‘interns’ Category

Sarah’s hat

November 24th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Sarah and Karin came over the other day collecting library books.

Penny got this photo of Sarah wearing the hat that Penny made and Sarah won in the volunteer raffle last Sunday.

Whitney’s waistcoat

November 23rd, 2008 by Jill Hall

I remembered to take a photo of the final fitting on Whitney’s new waistcoat. Whitney’s also wearing her brand-new petticoat, made by intern Arianna and volunteer Carolyn. This was taken on Friday, when this weekend’s embroiderers were already at work.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving Whitney will be the bride for a recreated wedding in the 1627 English Village. I’ve promised Whitney this new outfit in time for the wedding, but I’m trying to finish it in time for her to wear a couple of times this week. We’ll see. I’m also hoping to spend some time today practicing the plaited braid stitch so I can audition for embroidering the coils. Wish me luck!


November 20th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Thanks to Justin for answering the Murphy’s oil soap question; he washed the warping board before he started using it, to get rid of the “50 years of barn dust.” And more apologies for the poor photo of him; I was stealth snapping trying not to get any visitors in the background. I surprised him more than once, as you can see. Sorry.

Last Sunday I went to Plimoth Plantation’s annual volunteer recognition event. Plimoth, like so many other museums and historical societies and historic houses simply could not function without our many dedicated volunteers. Denise Nichols organized a lovely tea and social for this year’s event, with music and a talk and reading by Peter Arenstam from his book about Nicholas the mouse.

Denise also organized a raffle of items donated by many of the different Plimoth departments. Penny donated on Colonial Wardrobe’s behalf – a lovely hand spun, naturally dyed, hand knit cap, which was won by Karin Goldstein’s intern Sarah. The first photo is Plimoth’s Chief Executive Officer John McDonagh announcing a winner.

The second picture is three of our child volunteers. They and the other children did a magnificent job delighting thousands of Plimoth’s visitors this year, and they had a great old fun time doing it. The program, revamped and reintroduced after a few years’ hiatus, was a smashing success by all measures; the adult interpreters enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm of the children as well as the increase in historical accuracy they brought to the site. Not to mention how cute they are. The visitors also appreciated the family atmosphere, and our child visitors really enjoyed having other children to talk and play with. I’m sure we’ll see them again next summer. (Before you and your kids start making plans, though, please note that all the child volunteers are children of Plimoth employees.)


November 16th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Sorry about that bad link – I’ve fixed it in the last post and here’s the link Tricia suggested, straight to the book in the mail order shop.

I had an exciting day Friday. I turned on the office computer and it, well, it didn’t exactly swear, but it definitely thumbed its circuits at me. Dennis the IT guy didn’t have good news. “Hmmm,” he said. “That means it can’t find the hard drive.” “Can’t or WON’T?” was my response, not that it helped any.

The bottom line is that my documents are on the server (since last year, when the previous computer was gathered to its reward) but my email may not be. I may very well have lost my emails, including the address updates of Sharon G, Ann B, and two others whom, sadly, my feeble brain cannot recall. As well as anything anyone has asked me to do from before last Wednesday. BUT WAIT, don’t re-send me anything yet. Dennis promised to let me know by the end of next week what he could save, and THEN you can send me updates. And I promise to figure out a better computer filing system. Grrrr.

As this happened on a Friday morning, I took it as a sign to jettison all efforts at correspondence and Just Sew. Sometimes that’s a nice thing. I’m working hard to finish up a few things for the interpreters before they’re done for the season.

Here are a few pictures of what we’ve been up to sewing-wise. The first picture up at the top is Penny and the Stays From Hades. These are hand-sewn, but the real problem was that they were cut out for someone other than Elise, the person she finished them for. She thought they were close enough, and it would be good to finish them and get them in use, but she had to alteration after alteration so that by the end, she could have made three pairs of stays. She says she’ll never do that again. The good news is that, after all that, Elise is happy with them. They look great on her.

I finished Beth L’s sandy-pink gown a while ago and here are the pictures to prove it. In the closer picture you can see just a little gap; Beth and I decided to see if it relaxes in the wearing. If not I can put a hook & eye closure there. I finished the gown in the morning and brought it to her on her lunch break. She went right away and changed into it and I took these, so it hadn’t been worn more than a couple of minutes.

I think she likes it.

Now I’m working on a pink waistcoat for Whitney. Arianna’s already made her a brown petticoat to go with. The weekend after Thanksgiving there’ll be a wedding in the Village – not a real wedding, a pretend 1627 wedding. Whitney’s going to be the bride and I’ve promised her this outfit for early next week. Arianna’s making a canvas suit for Austin. Penny just finished a gold wool waistcoat for Kelley, which I need to photograph. At this point in the season she probably won’t start something else new, but move on to a little housecleaning to get us ready for the Big Piles of Dirty Stuff which will arrive the Monday after Thanksgiving.

