Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

The Dress

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  • #1624
    Terry Dresbach
    Keymaster

    Please discuss here! We would like to keep the discussion out of the general discussion areas, please help us in that endeavor.

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    • #1662
      lorirenfro1
      Participant

      After reading the interview with you in variety – I cannot wait to see the embroidery work on the dress!

      • #1688
        LindaL
        Participant

        DITTO!

      • #1754
        MelissaP
        Participant

        I, too, was looking forward to seeing the dress after reading the article. Holy smokes, what a beautiful dress! Just loved the metallic color & the leaves cascading down the front of it.

    • #1701
      Terry Dresbach
      Keymaster

      Well, this is the place!

      • #1795
        Celtictess
        Participant

        Can you say Emmy?

    • #1702
      Terry Dresbach
      Keymaster

      Just a pretty dress.

      • #2143
        Asgeirsson
        Participant

        Oh it was more than “just a pretty dress.” It was absolutely spectacular and made me forget about wanting to see the second hand dress that Claire wore in the book. I just want to say that you are doing a fantastic job! I love listening to the podcast with you and Ron and hearing the thoughts, process and heated discussions that lie behind your costuming choices. Even more excited now that I know about this website and these forums – for more costuming indulgence!! Re Claire’s wedding clothes – I want that shift she wore!! The fabric, the delicate string tie, the draping… Amazing. I wish there had been a slow pan over Jamie’s attire, as there was with Claire’s dress, but I get why it wasn’t done that way. Jamie’s slo-mo walk toward Claire was the next best thing. I have read the Outlander series (and listened to the Davina Porter narration) too many times to count. I love how you are bringing this world to life with such attention and thoughtful process to the details. You are honoring Diana’s beautiful story. Thank you!

        p.s. while I love the wedding ring described in the book, I like what you did in the show. The ring is beautiful in its simplicity. I hope other aspects of the ring described in the book show up in season two!

      • #2200
        tlc128
        Participant

        Terry: How do you get the mica to stay on the dress do you use a spray glue, reg glue?

      • #2201
        tlc128
        Participant

        Terry: How do you get the mica to stay on the dress do you use a spray glue, reg glue?

      • #7655
        stephanie gintz
        Participant

        Une piece d’art….. Just beautiful……love all the costumes and the choice of fabric is just Devine….

    • #1703
      Terry Dresbach
      Keymaster

      Just a pretty dress…try #2

      • #1717
        kukrae
        Participant

        Lovely!
        Wonder if it’s to be embroidered or painted silk!

        Tamara
        kukrae

      • #1810
        Donna Gerringer
        Participant

        Was this the inspiration for ‘the dress’? It was stunning. Saw the video interview of your discussing the need for the dress to shimmer in the candlelight, and how hours were spent flaking the chips of mica (?) that were used to add that shimmer. Was the main fabric of the dress linen? And OMG–all the gathers. How much material went into making the dress?

      • #1878
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        I have a couple of pictures of inspiration dresses, I am trying to get up. We spent quite a LOT of hours flaking mica. But it became a kind of chop wood, carry water activity. Whenever one of us was too stresses, we would shave mica. We had about there large rocks.

    • #1724
      Celtictess
      Participant

      Terry, it just seems as if this is such a dream era to design for! Actually, both eras seem to be some of the most creative in history.

      • #1879
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        I THINK it is every Costume Designers dream, it certainly was mine.

      • #1927
        EricJamieRoGurl
        Participant

        Terry, I have to say it was the dreamiest dress I could possibly imagine…1 shilling??? OMG! I was as speechless as Jamie when I saw it. You and your team did a beautiful job! Thank goodness Cait mostly stood in it. I’d be afraid to do anything else, LOL!

      • #2134
        bahanson
        Participant

        Terry such a gorgeous dress!

        I am a quilter stretching my wings into the art quilt world and have been embellishing with embroidery using various threads as well as other objects like buttons, stones etc. was wondering if I might ask how you affixed the mica to the fabric?

    • #1727
      Terry Dresbach
      Keymaster

      ENJOY!!

      • #1809
        World-Traveler9
        Participant

        Just watched the episode. The dress is absolutely gorgeous! Loved the embroidered bodice and the skirt front.

    • #1728
      @jeanniefec
      Participant

      Wow, just wow. Claire’s dress was so beautiful. Thank-you for making it come to life. I will love to have something similar for marriage #2. Lovely.

    • #1729
      sandyknc
      Participant

      The dress is beautiful. I wish we saw more of it. I need to see it again!

    • #1730
      Terry Dresbach
      Keymaster

      Thanks, I will be here tomorrow…

    • #1731
      Kristie
      Participant

      My husband loved the dress! He NEVER comments about anything but kilts….I thought it was exquisite! The embroidery was breathtaking! I shall have to take it up again!! This was a piece you found?

    • #1732
      4nikikelly
      Participant

      I just adore how the leaves cascaded down to the ground as if they are falling off her bodice. In that silvery brown.
      And I don’t know who directed this episode but I love how they suddenly slow everything down so you can see the “strumpet” gasps, Dougal give the approving micro nods, and Murtagh with that little glimmer in his eye. and THEN Bear has the softest, most subtle strings in the background and its like
      “waaaaaah” magic. As if they paused time to let us gasp and take it all in and then….go.
      What an absolutely stunning hour of TV. You guys, really. What an hour. I was lost in it.

      • #1755
        calinrua
        Participant

        “Ethereal wind music”, according the subtitles. 😉

      • #1881
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        Thank you. It was a “moment”, indeed.

      • #1929
        EricJamieRoGurl
        Participant

        I’ve watched the episode 4 times this weekend and had a totally non-productive weekend because I have been so looking forward to it. I just had to keep watching the reveal over and over again…the lighting change when the cloak was removed brought tears to my eyes, really…

    • #1736
      Jeanie
      Participant

      OMG, Terry that was not just a dress or even THE dress. That was a work of art!

      • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by Jeanie.
    • #1739
      Molly
      Participant

      Wonder how long it will be before there will be ‘knockoff’ versions of this amazing dress for sale? Hope it gets you and the show loads and loads of good press!

      • #1883
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        I wonder too, it will not be an easy dress to knock off.

    • #1740
      darlenec
      Participant

      Terry the dress and Jamie ‘ s plaid and coat as well we’re a true feast for my eyes. Are there silver threads in the skirt and embroidery?

      • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by darlenec.
      • #1884
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        The embroidery is a very old method, done with actual strips of metal. Painstaking and time consuming, but spectacular. I will post some close up pictures.

      • #1932
        EricJamieRoGurl
        Participant

        I’m curious….I play medieval reenacting with the Society for Creative Anachronism. My persona is Welsh and would love to try some embroidery with strips of metal. Is there a source for that or did you have to have someone actually machine it that thin?

      • #1934
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        We managed to talk some old man in Italy or Mongolia, or SOMEWHERE to come out of retirement and make some for us.

      • #2111
        Dorothy
        Participant

        You can get actual metallic thread. Just Google it. There is even metallic thread that can be used on a machine — often easiest to use in the bobbin with regular thread as the top thread. It won’t be identical to the exquisite work on The Dress, but might work for you.

      • #2148

        Not sure where you are in the world. If you want the metal strip, embroiderers call it plate and you can get hold of it from goldwork suppliers. I know there are stockists in the UK, Canada, the US and Canada.

      • #2177
        AllisonL
        Participant

        I’m in the SCA and my focus is metal thread embroidery, happy to answer questions about metal thread suppliers for you.

      • #2533
        EricJamieRoGurl
        Participant

        Thank you AllisonL! I will keep that in mind! (Gwenllian verch Ieuen Seis from the Kingdom of Northshield 😉 )

    • #1742
      Pam Mc
      Participant

      Loved the dress. Jamie’s costume was wonderful.

    • #1743
      4nikikelly
      Participant

      Mica!
      Mica in the underskirt. Just. Freaking. Genius. And beautiful.

      • #1756
        ellenchristine
        Participant

        and how, pray tell , did you attach the bits of mica?

      • #1885
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        glue.

      • #2187
        msmthomas
        Participant

        I was so curious about the use of the mica. How very interesting. Such a wonderful detail. Also I loved r
        The use of the smocking. I’ve done it on my children’s clothes but have never seen it used on sleeves as you applied it. Can’t wait to show my heirloom sewing friends.

    • #1744
      ellenchristine
      Participant

      Well. gasp. cough. sputter. those cartridge pleats were perfection. Her unergarments were perfection. the embroidery was perfection. Pardon me if I can’t be so eloquent, but we all just shared a community #consummation, and we’re basking in the afterglow. Embroidered or applique on the skirt? Silk/metallic organza fabric? Linen? silverthreads oxydized for the embroidery? How many fittings? Was this the supreme one and only out of the gate? Congratulations to you and your crew. Beyond . just beyond. AND THOSE SLEEVES!!!

      • #1788
        elizlk
        Participant

        Yes, great questions … What was that metallic-looking fabric?

        Also, all of us watching (female) commented on how painful the corset looked to be on Claire’s breasts … Was that usual? One commented that she’s glad to get out of a bra at the end of the day, and can’t imagine the corset ….

      • #7427
        Celefindel
        Participant

        [quote quote=1788]
        Also, all of us watching (female) commented on how painful the corset looked to be on Claire’s breasts … Was that usual? One commented that she’s glad to get out of a bra at the end of the day, and can’t imagine the corset ….

        [/quote]

        Yes, the corset pushing up the breasts were usual in this time period. Of course one is glad to get out of corsets at the evening but that is very much because we are not used to them any more. The corset was as much part of the daily life as petticoats or today panties. They must have felt quite awkward not wearing it during the day.
        Besides, the tightness depends on the use. Normal working women would not have them put so thight as eg. for the wedding dress, a singular occasion where you try to look best. And, not least, the corsets were made especially for the owner and therefore not measureable with corsets in stock you get today which fit seldom perfectly.
        I sew and make historical garments especially for Renaissance and Rococo now (thanks, Terry…!) and wear them on some weekends a year and I have no problem to work everyday’s business in a tight laced (not too tight, mind) corset. It is quite comfortable and prevents from back pains due to wrong posture.

        • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by Celefindel.
      • #1886
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        The dress is made with a metallic linen. I avoided it like the plague initially, and spent a lot of time trying to weave fabric with metallic thread in it, as I was trying to recreate the metallic fabrics of the 18th century. But when I finally saw it after a camera test in candlelight, I knew it was the right choice.
        We embroidered hundreds of acorns and leaves by hand, oxidized them, and then attached them to the gown. Many, many, many hours.
        The sleeves are sublime. We have a tiny little hand-cranked smocking machine. It makes extraordinary magic. Maybe ethereal is a better word. Fairy wings.

    • #1745
      lilbitbookish
      Participant

      Terry,
      This dress was magnificent. My mom is coming home tomorrow and I just know you’re going to make her cry. She has been waiting for this moment for 20 years. I remember her telling me when I was younger that I would adore the books but she always talked about the dress. You nailed it.

    • #1746
      outlanderbooklover
      Participant

      The dress is perfect. The whole episode was perfect.

    • #1748
      LillyV
      Participant

      The dress WAS Perfection ! How many yards are in the over skirt ??? And how in the world did you manage to bring the waist all together without it looking HUGE ? The fabric must be soooo fine in texture !!!

      • #1887
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        I have a very talented and very meticulous team. I think the entire dress is 8 meters. I need to check that.

      • #1964
        Elaine
        Participant

        Please tell them how much their hard work is appreciated.

    • #1750
      kukrae
      Participant

      These descriptions are killing me as I won’t get to watch until the wee hours of the morning tomorrow! I can not WAIT!!! Keep describing!!

