Archives for category: College Work

This half scale 1860’s evening dress was made from a pattern by Janet Arnold taken from a dress from the trousseau of Miss Wyatt. We had to make a half scale garment from any pattern by Janet Arnold as an exercise in using another person’s patterns and making them work.

I chose to make this nineteenth century evening gown because I thought that it’s shape was really interesting. I liked the slightly flattened front bell shape of the skirt and the sleeves and the way that the berthe sat across the bodice. I wanted to have a go at making this dress in half scale because I’d never made anything from the 19th Century before so I thought it’d be different and a good chance to learn about another period of dress.

I began by going to have a look at the original garment in the Manchester Costume Gallery. The Gallery were kind enough to let me have a look at the gown and take photos and measurements from it which was so invaluable when constructing as I had already seen how the dress went together.


From the notes and photos I had taken of the original, and from the instructions given by Janet Arnold, I constructed my half scale garment as true to the original as I could. I did make the decision to machine stitch some of the major seams but I don’t think that it affects the garment as a whole because I hand finished everything I could.

I really liked the colouring of the original gown, however I couldn’t find the right fabric in a pink and black stripe, so instead I chose a green and black striped fabric as I felt that having the stripes was more important than having the pink colour. I really like the colour combination of the green and black on my version and I think it works well with the green net sleeves instead of the ivory colour of the original.





We finished our run of ‘City Voices’ on Saturday evening, and I for one am really proud of the whole team that made this production possible. ‘City Voices’ was a Rose Bruford college production combining three newly written plays performed in their Barn the
atre. As a costume team we were each given specific roles. I was in charge of store pulling costumes for the middle play ‘The Frame’.

I also made a pair of trousers for ‘2’ in this same play, see right. I was pretty pleased with how the trousers fit the actor and how his costume looked as a whole onstage. I am aware that the trousers were hardly a feature costume, however I chose to make them to learn more making techniques and skills and I’m pleased with how they were finished.

I was also in charge of screen printing two t-shirts for the characters of ‘Claire’ and ‘Henry’ in ‘SATB’ the last of the three plays. These two t-shirts can be seen left.

As well as dressing on all three plays backstage and working as a part of the costume assistant team, I was also in charge of painting the costume for ‘Stranger’ in ‘SATB’. To create this costume that was meant to look like a human statue my supervisor sourced all the separate aspects of the costume from charity shops and then I was to paint it with acrylic paints to give the costume a stone look.

I began by making the whole a single grey colour and then working into the costume to give it the stone effect we were going for. I used a sponge to create the stone stippling effect. First in a mid tone grey and then afterwards when this didn’t register enough on stage under stage lighting, I was asked to work into the costume with a lighter colour. I used the same technique as previously but with a much lighter grey to make the colour stand out on the darkness of the stage. I think that in the end the whole costume looked really effective.

Thank you to for allowing me to use of his photos and for doing such a great job photographing the costumes on stage.

So here we are again! We are now starting our next show block at Rose Bruford College. I am working on the New Writing Triple bill of three short productions, ‘Friends, family and other people’, ‘The Frame’ and ‘SATB’.

We started officially last Monday when we had our final design meeting, and I am now in the process of flat drafting the toile for the pair of man’s grey chinos that I will be making. I’m excited to be working with Fraz Roughton again and Sarah Peachey as our co-designers and we have a really good costume team so I look forward to learn a lot again from being a costume assistant! This show I am in charge of pulling for six costumes for ‘The Frame’ which I am really excited about.

Keep watching for more updates and maybe a few fitting photos!

I created this religious alb for the character of Ostensible in Rose Bruford College’s latest production of Scenes from an Execution which showed at the Unicorn theatre, London, from the 3rd-5th March 2012.

It was designed by Fraz Roughton and is a stylized adaptation of a traditional Cardinal’s garments. I created the garment adapting a flat pattern by the embroidery artist Beryl Dean and then changing the garment to the shape that my designer wanted in fittings.

The alb was created with soft tailoring, is fully lined and over a period of just under three working weeks. I also worked backstage on the show as a dresser and wardrobe assistant. It was an incredibly fun and challenging time and I learned a lot about working in a professional environment. I really look forward to working backstage again soon.

I am currently working on costumes for Rose Bruford College’s production of  Scenes from an Execution, so thought I’d re-blog a picture taken by Fraz Roughton, the very talented designer of our show who designed the costumes that I am helping to make and source. This is a sneak preview of the costume I have made during the final fabric fitting… Very exciting!

Stay tuned for finished pictures and more information! And don’t forget to come and see the show if you possibly can, it should be excellent:

Photo by Fraz Roughton:!/Frazroughton

I’m currently working on Rose Bruford College’s production of ‘Scenes from an Execution’ at the Unicorn theatre in March. I’m really excited about this production, so please come along and support it! It should be a really interesting production.

Booking and information on the link below!

Image courtesy of Rose Bruford.

I have just finished a short project at college learning to hone my wig and hair dressing skills. I thought I’d post some pictures to show my work.

I really enjoyed learning how to pin curl and put up the hair into a stocking cap and a wig. I also found it interesting to learn how to add false hair into style to best create period hairstyles.

I have just finished my latest week long project with an outside tutor, this particular project was focussed on making dance and sports wear.

We were allowed to create, from our own design, either a catsuit or a leotard which we had to draft, cut and make for our own measurements. As you may have seen from the rest of this blog I tend to avoid being my own model… However eventually the lycra got to me!

For the fitting process we worked in pairs and so my partner fitted me and I fitted her. I decided I wanted to make a leotard and began with flat drafting my pattern from flat drafting instructions, which I then altered to fit my measurements and my design. I designed a leotard with frills at the hem in a contrasting colour of lime green mesh, this mesh would also make up the sleeves and keyhole panel at the front.

The fabrics we were given to use were black or white stretch jersey lycra and anything we could use from a box of scraps the college had. I found this particularly outrageous shade of mesh which I wanted to incorporate, even though I knew it would cause some issues being of a totally different material and density to the black lycra.

Still even with these issues I was pleased with how my leotard turned out, I think it fits me well and I especially like the lime green ruffles around the bottom.

For a three day project at college I was tasked with creating a Nineteenth Century hat. I decided I wanted to make a recreation of a ladies’ riding topper. This is a kind of sloping top hat, taken from men’s styles but made more feminine and used primarily for riding. You still see examples of top hats being worn whilst riding in equestrian shows and important events today.



I really liked the blend of the masculine and feminine that was an aspect of this hat. I liked it because although it is not incredibly decorative, the style and beauty is seen in the cut and line of the topper. Because of this it was especially important to get the shape of the hat correct. I made the hat from stiff buckram and thick covered millinery wire which I then covered in a decorative cream patterned fabric and finally decorated with ribbon, feather and a jewel on the rear of the hat.

The original line drawing of the hat that I used as a source had a slightly curved crown, however I couldn’t achieve this effect with the stiff buckram I was using, and so I had to create a straight sided crown. I do still think that this created a good line and am really proud of how my hat ended up looking. I genuinely enjoyed my first experience at millinery work and greatly look
forward to working and creating hats again in the future.

For my dye project at college we had somewhat of a crash course in all things dyeing, printing and breaking down which was a really excellent experience to gain. I have previously only had a very basic knowledge of these techniques and so I really valued learning more about these skills.

We covered three basic areas of study, dyeing, breaking down and printing, and our task was to create various samples of these techniques. 

I created two main stencils, one of  a repeating art-deco style face, and the other of the iconic silhouette of supermodel Twiggy. Once I had these I used them to create two main items. The first was a screen printed and gold foil t-shirt design printed with the Twiggy icon and the second was a length of fabric that was printed with my repeating pattern in flat stencil print and gold foil accents.