Terry Dresbach

AN 18th CENTURY LIFE

The Materials

89

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Gown and sleeve fabrics. We tried to avoid this fabric and weave our own, but once we saw it on a camera test under candlelight, we knew it was the right one. It just did the proper shimmer. Now we have a lot of beautiful silver wool, waiting for Season Two.

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Here is the mica. We all took turns shaving mica during stressful times. It was a very zen activity, chop wood, carry water. Saved our sanity. We started with three chunks of mica about 4″ long by 3″ thick. We shaved them down to a large container of paper thin flakes.

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The sleeves. We have this beautiful little smocking machine that operates with a hand crank. Makes beautiful, magical things.

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Here is our sleeve. Ethereal. I love these sleeves!

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This is one of our leaves on the embroidery frame. We made hundreds of leaves and acorns, all by hand. You can see the metal strands very clearly,  it is an amazing process. Extraordinary work!

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And finally, a closeup on the stomacher, All the leaves, stems and acorns have been painted to look as though they have oxidized, giving them lovely tone and depth. The sticking on the silk reflects the stitching done on the sleeve. Just stunning work by my amazing crew.

You can also see what happened to the top of our bodice. there was another piece to the dress, a band of very translucent silver fabric, that bordered the top of the gown, bringing the neckline up a few inches and leaving her less bare. But when we were shooting, the taking off and on of the cloak, totally destroyed it. it was just too delicate to withstand the dragging of that heavy wool off and on. We stood on the side of the set dying a little, every time it went off and on, but they are never going to stop shooting so you can repair something like that. too time consuming. So, Claire reveals a bit more than we planned, but Jamie no doubt enjoyed it!

89 thoughts on “The Materials

  1. jean

    Terry, thank you for posting the close up photos of the detail! The dress is just amazingly beautiful. The painstaking hours you and your team worked on the dress certainly were well with it. Bravo!

  2. sandyknc

    Wow, Terry! So extraordinary! Thank you for the close up pictures. The thought, effort, and love that you and your team put into Outlander makes me proud to be a fan. I love that you love it as much as we do!

  3. MelissaP

    Wow! The close-up of the leaves and acorns is quite amazing. Definitely looks like a long, lengthy process. Once again, such an amazing team to undertake this daunting task.
    Thanks for shedding light on why Claire is showing so much more on top…very noticeable 🙂

    1. GeorgeannaT

      I want to thank you, too, for the explanation. I can understand your vision and the original costume from looking at the portraits and I appreciate knowing why it seemed so remarkably and revealingly low cut. I was a little surprised that anyone could wear something that low without popping out (and wondered how the ladies of the day prevented that 🙂 )

  4. ctslafka

    Wow. Doesn’t every woman want a reason to have a dress like this? You must be so proud of your team. Just gorgeous. The pleats on the back of the skirt made me shiver when I was watching the scene just outside the church.

  5. Debbie Dake

    The detailed work involved is mind-boggling to someone who can barely hem something. I am in awe of this dress, the design, the thought that went into it and the work that was necessary to create it. In awe.

    ~ Debbie

  6. darlenec

    The lengths you have gone to get every detail perfect is extraordinary! It had just the right shimmer effect. And the sleeves were so light and delicate. Just enchanting! Wonderful work of art.

  7. katie

    Magical is the perfect word to describe the smocking. Love it all but those gorgeous, delicate sleeves sent chills down my spine.

    And so, so happy to see metal thread embroidery on the show. It’s a dying art and it was so beautifully showcased last night.

    1. lizcostumelizcostume

      Do you embroider with metal thread? It’s been great to be able to use it on costumes for the show, usually it’s textiles for castles and cathedrals when I get the opportunity to use this technique!

      1. katie

        I do! There are still a few of us carrying the torch. I don’t do ecclesiastical embroidery but I use a lot of metal threads in my stumpwork pieces. It’s such gorgeous stuff.

