Sunday, 4 August 2013


I'm back in that hut at the bottom of a garden in Oxfordshire again, this time for a production of Great Expectations. I'm going to share a few of the costume highlights so far (a trip to Bristol Costume Services is on the cards for next week, I LOVE hire companies).

 First up, fabulous military jacket covered in braid, mmmmmmmm braid.
Next, a couple of delicate embroidered blouses. The first one is commercially made (as opposed to being made for theatre or by a costume company).
The embroidery is really fine, in a pale blue variegated thread on the latte colour silk crepe.
I haven't got round to doing the ironing yet.

The second blouse is possibly a one off, there are no labels to be seen, so I don't know if it was a theatre make or a home make that has made it's way into the costume store.
The scallop detailing on the cuff is incredible, but what had me most intrigued was the embroidery on the body of the blouse.
It looks like a simple running stitch outline, with a trellis pattern in the flower centres, but the leaves and petals look more opaque than the surrounding area. At first I thought it was an incredibly small and neat applique, but closer inspection of the reverse shows that this is not the case.
It's not very easy to see in the photo, but the running stitch on the outside is actually the back of a herringbone stitch that has been worked over all the petals and leaves, which is what's making those areas more opaque. I've never seen this technique before, does anyone know if there's a particular name for it? Clearly it's only effective with sheer or semi-sheer fabrics, but it's so clever!

Finally it's this late Regency velvet and damask gown. There are so many details in this dress that I love.
Narrow braid over the curved bodice seam.
Pleated front section, gold piping and a crepe chiffon contrast.
MASSIVE puff over sleeves.
I fully expect to see more of this kind of thing next Friday as I'll be in Bath to see the Laura Ashley exhibition at the Assembly Rooms, expect many photos.
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