Adventures of a traveling sewist

I count myself very lucky that I have been able to travel about North and South America and Europe.  Soon my travels will take me farther afield, but for now, I would like to share with you my recent adventures in Europe.

In early November, I spent 5 days in London.  Since I have in the past visited all of the famous and tourist required sites, this trip was strictly slow adventures.  I fancy myself a bit of an artist, so museums are one of my favorite past times.  I was traveling as a side kick to my working husband.  He doesn’t not really enjoy museums, so it was perfect that I could explore at my own pace.

We stayed near Hyde Park and Kensington Palace.  I enjoyed acting like a local, walking every day through the park regardless of the chill or raindrops.  The first stop was the Victoria and Albert Museum.  They had two exhibits that were fashion related.   The first was “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear”  The description of the exhibit from their website is:  EXHIBITION: Discover the evolution of underwear design from the 18th-century to the present day.Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear features over 200 examples of underwear for men and women, highlighting the enduring themes of innovation and luxury. From the custom-made, such as a rare example of home-made ‘stays’ worn by a working woman in England in the 18th-century, to pieces by current designers including Stella McCartney, Rigby & Peller and Paul Smith, the exhibition explores the relationship between underwear and fashion. It covers notions of the ideal body, and the ways that cut, fit, fabric and decoration can reveal issues of gender, sex and morality.  You can check out the highlights at this link:   This exhibit covered everything from undergarments, support structures, sleep and lounge wear, lingerie and undergarments worn as outer garments.  Today, our fashion requires very little undergarments as supporting structures, maybe only women’s bras and for those who like to be tortured – spanks like foundation wear.  Unlike the engineering feats of support structures of the past,  like corsets, paniers (those side hoop petticoats) crinoline cages, bustles, bum rolls, and farthingales.   Photos were not allowed in the exhibition, but here are a few photos taken in the fashion section of V & A.

In this photo includes a gown supported by a panier and a corset,  embroidered fabric yardage, slippers and an ornately dressed china doll.




I loved the button and buttonhole detail in this dress.



Upcoming posts include gowns of queens and princesses –  “Fashion Rules: Restyled” exhibit in the Kensington Palace; European street fashion; fashion and history on display in the “You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970” exhibit.

Cheers – your traveling sewist –


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