Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Happy New Year!



I don’t really do New Years Resolutions, but I have decided that this year is going to be the most creative year I have ever had.

As many of you know I took a ten year hiatus from the film business, until Ron dragged me kicking and screaming back in, to do Outlander. I suppose one might make a case that there was really no way that I was NOT going to end up doing Outlander, one of my favorite books, that I helped convince Ron to make. Wonder what I would have done if someone could have shown me the future? If I could have seen myself living on the other side of the world, away from my family,  with a puppy for company, designing Outlander.  Hmmmmm.

But here I am, and I survived the first year, probably due to pure stubbornness. I have done a few TV shows, first season only. They are so awful, that I have never wanted to come back for the second season. This first season did not disappoint. It was brutal. I tried to leave again, but the husband is having no part of it, and pushed, shoved and insisted that I come back. (and then a month ago, actually said to me, “quit! I don’t want you do go!!) But here I am, and I am (astonishingly) very happy to be here.

I think it is going to be amazing in every way. Both on and off screen.

If I am going to do this, I may as well do it at full volume. The challenge of Season Two is so challenging, so insurmountable, so absolutely impossible, that I MUST wrestle it to the ground. I MUST triumph. Someone get me a sword, I am going to slay this dragon. Or maybe just make friends with it.


Anyway welcome to the blog – 2015.

I have no idea where the blog will go. Depends on how it all works out. If I turn out to be right, about a lot of things, than I might actually get to have a life this year. Which means more time to write. There is so much to share, so much that will be happening behind the scenes. I am also going to write more about what this experience is, personally. This blog has been tremendously helpful, allowing me a forum to work things out on. I am very committed to it.

Hopefully we will also be able to keep the FORUM going, I think it is a nice place for Outlander fans to gather and chat.

We shall see.

But in the meantime, there is still the second half of Season One, still to come. I keep forgetting, being fully buried in Season Two. So much more to see!!!!! Things JUST got started!

If you are new to the blog, don’t stop on this post. There are pages and pages of posts about the making of Outlander. Just keep scrolling through the Older Entries. A good time to play catch up.



33 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. Avatartraceymfs

    Congratulations on making it through what must have been an astronomically difficult year on every level. Very much looking forward to seeing where your creative processes take you. Not sure i could do, no make that definitely couldn’t have done what you did last year, especially leaving family at home. I’m having enough trouble leaving my grown kids, and the fur family. Keep up the blog if you can. I love reading it, even if I don’t comment often.

  2. Avatarlarrouxgirl

    I’ve read that even actors themselves “find” much of their characters only after they’re dressed as their characters. Hooray for Terry and her team of seamstresses, et al. There would be no Outlander without you.

  3. FionaPFionaP

    Happy New Year to you Terry. Outlander is definitely an emotional roller coaster in so many different ways and thankfully you seem to have found the courage and dedication to stay on! I know you will say that there are other costume designers who are better qualified than you but believe me no one could design these costumes with the same amount of love and care that you show.

    Here’s to 2015 and a great Season 1 Part 2 for us and and some wonderful creations from you in Season 2.

  4. AvatarMillie Wesson

    Thank you so much for making the decision to stay. I cannot imagine Outlander without the skill and authenticity you bring to the costumes. They are as much a part of the success of series as the script and the actors. When I talk about the series and people ask me why I like it, I immediately launch into a detailed description of the costumes and your talent. I cannot wait to see your creativity in season 2.

  5. Avatarbwismer5

    I, too, have heard the actors say they are so appreciative of the costumes in helping them find their characters. You are ACES, Terry – please never forget it because we all are absolutely in awe of your talent. You add so much, and are such an essential part of the amazing potpourri that is Outlander! I’ve never been so happy to see a book translated to the screen, and to have it be my most-favoriate-of-all-time series – WOW! It’s been such a privilege to find my way to this community, and your contributions have been essential. Plus the blog and Twitter are really fun from you! And your forum is a safe and sane place in which to communicate – and that is wonderful for us. Thank you so much – for ALL you do!

  6. AvatarMichele

    I don’t know if it’s because I’m really emotional right now or not, but you really seem to have a knack of opening your heart and pouring it out and sharing. Your words are very inspiring. Thanks Terry.