      Tamara
      kukrae

    • #1752
      JulieM
      Participant

      The dress was beautiful, thank you for bringing the book to life. 2 questions if I might. 1. Was it heavy to wear? 2. How did you keep Catriona’s cleavage so perfectly in place?

      • #1889
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        It weighs a million pounds. We had to make a special bench to use on set for Claire to lean on in between takes.
        She is tightly corseted, and the dress fits like a glove. She is not going anywhere.
        There is a translucent border that covers another couple of inches above the linen gown and stomacher. unfortunately, it is so delicate that taking the cloak off and on, during all the takes, almost destroyed it. The reason she is more “bare”, than we planned.

      • #1918
        JulieM
        Participant

        Thank you so much for your reply, I thought the dress would be heavy, but not like you describe. My respect to you as a designer and to Cat for looking so ‘serene’ whilst wearing the dress has just multiplied. Thank you.

      • #1936
        EricJamieRoGurl
        Participant

        I tried explaining to friends on my FB group that you would not be seeing a wardrobe malfunction with a properly fitting and laced corset 🙂 I was surprised at how much can be compressed and produced with a corset! I prefer more “relaxed” medieval garb for my SCA garb though 🙂

      • #1982
        @jeanniefec
        Participant

        Thank you for this comment Terry. As beautiful as the corset itself was, I was wondering why we didn’t see more of the dress. Now we know! I am in love with the sleeves and love your relation to fairy wings. Every piece of the dress worked so well together. It was meant to be. So envious of your job and what you and your team accomplish. Just fantastic!

      • #8240
        Jo-Ellen Sharpe
        Participant

        I know this is an old forum topic, but I just saw an 18th century portrait (I think on Antiques Roadshow UK) in which the lady’s bosom looked just like Claire’s in her wedding dress. I thought to myself, “Well, there you go. Authenticity rules again.”

    • #1759
      Braizyn
      Participant

      Stunning, absolutely stunning. Thank you for a dress that was just right.

    • #1762

      Mere words cannot express how that dress made me feel, Didn’t get to wear one myself & would so have loved to. I’ve designed & made many a wedding gown but JHRC, that was truly breathtaking. I would also like to know how you attached the Mica & truly appreciate the painstaking efforts that you & your crew went to to make that absolute picture of perfection.

      • #1890
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        We glued the mica onto an enormous panel of very fine linen, and then attached that onto a petticoat that was worn under the layer of embroidered leaves and acorns. I will post more pics.

    • #1763
      catmom
      Participant

      Wow, that dress was beautiful, just stunning!!! In fact both the dress and undergarments? which looked like another dress were so lovely!!! The attention to detail was amazing with all the embroidery, I loved it; so perfect for the period! Thank you for all the hard work and effort to make it so breathtaking and more than we could have imagined! You deserve an award for these costumes for sure!

    • #1766
      kukrae
      Participant

      Oh my goodness gracious, Terry…even better, in the words of Claire, JHRC!! That gown *will* be in a museum! It must so that others may step around it and enjoy it from every angle! Is there any chance that each step of the process of creating this masterpiece was captured on film? I’d love to see an entire documentary dedicated to the entire construction of this …this stunning creation. What was the gray (silver?) fabric? What gave you the idea of the tumbling leaves? And how in the world did you keep Cait’s girls from making a surprise appearance?? Every breath she took I swear they were going to escape! (Not that I’m sure Sam minded ;):):):)

      Seriously, Terry…kudos to you and your entire team. I certainly hope to see a collection viewing at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences or at the Arclight at some point!

      And, make room on your mantle for an Emmy…

      Now, I’m gonna go back and watch this again. Wow…

      Tamara
      kukrae

    • #1767

      Hi again, just saw a high def picture of Jamie’s wedding attire & noticed what looked like Trapunto as a feature down the front & sleeve’s but not in a regular pattern, can you advise on this please. again costuming was scene stealing

      • #1891
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        We created a pattern with thick cord, and then ironed the velvet onto it, creating the pattern you see. I LOVE that technique.

      • #1971
        kukrae
        Participant

        Oh my, what a brilliant technique! I’ve “embossed” velvet using rubber stamps to use as gift wrapping, but love this idea of a trapunto-esque look!

        tamara

    • #1769
      jean
      Participant

      I hope it is OK to put a link to an in-depth interview I just read. Wonderful photos of the magnificent wedding dress and Jamie in his Highland attire. Great interview Terry! I haven’t seen any other links to this here. Loved the episode. Can’t wait to watch it again today.
      https://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/outlander-wedding-all-the-details-on-claire-s-dress–ring-jamie-s-kilt-023451554.html

      • #1773
        ellenchristine
        Participant

        thank you so much for that wonderful interview @Jean. And to Terry for making it all so accessible, vulnerable, and exciting.

      • #2072
        firstlove
        Participant

        Thank you for posting this link. Nice to read about the details.

      • #2073
        firstlove
        Participant

        The link to the article is great. Thank you for including that.

    • #1774
      Lilli
      Participant

      That dress is exquisite. I can’t wait until I can banish the kids to another room and watch the episode again to see the dress. I think that what I love the most about the dress is the sophisticated simplicity. It is not a simple design, I am sure! It is not fussy in any way though. The beauty of the dress is that the fabric is sumptuous looking-catching the light beautifully, the embroidery is imparts a feeling of floating and falling leaves and the pleats in the gown make the skirt sway beguilingly. It is truly stunning in all the right ways. It enhances Claire instead of detracting attention from her. Beautiful!

    • #1775
      BLB
      Participant

      That color! That embroidery! I loved the leaves pouring down the front. Also have to say that I really enjoyed the scene where Ned Gowan procured the dress.

    • #1777
      sandyknc
      Participant

      Seeing the pictures of Claire’s dress this morning just took my breath away. Jamie also looked quite spectacular.

    • #1778
      natashajb
      Participant

      How many layers are actually under the skirt of the dress? It seems like there’s a lot more structure than what we saw when she was only wearing her petticoat and panniers. Maybe I missed it and need to watch again.

      • #2045
        demodecouture
        Participant

        I am wondering the same thing!

    • #1779
      MaryBethCr1
      Participant

      Absolutely stunning! I love how the wedding dress was revealed as Jamie compares seeing Claire to the sun coming out. For a moment, I did think Claire was a fairy, so otherworldly and shimmery did she look in her dress. Truly mesmerizing! Every detail enhanced but did not distract from Claire’s beauty. And I have to say, Jamie looked incredibly romantic and dashing! I just loved the way he strides up the hill and then bows before Claire. I think Claire takes his breath away especially in that incredible dress. Terry you are really not only talented but genius at what you do. Thanks to you and your team for exceeding my expectations!

    • #1785
      MaryBethCr1
      Participant

      I understand why she didn’t, but I only wish Claire had smiled more in her spectacular wedding dress.

      • #1893
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        Yes, she was being forced to marry a near stranger against her will. Guess that will do it 🙂 Oh, and she is married to someone else. Oh my.

      • #1947
        Connie Sandlin
        Participant

        Plus, she was way hungover!

    • #1787
      Laura
      Participant

      Perfection. The dress was absolutely gorgeous. It was perfect in both the daylight and in candlelight. And Claire looked positively radiant in it, despite the circumstances of her wedding. I am looking forward to your post on your inspiration for the dress and the details.

    • #1789

      Terry, my God that dress was stunning. Cait looked angelic in it and was that real silver thread in the embroidery? As the consummate professional that you are
      , your work tells…IT WAS MAJIC AND A WORK OF ART…:)

    • #1791
      ailboles
      Participant

      You can tell in watching this show, especially in this episode, that costuming for this show is a labor of love for you. So much detail and thought into every piece.

      Masterfully done. I could not have imagined it better.

    • #1792
      Karen Neale
      Participant

      You may have answerd this before but my question is how long did it take to complete that dress and did you have to make a duplicate as you did with other coustumes? The dres was simply joyous!

      • #1894
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        We had planned to make two different dresses. But it just wasn’t possible. We were shooting an enormous show, that meant making a lot of other costumes, while working on the dress, and the work was so time consuming.
        We started it in February and completed it the day before filming. I think it was the end of May.

      • #2077
        firstlove
        Participant

        This dress is so divine, that seeing it rumpled on the floor as Claire picks it up and shakes it out and her gold wedding ring to Frank falls out, made is hold my breath and cringe a bit.

        After reading the article link, it is great to read that you have that dress in your office and see it everyday. I would stare at that masterpiece all day if I could as well.

        Congratulations Terry.

        • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by firstlove.
    • #1796
      @punkiBrenda
      Participant

      Shimmer of delight….the dress was a magical piece of glorious beauty!
      The detail involved amazed me and what you used to get the look just absolute amazing..to me it was a dress of stand up beauty grace and elegance

    • #1802
      barbc624
      Participant

      Wow. The dress took my breath away. It was absolute perfection. You are truly an artist. Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us.

      And Jamie in his new Fraser kilt – what a reveal. We begin to see who he truly is.

    • #1803
      outlanderbooklover
      Participant

      A wonderful review of your work on the wedding dress by Lila Sparks at Wowza

      “Claire, for her part, received maybe the biggest TA-DA! wedding-dress moment I’ve seen since The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, and if you think that’s a complaint then you don’t know me. Costume designer Terry Dresbach—who’s also the wife of showrunner Ronald D. Moore—clearly poured her heart and soul into Claire’s wedding dress, and I think it’s sort of romantic on both sides of the camera that it enjoyed such a show-stopping reveal and full pan from head to toe by the camera. Also, let’s be real, it was STUNNING… and huge.”

      • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by outlanderbooklover.
      • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by outlanderbooklover.
      • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by outlanderbooklover. Reason: The link is not working in the forum; kept trying to post it using the link button. Finally gave up
    • #1812
      Stephaniekhill
      Participant

      The dress was exquisite! Who would have thought of using mica??? Terry, you are a creative genius!!!

    • #1815
      Brooke
      Participant

      Terry, I can’t get over the sleeves on this dress. I tried to get a closer look, but it’s hard to tell. What technique is that, is it just smocking? It looks like lawn, but it must be linen to be so fine. I’m enamoured!

    • #1816
      Terry Dresbach
      Keymaster

      Sitting down to the computer…

      • #1817
        elizlk
        Participant

        I would love to see a step by step or cross-section of how the mica was layered into the skirt fabric. Gorgeous!

      • #1896
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        It is coming as soon as I finish here.

      • #1849
        VickiP
        Participant

        Hi Terry,

        Just above the embroidered leaves I see something that looks like either embroidered acorns or berries. Would you mind sharing what they are?

        Vicki

      • #1897
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        Acorns.

      • #1923
        VickiP
        Participant

        Ah, perfect! Long life and fertility. Thanks.

    • #1823
      ValhallaLilly
      Participant

      The dress was gorgeous. I’m sure I”m late to the party but I’d still love to know if those were stumpwork acorns on the bodice? I think I would like to try a sampler to look like the embroidery on that bodice. And if they were ribbon embroidered leaves too. Since I’ve just done some of that and I haven’t got any screencaps atm to check.

      And I’m really in love with the petticoat and shift. Like I could not stop staring at the sleeves of that thing! How they were shear and how they were sewn under the arm. And the quilting (I think) at the bottom of the petticoat. Why is there quilting? Just to make the bottom heavy? Honestly looking at the seams of all of it was like watching a dance. Hi I have no words! 😛

      • #1898
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        Let me post a picture of the embroidery.

        I love the petticoat. It is indeed quilted, for decoration.

      • #2035

        The acorns are done by stitching the silver plate thread over felt padding – more a goldwork technique than a stumpwork one in my book BUT everyone’s definition of stumpwork is different! It’s certainly raised work. They were worked as slips as they would have been in 17th century work, but on net instead of silk or linen. The leaves and ribbons in the garland on the stomacher were wrapped elements – they would have used parchment back in the 18th century. If you look really closely you can see I used a partially embossed plate thread for them. And the stems are wired waxed string padding, wrapped in another texture of plate thread. If you’re interested in Goldwork and Stumpwork I can recommend the little spiral bound books from the Royal School of Needlework, which have very clear photos and descriptions, although they use a different technique of working plate thread over padding.

