The most time-consuming chore was making cloth, and it was also one of the most critical. Early on, fabric was in such short supply in America that there are records of court suits fought over a missing handkerchief or a hole burned in a blanket... One of the great mysteries of colonial women's lives is what they did about menstruation. They did not where underpants, and while latter settlers may have used rags, the early colonials probably would have been reluctant to waste precious cloth.
Thanks to this third kind of garment making, one can look at a crowd of thousands of persons in a large city park on a fine day of gathered to watch a parade, and be hard put to find two women or two children dressed in identical outfits... This kind if garment manufacturing that used to amaze visiting Europeans; they took back the extraordinary news that even shop girls and factory girls in the United States were fashionably clothed in a dazzling variety of dresses.