Monday, 13 February 2017

THROUGH MY LENS - Talk on Cotumes at Mount Stewart Part 1

Last week I attended an excellent  talk at Mount Stewart on Costumes from 1700s to about 1920 given by Laura Thorp.  Of course I took quite a number of photographs and I have divided them into 2 parts, one I will show you today and the second on Wednesday, when I will also be showing you a video of one of our members being helped into one of the costumes.

Laura was beautifully turned out in this period costume and explained to us how important all the under garments where to the overall look of the fashion at the time.  She not only made this costume including the hat herself but makes all the costumes.

Every lady would have a pocket (above) not as we have today.  There would be a slit in all the undergarment and dresses and the pocket would be tied round the waist under them all.  Ladies would keep all their jewels and valuable in that pocket.

This was followed by these items I have photographed and the mannequin that she was dressing, would have had up to 7 petticoats under the dress ordinaraly.

This is one kind of small bustle and what looks like a skirt to us (below) 
is in fact called a pedicoat.

Finally she dressed the mannequin in the dress however the triangular part at the bust was separate and tied round the body.  Sorry about the light  on the shot below but Laura had the projector on while she was talking.

It wasn’t until later that woman started wearing what we call ‘pants/ knickers’ and to begin with there were 2 completely separate legs with tape to attach round the waist and sometimes ladies would find one had loosened and was at their feet.  This item ( above) has the leg material attached togeher at the waist so if this gave way, the whole thing would fall!!! 

On Wednesday, I will show you 2 members, one of whom wore a skirt with a bigger bustle than the one above and the dress will have a train, so to keep it clean, this would have been the undergarment for that kind of costume.

Lastly today I am showing you boots worn much later on in fashion.

I am linking this post with THROUGH MY LENS.

i hope you enjoyed this very different post and I think you will enjoy Wednesdays post if you pop in.

Many thanks for visiting and also for all your comments.


  1. This lady is an awesome seamstress. These long underpants do indeed look so flimsy and badly made! And I have never seen a slip for a train! Or maybe it is a lining. I had no idea about the pockets! How hard it must have been to retrieve something from them! I have read that women used to "have a case of the vapours" (faint) often because of the tight whalebone corsets that were tied so tightly on them. It impeded their breathing. I have learned so much here, and it has been fun!!

  2. A lovely post Margaret. I am very impressed that she made these herself, what a talent! I have always had a great interest in costumes down through the ages.

  3. interesting and very beautiful costumes. i think i will tell everyone i am wearing a petticoat, to explain my widening bottom ;)

    i like the boots!!

  4. That would have been a fascinating talk! Costuming is so interesting! Last night on PBS I watched Lucy Worsley in her presentation of the clothes of Queen Elizabeth I. Love this post! And thank you so much for commenting on my kitchen cabinets/flooring question on my blog. Everyone has been giving such reasoned responses and I'm very appreciative.

  5. Fascinating post, Margaret. Thank goodness we don't have to wear all that now.

  6. Perhaps it is a good thing women's fashions have become less complicated.

  7. So much went into dressing in those days. I see Cranberry Morning mentioned the PBS program I was going to mention. Maybe you had a chance to see it yourself. Personally I am glad that we don't have such complicated clothing these days but it is very interesting to see some of the lovely historical costumes.

  8. A very good thing clothing has become less complicated--- as our friend "taken" has said.

  9. The dresses and hat are quite charming, but I am happy that I don't have to wear stuff like that.

  10. No wonder so many ladies had someone to help them get dressed! I'm glad they've figured out the pants thing so they don't fall off any more!

  11. A fascinating post - thank goodness clothing is simpler. It must have taken ages to get dressed even if you did have the help of a maid!

  12. Oh my gosh. I grew up watching and reading Anne of Green Gables and Little Women and I love these dresses! Yours is adorable!