      • #2087
        ValhallaLilly
        Participant

        Oh my gosh! Thank you for such a detailed explanation. It was beautiful work really!
        I thought I’d give it a whirl in ribbon since I’m sure I don’t want to have a first go with real silver thread. Hah.
        Again I love love love how nice you all are on replying to our questions 🙂

    • #1830
      katie
      Participant

      The mica is an old stumpwork trick, although I’ve never seen it used in quite that way. It looked like it was split into very thin rectangles, then a hole made at the top to attach. Was the dress fabric linen? My local carries a gorgeous gray linen with a metallic finish that looked very like it.

      Terry, that dress was incredible. Question – were you looking at antique fabrics for that design? I have a picture of an old blue silk embroidered with gold metal acorns and ribbons that I thought of as soon as I saw the dress. Although no source that I know of has ever had the brilliant idea of transforming it into a pattern of falling leaves. What a wow moment.

    • #1846
      Hilda S
      Participant

      Terry, how did you get that amazing gown to stay up and in place??? I was stunned by it’s beauty, and by the detailing. Would you believe I dreamt of a setting like that for my own wedding when I was 14! Just haven’t met my Jamie yet!

    • #1872
      janschurr
      Participant

      Terry, the dress is a work of art. How was the mica attached, and are the metal threads flat plate? It is exquisitely done! And I loved the undergarments – was the shift linen, or silk? The sleeves were very sheer, so I wondered. Loved that they were (almost) as beautiful as the dress itself.
      Also, have you ever seen info on the Plimoth Jacket? (http://www.plimoth.org/jacket) It is a re-creation of a 1600’s women’s waistcoat, using silk and over 10,000 gilded spangles – it also shimmers in candlelight.

      • #1899
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        The shift is a wool silk blend.
        I will loo at that waistcoat. 10,000 gilded spangles????? Oh to have that much time!!!!!!!!

      • #1946
        janschurr
        Participant

        Well, it was one of those educational, volunteer projects and lots of people worked on it. I would have loved to have travelled there and put in a bit of stitching!

      • #2037

        Yes silver plate thread, in three different textures and pearl purl on the bases of the acorns.

    • #1874
      ellery
      Participant

      Her dress was exquisite. The mica flake was genious. This may already be in here, but how much did Claire’s dress weigh?

    • #1910
      sandyknc
      Participant

      A poster over on the Outlander TV Series Discussion Group had a great question this morning. I don’t know if she is over here, so I will ask – What happens to the costumes when you are done with them? In particular, what happens to the dress? I’m guessing it needs to be saved for the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian….because Outlander will be that big!

      I love the way the embroidered leaves gather at the bottom of the dress. So beautiful!

    • #1917
      islandchickny
      Participant

      Terry – love this dress, it’s just exquisite. You keep raising the bar each week. Loved that her corset was embroidered as well! You mentioned in previous posts that you usually made 6 replicas per costume – did you do the same for Claire’s wedding dress? Love the embroidery as well – can you speak to the symbolism of the embroideries on Claire’s stomachers? Intentional or just whimsical? Thank you!!

      • #2096
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        The oak tree is a celtic symbol of strength and fidelity. Seemed appropriate for J & C.

      • #2136
        islandchickny
        Participant

        Thanks for explaining the symbolism! Love that your designs are always so thoughtful & there’s such painstaking attention to detail, it really shows. Did you have to make 5 copies of this dress as well? BTW – love this forum page, it’s great to see all the q&a’s!

    • #1920
      Kristin
      Participant

      Terry, just wanted to add my voice to the chorus that have already said how gorgeous Cait’s dress is. When the cloak was unwrapped from around her, I was stunned. I can’t thank you and your team enough for making Jamie and Claire’s wedding just that much more special!

    • #1933
      Joyso
      Participant

      The dress is so amazing and ethereal. It belongs in the Smithsonian after this! Or perhaps the National Museum of Scotland! lol!

      Was the metal actual sterling silver wire?

      Thank you,

      Joy

    • #1935
      Terry Dresbach
      Keymaster

      Yes, but not wire, very thin strips. I put a picture on the blog.

      • #1939
        Joyso
        Participant

        Wow! I’ve never seen that before. I make jewelry in my spare time, and had not seen the flattened strips before. 🙂 Excellent!

    • #1940
      andeesings
      Participant

      The details on the dress are phenomenal. The yardage in the skirt is BRILLIANT- that cartridge pleating almost made me swoon, especially knowing someone had to do it BY HAND. What I wondered was, did you use any special boning for those panniers? Because I’m amazed they didn’t buckle or lose shape holding up the weight of those skirts. Or did they, and you just had a separate set of undergarments for the other piece of the episode?

    • #1952
      Connie Sandlin
      Participant

      The beauty of Claire’s wedding dress makes me weepy with joy – the exquisite detailing in every single respect. I’m in awe of you, your creativity, your designs, your vision, and your team that so lovingly and dedicatedly carries out the labor to bring this story to such stunning and glorious life. We are not worthy, but we’ll take it!

      Thank you, Terry, for being you, and please be sure to share our love with your team, too, and with Ron for being astute enough to recognize genius and beauty when he found you!

    • #1953
      Laurene
      Participant

      I just want to thank you for this stunning work of art. I keep going back to look at the photos. Your work for the entire show has been mesmerizing, and I see an Emmy in your near future. But this dress — this dress should be on display in a costume museum. (If Cait doesn’t sneak away with it, that is.)
      Kudos to you — and to the director for lingering and letting us absorb the details.

    • #1954
      lenrad4
      Participant

      Terry Claire’s wedding dress was breathtaking! I can see a lot of brides wanting to replicate the dress. The detail, the fabrics, all beautiful! You and your team are AMAZING!

