the Exhibit. . .
is proprietor and owner of The Golden Needle, a business that specializes in the
conservation, restoration and reproduction of antique clothing, textiles and accessories.
Suellen has been collecting antique clothing and textiles for over 20 years. Her
collection includes men's, women's and children's clothing as well as accessories,
jewelry, embroideries and textiles from the early 18th century through the 1920's.
Suellen has also designed and built many of the 'mannequins' which are being used.
Suellen received her conservation training from the noteworthy Fashion Institute
of Technology (F.I.T) in New York City and through extensive personal research.
Credited to her accomplishments are exhibits at the historic Durand-Hedden House,
the John Joseph Henry House, the John Sebastian Goundie House, Burnside Plantation,
Jacobsburg Historical Society, Landis Valley Museum, Historic Bethlehem, and she
served as a consultant for the "Ancien Regime" exhibit (at F.I.T) in
conjunction with the Kyoto (Japan) Costume Institute. She lives in Lambertville,
New Jersey with her son, Stephen
has been enamored with historic costume and fashion since childhood. A graphic
artist by profession, she graduated from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia,
and received her degree in illustration and design. She and husband John are also
directors of the Tapestry Historic Dance Ensemble,
performing 18th and 19th century programs at historic sites in the Delaware Valley
area. As an historic seamstress for Williamsburg
Rose Fashions, Lynn researches and recreates styles of dress from the Renaissance
to the 20th century for individuals and events from re-enactors to bridal and
museum work. Past projects include an 18th century black silk "calash"
bonnet for Mount Vernon, George Washington's Virginia home, and textile conservation
on authentic 18th and 19th century garments. Lynn also gives lecture-demonstrations
on Colonial and Victorian fashions, and has worked with historic sites for period
costume displays. "Styled for the Season - Fashions of the Victorian and
Edwardian Eras" and Shades of White -
Brides of Delaware County, 1860-1920" were featured at The Grange Estate
in Haverford Township, Pennsylvania..Both 18th and 19th century clothing was highlighted
in "Fashion in Exile" an exhibit at
the LaPorte House at the French Azilum, PA in 2005.
When not involved in activities
of Olden Times, John and Lynn tend to a family of pet parrots at their home in
Pottstown, PA. email:TapestryLJ@aol.com
William A. Brobst (Administrator for
Pottsgrove Manor) for handling all arrangements, logistics, organizing the exhibit
and the loan of a number of items on display; and to Ed Hulmes, our Volunteers
Liason and Assistant, for his time and hard work; and John Symborski, who lent
an extra pair of hands whenever they were needed. In addition special thanks to
all who also lent a number of original and/or reproduction clothing and accessories
items: music room bentside spinet harpsichord made and lent by John Symborski;
other instruments lent by Suellen Tatrai.
Reproduction Costumes & Accessories
The reproductions shown have been
meticulously researched using books, original patterns, and hands-on examination
of extant garments from the period. A majority of the sewing and decoration was
done by hand as it was 200 years ago; with some of the extremely elaborate outfits
taking more than 200 hours of work! Since living in the 21st century does not
allow enough time for the indulgence of exclusive hand stitching, machine sewing
has been used on interior areas on many garments. The reproduction clothing was
created by Suellen Tatrai and Lynn Symborski (marked ST or LS in the descriptions),
unless otherwise noted. All garments are personal interpretations of period styles
and as such, are not meant as exact copies of existing pieces. Certain items,
such as shoes, stockings and buckles are commercially available and obtainable
from shops or sutlers specializing in 18th century reproductions. For these, the
maker is not specified.
Manor, Pottstown, PA
Manor is the historic home of John Potts, colonial ironmaster, merchant and founder
of Pottstown. During his ownership John Potts developed the land into a large
working plantation, which by 1762 included a town of the same name. The town officially
became Pottstown in 1815. As a prominent member of the Philadelphia Merchant class
John Potts was appointed to the position of Justice of the Peace and was a judge
on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. He also was elected to the Philadelphia
General Assembly for both Berks and Philadelphia Counties. The county of Montgomery
operates the site under the direction of the department of History and Cultural