THE ACTUAL BEGINNING Since the New England colonies were settled first, they were the first to experience the hardship which they were not fully ready to face. Both men and women alike brought either one outfit or two and if their clothes got ripped or soiled during the first few months, that was too bad for them. The ships that were sent to England took a long time to arrive and the costs were very high. More comfortable clothing could have been worn, but the Puritans and Separatists were very strict about everything
LAYERS: SHIFT This was the first layer in the clothing of the women. This layer was just a long straight dress with three quarter sleeves or long sleeves. This was usually made by the woman herself and was the most washed article of clothing. The shift functioned as an undergarment during the day and a nightgown during the night. This article of clothing was unisex and was worn by both genders.
LAYERS: STAYS The stays come on next on top of the garment. They can be referred to as corsets but they are a bit different from corsets. The stay is put in place to correct the posture of the woman because the posture is as important as the dress of the woman, if not more. The stays were fastened around the waist, and for common women it only changed the shape of their body slightly. Unlike those of the higher class women whose stays choked them and deformed their bodies. The stays also often had a network of reeds within the fabric.
LAYERS: PETTICOAT(S) The petticoat is an undergarment that is usually worn in sets of 3 or 4. The petticoats give the skirt that is put on top of them volume. The petticoat is usually a long skirt with several ruffles to give it the volume effect. It is usually tied back with a string connected to the hemline, in the New England colonies.
LAYERS: WAIST COAT The waistcoat was a fitted jacket worn over the shift. The waistcoat was worn on the top portion of the body and as the name suggests it was fitted or tied back at the waist Although the waistcoat gave hardly any support like the stay did it was often used to accentuate the waist, for it was one of the most noted features in a proper lady.
LAYERS: SKIRT The skirt was, well a skirt, it was an outer garment and one of the outermost layers in women's clothing. The skirt was worn over the petticoats and with the help of the petticoats it appeared to have volume. The skirt was floor length but was ankle length for young girls because they tend to run around more and it was a sign of age and status AH! The HORROR! Our ankles AND our knees will show!
LAYERS: GOWN The gown also defines itself. It was just a gown worn over the multiple petticoats and the shift. Like the skirt, the gown was floor length for grown women, but ankle length for girls. The gowns often showed your social class even in – gasp!- The Puritan and Separatist communities.
The apron was worn over the waistcoat and skirt or the gown to keep it clean. The apron reached the floor like the dress and it went up to the bust. The apron was also amongst one of the most washed articles of clothing in colonial America. LAYERS: APRON AND COIF The coif was a hat worn by women at all times. The coif represented that the women fear god and respect him. The coif also showed the class of a woman depending on how large it was.
TWO SETS OF CLOTHING The common colonial woman living in New England had to own at least two different outfits. One of these outfits could be a normal, housework, everyday kind of outfit that was easier to move around in and do housework. The second outfit had to be a bit more elaborate, but still simplistic, it was used for Sabbath day, or rather Sunday as we refer to it in modern day.
Every Day Sabbath Day WOW! They look so… bored.
MATERIALS USED The materials used included wool for warmth, beaver and deer fur/skin for warmth durability and beaver skin was waterproof, and flax for linen. The Northern colonies could not grow cotton because of the cold temperatures. Spare Me! WOOL Flax-Linen NO COTTON! Deer Beaver Hey! My fur isn't really waterproof, its wet, you dont want my fur.
NOW ITS TIME FOR SEWING!!!!! Project Runway time? YAY! OMG! I love this show! Everything is so PRETTY!
SEWING IN THE COLONIES Because of expensive costs of buying clothing many colonists had to make their own clothing. Either that or they could (later on in time) go to someone and get it custom made for them. Majority of the colonist population knew how to sew and sewed, even the men. During the winter, because of the cold weather, men would sit and help the women, in this case sew. The colonists had to know several sewing techniques and to survive, they were required to learn them. Aside the fact that they had to know how to sew, they also had to know how to take wool and linen and make them into cloth.
CLOTH MAKING The making of the clothing all started out with natural resources, its not like there were yards of colorful cloth growing from bushes! These along with the cloth plants DO NOT EXIST!!! There were many steps to cultivating and preparing the clothing, it was a long and tiring procedure. The wool had to be sheared off the sheep, sorted, carded (a process in which you use two brushes to smooth separate and soften the wool), then you could twist it into strands of thread. After all of this is done you can use your loom to weave your clothing out of wool. The linen was a whole different story. First the Flax seeds had to be grown and cultivated. Next the fiber had to be removed from the plant. Once removed the fiber was stretched and soon twisted into thread. That thread soon was used to make cloth and the cloth to clothing. Fur and skins was also a very different procedure. At first the colonists got the furs from Native Americans, but they soon learned how to trap and tan furs and skins. First, the anima had to be caught. Then, the skin was stripped off of the meat. Next, you stake the fur to the ground. From here on the procedures for the skin and furs are different.
