Hand Sewn Historical Seams

A Virtual Class with Sarah Woodyard

Hand sewing is timeless. In this two-hour class we will stitch two historical seaming samples based on late-eighteenth century/early nineteenth century techniques. A mantua-makers seam, historically used for skirt seams and a flat-felled seam, historically used for shirts and shifts. These techniques only require a hemming/appliqué technique. The best part of these seams? They are self-finished, so they are perfect for the body seams of an unlined garment from the eighteenth century to today! We will begin with a short lecture on the historic application of these timeless seams and move into recreating the samples together.

This class is for everyone from beginners to advanced stitchers. 


Saturday, April 16th, 2022

11am – 1pm ET

Zoom, a link will be sent to participants
the day before class.



  • Textiles: 4 pieces of light to medium weight, plain woven linen, worsted wool or cotton. 3 inch wide x 12 inch wide (7.5 cm x 30 cm). 
  • Needles: I recommend size 9-11 sharps, appliqué or quilters needles. 
  • Thread
  • Thread scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Thimble (optional)

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Sarah Woodyard

Sarah Woodyard is inspired by the labor of historical dressmakers. She spent seven years apprenticing at the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop in Colonial Williamsburg to learn eighteenth-century mantua-making (dressmaking) and millinery (accessories). After completing her apprenticeship she became a Journeywoman mantua-maker and milliner. Sarah holds her M.A. in Material Culture from the University of Alberta. After ten years of sewing and interpreting at the Margaret Hunter Shop it was time to take this knowledge into the twenty-first century. She opened Sewn Company in 2019. Sewn Company arises from a legacy of hand-stitchers past and present. Through Sewn she teaches historical hand-sewing to historical sewists and modern makers. She is currently taking commissions for hand-sewn items both historical and modern. She is passionate about preserving the skills and stories of hand sewing, through research, design and education. www.sewncompany.com

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