      2. AnneG

        Hi, Liz, I do embroider with metal. Next month my husband is going to Spain on business and I’m going with him. While he’s in the field, I’m going to Malaga for an embroidery class. They still do lots of metal thread embroidery.

  8. 4nikikelly

    I can not tell you how much this enhances the way I engage with the show. It is such a treat to be allowed these behind the scenes glimpses into the production process. I find the costuming particularly fascinating. I know we always pour the sugar on you Terry, but man, it is just SO exciting to be able to roll around in all the delicious details with you. It brings me tremendous joy (and makes my husband roll his eyes more than I have ever seen in my life) Pfffft. I will sigh over this hand cranked magical smocking machine if I want to!

  9. andeesings

    Terry thanks for the close-up photos of the detail on the gown!! The piece should honestly go into a museum. Hand embroidery is something that astounds me. Liz is one talented chick!! There’s an embroidery school in London that if I had my druthers, I’d absolutely go. Do you know how else someone might learn hand embroidery?

    1. eurobikegirl

      There are a number of books published by V&A that have incredible photographs of different types of metal embroidery, in detail. Outside of the Royal Embroidery School (I need to go there…), you may find useful information on structuring the forms underneath by researching Stumpwork, Englishwork, dimensional embroidery, etc.
      That being said, call your local museum and ask for a conservator in the textiles dept. They are frequently happy to let you investigate extant pieces within their collections, so you might interpret construction techniques.

    2. AnneG

      Royal School of Needlework has a couple locations for US classes. There are EGA and other stitching workshops and retreats and lots of private teachers. The Japanese Embroidery Center in Atlanta offers classes and has teachers all over as well, if you are interested in more challenging skills.

  10. LillyV

    I agree with the above poster – THAT DRESS needs to end up in a museum – I am so LOVING your Blog and all the details you are sharing I feel like I have found a kindred soul in you – Thank you and as Jamie says “Truly”

  11. catherine.fautley

    The string of pearls was extravagantly long.

    I have a question about the silver leaves and the mica. How/where is the mica used? Is the mica the silvery thread on the sleeves and if so, how ever do you turn sheets of mica into thread? The silver leaves – are they made of ribbons of silver? I used to used to use thin ribbons of silver in my jewelry, ages and ages ago and never thought to try to embroider with it.

    1. lizcostumelizcostume

      The heavier silver thread on the sleeves is a metal thread called bright check bullion. Essentially it’s a very tiny spring of silver plated copper strip, which is polished and wound around a triangular needle to give it “facets” so it’s sparkly. The leaves are stitched with silver plate, a heavier strip of silver plated copper. The leaves use plain plate, the garland on the stomacher uses a part embossed plate, sometimes called scotch tinsel, and the stems use fully embossed plate, sometimes called satin tinsel.

      1. catherine.fautley

        Thank you for the lesson on embroidery with silver. Now I want to try these materials on my current wall quilt. It would fit in with the design so well. I’m still curious about the mica, do you mind sharing where and how that was used?

        1. catherine.fautley

          Oh, I forgot to thank you all for posting such great close up views. I LOVE sewing, tailoring and quilting and I was just dying to get a close up look at the details. It means a lot to me and I want you to know I really appreciate your generosity.

      2. AnneG

        Thank you. What did you use for the padding? Felt or something else? Did you trim close before or after appliqué? I love the motifs appliquéd over the pleating. May use that on something. Gives a great depth.

  12. Connie Sandlin

    That is so beautiful, there aren’t enough words. My husband was flabbergasted by the dress, too, and that was extra nice. How many ways can we say thank you and we admire you and we love you!

    I’ve seen some of the photos Liz Boulton tweeted about some of her other work, but this just has to be a pinnacle of embroidery artisanship!

    Kudos to the whole team!

  13. elizlkelizlk

    Absolutely gorgeous! I so appreciate seeing the details of the construction. I figure the weight of the dress gave another reason for Claire to spend much of the episode in her undergarments. 😉

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  15. lsaari

    Terry and the entire costume crew,
    I have felt since before the first episode; that you folks were going to “do it right”! You have all waaaay exceeded my expectations! The costumes are just fabulous! Jamie’s “wedding” apparel was stunning – but Claire! Oh MY! CLAIRE!

    Having worked in textiles and hand work all my life – I can only commend you on the wonderful job you are all doing in creating some truly incredible pieces! I only wish that we could have seen the “up close” stitching that is on this blog “in the series”… but I’ll be perfectly happy to find it on this site!

    Just like Ron and crew are doing a masterful job “adapting” the books to series – I think you and your crew are doing just the same sort of masterful job! Something that might be “just right” (era, look, texture, etc) might not translate well to the series and I think you have compensated beautifully with your choices not only for Claire’s wardrobe – but others on the series as well.

    I also know – “JUST HOW DIFFICULT” all that handwork can be and how getting it to come out “right” when you need to get it right the “FIRST TIME” can be! I worked in the bridal industry as a hand seamstress – (not using the sewing machine) doing veil work; bead work and lace repair for many years and have been a lacemaker (bobbin and embroidered laces) for even more years… and looking at the close up’s of your designs – I’m enamoured!

    I’m truly enjoying seeing how your inspirational photos are translated to the apparel for the series!
    Kudo’s Kudo’s Kudo’s!

    Very sincerely, Leslie Saari (CornieCousin on Twitter)

  16. lutenihon

    Terry and Team…

    Serious kudos for the work that you do. You can really see the love and passion in your work through the screen.

    Thank you for sharing Terry! I love your blog and your (sometimes) random musings and inspiration.

    This wedding dress is TO DIE FOR! It’s even more exquisite up-close, I wish we could see it on screen for longer. Claire’s corset was beautiful too. May we have some close-up details of that too?

    For discussion:
    Do you think Claire keeps it? Do you think the men would let her stuff it in her invisible clothing trunk?

    If this this took one person 3,000 hours to make… How much would it be worth back then? Seriously how can the Madame ask only a SHILLING for it?!?!? How much was 1 shilling worth back then then? I feel like a dress like that must be worth at least $10,000 today!

    1. GeorgeannaT

      I wondered the same thing about Claire being able to keep the dress. The story I made up for myself was that since Ned paid quite a lot for it and since he was traveling with them she would have his support in finding a way of packing the dress and taking it with her.

    2. DH87

      I assumed the one shilling was for the dress rental for the day, not the dress itself. ….. it would have cost the lord a great deal originally, and undoubtedly he used more than one shilling’s worth of “entertainment” at the Palace of Enjoyment.

  17. awabbitawabbit

    Terry,
    This is the most bountiful buffet of examples of your costuming expertise AND of your team as well.
    This is a true expression of the time, devotion, skill, AND enthusiasm for the tasks you set.
    Please express to all of the sewers, drapers and embroiderers how much admiration and awe all of us here on your blog are feeling.
    The actors looked breathtaking in their finery.
    I don’t think I took a breath or exhaled watching this episode (7)
    Sigh.
    Thank you!
    Anne in NoHo

  18. velosewer

    I’m so glad you posted these closeup here. They’re amazing.
    Your sketch looks more awesome here – made up and with wonderful accuracy.

    Whose said you have to finish sleeve hems.
    And the embroidery coupled with the bodice base is such a winning combinations. I’d love to use some of these aspects on an everyday top. It wouldn’t be anywhere near amazing but could look unique. Thanks again Terry and team.

  19. rachel_alyse

    So interesting that there was another piece to the dress. Thank you for posting such wonderful pictures. The leaves and acorns were the first things I noticed. My sister and I were commenting on them right away. So beautiful! You should be so proud.

