I don't talk about my day job much here.
Mainly because Flaming Nora is a good way to escape most of the stress of a job that involves constant deadlines and lots of pressure.
But I talk about my other day job even less.
Two days a week I head off to the South coast to teach theatre costume to rooms full of budding designers and makers.
Here I must warn you that this is going to be a very heavy on the pictures post.
There is much to see and be fascinated by.
So go find your specs, make a cuppa and settle down in a comfy seat.
This last half term our new students have been having their wardrobe induction.
This is when I nag them about putting things back when they have finished, not waisting all the pattern paper and calico and not spreading glue all over the iron and ironing board.
Obviously the students are already very talented and clever, 
otherwise they wouldn't be on the course.
But few of them have made a costume before.
Even less of them have had to think about characterisation before.
And none of them have ever had to put the two together before.
How can you use textiles to set a scene?
Summarise a characters personality?
Dictate the mood of a scene?
And yet not stand out like a sore thumb and work in harmony with all the other characters?
To this end and in the spirit of pushing experimentation as far as I can as early as I can, I developed this textile project.
Taking "The Rakes Progress" by Hogarth as our start point.
I printed out the pictures and then cut them up.
Each student was given a segment of one of the pictures. 
They had to enlarge it and then make a representation of it out of textiles.
The end results were pretty amazing.
I am so proud of what they achieved.
The orgy.

The gambling den.

The debtors prison.


Not bad for a first project.
I must just reiterate this isn't my work. 
I have taught the class and with the able assistance of our fantastic technician Ralph have offered guidance and helped the students overcome their mental blocks.
But this is all 100% their work.
I also asked all their permission before showing their work here.
They really are a bunch of clever bunnies.
Tomorrow they have their first go at pattern cutting a fast and furious gallop through history.
I have high expectations!
Love Nora xxx


  1. Wow, those are fantastic! I want to do some now. What a great teacher you are!

  2. That's just fabulous. Imagine being so talented! Clever bunnies indeed. (And what lovely interesting jobs you have.)

  3. What a fascinating project. Students are so lucky when they are taught by a teacher who nurtures their talents and who has an absolute love of and wealth of experience on their chosen subject. I hope they appreciate you! M x

  4. Fab work, what great jobs you have! It's leaving me wanting to be a student again!

  5. I simply love the idea of your class - absolutely fantastic!

  6. Awesome! I wish i had done cool projects like this back in fashion school...


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