their historic clothing to the way they sit (note the "tailor sitting" which is "Indian style" in today's lingo) to all of the elements of their craft! I have visited them too many times to count because I so appreciate their work and it has been fascinating to watch all the elements come together. Every time I go a different element of the entire project is being stitched.
On this day, they were working on the ceiling part for the sleeping tent.
One of the on-going discussions as we entered was on how top secret duties could be carried with the tent. Since walls tend to have ears during war time, as in when generals stay in a constructed building, in a tent sentries are posted in a set perimeter so that no one can overhear all the top secret doings.
My husband asked a question about one of the elements they are using that reinforce the edge of this ceiling they were sewing. Not only do we get a verbal answer, the interpreter got the massively huge roll of it out for us to handle to more closely appreciate its texture and strength. That is actually common practice at all the trades of Colonial Williamsburg. Love all the trades and how they all interpret and teach! Oh to return soon!
Meanwhile if I have teased you a bit about this grand project, here are other visits I've made in relation to it that I've blogged about with many more pictures to enjoy, including photos of the reproduced marquee tent, itself!