True Colours Flag Project
Meet the Makers of True ColoursMay 2021
The wool bunting has been sent out. The first stitches have been sewn. And the Museum's True Colours Flag Project is officially underway!
Meet the seamstresses the Museum has partnered with to bring a "suit of colours," the full set of flags carried by ships during the Revolutionary War, to life. Be sure to follow their work from their respective social media channels as well as the Museum's Instagram and Twitter, @amrevmuseum. Plus, you can catch some of these makers in action working on their craft periodically throughout the project at the Museum.
Don't miss the onsite debut of the True Colours Flag Project at the Museum over Flag Day weekend when we fly the flags high over the Museum's Plaza.
Meet the Makers
Kirsten spends her work time as the Curator of the University of Maryland’s School of Nursing Museum and her free time exploring the long 18th century through archival research and material culture. She is particularly interested in historical millinery, women entrepreneurs in early America, and spoiling her cat.
Kirsten will sew the British Ensign for the True Colours Flag Project.
Kaitlin is an artist, seamstress, and educator living in Philadelphia. She has a BFA in Acting from Arcadia University with a minor in French. While there, she spent three years working as a seamstress in the costume shop. She is thrilled to be sewing again and is very excited to be taking part in this amazing project.
Kaitlin will sew the British Jack and Dutch Pendant for the True Colours Flag Project.
Ruth lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts, with her husband and two Siberian cats. Needlework, including sewing and knitting, is second nature, having been taught by her mother and aunt at a very young age, which led to a career in clothing design. And 18th-century living history was a family activity shared with their two now-grown sons for over 20 years. Recently, Ruth created a women’s organization called the Ladies Association of Revolutionary America, a group that encourages, supports, and promotes increased women’s voices and stories at historical sites and events.
Ruth will sew the United States Striped Ensign and the French Ensign for the True Colours Flag Project.
Nastassia began her lifelong passion as a historian and costumed interpreter at nine years old, when she first volunteered at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Over the years, she has collaborated with several museums in Maryland & Virginia, mainly interpreting Black History in Colonial America. In 2018, she partnered with the Museum for the Hamilton Was Here exhibit, as well as Meet the Revolution in 2019 where she portrayed Ona Judge. Today she continues to tell the stories of famous and local women through costumed interpretation and living history, and displays her historical costumes on her Instagram.
Nastassia will sew the United States Striped Jack for the True Colours Flag Project.
Facebook: Mrs. Boice's Historie Academie
Kim began her professional museum career as the Museum Educator at the historic Peter Wentz Farmstead in 2003, shortly after earning her master’s degree in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program (SUNY- Oneonta). She currently is the Executive Director of Historic Fallsington, Inc and is enjoying the return to her home county of Bucks. Even when not at work, she can sometimes be found providing engaging experiences to visitors as part of programs at the Museum and other historic sites. Kimberly believes very passionately in the ability and power of museums to educate people by uncovering the lives of those that lived during the past.
Kim will sew the Swedish Ensign for the True Colours Flag Project.
Nicole is a fashion historian who shares her research and work through YouTube, focusing on historical shoemaking and recreating antique pieces. She has previously worked with the Museum on the First Oval Office Project in 2013-15.
Nicole will sew the British Pendant and the French Pendant for the True Colours Flag Project.
Gabriela has studied 18th- and 19th-century dress history and construction for nearly 10 years, with a particular focus on working women’s attire. Drawing from extant source material, Gabriela enjoys replicating the processes and techniques used to create garments centuries ago as a way to understand the experiences of the original makers and the context in which these garments were worn.
Gabriela will sew the Portuguese Ensign and Spanish Ensign for the True Colours Flag Project.
Jana is a New York City-based freelance costume maker. She studied design at SUNY Purchase and drapes garments, makes patterns, and stitches by hand and machine out of her studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Jana has worked with the Museum in various capacities, including living history demonstrations, virtual programs, and making costumes for both staff and exhibits.
Jana will sew the United States Starred Ensign and the United States Pendant for the True Colours Flag Project.
Hannah is a life-long learner and museum professional who has lived and worked in Philadelphia for nearly a decade. She finds purpose in the active work of preserving and interpreting local history to ignite curiosity and camaraderie amongst others. Hannah is also a fifth-generation loom weaver of rugs in her family's tradition. These rugs are made by upcycling unwanted materials with the goal of making new and useful products for the home.
Hannah will sew the United States Ensign for the True Colours Flag Project.
The Betsy Ross House
Elise D’Avella is a Philadelphia based freelance theatre director and teaching artist who began first person interpreting Betsy Ross in the fall of 2020 and enjoys connecting the past to the present through Betsy’s story. Jennifer Gray has been portraying Betsy Ross at the Betsy Ross House since 2015, embracing the wonderful intersection of history, education, and theater. Carol Spacht is the senior interpreter at the Betsy Ross House. She portrays Betsy under her third husband’s name, as Elizabeth Claypoole, and during Betsy’s most well-documented years as a Philadelphia flagmaker.
The trio will be sewing the Dutch Ensign for the True Colours Flag Project.
Sponsorship for the True Colours Flag Project is provided by The Color Guard of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution.