Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Monthly Archives: August 2014

Claire, a recap


And look, at the bottom, a fichu!!!!

A Very Special Guest


Monkey Jacket



Oh how I love this piece. It is a felted waistcoat. The furry “spine” was supposed to go down the back and the waistcoat opens in the front. But Lotte said, “what if I wear it backwards?” We turned it around and she started creepily stoking the spine. It was perfect. The skirt is this extraordinary skirt we made from a beautiful linen wool fabric from Ireland. The skirt is made with the wrong side out. At the last minute I tied her sleeved at the elbow with leather thong. It just seemed like the thing to do.





Colum’s banyan. We quilted linen and lined it with fur. I was really invested in this costume. I wanted Colum to have a garment he would wear in his private quarters. A garment that was designed by Colum to give as much comfort as possible. Since he is in constant pain, it seemed as if his nerves would be very sensitive, and to surround himself in very soft fur would reduce the discomfort. The same with the fur throw he keeps over his legs. I made it in a natural colored linen so that it would be reminiscent of a hospital garment, very simple.


18th Century Mitts


They’re not EXACTLY hand warmers, though you might be able to make a case that they are pretty damned close, but with a different name. We supposed that they might have needed a slightly warmer version in Scotland. It is August right now, and VERY chilly.


And for those of you looking for a pattern, these are lovely (bottom of page) :


Red Silk Slippers


So, here is the story on the red shoes.

No, I did not go out and get 18th century shoes that would draw a link to the Wizard Of Oz. I wish I had, it’s a great idea!

The actual story is pretty good though. Getting period shoes is tricky. We need hundreds and hundreds of pairs. In any given episode we will have hundreds of extras, and for every extra you have to have two or three of anything to try on until you find what fits and works. Make sense?

We have period shoes made for our principal actors. But we could not possibly afford to make hundreds of shoes for extras at over $100 per pair. So, we “cobble” together shoes. We search out, remake, re work, dress up, dress down shoes we get from all over the place. (don’t want to even discuss┬áSeason Two)

ANYWAY, there was this one pair of shoes. I am not even sure where we got them. They were actual period authentic shoes, but they were in a tiny size and RED. We couldn’t really use them on the show.

We kept putting them away on the shelf, but oddly, they just kept ending up in the middle of one of the aisles in our shop. Eventually, we just kind of left them there, and walked around them, saying, “someone has to put those shoes away”.

We were doing a fitting with Lotte one day, and were walking through the shop. There they were, like something from an episode of Twilight Zone, the shoes, sitting in the middle of the aisle staring up at us, beseechingly.

“What are THOSE??”cried Cinderella/Dorothy/Wicked Witch/Lotte.

“Oh those shoes, we have no idea where they came from, and they are too small for everyone, anyway.”

Needless to say, they fit. Perfectly. In, oh so many ways.








Claire – 18th Century surgery


Claire - Surgery