I made this so long ago! A decision to hand sew and embroider means that I still think it owes me big time!
It began as an idea of a Regency dress (think Jane Austen), from a Thomas Lawrence portrait crossed with fashion plates from period publications such as Ackermann’s Repository, and also some extant examples held in various museums , plus Janet Arnold and Nancy Bradbury. (take a look at some of my pinterest pages!) The making is recorded in a blogger blog
This has been revisited once in the attempt to tie costume to histories – giving a context beyond a personal garment. Quotations from Lady Louisa Lennox’s letters were machined around the skirt. ( She was the daughter of the Duchess of Richmond who gave the famous ball on the eve of the battle of Waterloo) This still too pretty for me so it sat in full sun and was used to wipe down the windowsill ! It has marks of wear and subtle staining now, some of the stitching has pulled and the evil muslin has escaped in places – perfect.
I blame the Winter Olympics – I decided to hand stitch again – the innocent opening line from Magdelene de Lancey’s account ” A Week at Waterloo”, just inside the back neck (well worth a read – have tissues and a strong stomach). She wasn’t the only woman there – one served as a sergeant in the Prussian army, many more were on the battle field during the fighting, involved in the conflict, in the care of the wounded (one had her leg broken by a musket ball as she took her injured husband away from the action.) or in support roles. The names I found have I added to the sides, along with a distressing quote from Charlotte Eaton’s account, did revert to machine stitching for reasons of sanity. Some washing out is still needed – used water soluble fabric as a stabilizer and that seems to like 2 rinses to leave completely.
The additions have changed the feel of the garment for me – it is now just as much about those women as a pretty dress.
It doesn’t matter how careful I am there are always bits!
Remember- have some workshops happening – check the website for dates and info. Also get the York Open Studios into those diaries – 10 textiley people exhibiting this year!