Friday, May 22, 2015

Vive le Roi!

On July 11, 2015, the recreated sailing ship L'Hermoine will be arriving in Boston.  There is an event being organized for the citizens of 1780 Boston (aka living history types) to greet the ship in a grand manner.  We at the Hive are looking forward to the ship's arrival and, in preparation, will be discussing appropriate impressions for 1780's New England.  In the meantime, I offer you news of the ship's arrival as described in the Massachusetts Spy on May 11, 1780




Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Problem with Pinterest

It’s so simple, a pin here, a screen shot there, save image as, just copy and paste.  Easy, isn’t it?  Sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Tumbler, etc., are great ways to bookmark your journey through the interweb and are a simple method for sharing what you find. However, when it comes to research, these sites are a blessing and a curse.

How can having all this information at one’s fingertips be a bad thing? ... Because of the rampant failure to cite sources, attribute research and recognize other’s work.

Recently we called out vendor for violating the copyright on a Larkin and Smith pattern.  When challenged to cite their source, they claimed that the object in question was inspired by an original.  The object, in fact, turned out to be an original – A Hallie Larkin original!  

But where did this all go wrong?  Simple – it’s easy to pin. It’s harder to take the time to cite your sources.  In this case, not only did the museum that housed this supposed “original” not get any credit, but the primary source was actually a secondary source.  A good one based on a primary sources mind you – but ultimately the vendor was inadvertently selling a copy of someone else’s work.

Here’s how Hivesters can make a difference!

If you are using sites like Pinterest – note where the pin originated.  Posting something on Facebook?  Cite the museum, date, artist, etc.  Quoting from a book, article, website – cite your sources.  

Good research is built on a framework constructed by others.  The reason we’ve come so far is because of people like Linda Baumgarten, Janet Arnold, Sally Queen, Sharon Burnston, Florence Montgomery, Claudia Kidwell, Edward Maeder, Beth Gilgun, and Henry Cooke, among others. 

Cite your sources. Give credit to those whose research you are using, respect intellectual property.  For you it might be a hobby and doesn’t really matter.  For the rest of us, it’s our hard work, and it does matter. 

For more about citations see:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


March Hive -- Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Buzz at the Hive
10:30-12:00 -- Kit Tune Up -- Don't wait till the last minute to make sure your kit is in good shape for the season.  Take this time to reattach those buttons, fix blown out seams,  replace the collar on that shirt -- all those tasks that lots of us leave to the night before an event.  

Lectures

12:00 -- 1:00  Textile Tutorial -- Cloth in Pre-War New England
We'll be looking at common fabrics advertised for sale, mentioned in runaway ads, in probate inventories, and in period literature.  What are they? What do they look like? What were they used for?  And what we can still get today? We'll also look at some originals so you can see first hand what some of these fabrics look like.  Join Hallie Larkin, Steph Smith and Henry Cooke for this textile-o-rama!

Break out Sessions

1:30 - 3:30  
(pick two -- each session will run one hour and will be run twice)

"Touch This"
Sometimes what seems like a great buy turns out be a disaster to sew, especially when one shops on-line. You will learn the hallmarks of a good fabric by touch and feel. You'll quickly learn how to avoid the clunkers that don't turn out to be the bargains you thought they were.
Buttonholes
"It's the first thousand"! Besides practice, there are some secrets to creating great buttonholes. In this session, you'll learn the basics as well as some of the tricks of the trade.
Stroke Gathers
A seemingly easy technique that requires a little skill and a lot of patience. Used to attach sleeve heads to the body of a shirt or shift, as well as attaching a cuff to a sleeve, a well done stroke gather is a thing of beauty. 
Basic Stitchery
You might know the basics but may not know the techniques to create secure and consistent stitching. In this session we'll cover: running stitch, combination stitch, back stitch (several variations), underhand hem stitch. You'll also experiment with different size needles to find the right tool for the job. Bring your sewing kit.

Location: Minuteman Technical High School on rte 2A in Lexington, MA.  Follow the signs for the the Community/West Entrance.
The Hive is free for members of the living history community and those who are interested in volunteering at Minute Man NHP.

Coffee and Tea are available, snacks to share are always welcome!
For more information visit our website or email us at hiveworkshops@gmail.com




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What's Up Your Sleeve Workshops: Sleeve Ruffles


Join us this Saturday, January 17th, at the Golden Ball in Weston for a day of sleeves!  The second half of the day will be spent making a pair of simple muslin sleeve ruffles.



Ingenious in their construction and simple in their beauty -- This project will also give you a chance to perfect teeny-tiny hems and work on mastering your fine hand sewing skills, which will come in handy next time you make a cap or shift.

The fee for the course is $45 and includes all the materials you will need to create a lovely pair of sleeve ruffles.