I owe you all a mess of pictures from the show & tell portions of the last several embroidery sessions. I’m thinking to save them for the last half of December. It seems appropriate viewing for the season of celebrating treasures.

Penny and Arianna

September 23rd, 2008 by Jill Hall

Update from the Day Job:

Penny’s been working on this pair of hand-sewn stays for the past many weeks. Working off and on, and having to do some alterations on the fit, but she’s really been plugging away at them for a lot longer than she wanted to be, you know?

And now they’re done! Hooray!

And here’s Arianna, our autumn intern, who is off to a fantastic start. Here she’s working on the last bits of a new lightweight waistcoat for one of our new interpreters, Vicki, who will start on Saturday.

Arianna had just had a very successful second fitting, and now only has to sew on the wings, finish the sleeves, and do the buttons and buttonholes and it’ll be done!

I’m also making a waistcoat for Vicki, a wool one,  but have a lot more than that to do. I’m also almost done with a smock for Vicki, and have done an initial fitting of a wool waistcoat for Jenna, another new interpreter. Jenna’s actually already started on site, but will need this as quick as I can pull it together.

Then we’ve got one more new interpreter, Molly, who will be working with the Education Department presenting programs in local schools. The stock of clothing was so totally picked over by Jenna, Vicki, and everyone who came before that Molly needs quite a lot of sewing…tomorrow Penny will be remaking the waists of two petticoats so they’ll fit Molly properly, as well as altering the neck/shoulders of a second smock for Vicki.

Treats for Emily

August 20th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Penny knitted another awesome hat, this one for Emily. The pink is yarn Emily dyed with cochineal, which are indeed little bugs. Penny duplicate-stitched a skull, because Emily has a pirate aura.

I suppose going back to school is an acceptable excuse for leaving us.

Knitted Pockets

August 19th, 2008 by Jill Hall

In the comments Meg asked about the small knitted bags several of the female interpreters wear suspended from a belt. In the early 17th century pockets in clothing weren’t as universal as they are now (although Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 1560 – 1620 has several examples of extant items with either pockets sewn in or evidence that there used to be). People, men and women both, often carried a pouch or bag on their person to hold small items.

We base the bags used on our sites on one found on the Gunnister man, a late 17th-century body found in the mid-20th century in a peat bank in Scotland. The Gunnister man’s knitted possessions are described in Richard Rutt’s book A History of Hand Knitting, and also in an article by Deborah Pulliam that appeared in Piecework magazine.

About 20 years ago Plimoth Plantation, in conjunction with the Weavers’ Guild of Boston, published a booklet of knitting patterns, including one for this sort of little bag. The booklet is out of print, and most of the patterns have been vastly improved through further research in the intervening years. A few years ago a former wardrobe department tailor developed a pattern for a bag the same size as the Gunnister man’s but with a different pattern. I’ll find out if it is available through the museum gift shop and let you know.

Tomorrow is Emily’s last day with us. She did great work this summer, as did Lacey, who arrived home safely a few days ago. We’re going to miss them both, especially since we’re only in the middle of the process of finding a replacement for Shaina, who departed in June. This autumn will be a major transition time for us.

Kandy asked about the exhibit opening in May. I guess I have neglected to mention that much, since we won’t shift into high gear on the planning and implementation of that for another couple of months. We are planning to open an exhibit which will include the completed jacket in May of 2009. I will of course share the details as they develop.

I also have more pictures of Rebecca transforming into her 17th-century character – on a disk at the office.

Show and Tell August

August 17th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Betty-Anne, Rosemary and Abigail all brought lovely show and tell objects to the last session. Wendy kindly photographed for me, as I had very cleverly “lost” my camera in the trunk of my car. We missed getting a snapshot of Rosemary’s gorgeous Victorian style beaded scissors case, with the beaded fringe and beaded neck cord.

Here is a photo of some of Betty-Anne’s doll beds. She has made eight or nine of them illustrating different historic styles of bed hangings. She brought these two to show.

And this is Abigail’s blackwork truly-a-sampler. She adds to it as she finds designs she wants to record, has used at least one (the double acorn on a garment) and in working another discovered she never wants to use it again. That’s just how samplers were used in the early 17th century.

And here is a picture of Lacey modeling her Plimoth souvenir hat and holding the coveted Janet Arnold book. Lacey dyed the yarn with madder and Penny knit it for her. Turns out the Virginia girl collects winter hats. I’ve been told it gets cold in Virginia. Mmm-hmm. (Lacey spent ten years in Germany, where it really does get cold. We just like to tease her.)

Lacey headed home about a week ago, and we all miss her very much. She’s promised to come back for the exhibit opening in May. This is Emily’s last week with us and today she’s fighting off a cold and valiantly soldiering on with the green canvas suit. She’s determined to finish it before she has to go home. I’m not liking the empty nest.

Our next embroidery session starts Friday August 22. We’ll have several embroiderers and a lacer or two. There’s still room if you have some time, come and join us.

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