Continuing from the previous slide, now you take a dull stone and scrape off the hairs on the outer side. After that is done, you take the brains of your catch, boil them until they are hot and rub the brain both onto the hide, then you leave it to dry in the sun for 6-8 hours. Then, after the drying time is done you need to soak it all in water. After that is done stretch your hide some more to make sure it isn't stiff, and then leave it to dry. The final step is to soak it all in a boiling pot of water to make sure that everything is soft and nice. To create furs, continuing from the previous slide, you need to pin the skin down and scrape off any excess skin on the inner side. Then, you need to boil the brains of your catch, and when the broth is hot you can rub it all over the inner side of the skin. Then, you need to let the fur hang dry for 6-8 hours. When t is ready, you follow the procedure similar to the one in creating leather, you then soak and wash it. Next, you stretch your hide in all the places and then you hang it in the sunlight to dry. The last step is to boil your fur in water and let it dry. SKINS & FURS Skins (leather) Furs Skins and furs were mostly used to create outerwear that could be worn in the winter
COLOR Even though we are talking about the strict northern colonies, bright colors dominated in England AND the Northern Colonies. Dont let the toned down colors in the VERY OLD paintings fool you the colonial women had colorful dresses for special occasions (if they could afford to buy or make another garment of course). The clothing that these women are wearing is very colorful and detailed, but this fashion was worn more in the summer season with an undergarment under them.
Yay Boston, Hurray Plymouth Baaa! In the puritan settlement of Massachusetts it was illegal to wear or purchase any garment with gold, silver, lace, or silk on it. In the colonies of Plymouth and Boston, laws were proclaimed protecting sheep because in these cold northern Colonies the weather was very cold and harsh. While the sheep wool was a good source of warm clothing. Some places in the puritan settlements banned buttons because they thought buttons were too fancy and mainstream. STRANGE LAWS
TREND FOLLOWERS Being good and respectful of their nation the colonists tried tomodel their clothing to match those of the English royals atthat time. Even thought they had some different opinionsabout the decorations on the clothing, theyadored the overall fashion and style of theseclothes Kate Mi… Oh wait, wrong time period Presenting Queen Anne. (although the neckline is highly puritan disapproved)
The colonial dress had many layers. This was both good and bad. GOOD BAD It was always cold in the northern colonies so the multiple layers provided warmth The layers of clothing makes it appear as if the woman is well fed so she must be from a wealthy family They were entrapped in their uncomfortable layers of clothing. It was very hard to move around in several outfits. Reminded you of a cabbage, because of the concept of this dressing Im stylish. Youre the cabbage! Ha Ha! You look like a cabbage!
Images: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/004/cache/beaver_457_600x450.jpg http://heritagecostumes.com/images/products/3495.jpg http://www.profitableplants.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/MoneyTree.jpg http://www.franksfurs.com/ProductImages/furcoats/LongFur07a.jpg http://www.reenactmentcostumes.com/images/3.jpg http://www.datazap.net/sites/uniquehandmadeitems/aprons/100_1781.jpg http://www.bridgemanit.com/artman/uploads/dress.jpg http://www.history.org/history/clothing/women/images/shift1.jpghttp://www.fashionjour.com/wp- content/uploads/2010/07/top_20five_20luella_20style_20floral_20skirts.jpg http://img2.etsystatic.com/il_570xN.245255238.jpg http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3164/2615193708_63eaf76051.jpg : Research http://www.alpharubicon.com/primitive/tanningdragoona.htm http://www.handsonhistoryinc.org/HOH-Page12.html http://library.thinkquest.org/C004179/wool.htm http://www.18cnewenglandlife.org/18cnel/Gowns.htm http://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/homework-help/what-wear http://library.thinkquest.org/J002611F/clothing.htm http://www.localhistories.org/colonial.html http://web.ccsd.k12.wy.us/techcurr/social%20studies/05/0101pilcloth.html http://www.18cnewenglandlife.org/ Books Your Travel Guide to Colonial America BY: Nancy Day Colonial Clothes BY: Verna Fisher Colonial American home life BY: John F. Warner
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