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Thank you for visiting my blog, I have now set up a website 

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information. Please visit it for more exciting costumes at:




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Henrietta Maria's Hat




This hat was part of the costume for Henrietta Maria I made, taken from a portrait by Van Dyck in 1633. The hat was blocked from a wool felt capeline - I would have liked to use a fur felt, but unfortunately there weren't any I could find in a large enough size within the budget. I made a buckram block for it, and steam blocked it. The brim is wired, and the front and back of the brim are cocked, by steaming. It is trimmed with a bias cut strip of matching fabric for the dress, and a matching rosette of wire edged ribbon as well as the potassium dyed ostrich feather.

Henrietta Maria



Original Portrait by Van Dyck
This project was recreating an outfit worn by Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, from a Van Dyck portrait from 1633. The full costume consists of:

  • corset
  • biscuit pad (to support the back of the skirt)
  • 2 shaped and pleated petticoats, one with pintucks and a frill, one plain
  • cartridge pleated skirt with train, made of hand slashed satin
  • tabbed bodice made of hand slashed satin, with lace edged cuffs
  • gold organza fichu, hand painted and dyed 
  • lace collar and partlet, printed onto organza from a screen I designed
  • felt hat from a wool felt capeline, with hand dyed ostrich feather (see millinery tab for further detail about the hat)
  • braided shoes
This costume will be part of a parade at the Queens Gallery, for their exhibition of Tudor and Stuart portraits in May, so better photographs will be available then. 


Mrs Crummles Bonnet

This bonnet was designed by me for the character of Mrs Vincent Crummles, from the novel Nicholas Nickleby by Dickens. It is based on descriptions of her character, and fashion plates and images of the time. The frame is made from buckram (unmolded) and millinery wire, and covered in a brown textured fabric, with box pleated grosgrain ribbon and pheasant feathers to trim.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to get a photo of this on the model yet, but that should be on here soon.


Photography by Danny Garside







Beaded Parrot

This is a beaded parrot, made using a variety of beads and sequins onto organza, experimenting with different beading stitches. The pattern was given to me, and I attempted to follow it as far as possible, but had a few problems getting exactly the sizes necessary, so there had to be a bit of improvising... Nonetheless, I'm happy with it - now it just needs something to be attached to!








Photography by Danny Garside

Bum Roll and Shaped Petticoat

Petticoats are used to add bulk and support an over skirt, and to soften and smooth the undergarments, so that they do not show through to the top fabric. I made a small bum roll to go with this calico petticoat; so that the petticoat hem is always on the straight grain, and it sits straight at the bottom, it has to be shaped over the bum roll and pleated on the stand to allow for the extra length needed at the back.

Shown with Corset
Bum Roll




Photography by Danny Garside


Basic Corset

This was a corset project, exploring different ways of constructing a corset, using various seams and finishes. This was blocked to the model's measurements and then fitted twice. It uses flat felled seams, channelling, petersham covered channels and overlocked seams and features a modesty panel at the back. The top and bottom are hand finished with bias binding and piping respectively. 




Inside View

Photography by Danny Garside


Men's Regency Shirt

This is a square cut shirt, cut to a traditional pattern where all the pieces are square so there is minimal fabric wastage. There are ties at the neck and wrists, and gathered sleeves and neck. This is wholly french seamed with gussets at the neck, armhole and side slits. The back is longer than the front to allow for tucking in. 

                              

Cinderella - Pumpkin Costume

This is the pumpkin costume from the 2011 Hackney Empire pantomime Cinderella, designed by Lotte Collett. I made this on a work experience placement, out of orange plastazote. I made a pattern from a real pumpkin, having had some trouble with getting it to hang properly, and then shaped each segment with a heat gun. The seams were all reinforced with cotton tape, and the eyes and mouth are cut outs with yellow sprayed panels behind. It is pulled over the head, with head and arm holes, and ends high thigh. After I made it, I spray painted it with red and yellow to make it more 3 dimensional. It was worn in a scene with UV lighting, so the whole thing glowed, while the actor was wearing black so the pumpkin looked like it was dancing.
The pumpkin pre-spray paint

The gradiated colours made it appear more 3D on stage
Front view with face cut outs

A Cabinet of Curiosities

This dress was designed for the character of a homeless women keeping her meagre possessions and memories inside the old frame of her crinoline, bridging the centuries with tokens of her experiences.
The dress was bound in maps, and the inside of the crinoline was quilted in sections, and was visible through the small doors set around the skirt, each giving a different view of the inside.


Clockwise from top right, photos 1, 2, and 3 by Danny Garside

Armour Plated Corset

This corset was inspired by medieval armour. The base under-bust corset was covered in metallic silver fabric, then small sections of 'plating' were attached on top. The plating was made of a variety of fabrics, which were distressed with heat. Some panels were also made of knitted wire and wool, and dyed stretch knit to make fabrics imitating chain mail. 

Photo by Danny Garside

Mary Bell

This costume was designed for the child murderer Mary Bell, incorporating elements of the evidence used to convict her. 


Struwwelpeter

This is a costume I made for 'The Tailor' from the German set of cautionary tales, 'Shock Headed Peter'. He attacks children who suck their thumbs, and cuts of their fingers with his big shears. One side of the lining of the jacket has sweets to lure children in, and small pockets to store the thumbs in. The other has a collection of tailoring tools. 
Photos by Danny Garside