So I will as promised complete my pantaloons post this week. I even drafted the new pattern to fit my model (AKA the Viking Boy) so will be getting on with that shortly.
But now I have an exciting project to discuss.
I’ve been thinking for a while about creating a project/exhibition looking at the kinds of clothes working class people wore during the 19th century. It’s all too easy to find example of gorgeous high fashion pieces in museums and archives, but I want to focus on the clothes people wore every day. How clothes were used at work, rest and play, and what happened when those clothes lost their usefulness.
Another important part of my idea is to focus on Scottish culture and history. The romanticism of Scotland was born out of the 18th century and came to full strength throughout the Victorian Era. The idea of the bonnie Scotsman with his kilt, sporran and tam o’ shanter bonnet completely ignores or at the very least glosses over centuries of history, culture and communities.
My very basic plan so far, which will I hope develop further as I investigate the project is to create sample reproduction pieces to show the type of clothes and the type of fabrics etc used. I also want to include oral and visual examples too, so memories of communities (such as mining or milling) and photographs. I know that obviously a lot of these memories won’t be first hand (unless I can find a few people over 100) but hopefully I can use family stories and memories to create ideas of what life was like for working class families during those times.
I would hope that the eventual outcome of this project is inspire, educate and preserve part of our history. Or at the very least Scotland’s history 🙂
Anyway now I come to a request. Do you have stories of grandparents/great grandparents living in city tenements and working in factories? Or stories from smaller mining communties that you would like to share? And since I plan to recreate many items of clothing, I would love copies of old family photographs mostly from around 1830-1860 but any and all photographs would be great (basically anything from 1830 onwards!) I’ll be using them get an idea of the atmosphere and character of the communites and people. I will also use some as reference for recreating some pieces.
There is as yet, no timescale for this so I can’t guarantee when or if these photographs will be used but I will continue to update as I try to move forward with this project 🙂 I will however give name credit in the final project, to all who participate and support this idea 🙂
So if you think you can help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you in the future ♥