  20. marthamartha

    Though I prefer a white dress, for a wedding dress, I must admit that this one was luminous! The silver leaves, where amazing! And I can only imagine, how laborious was the knitting! When i saw it, i was wondering, whether they were made from aluminous or ever alpaka leaves, but then you solved my questions! I’m pretty sure, you will continue impressing us!And how much detail, even in the undergarment! EVGE! As we say in Greece, which mean well done, bravo! Waiting for more! 🙂

  21. JenKrom

    Wow. Just…wow. You and your team are miracle workers, truly!
    Thank you for showing us the details. I loved the fabric of the dress, and couldn’t quite figure out what it was. It looked like a very classy burlap, and I adored the texture of it.
    I am so thankful that the universe includes talented people like you and your crew. I can bake a mean scone or charlotte, but sewing? Not so much!

  22. theempathyqueen

    You have put your heart into each costume and the wedding was extraordinary. I feel that you put yourself into the characters’ heads. I read about the dress before you changed your site, and heard you on the Podcast, about the design of the dress. The mica shavings were sheer brilliance (no pun intended). With each rewatch, I focused on the dress to see the metallic thread, the leaves and acorns, and the mica underskirt. When I saw the first photo of the dress, I thought it was feathers tumbling down. I don’t know if birds would have been part of the 18th century designs but the nature theme was done beautifully with the oxidation and embroidery. Jamie Fraser’s wedding suit was also resplendent and the green velvet accentuated the copper hair and beautiful blue eyes of Sam Heughan. Both he and Catriona Balfe make beautiful models for your creations.

    As I re-read Dragonfly in Amber, I keep thinking about the incredible costumes to come as you design for the court at Versaille.

    Ok, I really sound more fawning than sincere, but it is all true.

  23. LaurieS

    This blog post is just magnificent. I am awed by the variety of materials – metal, mica – and techniques used to create and apply these materials. What an art! These “up close” pictures really show the parts and pieces of the dress that we just couldn’t see on a TV screen – even HD. What we did see was an incredibly beautiful gown and under garments. Ladies, gentlemen – you continue to out do yourselves. We’re not worthy. Terry, just can’t wait to listen to your comments on your podcast! It’s your show this week.

  24. Kristin

    I had already posted on the forum, but now, after seeing all these pictures up close, I’m practically salivating. It’s a joy to have an inside peek at your process, and to actually see the work as it’s being transformed into something so beautiful. You and your team are an absolute treasure, and we’re lucky to have such dedicated professionals helping to create absolute magic.

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  26. bluewindows

    I like the acorn and leaf embroidery. It reminds me of Kate Middleton’s wedding earrings which were acorns. Acorns are a symbol of England which is appropriate for Claire. They are also a symbol of potential as in the saying that from this small acorn a mighty oak shall grown. Acorns are also thought to be lucky and are a good luck emblem.

    I am not at all fond of the raveled edge of the sleeves. The dress is pretty, though, and I like the embroidery work and the gray color. It is not a dress that I would have chosen, nor is it a dress that would ever tempt me, but it is pretty.

    The mica is interesting. I wondered when I watched how that church all of a sudden went from being completely empty to having zillions of candles. Now I know they were put there for your pretty dress and there can be no better reason because I did enjoy seeing it look pretty in the candlelight.

    Thank you, Terry, for sharing so much of your process!

    1. sidhesong

      Actually, the unfinished/raveled edges have historical precedence. Edges were often “pinked” but not necessarily “finished.” I found this out when researching 18th century costumes for Revolutionary War re-enacting, and my first reaction was “I’m finishing my hems anyway, so there!” So I understand the cringing at unfinished edges, but it was historically correct.

  27. awabbitawabbit

    Question, please.
    I am attempting to “dope out” how the embroidered elements are affixed to the stomacher.
    Are the acorns and leaves embroidered first onto mesh on the hoop as you show in one photo, then each element cut out carefully (!) along with the mesh and then blind stitched to the sheer smocked background material?
    It would seem if not — that the weight of each leaf/acorn/garland would have compromised the integrity of the sheer fabric.
    Inquiring Minds Want to Know.

