Camee Waterson is a far distance from her native South Dakota as well as from her family home in Wyoming. She is spending the summer in San Marcos, Texas, taking a break from her studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where she is a graduate student majoring in historic costuming. She may be taking a summer break from the classroom, but not from what she loves to do – hand-sewing historically accurate replica clothing.
After discovering the LBJ Museum of San Marcos, Waterson approached Museum Director Scott Jordan about the possibility of completing an internship during the summer. She had a specific project in mind – recreate typical late 1920s school clothing for a boy and girl. Jordan was enthused by the concept of the project and sought approval of the museum’s board of directors for modest expenditures to enable Waterson to complete the project.
After looking closely at the group photograph of the youngsters who attended the Welhausen School in Cotulla during the 1928-29 school year while Lyndon Johnson was their teacher and principal, she located historical patterns, purchased the material and began to sew the garments that will eventually become a part of a museum display. She is making a shirt for a 10-year-old boy and a dress for a 12-year-old girl – by hand, one stitch at a time.
According to Jordan, the garments will most likely be displayed on some sort of mannequins and situated in an unusual 1920s two-seat school desk recently donated to the museum by Dr. Gwen Smith of San Marcos. He is currently exploring mannequin options.
Waterson holds a bachelor of science degree in textiles and apparel design from the University of Texas at Austin and the LBJ Museum project fits in nicely with her career goals. Her dream is to work full time creating and preserving replica clothing for museums.
On a recent Thursday afternoon, Waterson was hard at work on assembling the clothing. She has been working on them at the museum on most Sunday and Thursday afternoons.
The public is invited to check out her work at a special public presentation she will make at the museum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 6. The museum is located at 131 North Guadalupe Street on the square in downtown San Marcos. There is no charge for admission. For more information call Jordan at 512-353-3300.
By PAT MURDOCK
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