  7. kladislauskladislaus

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us Terry. Having had overwhelming workloads at times in my career, it really is a matter of putting your head down and just getting to it. You have amazed and delighted us with Season One, and I know you will “bring it” to Season Two.

    Let’s do this! (Although cheering from the sidelines is not the same as actually taming the dragon, we’re here for you, eager and enthusiastic).


  8. Avatardennasus

    Welcome back (to Europe). I can only imagine how hard it must have been to leave Ron and the kids and our pets behind in California. I’m thrilled that you are planning to continue with this blog even though you are (or soon will be) buried in work for season 2. Thanks again for sharing your adventure with us.

    1. Avatarksnasat

      I can’t wait to see what this season will bring….!
      We love you and the work…… and that lady and the dragon picture is gorgeous!!!!! That’s all of us….Thank you.

  9. AvataraHayaHay

    It may be an insane year but you will always remember it! Although the work takes time away from home and family it should give them with a better idea of who you are as a person and what you contribute to the larger world. And hopefully they will appreciate even more the time they have with you. Thanks again for sharing. I am vicariously enjoying every minute!

  10. Avatarjennmc725

    Just a quick note that I LOVED your first costume podcast! Listened to it yesterday. It’s such a joy to hear the ideas behind the costumes & makes the whole viewing experience so much more immersive. Looking forward to the next discussion on how to wear plaids!

  11. AvatarMac37E

    Terry you are an inspiration to us all to strive for more. I hope you continue with the blog too…. I remember well the afternoon it first started and you dam well weren’t going to let it get the better of you even if you felt like chucking the lap top through the window at times

  12. AvatarCaptmorgnsgrl

    Terry, I popped on your page today as I usually do. I don’t post very much, but I admire your amazing talent, hard work and love looking at your artistry. I appreciate the time you take out of your busy life to post on this blog. I, as many, will be looking forward to what you will be creating in the coming year. Thank you for letting us come along for the ride.


  13. Avatarpraver

    Terry, I don’t know how you do it, but I’m happy that you appear to have recharged your batteries and are looking forward to your new season of dragon fighting with a positive outlook. I’ve seen other costume dramas and shook my head at the designs — inattention to detail, cheap construction, unrealistic designs — all things that you have avoided in your vision for Outlander. Thank you for sharing your vision (and your challenges) on this wonderful journey. If you don’t win some big awards for your work, we’re going to have to come up with some ourselves to give you.

  14. KnitzyBlondeKnitzyBlonde

    Terry, I just love your attitude and drive for 2015!! I know you will prevail against the “dragon/monster” of costuming Outlander and will do it with all the style and grace that are you. 🙂 Sending hugs, designing vibes, and all the energy possible to you for a fabulous season 2 of Outlander!!!

    Sandie ~ KnitzyBlonde

  15. TnLassTnLass

    Terry we are glad you have returned for “round two”. I can not imagine the world of Outlander without you in it. Thank you for not only sharing your creative thoughts but also the behind the scene insights and your fabric and trim choices with us. The beautiful lace and trim selections you shared for season two were simply amazing. But, we also know that as hard as we may try to place those beautiful pieces on fabulous period gowns in our minds, we will fall short. For on their own they are beautiful, but from your creative talent they will become simply amazing! Once they are born in Season Two from your creative talent, we will be in awe of your use and creation from the same pieces we saw from those shared photos. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and talent with us.

  16. AvatarEllenSpins

    You are going to slay this dragon and all his nasty friends! So glad you’re still in the driver’s seat on Outlander. I have been very impressed with your designs and use of fabrics and accessories to get the feeling of the book and the period across. Ignore the trolls and be happy. I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us in Season 2!

  17. Katie FriendKatie Friend

    Well, you never know where life will take you. It is so wonderful that you and Ron can enjoy this experience together. Your creations are fabulous. I’m looking forward to see what is to come from your talent.

  18. AvatarJo Ann Platt

    Personally, I can’t imagine anyone else designing and making the costumes. No one except someone with your talent and a true love of “Outlander” could do it and I’m sure Ron agrees. I expect the costumes for season 2 will be every bit as gorgeous as they are for this season. Congratulations on the People’s Choice Award for “Outlander.” You and everyone involved made this film a winner. All of us fans voted like crazy for “Outlander” — over a hundred times in my own case.

