Saturday, 2 March 2013

Bishops Palace Costumes

All bag sewing was abandoned for a little while late last year when I got the opportunity to Make some 18th and 19th century costumes for a local tourist attraction. Honestly I was petrified but delighted at the thought of making something so interesting (but a little out of my comfort zone too...!)

The 1740's gown above is being worn by one of the ladies who plays the  'Lady Este'. Lady Este is one of the former occupants of the Bishops Palace, and the tours are conducted by actors & actresses in period - appropriate garb.

Each of the gowns (3 of this style were needed), are made from silk. They are interlined and lined in cotton, so that they are as breathable and comfortable as possible. Below is a picture of the back which has some vertical pleats:

 The overskirt is pleated onto the bodice. The cuffs were gathered slightly and a chiffon frill attached.

The bodice ties to one side of the stomacher (front panel) with hooks which are concealed just under the ivory lace trim . I used some  vertical pleating on the stomacher aswell.

The underskirt is made from a darker purple silk. The side hoops similar to the ones shown here are worn underneath to give shape to the hips of the gown.

The gowns have been getting a great reaction from visitors - they look well in their setting. It's lovely to see them all finished -I'm really chuffed,  don't you think sometimes it's good to take on a new challenge? 

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