    1. lizcostumelizcostume

      All the leaves and acorns were done as slips on 2 layers of fine net then sent for aging. The net on the leaves was trimmed down very close to the edge of the leaf and the acorn under layers trimmed right back and the upper layer of the net gathered with a running stitch so it could be hidden behind the acorn. The garlands and stems on the stomacher are stand alone wrapped elements. Then lots of hand stitching with fine silk thread and fine needles!

        1. lizcostumelizcostume

          I think it was worked out at about 3000 hours! I have to give Pinky credit for doing more of the embroidery than anyone else – she got to be a real whizz with leaves by the end!

      1. @punkiBrenda

        Liz you are one special person…Thank you so much for always posting so much to us hungry Outlanders…you have let us be involved in so much of the detailing involved along the way..Thank You …you sure are a very gifted person indeed!

        1. lizcostumelizcostume

          No worries at all Brenda – I’m just amazed that people are interested in what I’ve got to say! And it’s been great to be able to do “proper” embroidery rather than scrabbling round to get a design onto something the quickest and cheapest way possible. There’s very little hand stitching in freelance costume making in Scotland!

  28. SallyinVT

    Please please tell your crew that we need, deserve, and want a documentary on making the costumes of Outlander! The stills are fine, the blogs are great, but can we please have more?

  29. nsrhoads

    It is just SO beautiful! I read that it is on a mannequin in your office, do you have long term plans for the gown? Also, I was wondering what you used to shave down the mica?
    It is truly stunning and perfect for Claire.

      1. DH87

        In the recent past, production companies have auctioned off costumes at series’ end. True Blood (HBO) just had such an auction, and Spartacus (Starz) had many items sold through an eBay seller. It’s possible, if Starz or Sony Television owns the costumes, that the dress may end up sold, but it would look wonderful in a climate-controlled display in the Starz/Sony TV headquarters or donated to some prestigious museum. You said there were multiple copies of the daytime wear of the cast; I assume the wedding dress was one of a kind.

  30. Michele

    It’s so lovely, and Cait looked fabulous in it. Thank you for sharing all the details. I hope Claire gets to keep the dress somehow, or maybe Jenny can keep it for her at Lallybroch. It’s beautiful Terry, congratulations.

  31. juliesheil1juliesheil1

    Truly exquisite Outlander team! The Wedding Dress took my breath away and “Our Claire” looked magical. I saw your work in Edinburgh Parliament Liz and it was marvellous. This metal work is a whole new challenge and extra level of expertise. Thank you and kudos to you all for your creative vision and perseverance. I don’t think I ever realised how much time it takes costumers to create these pieces. Take a bow!!

    1. lizcostumelizcostume

      Aww Thanks Julie! Did you know that I did the panel for the Great Tapestry because I don’t do “fancy” stitches, and I rarely work in wool, other than needlepoint. So imagine getting wool “out of my system” and within 6 weeks working on a huge TV series full of wool embroidery! As to fancy stitches, I tell my students that goldwork is up, down and through! It’s all about the layers of padding, leather, couched purls and cut purls. The threads can be fiddly, but once you get the knack they behave, and a mellor’s always handy!

  32. @punkiBrenda

    This entire show has gone up and beyond bringing to life the story DG created for us all. I am so beyond pleased with it all….I have found that the true love of the ones bringing it to light is a gift to us fans in itself…The time that which has been given to each and every detail is mind boggling…It is without a doubt true and beautiful work of so many that have put forth their all bringing us this story. I am finding even the wee bit of non-book story to be AMAZING as it gives such a background depth and gift to bring out so much more. The clothing in this show is just over the top incredible!!The acting each and every single one is over the top incredible! Yes Im longtime fan that is in awe/tears with being pleased. Terry and her crew are without a doubt beyond gifted in what they do.THAT WEDDING DRESS is one of the most delicious things I have ever looked upon…Esp as I am one that prefers a dress of that sort to a traditional white gown..The TIME-DETAIL and oh my the design are mouth dropping amazing! I just melted the second I saw Jamie in all his glory so splended in his kilt the coloring beautiful…then our Claire good heavens she took my heart and just stopped it….Thank You so much to Entire Costume Crew the actors, and all involved….BEST SHOW ON TV!!!!!!!!!!

