From the 5th to the 16th September I had the honour of doing work experience with the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Women’s workroom. I learned a lot from my time within the workroom, especially about the maintenance and upkeep of ballet costumes.

I found this particular work experience incredibly invaluable and enjoyable as I’ve never before worked in such a large workroom with such a prestigious company. My duties began with unpicking but quickly progressed to basic repairs, maintenance and alteration work. Including; darning, sewing on press studs/hooks and bars, steaming, pressing, washing, sewing on velcro, and I also sewed in a lot of labels using herringbone stitch which I feel I have practically perfected now! I really enjoyed this work as it taught me the value of maintaining costumes to a standard that makes them look literally ‘as good as new’. 

As well as this I had the privilege of getting to help backstage with the ballet’s showcase at the Birmingham ‘Arts Fest 2011’. It was really interesting to see how the costumes were prepared, transported and used during a show.

I really loved working with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and I really look forward to working with them again when I return in the Spring.