The best costume of all… clothing your true self

The best costume of all… clothing your true self

A year or two ago, I opened my closet full of fabulous historical evening gowns and felt… tired.

Inside were all those impossible confections I’ve made for countless Costume College Galas. Days, weeks, months of blood, sweat and tears are represented in that stuffed wardrobe, along with many happy memories of friends and fears overcome. Every single time, I’d figured it out and finished the dress in time.

And I had to ask… why am I doing this, anyway?

You may be concentrating on the imagined sight of those folds of taffeta and satin in front of me, but I was looking down at my jeans. What the hell is this all for, anyway? Why is all this expertise shut in a closet for 99% of its life, and why am I wearing synthetic rubbish, mass produced in sweatshops I’d rather not think about?

From time to time it’s worth remembering why we got into this, anyway. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush to have something new to wear for this event, or that event, that we forget why we learned to sew in the first place.

Here are the matching drawers for that beautiful Edwardian chemise

Here are the matching drawers for that beautiful Edwardian chemise

Remember the Edwardian chemise I made earlier this year?

Well, if you keeping hunting around in the Metropolitan Museum archive, you’ll come across a matching pair of drawers (top of page). They’re part of a set containing an identical chemise to mine – the lace is unmistakeable. So obviously I have to make the drawers too.

What can you do if people don’t get it? Communicate.

What can you do if people don’t get it? Communicate.

So this was fun…

Last week I was delighted to have an opportunity to speak to a Muggle audience about corsets.

Well, ok, I spoke to an audience of entrepreneurs about business, using corsets to make my point. ­čÖé

My audience included personal trainers, accountants, healers, coaches, gardeners, herbalists, stylists, tech wizards – an extraordinarily diverse group of experts in all kinds of fields, who are all building businesses online using the same tools and principles. You can imagine the double takes the first time they hear what I’m doing online.

A membership site about making┬ácorsets and historical dress?? It’s unimaginable!