  33. DMDixon17DMDixon17

    I am so pleased with every costume I have seen. Jamie entering that courtyard took my breath away. This dress is beyond amazing! Out of curiosity, how much did this costume weigh?

  34. KLovelady1

    Mind = BLOWN
    As a former Environmental Science major, we got to play with mica in geology class and it is VERY ZEN! My hands were itching when the video showed it being shaved. The it reflects in the dress reminds me of a geode. Magnificent.

  35. FoxxyJenFoxxyJen

    You are a truly amazing artist, Terry.
    Thank you so much for sharing the details of Claire’ gown. I was spellbound when her cloak was removed. It’s the most perfect dress and hearing about how you designed it and the trouble and effort your team has gone to only makes me love it even more. The fans are so lucky to have you heading the costume department. Each week i try to pick one costume item that I wish I owned and some episodes it’s so hard because there are just so many amazing items. I love texture. When I shop for myself I won’t buy clothing unless it feels nice regardless of how it looks. It’s all about texture and the Outlander world you have created make me want to roll around in it. 😉 So many amazing textures and fabrics. Marvelous job.

  36. rosemaryhoffart

    Terry, you are a true “creative” in every way, and kind to show us this amazing close up of “The Dress”! What a treat and pleasure to view this post – After your rest (I hope you get one) I cannot wait to see what you have in store for future episodes and seasons of Outlander. Thank YOU very much for your kindness! Sincere HUG…..

  37. eurobikegirl

    Beautiful, beautiful design and execution. I am thrilled to read your comments on balancing the historicity with the needs of film/theater/performance work. I no longer feel alone in the world! 🙂

  38. sidhesong

    I have been doing 18th century Revolutionary War re-enacting for quite a while and have been studying 18th century costuming since I make my own costumes. From what I know of women’s clothing in this time period, dresses usually opened in the front. Since Claire’s plaid dress and her wedding gown lace in the back, where did the skirt open so that she could get into them? I have not seen any good pictures of the backs of these dresses, but the skirts (and the elaborate cartridge pleating) appear to be uninterrupted in the back, which would make me think that if there is an opening in the back of the skirt, it is elaborately hidden. The plaid dress might be two pieces (bodice and skirt) but the wedding dress does not appear to be (from examination of the close-ups.) But I cannot really tell. I realize from the story point of view it is irrelevant. But I really love 18th century costumes and have studied them for my own re-enacting purposes and I am curious. I have seen some of the pictures you have shown as reference in costume books I have collected, and I have seen pictures of gowns that do not appear to open at the stomacher, so I have wondered about this for a while.

    Thank you for the wonderful attention to accuracy you have used in costuming this show and for your kindness in letting us who love costumes see the behind the scenes details. Your blog must take a lot of time and energy and it is over and above your already time consuming job of actually costuming Outlander. Thank you.

    By the way, a book showing all these details and pictures would be amazing (especially since my printer is not up to the job of printing all this.) I would absolutely buy one if it were available. I expect many of your other followers would too. Just a thought.

  39. Spiralight

    Hi !
    I am absolutely in love with the design of this dress. there are so many tiny tiny details that have such a subtle impact, its amazing! I was actually wondering about the technique used on the sleeves, is it just gather stitched multiple times? how does it get that gorgeous ruffly effect in the middle section!

  40. SelkieSelkie

    Could anything be more beautiful than that embroidery??? Please – could you consider exhibiting the costumes here in Scotland? The Kelvingrove in Glasgow would be the ideal venue and an exhibition would be hugely popular. It would be a dream come true for me!

  41. skinsavantskinsavant

    The dress is exquisite! I used to do embroidery, much similar to this when I was in grade school in the Philippines! I found it very relaxing and rewarding! You and your crew did a brilliant job. I’m predicting plenty of awards for Outlander! Yours included of course!

