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These things came to our notice after the book went to press, and will be included in the revised edition of the book. Our thanks to Paul Dickfoss, Angela Burnley of Burnley and Trowbridge, and others for their kind assistance.

  If you have a question about something in the book, please let me know

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Pg. 3, paragraph 2 will now read:
Wool, linen, hemp, silk, and cotton are the fibers that were available in the 18th century. Reenactors often start out with cotton, but unless you have researched cotton and its applications, it is easy to make mistakes. There were many qualities and varieties of cotton available, but in some areas it was harder to come by than others. The finishes, dye processes and printing methods and country of origin dictated the cost to the consumer, unless it were home grown as it was in the south. Basic items like shifts and aprons that would be worn and washed often were most often made of linen. When making outer garments most available calico prints aren't right for 18th century clothing. If you do use cotton for petticoats, jackets or gowns it is best to concentrate on simple stripes and solids.

Pg. 4, paragraph 1 will now read:
Shopping for linen can be confusing if you don't know what weights to buy. There are reputable specialty merchants well versed in the nuances of weight, finish, pattern and use; the newcomer might do well to seek them out for their advice. Fabrics up to 4 oz. or so in weight will be appropriate for caps, handkerchiefs and shifts. Weights of about 6 oz .to 9 oz will work for petticoats, jackets, and gowns. Heavier weights of 10-12 oz. are considered more of a canvas weight. An appropriate for stays, work aprons and some lower class outer garments. Most fabric sellers will send swatches upon request, sometimes for a modest fee.

Pg. 4, the final sentences of paragraph 3 will now read:
Pure wool fabric can be hard to find these days, though it is available from specialty merchants within the hobby. A synthetic content of up to 15% usually looks enough like 100% wool to be acceptable and still fire resistant, but you should avoid wool-Lycra blends, as that gives the fabric a nonperiod look and stretchy feel.

Pg. 5, the paragraph that ends at the top of the page will read:
Choose simple checks or balanced stripes until you are more familiar with period textiles, as well as the context in which they were used. Stripes and checks were usually woven into the fabric, not printed, unless they were part of a more complex printed design. Cabbage roses, reproduction 19th c. calicoes, and paisley patterns should be avoided.

Pg. 8-9, shifts:
Researchers Paul Dickfoss and Kate Johnson, illustrator of this book, tell me that they have 4 or 5 citations between them for women's shifts being made of wool flannel, and are looking for more references. Dickfoss's are from a 1761 Dictionary of Trade and a runaway ad, Johnson's are from original inventories. Men's wool flannel shirts were not uncommon in New England runaway ads, and like shifts they were considered undergarments.

Pg. 10, petticoats:
If you do, in fact, make all your petticoats the same length, the one worn underneath will show under the uppermost petticoat.  This seems to be a reenactorism, since one doesn't see this in period art.  It might be best to have a shorter petticoat as the one most commonly worn underneath the outer one.

Pg. 15, 'corset blanc':
A friend who speaks more French than I do suggests that the 'blanc' in 'corset blanc' means 'empty', as in 'unboned', rather than referring to the color of the garment. The entire discussion is in the archives of the FandIWomen list on Yahoo.

Pg. 26, 'modesty piece':
On p. 230 of An Elegant Art: Fashion and Fantasy in the Eighteenth Century, the glossary lists the term 'modesty bit' as used in a 1731 article. Nevertheless, the most common term seems to have been 'handkerchief', even though it was worn around the neck. Many reenactors refer to it as a 'neckerchief', a lesser-used period term, because to our modern ears a handkerchief is something one carries in one's pockets.

Pg. 43, sutlers list:
We neglected to include James Townsend & Son, Inc., who carry a wide range of goods for reenactors and rendezvousers. That being said, we can't possibly include every 18th c. sutler in the book, due to space limitations. As noted, there is also an excellent list of 18th c. sutlers at www.liming.org/revlist/merchant.html.

Author bio, inside back cover, should read: "Mara Riley is a tailor and seamstress of 17th, 18th, and 19th century garments, including stays. She has a B.A. in History from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA."


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Copyright 2003, M. E. Riley