Working with fabrics

The time that it took to produce the chosen garments was longer than originally anticipated. The volunteer fashion recreators were required to undertake the entire process of recreating historical items by hand sewing. No one in the group had much, if any, previous experience of hand sewing and on historical pattern cutting / dress making. The expert facilitators were required to provide more support than originally anticipated. The group met regularly sometimes once every week at the Rich Mix Centre in Shorditch and Heba Women’s Centre in Brick Lane. The participants were from diverse backgrounds, who possessed a variety of different skills, talents and previous experiences. They worked extremely hard, giving many weekends and evenings to the project, to complete the amazing project.

During the delivery phase of the project, Fathema Wahid, one of the participants, became pregnant and therefore had to take time off from attending workshops which caused a slight delay in her progress towards dress completion. Later, after having the baby, she restarted participation in the workshops by bringing her newborn son to introduce to the group. A few months later, Alice Gordon, one of our expert facilitator also became pregnant which mean that she also could not provide the levels of support originally anticipated. Third in the number, another participant, Sima Rahman, also became pregnant. This makes one wonder, perhaps, some of the historical legends and myths behind the muslin textile perhaps were true after all.

How Villages and Towns in Bengal Dressed London Ladies in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries