Symposium Session – Victorian Secrets for Today’s Seamstress

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Victorian Secrets for Today’s Seamstress

Presented by Susan Spencer

Generations of seamstresses have passed down sewing secrets, many of which are no longer in common usage today . . . but boy, are they clever! Some of the most useful can be found in this presentation, which covers everything from the basics of stitching, boning, and hemming to the more esoteric concepts of design to hide figure faults and seam placement to distract the eye and flatter form. We’ll even throw in the Scotch Tape zipper trick (which isn’t actually Victorian, but is dead useful anyway!) for free!

Victorian Seamstress


Susan SpencerSusan Spencer can’t remember when history was not an important part of her life. Thrust into sewing at an early age by a mother frustrated by constant “borrowings” of garments from her closet — which garments usually ended up as portions of costumes — Susan took her first “1st prize” in historical costuming at age seven and never looked back. An eager participant in Edmonton’s annual “Klondike Days” 1890s festival from the time she could toddle, it surprised no one when she ended up working at Fort Edmonton in the late 1970s. There she cut her teeth in the business of making history interesting to the public. Life events caused a long professional hiatus from the world of things historical, but her passion for the subject led her back, and in 1993 she founded Spencer’s Mercantile, purveyor of fine historical reproduction goods. Usually found dashing off in at least seven different directions at once, she spends most of the summer months on the road throughout eastern North America. Over the winter, she can be found teaching classes and workshops, wreaking havoc in the store’s back room, plotting the next year’s travels, and volunteering her time on event committees, while trying desperately to get caught up on paperwork and occasionally even getting some sleep.

To learn more about other sessions, workshops, and special events please visit the International Steampunk Symposium Schedule . . . your invaluable guide to getting around the world in 48 hours!



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