    • #1961
      Magda Longoria
      Participant

      Your work and efforts on the wedding dress were exquisite! I cried when I saw her in the gown. So glad Claire didn’t get sick while in it being she was so nervous! You and the crew are the best and deserve a big award. You know you have our love and admiration for all you do!

    • #1962
      lutenihon
      Participant

      I echo everyone here in saying that the dress is exquisite Terry! Serious and heartfelt kudos to your team. I would love to see this dress live on tour sometime! It’s just too beautiful a work of ART to put away without being admired. I think you may have inspired a few wedding dresses with this. Cait did indeed look like the sun (Jamie was dashing too of course).

      I have questions! I posted in the blog comments, but now there’s a forum so I should ask it here.

      Do you think Claire keeps it? Do you think the men would let her stuff it in her invisible traveling trunk? (Her dress changes on the road are totally plausible. I don’t know why people were nitpicking).

      Theoretically, if 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? I feel like a dress like that must be worth at least $10,000 today!

      Terry, can you put a modern dollar valuation on this dress? Just wondering.

      • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by lutenihon.
    • #1965
      NDDasi
      Participant

      [quote quote=1884]The embroidery is a very old method, done with actual strips of metal. Painstaking and time consuming, but spectacular. I will post some close up pictures.[/quote]
      Have you ever done Indian style metal wire embroidery called jari or zari? I spent years of my childhood in India and our fancy clothes always had jari embroidery on them.

      • #2038

        I haven’t ever tried zari work, though many of the threads are similar to those used in goldwork. I’ve tried tambour work where the hook is on the other side of the fabric to the “beads”, but I understand the “beads” are on the same side as the very fine hook in zari work. I also have a very fine pointed latch hook for chain stitch.

    • #1969
      TheRedHeadedMaven
      Participant

      Unfortunately being a Canadian due to geography I haven’t yet seen THE Wedding episode.

      But I wanted to let you know personally Ms. Dresbach how much I appreciate your design and production team efforts and dedication, and everyone and all who make this website and blog possible and this all those that also work on this popular television series.

      I feel blessed and grateful to have this website and blog for a wee peek into the design aspect of this show as I am legally blind.

      Blind – but not blind enough for a guide dog. But blind enough that I see little detail on clothing unless I am very close. And this makes watching TV and catching costume detailing damm near impossible. Sitting right in front of my 40 inch screen is the only way I can catch some detail, but certainly not all.

      As I have had a long time fascination with Scotland, costumes, vintage fabrics, clothing design and fashions once I have visited your blog here I can then be part of the discussion on Facebook, Twitter about the show, the books, the costumes and details via this website about your work and design.

      I don’t know if you realize how this blog for me, and perhaps many others like myself who have sight limitations has allowed us to feel included and just like every other “regular” sighted fan.

      Usually I am not able to see what everyone sees on the TV or movie screens when it comes to costumes, clothing design and fashion. At least not in the detail seen here in this blog. And reading your very detailed descriptions is a godsend. You allow me to be part of your world. And it also allows me to be part of the excitement just like everyone else who watches the show.

      I am ecstatic!!!! This blog showcases your very fine costuming details and your sources for inspiration up close. For me it is heaven….

      Your blog also allows me to travel and see firsthand inside your world. How lucky am I? With this blog I can see for myself and hear in your own words what you envisioned. I get to see firsthand what you and your team made possible prior to viewing each episode show.

      Now I don’t have to rely on others giving me descriptions of costumes on TV. Which can be excruciating at times coming from someone who obviously cares little based on their responses to my questions about a costumes and their design on the screen?

      Thank your for your creativity, generously sharing you and your design teams hard word, inspiration, delicate and intricate design details, and the whole design process with me.
      Your creativity, talent and hours of work have definitely paid off as your costumes have such detail and I can see each character’s personality shine through on this blog. I then take those pictures in my mind and information you have supplied here on this blog with me each week when I watch the TV episodes. I also take my iPad and look back at your blog and costumes during the show.

      Watching each cast member each week after visiting your blog helps me to further enjoy the whole experience and each new episode even more.

      On days when – and if you ever wonder why you do what you do – and then have to face this blog after a long day of work – Please think of people like myself. You have given me a rare look into a world I once only imagined and now can now see in more detail.

      Your time, attention to detail and dedication and obvious love of the art of costuming and clothing design I deeply admire and appreciate as it shines through in every scene.

      Your attention to the authenticity of each part of each costume is staggering and also admirable. It certainly is evident not only by me, but by the social media buzz regarding your team’s work. For that I say “thank you” a thousands times over.

      Seeing the photos from your blog is like travelling through time for me. And also feeds my desire and aspirations of visiting overseas museums to view their clothing exhibits and peeking inside European fine vintage shops.

      As you can imagine with my sight limitations I do so love feeling fabrics and seeing fabric and clothing designs up close – and very personal!(lol) I so wish technology would allow me to feel your fabrics. Someday……

      If you could share with your entire Outlander team right down to administration staff, your support team including drivers and security, and your production team, your costume and design team, cast and crew my note of gratitude and enormous thanks for allowing me “to see” the Outlander world more clearly both with this blog and finally on my television screen I would so appreciate it.

      You have all brought a world and its inhabitants to life in glorious colour that I had truly only ever seen my mind’s eye. Your efforts brighten my day and warm my heart.

      And if no was has told you Ms. Dresbach , Mr. Moore, and “herself” Ms. Gabaldon, and the rest of your Executive producers, and your entire team who oversee the costumes and your support staff who help with this website and blog you are doing one incredible job!
      And it is much appreciated by this Canadian admirer. I cannot tell you! Wait I have told you – maybe I have told you too much for too long! lolol

      Just that I am very appreciative and grateful for your efforts – Your show may be once a week, but it has improved my quality of life in terms of my entertainment and made me very happy to see a book and characters I love come to life.

