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A canvas ditty bag with a fid, sewing needles, and a thimble.

Join us for this one-day, in-person workshop to learn “plain sewing” to create a Revolutionary sailor’s linen ditty bag, similar to a modern tote bag. Museum staff will discuss the history of sailmaking and sailors’ bags, inspired by our special exhibition, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, and offer instruction on basic hand-sewing. Visit a recreation of James Forten’s sail loft and use historical tools and techniques to complete a ditty bag to take home. This is a beginner workshop and no previous sewing experience is required.

This workshop includes a break for lunch participants are welcome to bring their own lunch or purchase lunch upon arrival. 

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Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia exhibit graphic featuring a portrait of James Forten.

Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia

February 11 - November 26, 2023
In the upcoming 2023 special exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, the Museum will introduce visitors to Forten and his descendants as they navigated the American Revolution and cross-racial relationships in Philadelphia to later become leaders in the abolition movement in the lead-up to the Civil War.
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Image 101220 Foop Williamsburg Sewing Tent 0

Artisan Workshop Series

Learn tricks of 18th-century trades and meet others while discovering new talents in making and doing. Then, try your hand at creating your own replica.
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Image 032822 Declaration Of Independence Family Galleries

Plan Your Visit

View our ticket prices, upcoming events, tour options, and more to plan your next visit to the Museum.
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