Monday, 7 February 2011

Jumping into Jane Austen


My new university project involves working with one of my best friends on a small tourist attraction for Wollaton Hall in Nottingham. We both have different roles in the project, and my job is to make the costumes. We need two outfits, both from around 1810, a lady of the house, and a footman.


I want to make the corset and underskirt in the right way, and something along these lines for the dress. I will be focusing on historical accuracy, but my lecturer is keen for me to have theatrical reasons behind all my design choices. What are my reasons for that colour? Why is it relevant to the character? That kind of thing. Of course I will try to consider all these things, but we are basing the character on an actual person (Lady Jane Middleton) rather than from a story or play, so I don’t know how to go about it.

Picture 0051807-11

I’m starting the corset tomorrow, very different in shape to the ones I’m used to making. When it comes to the dress I need to find the appropriate fabric, something that drapes appropriately and doesn’t cost the earth – we have a fairly small budget to stick too.


  1. Basically you have the shape of what regency gowns look like, from then on out it's up to your imagination. Start envisioning a "theme"... Think about what the purpose of the dress is gonna be....Is she out walking, having tea, going shopping, on a carriage ride. Once you have the setting you can then think about season, warm or cold, that then determines your fabric choice. Just start sketching, you may go through 10 sketches before you go back to your first and then start combining Designing a garment isn't all that hard once you have the who what when where figured out. After that let your imagination run wild!

  2. Think about who Mrs. Middletown is, what is she like, what are her characteristics.

  3. Thank you, that is a big help.