      … Many thanks to you all, and bless you for having the passion that you so obviously do having followed so closely the heart and soul of the books, and bringing to life characters that I had only ever seen in my mind’s eye and in my dreams.

      Sincerely
      Catherine Dianne Jacques
      From The County of Bruce
      Port Elgin, Ontario
      Canada

    • #1985
      rachely
      Participant

      Do you have any close up pics of the cartridge pleats (they are, aren’t they?)? I love a good pleat. 🙂

    • #1995
      ellenchristine
      Participant

      P.S. the way the line flows from stomacher/bodice into the armscye/sleevecap is just perfection. Just one beautiful organic poetic line. That visual celebrates your patternmakers, and caps your design.

    • #2010
      michellibell
      Participant

      Beautiful work of art! Stunning – congrats to you and your team!

      I also have a question about the mica. Where is it exactly on the dress? I see pics of the gluing onto the fabric, but it is underneath the stomacher? Or behind the gauzy material with the embroidery?

      • #2017
        4nikikelly
        Participant

        If I may….It is the subtle shimmer you pick up under the layer of cascading leaves. lovely isn’t it?

    • #2013
      pru
      Participant

      Terry, in looking at your original sketch, and the inspirational pieces, and even the sketch for “the dress” I noticed the the necklines were all more modest than what was ultimately created. Did you finish the dress lower because of the actress, so she could wear a dress lower and look stunning in it, or was that decision made for another reason, perhaps to give it more of a “ball gown” look which says “wedding dress” to us?

      • #2024
        4nikikelly
        Participant

        Terry said somewhere
        “There is a translucent border that covers another couple of inches above the linen gown and stomacher. unfortunately, it is so delicate that taking the cloak off and on, during all the takes, almost destroyed it. The reason she is more “bare”, than we planned.”
        If you look closely at the photo stills I think you can see small remnants of that border still attached.

      • #2036
        pru
        Participant

        Well, she certainly looks lovely in that dress, however that neckline came about! Thanks for the info.

    • #2014
      Denyce
      Participant

      Terry, you and your team have done an absolutely wonderful job on the creation that is Claire’s Wedding Dress. I do have a question regarding Jaimie’s costume & how he wears it. Is there a tradition to draping it over the arm, rather than under it? It seems it would be restrictive if he needed to raise his arm quickly.

    • #2016
      thatirishgirl
      Participant

      Everything about this dress down to the underclothes was fabulous.

      What was used in the front of the corset to lace it? It looked like a cross between a busk and grommets – I need to go back and screen cap it, but I can’t get it out of my head trying to figure it out.

      • #2046
        demodecouture
        Participant

        It looked like two rows of small lacing rings, sewn on top of the corset, then laced through. Gorgeous!

      • #2147
        thatirishgirl
        Participant

        Thanks! so kind of like a row of chain mail hand stitched on? I know grommets weren’t around yet, so the lacing rings would make sense.

    • #2023
      coco
      Participant

      I loved the details and that you posted on your blog three paintings of the inspiration for the neckline. Just curious where you found the paintings? If you might know who the artists or the women in the portraits might be and would share that info also. I’m not an artist but find the work absolutely charming. both the work you and your team have created and the research that leads you to it is so fascinating…many thanks for a fabulous look in to a bygone era.

    • #2032
      alix
      Participant

      The dress was spectacular and must have had a fortune invested in the silver plate and check that were used for the embroidery! Gold work and embroidery are a passion of mine. Brilliant idea to have the gold work on the tulle. The ruching/pleating could have made that a difficult task. The effect was made even better with the tumbling of the leaves and them gathering in number at the hem. Just gorgeous!

      • #2039

        We worked the leaves and acorns as slips since stitching through such fine fabric would have wrecked the organza. It also allowed us to be getting on with the embroidery while fabrics for the dress were being finalised. The stems and garlands on the stomacher are also stand alone elements that were stitched through the smocked organza and mica layer while it was supported by paper, which was then ripped away! You can imagine HOW carefully I did that!

    • #2047
      demodecouture
      Participant

      I too thought the dress was gorgeous! I loved the French court gown reference with the styling (which WAS worn, for the most formal occasions, in England), and the silver embroidery is just stunning. I liked that the bodice embroidery was so perfectly 18th century, and then the trailing leaves on the skirt were a lovely romantic/fantasy element. Massive props to you and your team for putting together such an amazing piece.

      • #2097
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        Thank you for your gracious comments, Kendra, yes?

      • #2128
        demodecouture
        Participant

        Yes, that’s me!

    • #2048
      World-Traveler9
      Participant

      Terry, just saw the inside look video, in which you said the embroidery technique on the dress was something that had not been done in 100 years. Please, what was that technique?

      • #2086

        The technique we used to embroider the leaves with metal plate thread was satin stitch, over padding, on net. I’ve been lucky enough to buy some antique pieces of metal thread work and so far as I can work out satin stitching with plate died out as a technique mid 19th century, since then its been couched down and folded in a zigzag fashion, this uses half the thread. Assuit work is done on net, but it is a much heavier plate, and coarser net. In all of the satin stitch of plate examples I’ve seen there is no padding under the thread, so I think that’s unique to this dress. We also stitched out the outlines on the net and felt using the computerised embroidery machine, I digitised the designs from a vintage/antique piece which also used plate thread. Sorry if that’s all really technical, but I hope I’ve explained it clearly. If I’ve done it properly there’s a photo of the plate thread couched in folds as it is taught nowadays.

    • #2074
      creativerituals
      Participant

      In regard to the embroidery technique. We are a bunch of crazy costumers on Facebook who recreate 18th c. dress. Our friend Bjarne Drews in a master embroider from Denmark and works with metal thread. And another friend makes amazing stays. We are out her and love this series and your work.

    • #2079
      firstlove
      Participant

      The podcast for this episode has some lovely comments about the dress as well. Thank you for sharing that with us Terry.

    • #2081
      Lori
      Participant

      The wedding dress was amazing – a true work of art! Congratulations and thank you to you and your team! The techniques you used were amazing to see – the mica, the embroidary, the smocking – just beautiful! Was there a special reason for using the acorns?

