My current bucket list includes more travel and finding interesting sewing exhibits. I did go to the Houston Quilt Show at the end of last year and I attended a Sewing expo in Atlanta this month. I decided to visit Mobile Alabama as my son was on spring break. He is a history buff so a historic destination would suit both of us. Mobile is the oldest city in Alabama and although we only spent two days there, we were not disappointed.
The city of Mobile has a great website that can point you in the right direction if you are thinking of visiting.
Now you might not expect to find examples of sewing on the USS Alabama Battleship, but you would be mistaken. This is an awesome military park. It does not receive any state or federal funding and when you see the sheer size and number of exhibits, you will be amazed by that fact.
You can tour all levels of the battleship. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Daily life of the enlisted men is on display and of course if they were living on this ship they would have need of garment care.
Here is one pressing area available to the soldiers. I can't imagine how busy this would have been given the number of humans on this battleship. The requirements of their uniform code and the fabric types made this a daily task.
This was another pressing area on the ship. Look at the foot pedals on the bottom of the machine. Wouldn't you love to give this a try?
Here is a sleeping area and you can see there would have been a lack of privacy.
That makes this area more appealing to me. It is a room for a pressman. He would have worked on pressing the clothes and also slept in this room. So he was always next to his work but he did have a little more privacy.
Here is another example of sewing on the battleship. This soldier was a tailor. He would have done major and minor repairs to clothing and other items on the ship. Again he would have worked in this room and slept there. That rack is high off the floor isn't it?
The History Museum of Mobile was another stop on our trip. This is in downtown Mobile. If you have always wanted to visit New Orleans but are a little intimidated, Mobile would be a great alternative. It has the vibe of New Orleans with the old buildings and southern hospitality. I found it a little easier to navigate with less traffic.
When I found out that this exhibit was at the Museum, it kind of made my decision to travel there. I have wanted to see this and have been close on other trips or just missed it. I wasn't disappointed.
The Museum of History covers 4 acres. It is absolutely beautiful. You would have a difficult time building something of this magnitude today given the marble floors and high ceilings. The exhibits are large scale with horse and buggies, maritime fixtures, local history of Mobile and a wonderful trip through the decades of women's clothing.
Looking at the clothing that is on display really reminds you of the craftmanship that we don't see today in our clothing. These examples are not only fitted, but the fabrics are exemplary. Everything you see is natural fibers like silk. The lace is not the polyester lace we are accustomed to seeing today.
Just look at the back of this dress. This lucky lady looked gorgeous coming and going. I wanted to stand here all day admiring but there was so much more to see. I also had to keep my fingers away from the displays. You know you would want to touch it too!
The city of Mobile has a colorful past and it has survived many hard times. This photo shows women working in the garment factory. I love seeing their sewing machines and how they dressed for a day of work. I imagine this was a hot, loud place to work every day.
This display is part of Dressing The Abbey. If you have watched Downton Abbey you will love seeing this in person. The skill of the seamstresses who made these costumes is enviable. Of course all of the garments were sewn using real silk and velvets. There were some coats that had fur trim on them and I am happy to say those were faux.
Each of the garments were staged using furnishings from the appropriate era or time period. It made the exhibition all the more authentic.
We stayed at a very nice Hilton Garden Inn hotel. I chose the small town of Daphne on the east side of the Bay Of Mobile. It is right off Interstate 10. There are choices of shopping and restaurants close to this location so if you are planning a trip, I think you might like to stay there.
I have a lot more to show you and instead of making this a very long blog post, there is a vlog you can watch below. More sewing travel will hopefully be in my future and you can see the trips with me. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
The 2023 Sewing & Quilting Show season has begun. I have made it a tradition to attend the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo in Atlanta (Duluth) every year if at all possible. It is one of my favorite events because there is so much to see and do. If you want to take classes, learn new techniques, try out a certain machine, look at pretty quilts, meet new friends or just get away for a trip- this might be it.
Now don't get upset that this Atlanta event has already passed because it travels around the United States all year. So you have many more chances to attend.
You can visit https://www.sewingexpo.com/Events/Atlanta-GA
and get to their website. There you will be able to see upcoming locations. Some advice for you would be if you think you will be attending, don't wait to book your classes. They fill up fast. Especially anything quilting related. Also, book your hotel as close as possible so you can get to and from the Expo easily. Then it won't matter what time those classes are being held. Some of mine were at 8:30am, so I had to get to the parking garage early. In years past there were night classes and I did have to go to my car in the evening. So an Uber might be a better choice for you. If they are scheduled after dark, you may feel more comfortable having someone drive you.
Make sure you check out the dining options at your hotel. I was very lucky that breakfast was offered at mine. Every morning I knew I would have a full tummy and coffee of course to fuel my day.
I was so tired and hungry from my classes and staying busy the first day that I ordered room service. That was a fantastic hamburger.
You will need to print all of your tickets before you arrive and then immediately go to the check in desk. This is where you can pick up your arm band that allows you to enter each day. You also get one entry for the daily prizes. Remember to drop your ticket in and stay until the end of the day. If you aren't present someone else gets the prize!
Sewing machine dealerships sponsor these events and the classrooms are full of brand new machines. The instructors teach lessons so you can try everything out. Then you can purchase the machines at a special show discount. The vendors also have booths with just about everything you could want or need.
There is a main stage that has something happening throughout each day. You can watch demonstrations, fashion shows or special distinctions like this Quilt of Valor being awarded.
Some of the classes will have special gifts that you get to take home with you. Here is all of my loot.
Of course there are so many beautiful quilts to see. Here is a small sample.
You will also probably find several non profit sewing organizations. This was one that I found.
I really enjoyed looking at all of the purses they had on display that had been donated. You may be able to find a local chapter you can donate to. They have free patterns on their website. Click the picture to be taken to their site.
There are so many other things to list. I am glad I planned this getaway for myself. I met new friends, learned some new skills and had a great experience. I filmed my trip and have a video you can watch below to see all of the quilts. I also show you my hotel, the parking and give you a tour of the event. Just in case you want to make plans to attend. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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