Susan Spencer - Period Hand Stitchery Secrets

Most of us find ourselves faced with a needle and thread at some point, whether it's to create an entire ensemble or simply to reattach a stray button. While the sewing machine is a great modern convenience, there are many times and places that a machine just won't do the trick and hand sewing is much better suited for the job. This workshop will cover some of the hand stitching techniques that it's important to know for period construction, finishing, and decoration -- and also for that critical skill: making it look like a garment is completely hand-sewn when in fact it's not.

This will be a hands-on workshop, so bring small sewing scissors, reading glasses if you need them, and a seam picker if you have one. The good news is that you'll end up with samples to take home and refer to. The bad news is that there's an exorbitant kit fee of $5 per person.

Susan Spencer can’t remember a time when the twin disciplines of history and sewing weren’t a big part of her life. Thrust into sewing at a very early age by a mother tired of finding her closet raided for the creation of period costumes, Susan earned her first “first prize” in costuming at the age of seven. A stint working at Fort Edmonton in the late 1970s brought the focus of historical accuracy to her work, and since that time, she has continued to create historical items and garments as well as teaching the pertinent techniques. After 25 years spent mainly on the road at the helm of Spencer’s Mercantile, a historical goods and accoutrements supplier, she has now retired and has visions of actually being able to indulge in creating some new and sumptuous historical garments.