      The “underclothes” are gorgeous as well – love the corset, the lovely ribbon around her neck – and the sleeves!

      I would also like to add my sincere thanks for all of the ways you share your art with the fans (blog, behind the scenes video as well as pod casts)!

    • #2131
      euromandy
      Participant

      It’s wonderful to get so many details about the design and construction of the dress from those that actually made it! It was truly stunning, simple and grand at the same time. I’m a set costumer for film/tv and did the first season of TURN on AMC, set the the late 18th century. We were not fortunate enough to be able to make everything from scratch, but I enormously appreciate everything that goes into costuming this time period (I’m pretty sure I’ll be dressing Redcoats and Continental Dragoons in my dreams for years!), and how the simple repetitive nature of film production can always alter your best laid plans!

      Amazing work you all do! The wedding dress could not have come out more perfectly Claire.

      • #2139
        kukrae
        Participant

        You and your team did a beautiful job with TURN from the stills I’ve seen. I’ve only seen a few bits of an episode but have it marked to eventually catch up on!

        Tamara

      • #2193
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        Euromandy, welcome to the forum. Glad to see other film costumers here. It will add to the perspective and the discussion.

    • #2132
      Catullus_1000
      Participant

      Breathtaking… that’s the best word to describe my experience while watching the Wedding. As an avid book fan, I can’t say enough about what an incredible treat it is to see the book come to life so beautifully. The costuming is so amazingly detailed and the music carries you along. LOVE this blog giving all the details, research, heart and soul that goes into every second of production. My favorite sidebar so far was reading that your hubby wrote the “sunlight” quote into the wedding scene based on your personal romance together. Cheers to both of you!

    • #2133
      Bluelinen
      Participant

      Terry, do you happen to have a photo of the dress including the original translucent border? I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d like to see it as you originally conceived it.

      • #2161
        Terry Dresbach
        Keymaster

        No, but if you look at the close up I shot on the mannequin you can see the wrecked bit. It is still on the shoulders a bit, but stretched out of shape. It has been scrunched down in the front. You can see in my sketch how we designed it, and made it. Unfortunately, all the photos were taken AFTER the cloak.

    • #2140
      kukrae
      Participant

      For the Love of Mica….

      Okay, Ms Terry, I give up 🙂

      I’ve been rummaging around the ‘net tonight looking, but struck out…so, will you (or anyone who might know!!) put me out of my misery?

      How in the world do you “shave” mica???

      Thank you!
      Tamara
      kukrae

      • #3031
        peggymarshall
        Participant

        Back in my old geology lab days, we shaved mica with an old style two-sided razor blade. For safety sake, you tape up one side of the razor with Duct tape. (Is there anything it can’t do?) Mica crystals form in silvery plates which you can separate with a razor.

    • #3630
      Hope
      Participant

      Terry; at the end of the Wedding episode, when Claire shakes out her dress and the ring flies out, is that really THE dress? I cringed when I saw her treat it that way.

    • #4280
      Sanderson
      Participant

      Just a bit of trivia on the dress of all dresses. I was really curious about what a shilling (what Ned paid for the dress on The Wedding episode) would be worth today. I spent about three hours on the Internet yesterday reading some fascinating history of what people paid for clothing, housing and food during the 18th century. Due to currency-worth fluctuations and the cost of living at the time, it is actually very hard for historians to pinpoint a direct correlation between the worth of today’s currency and that of the 18th Century. So while I have to put in a disclaimer that I am a casual student of 18th Century lifestyles (and far from an expert), I came up with a grand total of $10.38. That is the amount, in US Dollars, that Ned would have parted with when he bought the dress in the whorehouse.

      That being said, it was by far the most brilliantly, beautifully pieces of art that I have ever seen. The leaves truly did look like they were gently floating on air. Just breathtaking.

      • #4281
        rachely
        Participant

        Now I’m curious what Ned’s whore cost.

    • #4283
      Sanderson
      Participant

      Ha! I think it would be fun to know that, too, Rachel.

      I really didn’t think it would be as hard as it was to find out what a shilling was worth in the 1740’s in Scotland. Maybe if it hadn’t been such interesting reading I’d have come up with a monetary figure a bit faster. But I couldn’t stop reading about the history of the cost of living and what was important to people to buy/own who could afford more than just the most basic clothing, a roof over their head and the food they needed to stay alive.

      Apparently, housing in Edinburgh was in such demand at one point that a landlord could become fairly well to do. Especially considering the fact that in the less wealthy citizenry, people were somewhat squashed in terms of too many people living in too small a place.

      I did a walking tour through the historical part of Edinburgh a few years ago and the college history student who was our guide spent a lot of time describing the dumping of chamber pots out of second story windows and what the streets would have been like. Though I know it was de rigeur at the time, it was rather shocking to think about.

      And … I am now scratching my head, thinking, “how did I get here from talking about a dress?”. Sorry about that. lol

    • #9111
      Franatius
      Participant

      Hi Terry, I’m very late to this party and so you may never read this, but I just wanted to say that I loved everything about THE dress and everything you design for the show. I can’t wait to see what delights you will create for season 2 (and hopefully beyond!!!)
      I love that you have obviously been working with the Scottish textile mills to not only create tartans for the show, but to now be available as merchandise for fans. Can I beg and plead with you to take it a step further and get some other items produced like for example Claire’s wedding shift? The whole wedding costume was exquisite, right down to the shift and I’ve got to tell you, I think I would do just about anything to get my hands on that heavenly floating dreamy shift and I am sure I am not the only one!!! Though there are probably a lot of lassies who would like to role play the “fairs fair take off yours as well…” I actually just want one to sleep in and float around the house in!! If you can’t get a manufacturer, can you or one of your team provide a pattern and let us know the fabric? It wasn’t just a linen shift. I have one of those already. Claire’s was double layered and floaty and divine.
      Yours in hope and anticipation. SF

      • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by Franatius.
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