Continuing with the new policy of sharing the day job with you all, I thought it would be fun to show you a bit of what goes on underneath.
This little lot is what goes on under a very extravagant Victorian lady's outfit.
Now I will say that not all of this is historically accurate.
Its for the Theatre, its made to create the shape and concept of the show's designer.
If you want historically accurate then you should go to a museum! 
First we have the bustle

This one is made from ticking and has heavy duty steels in to create the shape.
The finished costume for this one is very heavy and so to help support the skirts I make what one of my assistants once termed "the pleasing sea slug"

Which is basically circular frills cut from crin. The edges of which have been wired with polyester filament such as you would find in ridgeline if you cut it apart length ways.
Over the top of both of these goes the petticoat.
A panelled skirt with yet more circular crin frills all down the back.

All this may seem a little extreme, but it does need to support rather a lot.
Over the top of this lot goes a skirt with generous frills at the hem, an apron drape top skirt, also with generous frills. A draped top skirt and then to top it all a long train covered with decoration.
Due to the fact the performer wearing this costume has a quick change from this one to her next outfit, the whole thumping lot needs to go on to one waist band!
It's a feat of engineering in its own right, comprising of petersham tape, elastic, cotton drill, ridgeline and eventually two wide elastic braces.

This job has due to an unforeseen accident for the performer wearing it, ground to a halt for a while, but when its finished I will share more pictures.
Love Nora xxx


  1. I love the sea slug. This must weigh an absolute ton. Does the performer have to move about a lot in it?

  2. This is fascinating. I was thinking too that it must be quite heavy!

  3. I agree with Dotty!!
    I hope you'll share more of your day job with us!!

  4. What a rewarding job and so creative. I'd love to live in the Victorian era with these beautiful dresses (I could get away with my big bum!) x

  5. I love your sharing fascinating....I think your sewing machine must be very brave!!
    bestest Daisy j x

  6. Oh my word. And I moan to myself when I make anything more complicated than an apron. You are very clever indeed. And how full of sewing tips and tricks you must be! I'd love to be fly on the wall as you work. :)

  7. I've just managed to get a simple lavender bag all in a cobble ... what a talent you have. Mind you, I wouldn't want to wear it, although I guess I'd never have to say "does my bum look big in this?"! M x

  8. I have to tell you that I love, love seeing your day job work!! it is absolutely fascinating to me and you are a mad genius!


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