  42. warbrideslass

    I’ve been staring at dress photos for hours and Im obsessed with the sleeves still. Is there a chance to see a close-up of the completed sleeves? I just can’t quite get the detail on my tv no matter how many times I pause and zoom etc. I want to see if it is just pleated or if there is also actual smocking done on the pleats. And I’d also like to see where the silver threads that are laying on the sleeve swatch come into play. I’ve seen some amazing things done with that type of metallic threads. That’s what they refer to when they talk about “gold lace” on an officers uniform. It’s those gold wires in a coil that are made into elaborate designs on the front and sleeves of their uniforms. Apparently there is some concoction of bread and urine that was used to clean the gold lace! Urine was a much used commodity in these days wasn’t it? I can’t imagine what these guys smelled like wearing this in the warm weather, sweating and riding horses only to come home at night and have your valet clean your uniform by rubbing it wit urine Eewgh!

  43. CelefindelCelefindel

    Just wow… The dress is so stunning, I haven’t seen a similar one I can think of. And I’ve seen a lot of historical dresses yet! It was so beautiful that I thought, I have to make it too!
    And I did. But unfortunately I didn’t have that detail page yet so I had to improvise some things. And I am no professional sewer, only for hobby and historical dresses. I wished I had the budget and availability to use more similar fabrics to the original! But ok, this way I learned buillon embroidery and many other little things.
    I tried the mica too… I cut it with a stanley knife into leafes and punched them to make stitching holes into them. Had I known this page I would have made them thinner and out of the more silver mica piece. So mine are darker. I embroidered my skirt with it (I feared it would not be finished at my deadline in February…) and though it was a hell of a work maybe I’ll do it again and better 😉
    I couldn’t find their location on the dress, where were they used? And I believe I’ve read that they were used in Rococo times but couldn’t find any historical reference for it yet?
    And I wished I knew where to find and embroidered with the silver wire. Mine, a silver bouillon, was very uncomfortable for stitching…

    So, I got quite a knowledge myself at making “this” gown myself. I can say now that it is an outstanding and unique piece and your seamstresses have done a great job with it too!

  44. Elanorlabelle

    Such a beautiful dress, I absolutely fell in love with it! Watching the show I was astonished by all the details (I had a crush on the leaves embroidery), but now, seeing some of the insides of the making, I am even more admirative of the work done. I can’t wait to see what other beautiful pieces we will discover in the show!

  45. AdensmomAdensmom

    My daughter wants to attempt some facsimile of “The Dress of the Century,” as she calls it. She does have an amazing and God-given talent as an artist. She actually taught herself to sew at the age of 4 (she is 17 now). At present, she is creating cosplay costumes of her own design, both for herself and for friends. (I’m a total idiot in the world of art; I just like what I like.)

    How and where can she learn this art? She’s a junior in high school right now, but she already has two art schools (Memphis and Dallas) vying for her commitment. My concern is that neither school has adequate costume and set design departments. Each school claims superiority in its own department, but self-interest must necessarily color these statements. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    1. CelefindelCelefindel

      I fear there is no school or similar to learn it, just maybe a course. What most people do who make historical clothings is either study costume design (though I seldom have seen non-film costume designers to make accurate historical patterns) or teach themselves. There are historical patterns available (Janet Arnold i.e.) but they have to be altered for each person because they have to fit better than modern clothing and nearly nobody has the measures of the patterns. And there’s a lot of research: books (“Century clothing in detail”, “The Tudor Tailor” for Renaissance dresses i.e.), online photos of museum dresses, other’s research and DIY results and one’s own learning by doing. There are a lot of helpful blogs and pages nowadays.

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  49. MeiLing

    How was it that you attached the mica to the under-petticoat? Was mica actually used historically like this? Not that I would have an issue if it was not. It could have been and that is enough for me. Just curious.

    The dress is absolutely beautiful! And I’ve watched that episode going on about a million times now!

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