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The Yankee Express

History is in the details

Old Sturbridge Village will host its annual Textile Weekend event from 9:30 a.m.– 5:00 p.m., on Saturday, Aug. 12, and Sunday, Aug. 13. Explore historical textiles and traditional crafts associated with them all weekend long. Included with standard daytime admission or membership to the Village, the event will focus on the theme of “Behind the Scenes & Seams”, highlighting the original clothing and textile-related objects from the museum’s permanent collections. 
As a follow-up to last year’s  popular demonstration, special activities during this year’s event will include sewing two dresses in real time over the course of the weekend – this time for a mother and daughter! Skilled sewists will assemble for two days to complete all the stitches needed to create two dresses, while periodically trying the dresses on the wearers to test the fit and showcase progress.
“We’re thrilled to expand upon last year’s successful dressmaking project with double the dresses for 2023,” said Carrie Midura, Coordinator of Historical Clothing and Households. “In addition to having the help of our skilled dressmaking staff and long-term volunteers, it is especially exciting to be able to include five talented college students during the final weekend of their summer internship at Old Sturbridge Village. They’ve been studying the fashions and sewing techniques of the 1830s and we can’t wait to see them put their newly gained skills and knowledge to use during Textile Weekend.” 
Additional demonstrations will take place each day (subject to change), including:
• Wool dyeing demonstrations at the Herb Garden
• Reproducing a tin sewing box, based on an original example
• Tailoring men’s fashionable 19th-century garments
• Discussion of 1830s knitting and weaving patterns with skilled needleworkers
• Working with a variety of plants and tools to create braid for making straw bonnets and hats
Be sure to also see Old Sturbridge Village’s “Needle & Thread: The Art and Skill of Clothing, an Early 19th Century Family” exhibit. The exhibit explores the complex story of where materials came from, fashion and practical clothing advice, and the emergence of the readymade clothing industry. Clothing featured in the exhibit changes periodically for the different seasons, so even if you have been to the exhibit before, there is always something new to be seen.

“Our newest textile exhibit, Needle & Thread, has been on view for a year and has been the perfect opportunity to focus on the extraordinary breadth of Old Sturbridge Village’s textile collection and contextualize the intersection between domestic sewing and skilled needle trades,” says Rebecca Beall, Collections Manager and Curator of Textiles. “A recent partial reinstallation highlights the nexus between the Village’s textile collection and the creation of historical reproduction garments, particularly the meticulous work of recent Ddora Foundation Costume Fellows in an exhibition of reproduction historical clothing and the extant garments.”

For more details on the event or to purchase tickets, visit: