I was in Bath at the end of last week for an appointment in the stores of the Fashion Museum collection (from which I was able to basically draft a pattern for the set of stays I’ll do – wheeee!!!!). I decided to go for a couple of days to do some other sight-seeing too, and let me just say: Sooooooooooooooooo beautiful!!!!!!!!!! The place looks frozen in time c. 1800-1810. And the surrounding landscape is idyllic.
As a Jane Austen dork, I could not help going to the Jane Austen Centre there and taking the tour. They had an exhibit from the recent BBC (I think) production “Miss Austen Regrets” of costumes and some period artifacts. One of the period pieces was a dress with a very interesting recent history:
The story with this dress is that it was apparently recently given to a woman who is interested in costume and fashion history. However, the way it was given was……unconventional. It was crumpled up in a shopping bag, and it was all in pieces! So the lady who received it, and her daughters pulled all the pieces out, steamed them flat and set to putting the pieces together. It took them the better part of an evening to figure out what was what, and went where. They also had only the vaguest idea just what they were trying to put together, so it was like doing a puzzle without a picture. The lady it was given to then spent considerably longer than an evening sewing it together by hand so as to protect the delicate silk, and maintain accuracy. This is the result they came up with, how cool is this!? I wish someone would hand ME a bag like that!!