To sign up, email us a hiveworkshops@gmail.com
for more info: http://www.thehiveonline.org/current-workshops.htm


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sleeve Treatment Workshop - January 17th Details






During our morning workshop on sleeves we are going to learn how to make three common sleeve treatments, a cuff, a double sleeve flounce, and a puckered cuff. All three are common to the 1770's and are patterned from originals.




We'll start the class by looking at these three sleeve treatments as pictured in artwork and on original gowns.  In addition, we'll explore how these various sleeve adornments relate to the cuff of your shift and/or other accessories like sleeve ruffles.





You'll make each type, then learn how to attach them to your sleeve.  If you have a gown that you'd like add a sleeve treatment to, bring along some extra fabric and your gown so you can add the new detail to your gown.  In any case, bring your sewing kit.

The cost of the class is $30 and will run from 9:30 am - 12:30 at the Golden Ball Tavern in Weston, MA. If you'd like to sign up, email us at hiveworkshops@gmail.com



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hive Book Club - January 18, 2015


The first Hive book club will be held the morning of the January 18th Hive.  Our first book will be, "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman" by Laurence Sterne.  The discussion will be lead by today's guest blogger, Matthew Mees.  The book is available for free download at the Project Gutenberg website



Laurence Sterne wrote The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman from 1759 to 1767 in nine volumes. The book is episodic, digressive and includes some experiments with page layout and typography. Several chapters are written in Latin (with translation). Some parts of the story are described by squiggles on the page.

Tristram Shandy describes his life along with those of family members, family friends, servants and passerbys. Some characters describe the lives and events of people we never meet and there are a number of people introduced simply to illustrate a literary point.

There are several jokes in the book. For some of these, the punch line is obvious from the horizon; the Reader just does not know how the joke will be finally delivered. Some jokes sneak up on the reader; some are nearly lost within a maze of digressions; others seem puzzling.

There is bawdy and heartfelt sentiment as well as loving descriptions of absorbing "Hobbyhorse" interests.

John Adams, Voltaire and Goethe loved the book; Dr. Johnson said it was a passing fad and would soon be forgotten.

I read and reread this book because of the voices and narrative power. Sterne wrote to the reader, directly. The whole work is conversational and when reading, we can clearly hear the voices of people from many different walks of life. Sterne offers us an open door to his world, his world of family and village politics; love and economy;childbirth theories and fortifications; all to the tune of Lillabullero.

On the 18th, I plan to give examples to illustrate all of the above points and hope to produce several tableaux vivants, dramatizing striking events of the novel.

Please read the book, enlarge your family and see if it is indeed not full as well to have the curtain of the tennaile a straight line as a crooked one.

Sincerely,

Matthew Mees

Saturday, December 13, 2014


February Hive
Sunday, February 15, 2015

Taking Needle to Fabric  

The Buzz -- 10 - 11:30

Book Club -- Book to be Announced

Sunday Morning at the Movies -- Barry Lyndon - Part 1


Lectures 12 - 1:30

The focus of this Hive will be to learn how to make good fabric choices, not only ones that are appropriate for the garment and time period but also fabrics that have the right feel, texture, etc.  The second part of this workshop will be to learn hand stitching techniques that will enhance the beauty of appropriate fabrics.


Fabrics of the 18th century -- Look at the wide range of fabrics that were available to the buyer of 1770 New England.  We’ll explore the advertisements, as well as the period swatch cards, and sources like Barbara Johnson’s journal.




Round Robin Breakout Sessions - Pick 2  1:30 - 3:30

“Touch This” - Sometimes what seems like a great buy turns out be a disaster to sew, especially when one shops on-line. You will learn the hallmarks of a good fabric by touch and feel.  You’ll quickly learn how to avoid the clunkers that don’t turn out to be the bargains you thought they were.

“Buttonholes” - As our dear Mr. Cooke always quips - "it’s the first thousand"!  Besides practice, there are some secrets to creating great buttonholes.  In this session, you’ll learn the basics as well as some of the tricks of the trade.

“Stroke Gathers” - A seemingly easy technique that requires a little skill and a lot of patience. Used to attach sleeve heads to the body of a shirt or shift, as well as attaching a cuff to a sleeve, a well done stroke gather is a thing of beauty.

“Basic Stitchery”  - You might know the basics but may not know the techniques to create secure and consistent stitching.  In this session we’ll cover: running stitch, combination stitch, back stitch (several variations), underhand hem stitch, whip gathers, and eyelets. You’ll also experiment with different size needles to find the right tool for the job.  Bring your sewing kit. 




Location: Minuteman Technical High School, Lexington, MA

Coffee and tea are available and as always, snacks to share are always welcome.

The Hive is free to the local living history community and is brought to you by the Hive volunteers, Minute Man National Historical Park and the generosity of Minuteman Tech for the use of their facilty.