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Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 27, 2017 and Island Ad-Vantages, July 27, 2017 and The Weekly Packet, July 27, 2017
Workshops explore American Revolution clothing

Men’s fashion at the time of the American Revolution was very different than men’s fashion of today. Historian Henry Cooke will offer a weekend of workshops and a public lecture in mid-August at the Hutchins Education Center in Castine.

The first workshop, on Friday, August 18, from 1 to 5 p.m., is titled “The Art of the Tailor: An Exploration of 1770s Men’s Clothing and Construction.” In this workshop participants will examine original 1770s garments from Cooke’s personal study collection, including coats, waistcoats, breeches, shirts, cloaks and great coats, to uncover the secrets of their construction. There is a registration fee and attendance is limited to 10 participants.

On August 18 from 7 to 9 p.m., Cooke will offer a lecture titled “Soldiers, Sailors and Loyal Citizens All: The Dress of Castine during the British Occupation, 1779-1783.” When the British Army and Navy arrived in Castine in 1779, they added their unique attire to that of a port town filled with fishermen, ship builders, skilled tradespeople, as well as merchants and their genteel ladies. This lecture will draw upon historical records, period artwork and both original and reproduction garments to illustrate the distinguishing quality and style represented in Castine’s colorful community. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“Reconstructing the Past: Men’s Historic Coat Workshop” will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. In this intensive workshop, participants will create their own historically inspired coat using pre-purchased kits pre-cut to each participant’s measurements. Participants will learn the historic stitching, fitting and finishing techniques needed for successful construction of a coat. This workshop is limited to 15 participants and early registration is essential in order to have appropriately sized kits available. There is a registration fee plus the cost of the chosen coat kit.

Workshop registration deadline is August 1. For more information and to register, visit the Wilson Museum’s Calendar of Events at, call 326-9247, or email