I've been interested in charity sewing, too, and have found a few references in England. So far, I've had no luck finding firm evidence in the U.S. One of the things on my to-do list is to search the archives of a local Society of Friends meeting (Alexandria, VA) and records in Philadelphia to see if I can find any references. But I haven't gotten there yet--so many subjects, so little time!
Ann Wass -----Original Message----- From: Elizabeth Jones <elizabethrjones2...@gmail.com> To: Historical Costume <h-cost...@indra.com> Sent: Fri, Dec 18, 2015 7:03 am Subject: Re: [h-cost] Is h-costume still going? I actually wonder about how charity sewing would fit in to the fancy vs plain sewing rule in Mansfield Park there is one evening (I think they have company over but I can't remember) when Mrs Norris complains that Fanny should be sewing and if she has nothing of her own to work on there is plenty of work in the 'poor box'. Implying that making things for the poor (almost certainly underclothes, the workwoman's guide is only slightly later than this novel and it has a lot to say about making underclothes and baby clothes as charity) was a normal and expected occupation for young ladies. If it was somehow clear that what you were making was for the poor of the parish instead of your own family working on that in public would show off your charitable virtues (not a bad thing for a gentleman to look for in a wife as anything that makes your tenants happier is likely to make your estate more stable and profitable). Elizabeth On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 6:23 AM, Lavolta Press <f...@lavoltapress.com> wrote: > I get the impression that in the nineteenth century there was "private" > versus "public" needlework. Unmarried young women, at least, tended to do > mending and make underclothes (shirts fell into that category) only within > the family (when no callers were expected) or at most, only in front of > intimate female friends. Their public, "fine" needlework showed off their > skills in embroidery, netting, and so forth. When they made calls, they > might be embroidering a flounce for a dress, or embroidering a fire screen, > but not mending stockings. Unpretentious matrons and mothers of large > families might do plain sewing and mending in a more public way, but elegant > married women, not. > > Fran > Lavolta Press > www.lavoltapress.com > > _______________________________________________ h-costume mailing list email@example.com http://mail.indra.com/mailman/listinfo/h-costume _______________________________________________ h-costume mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://mail.indra.com/mailman/listinfo/h-costume