DEN Project

Fashions From The Past Blog

The Gown is underway

It is January now, and our colleagues from Hats on Heads are teaching the pupils the dress-making skills they will need to construct the gown.

Pupils hard at work in the classroom


As part of their training, many original items of clothing and accessories were taken out to school from the museum stores, to be carefully examined.

 Spotted court shoes, original 18th century example

Original 18th century bag

A  full replica dress created by Angela and Carol from Hats on Heads.  Pupils were able to handle and try on this dress.


The Court Mantua

The ‘mantua’ was an ornate dress designed to be worn at court or on grand occasions.  It’s exaggerated width at the hips was achieved by use of  ‘panniers’ or basket shaped supports worn underneath the skirt.  In some cases ladies were 6ft across at the widest part of the dress.  This meant that even the design of furniture and houses of that time had to be altered to allow for ladies to pass through doorways and sit on couches.


Learning Paper Crafts

Paper embossing example.

Paper embroidery example

Finished piece using text, embossing and piercing