    That painting in stunning. Do you know who the artist is? I’d like to get a print.

  19. AvatarSherry L.

    Terry, I can only imagine how giant that “dragon” is but you did a magnificent job along with your “elves”. Your hands are blessed with the artful process you use to make these beautiful costumes and therefore, helping the actors feel their part. Thank you for bringing them to life for us. I wish I was there to help and learn from you. Good luck in your 2015 endeavors.

  20. AvatarCandyMnz

    I am glad you are sticking it out. I know you will kick ass in season 2 just as you did in season 1. Your attention to detail is amazing. But your greatest gift of all is that you share it all with us. You are such a gracious person and we love that about you. And thank you again for talking Ron into this wee project.

  21. Katiscotch22Katiscotch22

    So happy to see you back Terry. You’ll slay that dragon – no problem. This is going to be a fantastic but crazy busy year for you. I can’t wait to read your blogs I find them inspiring as well as incredibly interesting. I hope we get the second part of Season 1 in April here in Canada – but at least we get to see it. 😀

  22. Purl99Purl99

    Happy New Year to you too Terry and Ron! I just saw the trailer for the second half of the season and “oh my” is about all that can come out of my mouth. I am so thrilled and amazed at how these books have come to life when they already had a life in my head!
    Just the idea of a second season and its overwhelming process you have proven it can be done and done verra well!!!
    I sit here today in great anticipation of the show and of the impending birth of our 3rd grandchild. My daughter in law is so excited and terrified at the same time and little Elliot is being as stubborn as his father! Haha! Bright Blessings to you and all!!!

  23. Avatargrndmajoan

    Just want to say Happy New Year to you and Ron and family. Congratulations on the People’s Choice Award, it is well deserved by all! Love how share with us all that goes into your job and creativity, the shopping, the making, and the trials of all you do. So excited to see the second half of season 1. You will do a wonderful job on season 2. Thanks again for all you do and share.

  24. AvatarCatullus_1000

    You and Ron bring the passion to Outlander and it shine through in every detail on the show. Reading your blog and listening to the podcasts has enhanced the overall experience trememdously. You have so much to be proud of – we can’t wait to cheer you on at the awards ceremonies. Ron isn’t settling for anything less than perfection in every aspect of the show — lucky for the fans, he is married to the best Costume Designer in the field. Thank you for including the fans in your world and sharing your insight with us.

  25. Avataracapsimalis

    Love your enthusiasm, honesty, generosity with your thoughts and worries and passion. In the spirit of Kevin Spacey’s wonderful GG acceptance speech, you too seem to be driven to do better! Bravo. It really is inspirational and just imagine what this world will be like when we all do the same in our work and lives.

  26. AvatarLynnLouise

    Happy New Year to You and your family,
    You are such an inspiring person that words cannot express how you make others feel. You are a so terribly busy, but find the time to show your whole self to us. I admire your drive, your passion, your honesty and know that without you, the Outlander series would not be so magical. You inspire us all and we all feel very lucky to be apart of your experience.
    Can’t wait for Season 2…….
    Thank you so very much.

  27. Susan53Susan53

    Happy New Year to you, too! So glad you came back for Season 2, truly. You’re openness about your process and this subject and just the what it calls from you as a human being having an intense creative experience has been a wonderful read and window into a world I know nothing about. Thank you for sharing with us, and thank you for bringing your amazing talent to Outlander. The costumes are a star in their own right, and the show wouldn’t be the same without your care and attention to it!

    Can’t wait to see the rest of Season One, and wishing you well in the year to come.

  28. Avatarctslafka

    Happy New Year, Terry! Hope it is all going well. Looking forward to catching up on your blog and the forum. Thank you for continuing to open your process to us!

  29. Avatarflincaint

    I came to discover this page through my newly developed addiction to the Outlander TV show. Same as the TV show, as I explore further into the team that creates it, I found a lot of inspirations. I enjoy your writing as much as your costume designs. Please write more!

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