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  About Our Presenters

Janea Whitacre

Janea is Mistress Milliner and Mantua-maker, in the Department of Historic Trades at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Her research in her trades, their products, and their technologies led to preserving the Trades of Milliner and Mantua-maker by way of Apprenticeship Program, in 1995. In 2005, she was recognized as Master (or Mistress) of her trades. She continues to research and study 18thc clothing as well as the lives, work and successes of her 18thc counterparts. She regularly shares her knowledge through workshops and lectures. She is active in Costume Society of America and local theater and dance costuming. She has appeared on the Mr. Rogers Show, Love of Quilting, and various Colonial Williamsburg productions for television. Her reproductions of 18thc accessories and clothing have been included in museum exhibits from Boston to Los Angeles as well as daily being exhibited at Colonial Williamsburg.

Brooke Welborn
Brooke is a co-owner of Stitch Lounge, Stgo. in Santiago, Chile where she teaches 18th Century dressmaking and creates historical clothing for both individual customers & international school theatre productions. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from The College of William & Mary, where she focused on Costume Design & construction and a minor in History. After university she apprenticed as a Milliner & Mantua-maker in the Historic Trades Department of Colonial Williamsburg, receiving her journeywoman paper in 2007. Brooke’s continuing focus is the cut, fit & construction of 18th Century women’s gowns & jackets, especially that of the Polonaise which she has written & published on.

Samantha (Bullat) McCarty
Samantha recently joined  the team at Burnley & Trowbridge where she is involved in all aspects of the business.  She also serves as tailor for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and is responsible for researching, designing, and constructing garments from the early 17th and late 18th centuries. In 2012, she served a ten week internship with the Margaret Hunter millinery shop learning the arts and mysteries of mantua-making and millinery. Her reproduction historical clothing has been featured in exhibits and programs at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Mount Vernon, the New York Historical Society, and the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia

Sarah Woodyard
The design and detail of eighteenth-century women’s dress has always been an inspiration to Sarah. As a previous Journeywoman Milliner and Mantua-maker at the Margaret Hunter Shop in Colonial Williamsburg she worked to preserve and interpret the trades of eighteenth-century needlewomen. Sarah holds a B.S. in Textiles and Clothing from The Ohio State University holds her Master of Arts in Material Culture through the University of Alberta. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for hand-sewing eighteenth-century fashion through lectures, workshops.  Sarah’s (current) favorite garment to study and stitch are eighteenth-century women’s caps. 

Mark Hutter

Mark is the Master Taylor and Supervisor in the Department of Historic Trades at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and serves as a Vice President for the Costume Society of America. For more than twenty-five years he has studied and replicated original 17th through early 19th century garments, in order to document and reconstruct the practices of the tailor’s trade. Mark studies clothing and its creation as a reflection of the broad social, economic, industrial, and political contexts of the age. His current studies focus on the evolution of trade techniques that follow the introduction of the new suit and new fabrics in the third-quarter of the 17th century. As a tradesman and historian Mark shares his knowledge with visitors to Colonial Williamsburg, as well as by teaching the trade in a formal apprenticeship, and in frequent workshops and lectures.

Neal Hurst
Growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania sparked Neal’s interest at an early age in the War for American Independence and material culture.  After high school, Neal worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation within the Department of Historic Trades and finished a seven-year apprenticeship earning his journeyman’s papers as a tailor.  Neal received his B.A. in History from the College of William and Mary with High Honors for his senior thesis entitled “a kind of armour, being peculiar to America:” The American Hunting Shirt.  In 2015, Neal graduated with a Master’s degree from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture completing his thesis entitled, “For the Heat is Beyond your Conception:” Men’s summer dress in the American South During the Long Eighteenth Century.  Neal currently holds the position of Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  

Michael McCarty

A passion for discovering the hows and whys of 18th century clothing led Michael to an apprenticeship at Colonial Williamsburg. After nearly seven years under Master Tailor Mark Hutter, he is ready to claim the title of Journeyman Tailor. During his time as an apprentice he studied in museum collections on both sides of the Atlantic, patterned garments for publication and reproduction, as well as presented on the Macaroni phenomenon of the 1760s-70s at the Costume Society of America's national conference. He also worked on both reproductions of Washington’s tents "The First Oval Office Project" a collaboration between the Museum of the American Revolution & Colonial Williamsburg. A focused part of Michael’s study has been & continues to be on the evolution of men’s clothing from 1785-1820.


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