Well it seems my designation is to be that of Lead Tailor, and of course it is true that I’m the one who does the sewing. I suspect however, that my title is largely due to the fact that I’m the only one who can man the serger. No easy task I’m told…
I have always loved to sew and create “things” so this project is just up my alley. Costume making is one of my favourite past times and attention to detail and authenticity is very important to me. When my son David’s interest in the British Royal Navy became apparent to me, the thought of creating a “Royal Navy Captain’s Uniform” began to take root in my head. Soon he and I were planning and scheming and searching the world over for the proper materials. We wanted to make as original as possible a reproduction of such an early 1800s uniform. It has been so much fun, that we are planning a number of other costumes for other members of the family as well!
As a historian I’m largely self taught, having acquired an appreciation of history and genealogy from time spent in discussions with my father and other family members around the kitchen table when I was growing up. The importance of history, and that of my family’s place and cultural background within it, are deeply ingrained in me. Today, as they say, I am the keeper of the family pages on both sides of the tree, and I’m happy to know that when I’m gone both my children are capable of picking up the threads I’ve left them.
I am far removed from the origins of my own family history, having been born in the Netherlands; however, my husband’s family roots are firmly planted into the Canadian soil, and they certainly were among the pioneers of this country. There were many seafaring men among them, both in the form of Ship’s Captains, Merchantmen, even a few impressed Royal Navy Service men, and in more recent times in service to the Canadian Navy during times of war. Some were born at sea, a number of them were laid to rest there, and most lived their lives within a short distance from and within the confines of her shores and tides.
Almost three hundred years of Maritime history has been deeply embedded into the souls of this family, and you just can’t walk away from that, now can ye? Hence this project and what it represents.