Pin Cusions: A Memory.

(First though, I want to say a very big THANK YOU to everyone who has taken my survey. I have had over 200 people participate. This is nothing short of amazing, and the results now will serve as a strong foundation to my research. Thank you thank you thank you!)

Now it's time for a funny story.

During the summer of 2007 I had a dream internship with Colonial Williamsburg. Four days a week I was working in the Millinery Shop studying and practicing millinery and mantua making while also putting my interpreter skills to good use. The other day (Tuesday, if you're interested) I would spend with Linda Baumgarten, the head curator of costume and textiles at CW. Needless to say, it was awesome.

Here's the thing about me. I'm a klutz. A super super super klutz, and sometimes I'm a bit ditzy. I can't help it. With that, we also wore pockets everyday with our 18th century clothing, as any intelligent 18th century woman/interpreter/reenactor would. They were big pockets. Lots of room to put things in it and carry with me to keep my hands free. (Wallets, cell phone, car keys, thimble, some thread, needle case, etc etc, maybe some ribbon...often times I looked like I had a growth on my leg...but that was usually around lunch when I would go out into the real world in I love pockets...) I love my pocket. Love it.

I, being an intern, didn't really have anything to carry my stuff downstairs with when it was the milliners turn to be interpreting. So usually, I held what I could and put the rest in my pocket. (You're seeing where this is going, aren't you? oh yes.) As a result, my pin pillow often ended up in my pocket because it was the most awkward item I carried downstairs with me. I did this...a lot. Seriously. I made this pin pillow too, by the way. It was crimson and cream (Go Hoosiers!).

There was one major mistake with my pin pillow. I though it was fully stuffed, it was not thick enough or stuffed enough to fully hold the sometimes they would poke through the other end. Acutally, they often stuck through the other end.

Well, one brilliant day, I was making my way downstairs to start our turn in the shop and I, being a genius, put my pin pillow in my pocket. I get downstairs and put my stuff on the table and sit down without readjusting my petticoats.

All of the sudden I'm getting the worst TB test in my bum. EVER. Yes. Oh. Yes. My pillow had attached itself to my rear (more like upper thigh, but you get the drift). The pin pillow needed to be removed, so I, laughing from shock, delicately removed the pillow from my backside. Then, the mistress of the shop had to apply the medical attention (band-aid and peroxide) to my rear since it was impossible for me to reach. Oh, and we're fairly confident I won the 'most ridiculous accident report of the year' award.

I was very proud. Very proud.

And I still have a bad habit of putting sharp objects in my pocket. Oops.

This was taken around the same time of the self inflicted puncture wound. Give or take a couple weeks.


  1. Ooooh, ouch! This may be too graphic, but I once managed to put a needle through my a reenactment. I fell on the top of my pincushion, and the angle was just so...anyway. I feel your pain, fellow historical stitching injury sufferer :)

  2. No fun. The joys of pins and needles. I guess it is the hazard of our trade :D

  3. Oh win. My hands have sympathy pains as we speak. My rear has a lot more cushion than a hand does. Owey Owey Owey...

    Lauren...I think that's the sick part, is that I thought it was hilarious . The whole idea that I just had several pins attached to me was strangely awesome. I'm so weird.

  4. I was having a really slow grudging day and this revelation of yours, although painful at the time gave me a smile that is lasting now for several hours. It reminded me of a 'I forgot to...' . To this day my father will not let me come close to his bed with any sewing of any kind. Yep, sitting on the end of Dad's bed sewing and watching TV with Mom - (this happened about 25 years ago) and was taking pins out and putting them in the bed - thinking, 'oh, I will take them out' Dad came home I got up took sewing with me and not the pins. He got in bed and I never heard the end of it. We laugh about it now. So, here's to us - who tend to forget where we lay our sharp instruments. Cheers - I hope your nether region is healed!

  5. Oh, ouch, ouch! And yet I have to laugh.


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